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Alzheimer's Disease Blog

Related terms: Presenile Dementia, SDAT, Senile dementia Alzheimer's Type, Alzheimers

Not Everyone With Alzheimer's-Linked Protein Develops Dementia: Study

Posted 3 days ago by

MONDAY, Sept. 15, 2014 – The human brain may have a way to compensate for the build-up of a destructive protein associated with Alzheimer's disease. That could help explain why some older people who have beta-amyloid deposits do not develop dementia, California researchers report. "This study provides evidence that there is plasticity or compensation ability in the aging brain that appears to be beneficial, even in the face of beta-amyloid accumulation," said the study's principal investigator, Dr. William Jagust. He's a professor with joint appointments at University of California, Berkeley's Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, the School of Public Health and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The study, published Sept. 14 in Nature Neuroscience, involved 22 healthy young adults and 49 older adults who showed no signs of mental decline. Using brain imaging technology, known as ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease

Anxiety Medications May Be Tied to Alzheimer's Risk

Posted 9 days ago by

TUESDAY, Sept. 9, 2014 – Older adults who habitually use sedatives for anxiety or insomnia may have a heightened risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests. The drugs in question are benzodiazepines, a widely prescribed group of sedatives that include lorazepam (Ativan), diazepam (Valium) and alprazolam (Xanax). Older adults commonly take the drugs for anxiety or insomnia, often long-term, according to background information in the study. That's despite the fact that guidelines call for only short-term use of the drugs, at most. In 2012, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) put benzodiazepines on its list of drugs considered "potentially inappropriate" for seniors, because of risks like confusion, dizziness and falls. The current study isn't the first to link benzodiazepines to Alzheimer's risk, but it adds to evidence that longer-term use of the drugs – beyond ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Xanax, Anxiety and Stress, Klonopin, Clonazepam, Valium, Ativan, Alprazolam, Lorazepam, Diazepam, Temazepam, Alzheimer's Disease, Restoril, Xanax XR, Librium, Oxazepam, Halcion, Serax, Midazolam, Triazolam

Researchers Pinpoint Brain Region Where Contextual Memories Are Made

Posted 12 Aug 2014 by

TUESDAY, Aug. 12, 2014 – A region of the brain that plays a key role in contextual memories has been pinpointed in rats by researchers. Alzheimer's disease and other brain disorders can affect contextual memory. Contextual memories help you recall your location when an event occurred. This can range from remembering where you were at the time of a significant incident – such as 9/11 or the JFK assassination – to everyday activities such as recalling where you parked your car. It was known that a specific network of brain regions is important for contextual memory, but the importance of different parts of the network was unclear. Dartmouth College researchers conducted experiments with rats and concluded that a brain region called the retrosplenial cortex is crucial to contextual memory, according to the study in the Aug. 12 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience. "By providing new ... Read more

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Man's Rare Condition May Open Door to New Alzheimer's Treatments

Posted 11 Aug 2014 by

MONDAY, Aug. 11, 2014 – A man with a rare disease has shown scientists that there might be a different way to try to halt the devastating damage of Alzheimer's disease. A mutation of the apolipoprotein E gene (apoE4) has been shown to raise the chances of developing the memory-robbing condition, and experts have wondered how dangerous it would be to treat the patients by eliminating the protein from the brain. Now, researchers report, the answer might lie in the unusual case of an ill man whose body doesn't produce the protein at all. While the man has a variety of medical problems linked to a rare disease, his lack of the protein doesn't appear to have hurt his brain. That medical fact might mean that lowering levels of the protein in the brain "may provide a wholly new venue for intervention in Alzheimer's disease. Our observations on this patient suggest that this strategy may now ... Read more

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Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Alzheimer's Risk, Study Finds

Posted 6 Aug 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 6, 2014 – Older adults with too little vitamin D in their blood may have twice the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease as seniors with sufficient levels of the "sunshine vitamin," a new study finds. The research – based on more than 1,600 adults over age 65 – found the risk for Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia increased with the severity of vitamin D deficiency. But the findings aren't enough to recommend seniors take vitamin D supplements to prevent mental decline. "Clinical trials are now urgently needed in this area," said study researcher David Llewellyn, a senior research fellow in clinical epidemiology at the University of Exeter Medical School in England. Another expert agreed. "This shows you there is a link between vitamin D and the development of Alzheimer's," said Keith Fargo, director of scientific programs and outreach for the Alzheimer's ... Read more

Related support groups: Alzheimer's Disease, Vitamin D Deficiency, Vitamin D Insufficiency

Vitamin B No Help for Alzheimer's: Review

Posted 16 Jul 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, July 16, 2014 – Taking B vitamins does not slow age-related mental decline or prevent Alzheimer's disease, a new review says. People with Alzheimer's have high blood levels of a compound called homocysteine, and people with elevated levels of the compound have been shown to be at higher risk for Alzheimer's. It's known that folic acid (vitamin B-9) and vitamin B-12 lower homocysteine levels, so it was believed that taking B vitamins may lower a person's risk of Alzheimer's. However, this review, published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, revealed different results. "It would have been very nice to have found something different," study leader Dr. Robert Clarke, of Oxford University in England, said in a university news release. "Our study draws a line under the debate: B vitamins don't reduce cognitive decline as we age. Taking folic acid and vitamin ... Read more

Related support groups: Alzheimer's Disease, Vitamin B12, Cyanocobalamin, Vitamin B-12, Hydroxocobalamin, B-12 Dots, CaloMist, Neuroforte-R, Cyomin, Cobalin-H, Vibal, Hydro-Cobex, Crystal B-12, Vitabee 12, LA-12, Crysti-12, Big Shot B-12, Neo-Cytamen, Cyanokit, Cobal 1000

Researchers Spot Potential New Culprit Behind Alzheimer's

Posted 16 Jul 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, July 16, 2014 – Although the exact reason why Alzheimer's disease develops still remains elusive, scientists report that they've found a new protein that may play an important role in the devastating memory illness. What they don't yet know is whether or not this new protein – called TDP-43 – is a cause of Alzheimer's disease, or if it's something that develops due to Alzheimer's disease. It's too early to know if this finding could have any effect on the diagnosis, treatment or prevention of Alzheimer's disease. For now, "we really need to understand what this protein is doing and its relationship to other proteins," said the study's lead author Dr. Keith Josephs, a professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Scientists studying Alzheimer's disease have long been interested in two types of proteins in the brain known as beta-amyloid and tau. In ... Read more

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Alzheimer's Rate Falling in the United States, Studies Show

Posted 15 Jul 2014 by

TUESDAY, July 15, 2014 – The number of new cases of dementia has been declining in recent decades in the United States, Germany and other developed countries, a trio of new studies shows. In one U.S. study, researchers found that compared with the late 1970s, the rate of dementia diagnosis was 44 percent lower in recent years. The sharpest decline was seen among people in their 60s. A second study, which reviewed research from England, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United States, found a similar pattern. The third study, meanwhile, found signs of progress in the space of only a few years: In 2004, older German adults were about one-quarter more likely to be diagnosed with dementia than in 2007. "This is some good news," said Dean Hartley, director of science initiatives for the nonprofit Alzheimer's Association. The three studies are being presented Tuesday at the Alzheimer's ... Read more

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Staying Active May Help Prevent Dementia

Posted 14 Jul 2014 by

MONDAY, July 14, 2014 – Being physically active in middle age appears to help reduce your risk for Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia, suggest the findings from two new studies. "In our studies, we found that physical exercise at various levels, especially in midlife, is beneficial for cognitive function," Dr. Yonas Geda from the Mayo Clinic, said in an Alzheimer's Association news release. "These are intriguing results, but they are not yet conclusive. More research is needed to determine the extent and nature of physical activity in protecting against MCI [mild cognitive impairment] and dementia," Geda added. One study included 280 seniors who were asked about their physical activity levels over their lifetime. The median age of the study volunteers was 81, which means half were under that age and half were older than 81. All of the study participants had early signs of ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease

Eye Tests Might Help ID Alzheimer's, Studies Suggest

Posted 14 Jul 2014 by

SUNDAY, July 13, 2014 – Eye tests could be used to identify people in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, two new studies suggest. In one study, early results from 40 participants who used a certain eye test found a significant association between levels of beta-amyloid plaques in the retina of the eye and levels of the plaques in the brain. Beta-amyloid plaques in the brain are associated with Alzheimer's disease. This type of eye test could be used in conjunction with the brain scans and clinical tests currently relied on to diagnose Alzheimer's, study author Shaun Frost, of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Australia, said in a news release from the Alzheimer's Association. The eye test could also be used to monitor the progression of Alzheimer's and a patient's response to treatment, Frost added. The preliminary results were scheduled for ... Read more

Related support groups: Alzheimer's Disease, Diagnosis and Investigation

Could a Simple Smell Test Help Spot Alzheimer's Early?

Posted 14 Jul 2014 by

SUNDAY, July 13, 2014 – New research suggests that a faltering sense of smell might signal the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, and that an inexpensive, low-tech smell test could spot who needs more extensive screening for dementia. In two different studies, the decreased ability to identify odors was associated with the loss of brain cell function and progression to Alzheimer's disease. "We're trying to be able to diagnose Alzheimer's earlier and theoretically deliver drugs to people sooner," said Matthew Growdon, lead author of one of the studies. "Think about cardiovascular disease as a paradigm; the idea is that we would find a way to control the risk factors [before the disease advances]." The ability to smell is associated with the first cranial nerve, and is often one of the first things to be affected by cognitive decline. Brain regions that process odors are particularly ... Read more

Related support groups: Alzheimer's Disease, Diagnosis and Investigation

Yoga, Meditation May Help Dementia Patients and Caregivers Alike

Posted 5 Jun 2014 by

THURSDAY, June 5, 2014 – Life with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias can be difficult for the affected individual and his or her caregiver. But a small British study suggests that a "holistic" program involving yoga, meditation and other interventions can ease the burden for both. "This is an activity that caregivers and patients can do together," said study lead author Yvonne J-Lyn Khoo, a researcher with the Health and Social Care Institute at Teesside University in Middlesbrough, U.K. "Because everyone is doing the program together, caregivers have peace of mind to at least allow themselves to 'let go' and do some exercise." One expert in the United States said programs like this are sorely needed. "Caregivers for people with dementia are under so much stress," said Catherine Roe, an assistant professor of neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease

Anti-Alzheimer's Drug Shows Promise in Mice Study

Posted 3 Jun 2014 by

TUESDAY, June 3, 2014 – Researchers working with mice have identified a drug they believe holds promise as a preventive treatment for Alzheimer's disease. In the study, the compound cut levels of amyloid beta – a protein associated with this degenerative brain disease – by about half, the researchers said. Years before Alzheimer's develops, amyloid beta starts to build up and clump in the brain. Scientists believe that helping the brain remove this protein in late middle age might ward off the disease. Preventing Alzheimer's may be more feasible than stopping it once it develops and damages the brain, the NYU Langone Medical Center researchers said. "The key is to prevent the disease process from going that far," said the study's leader, Dr. Martin Sadowski, associate professor of neurology, psychiatry, and biochemistry and molecular pharmacology. A treatment based on this compound, ... Read more

Related support groups: Alzheimer's Disease

Could Certain Antidepressants Slow Alzheimer's?

Posted 14 May 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, May 14, 2014 – Preliminary research suggests that the commonly used antidepressant Celexa, and perhaps other drugs in its class, may temporarily lower levels of a protein that clogs the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease. It's too early to know if the medication – or the drugs that are similar to it – could play a role in the prevention of the devastating brain-robbing disease. The authors of the new study only looked at the effects of a large dose of the drug for less than two days, and only healthy younger people took part in the research. There's another important caveat: Previous efforts to reduce the levels of the protein, known as beta amyloid, haven't helped patients fend off Alzheimer's. And Celexa can cause some potentially serious side effects. Still, "this is the first step in trying to move toward a preventive treatment," said study author Dr. Yvette ... Read more

Related support groups: Lexapro, Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa, Paxil, Citalopram, Sertraline, Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, Alzheimer's Disease, Paroxetine, Luvox, Brintellix, Paxil CR, Fluvoxamine, Sarafem, Luvox CR, Brisdelle, Pexeva, Prozac Weekly

Brain Stimulation Shows Early Promise Against Alzheimer's

Posted 6 May 2014 by

TUESDAY, May 6, 2014 – Four of six Alzheimer's patients responded to deep brain stimulation in a pilot study, German researchers report. Meanwhile, 42 Alzheimer's patients in the United States and Canada have been enrolled in the largest study to date to examine the use of deep brain stimulation to treat the disease. There are caveats about the research, even though deep brain stimulation is already used as a treatment for Parkinson's disease. "The research is very preliminary. We have good intentions, but there has to be rigorous testing with a 'control' group," said Dr. Stephen Salloway, director of neurology and the Memory and Aging Program at Brown University, in Rhode Island. Still, "we're opening a new era of exploration for Alzheimer's treatment," said Salloway, who studies brain stimulation. His hospital, Butler Hospital in Providence, R.I., is taking part in the new, larger ... Read more

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