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Alzheimer's Disease Blog

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

Brain Scans Give Clues to Link Between Alzheimer's, Down Syndrome

Posted 2 days 2 hours ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 17, 2015 – It's long been known that people with Down syndrome are at higher risk for Alzheimer's disease. Now, research suggests that changes in the brains of people with Down syndrome, as seen on brain scans, might help lead to promising treatments that could delay or prevent Alzheimer's. "We and other researchers have been interested in detecting and tracking Alzheimer's, starting before the onset of cognitive [thinking] impairment in individuals at genetic risk for the disease," study senior researcher Dr. Eric Reiman, executive director of Banner Alzheimer's Institute, said in an organization news release. "We have used this approach to help launch Alzheimer's prevention trials in people with other genetic risk factors, and we hope that the same approach can help empower people with Down syndrome in the fight against this disease," he explained. Along with medical ... Read more

Related support groups: Down Syndrome, Alzheimer's Disease

Mouse Study Suggests Immune Disorder May Play Role in Alzheimer's

Posted 5 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 14, 2015 – An immune system disorder may play a role in the development of Alzheimer's disease, research in mice suggests. Duke University researchers found that in a mouse model of Alzheimer's, something goes wrong with certain immune cells that normally protect the brain, and the cells start to consume an important nutrient called arginine. In mice, treatment with a drug called difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) blocked these immune cells from consuming arginine and prevented the brain plaques and memory loss associated with Alzheimer's. However, findings in animals are not always duplicated in humans. The study was published April 15 in the Journal of Neuroscience. "If indeed arginine consumption is so important to the disease process, maybe we could block it and reverse the disease," senior study author Carol Colton, a professor of neurology and a member of the Duke ... Read more

Related support groups: Alzheimer's Disease, Autoimmune Disorders

To Protect Your Aging Brain, Start With Exercise

Posted 5 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 14, 2015 – There are things people can do to preserve their brain function as they age, a report released Tuesday from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) suggests. "Changes in mental functions and capabilities are a part of aging and occur with everyone," report committee chair Dan Blazer, a professor of psychiatry emeritus at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., said in an IOM news release. "The extent and nature of these changes vary widely and are gradual, and aging can have both positive and negative effects on cognition [thinking skills]. Wisdom and knowledge can increase with age, while memory and attention can decline," he said. But the committee said there are things people can do to promote brain health. These include being physically active, and reducing and managing heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and smoking. It's also ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia

Could Obesity Help Protect Against Dementia?

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 9, 2015 – A new study of nearly 2 million people suggests that those who are overweight or obese in middle age may be less likely to develop dementia than their normal and underweight peers. Overweight and obese people were about 30 percent less likely to develop dementia 15 years later than people of a healthy weight. Conversely, underweight people were 34 percent more likely to develop dementia than those whose weight was normal, according to the study authors. "Our findings were unexpected, that obese and overweight people would be protected," said lead researcher Dr. Nawab Qizilbash, from OXON Epidemiology Ltd. in Madrid, Spain. However, the retrospective study was only able to show an association between obesity and a reduced risk of dementia, not a cause-and-effect relationship. And Qizilbash added that people shouldn't take these preliminary findings as a license ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease

Lots of Leafy Greens Might Shield Aging Brains, Study Finds

Posted 30 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 30, 2015 – A single serving of leafy green vegetables each day may help keep dementia away, new research suggests. Researchers evaluated the eating habits and mental ability of more than 950 older adults for an average of five years. Those who consumed one or two servings of foods such as spinach, kale, mustard greens and/or collards daily experienced slower mental deterioration than those who ate no leafy greens at all, the study found. The brain benefits associated with dark leafy greens likely stem from several key nutrients, particularly vitamin K, said study lead author Martha Clare Morris of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. The researchers "observed a protective benefit from just one serving per day of green leafy vegetables," which are known to be rich in vitamin K, added Morris, a nutritional epidemiologist at the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center. Morris ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease

Could a Diet Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?

Posted 27 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 27, 2015 – Scientists say they've developed an anti-Alzheimer's diet. While it couldn't prove cause-and-effect, the new study found that adults who rigorously followed the so-called MIND diet faced a 53 percent lower risk for Alzheimer's, the most common type of dementia. Those sticking to the diet just "moderately well" saw their Alzheimer's risk drop by roughly 35 percent. "Often, people who eat healthier also participate in other healthy lifestyle behavior, but the MIND diet afforded protection [against Alzheimer's] whether or not other healthy behaviors or health conditions were present," said study author Martha Clare Morris, a nutritional epidemiologist at the Rush University Medical Center and the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center in Chicago. The eating plan emphasizes healthy grains, vegetables, beans, poultry and fish while also allowing for a limited amount of ... Read more

Related support groups: Alzheimer's Disease

Many With Alzheimer's Aren't Told of Diagnosis by Doctor: Report

Posted 24 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 24, 2015 – Doctors are not telling a majority of their patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's that they have the degenerative brain disease, a new report shows. The research, conducted by the Alzheimer's Association, involved patients whose Medicare records listed treatments that are specific to Alzheimer's disease. However, when the researchers asked the patients (or a caregiver as a proxy) if their doctor had informed them that they had the brain-robbing disease, only 45 percent said they had been told so by their doctor. By comparison, more than 90 percent of people with the four most common cancers – breast, colorectal, lung and prostate – said they had been told about their diagnosis. "These really low diagnosis disclosure rates [of Alzheimer's] are really reminiscent of what happened in the 1950s and '60s, and even into the '70s, with cancer," said Beth Kallmyer, ... Read more

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

Researchers Pinpoint Possible Protein Culprit Behind Alzheimer's

Posted 24 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 24, 2015 – Abnormal tau protein collecting in the brain may be the main cause of Alzheimer's disease, a new study claims. Another protein called amyloid accumulates as Alzheimer's progresses, but is not the primary culprit behind the devastating memory loss that is the hallmark of the disease, Mayo Clinic researchers report. They said their findings suggest that targeting tau should be the new focus of efforts to find treatments for Alzheimer's. "The majority of the Alzheimer's research field has really focused on amyloid over the last 25 years," study author Melissa Murray, a neuroscientist at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., said in a Mayo news release. The researchers analyzed 1,375 brains of deceased Alzheimer's patients in the Mayo Clinic's brain bank. The patients died at different ages and at different stages of Alzheimer's, providing a timeline for disease ... Read more

Related support groups: Alzheimer's Disease

Antipsychotics May Be Deadlier Than Thought for Dementia Patients

Posted 18 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 18, 2015 – Antipsychotic drugs may increase the risk of premature death in dementia patients more than thought, a new study suggests. The medications are widely used to treat the delusions, hallucinations, agitation and aggression that occur in many people with Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that antipsychotic drugs have a significant risk of side effects, the study authors pointed out. For the new study, researchers examined data from nearly 91,000 U.S. veterans who were older than 65 and had dementia. Those who took antipsychotics were more likely to die early, the study found. Among those taking newer, more commonly used antipsychotics, the risk of premature death increased with the dose. "The harms associated with using these drugs in dementia patients are clear, yet clinicians continue to use ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease

Age-Linked Memory Loss May Be Worse for Men, Study Finds

Posted 16 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 16, 2015 – Can't remember that work colleague's name? Misplaced your keys again? Don't fret: a new study finds that nearly everyone will suffer more memory lapses as they age, with men being more vulnerable to failing memory than women. The study also reported that people's memory skills and brain volume typically decline with age – and, surprisingly, it seems to have little to do with the buildup of brain "plaques" that mark Alzheimer's disease, the study suggests. The researchers said their findings challenge a prevailing view on the aging brain. Experts have speculated that when older adults start having memory lapses, it may be a sign of early Alzheimer's disease – and likely related to abnormal clumps of a protein called beta-amyloid that accumulate in the brain. "But our findings suggest that memory actually declines in almost everybody, and well before there is ... Read more

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

Healthy Lifestyle May Guard Against Dementia

Posted 11 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 – A healthy diet, physical activity and brain exercises can help slow mental decline in older people at risk for dementia, a new study suggests. On the other hand, a high body-mass index (BMI) and poor heart health are significant risk factors for age-related dementia, the researchers said. BMI is an estimate of body fat based on height and weight. The study included 1,260 people in Finland, aged 60 to 77, who were considered to be at high risk for dementia. They were randomly selected to receive either regular health advice (the control group) or to be part of an intervention group. Over two years, those in the intervention group met regularly with doctors, nurses and other health professionals who provided advice on healthy eating, strength and heart-healthy exercise, brain training programs and management of metabolic and circulatory risk factors for ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment

Ultrasound Used to Attack Alzheimer's-Linked Brain Plaque in Mice

Posted 11 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 – Preliminary research in mice raises the possibility that an ultrasound-based treatment might help eliminate plaque buildup in the brain that's associated with Alzheimer's disease. Scientists don't know whether the approach is feasible for humans, but the research is promising, especially because of how well mice with an Alzheimer's-like disease fared after treatment, said study lead author Gerhard Leinenga, a graduate student at the University of Queensland in Australia. "The mice performed better on three tests of their memory," Leinenga said, noting their performance was similar to that of healthy mice used as controls. The ultrasound treatment targets brain-clogging material known as amyloid plaque. Scientists suspect plaque is connected to the development of Alzheimer's disease – a progressive brain disorder – but its exact role is unclear. "We know ... Read more

Related support groups: Alzheimer's Disease

Exercise's Effect on Brain May Boost Mobility in Old Age

Posted 11 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 – Staying physically active as you age may ward off brain damage that can limit mobility, a small study says. Small areas of brain damage called white matter hyperintensities are seen in MRI scans of many older patients, according to scientists from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Higher levels of this damage have been linked to difficulty walking and other mobility problems, the researchers said. "Preserving motor function is just as important as preserving mental function to maintain independence and quality of life in older age," said lead researcher Debra Fleischman, a professor in the departments of neurological sciences and behavioral sciences. "Our results suggest that daily physical activity may be able to protect motor function from age-related injury to the brain," she added. The study, published March 11 online in the journal Neurology, ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease

Good Heart Health May Help Stave Off Dementia, Study Says

Posted 10 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 10, 2015 – Good heart health may help protect you against Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia, a new study suggests. Vanderbilt University researchers analyzed data from just over 1,000 people who were followed for 11 years. During that time, 32 participants developed dementia, including 26 with Alzheimer's. People with poorer heart function were two to three times more likely to develop dementia than those with healthy hearts, according to the study recently published online in the journal Circulation. "Heart function could prove to be a major risk factor for dementia and Alzheimer's disease," principal investigator Angela Jefferson, director of the Vanderbilt Memory and Alzheimer's Center, said in a university news release. "A very encouraging aspect of our findings is that heart health is a modifiable risk. You may not be able to change your genetics or ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Ischemic Heart Disease

Many U.S. Households Include Someone With Failing Memory

Posted 5 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 5, 2015 – As many as one in eight U.S. households may have an adult with worsening memory loss or confusion, a new survey shows. These symptoms suggest a potential risk of developing more serious memory and thinking problems, such as Alzheimer's disease, the survey authors said. Further, a second study found that almost half of adults aged 45 and older who have experienced increasing memory loss or confusion reported that these problems have interfered with their daily life. And the youngest in this age group were the most likely to report these thinking declines. "Memory problems are typically one of the first warning signs of [thinking] decline," said Lynda Anderson, a co-author of the first study and lead author of the second study. She is director of the Healthy Aging Program at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Noticing that others in the home ... Read more

Related support groups: Alzheimer's Disease

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