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

A Healthy Body Often Equals a Healthy Brain

Posted 4 days ago by

TUESDAY, June 30, 2015 – People who want to stay sharp as they age often turn to brain teasers, puzzles and games, figuring correctly that they'll lose it if they don't use it. But a healthy body is also key to maintaining a healthy brain, and that's something many people tend to overlook, experts say. "We're just now starting to get people to recognize that eating right and exercising and maintaining your health can play into the graceful aging of your brain," said Dr. Mary Ann Bauman, an Oklahoma City physician and chair of the American Stroke Association advisory committee. Healthy living tips make up more than half of the "10 Ways to Love Your Brain" recently released by the Alzheimer's Association, as part of June's Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month. An estimated 47 million people worldwide are living with dementia in 2015, and this number is projected to triple by 2050, ... Read more

Related support groups: Weight Loss, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment

Memory, Thinking Tests May Hint at Alzheimer's Risk

Posted 10 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, June 24, 2015 – Mistakes made on memory and thinking tests may be early warning signs of Alzheimer's disease, researchers report. Low scores on such tests could serve as a "red flag" for the progressive brain disease up to 18 years before it can be diagnosed, the study authors added. "The changes in thinking and memory that precede obvious symptoms of Alzheimer's disease begin decades before," study author Kumar Rajan, of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, said in a news release from the American Academy of Neurology. "While we cannot currently detect such changes in individuals at risk, we were able to observe them among a group of individuals who eventually developed dementia due to Alzheimer's," Rajan said. The study involved more than 2,000 black and white people from Chicago. The participants were an average age of 73. None were diagnosed with Alzheimer's at the ... Read more

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

Blood Proteins May Provide Early Clue to Alzheimer's

Posted 10 Jun 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, June 10, 2015 – Certain brain proteins can be detected in the blood of people long before they develop Alzheimer's disease and may offer a way to diagnose and treat the disease earlier, a new study suggests. The proteins – called lysosomal proteins – play a role in the removal of damaged nerve cell material. The researchers discovered that blood levels of these proteins were higher in people with normal memory and thinking abilities up to 10 years before they developed Alzheimer's disease. The findings were published online June 10 in the journal Neurology. "These proteins are in very tiny nerve cell-derived blood particles called exosomes," study author Dr. Edward Goetzl explained in a journal news release. "Abnormal levels of the proteins may be useful [signals] that could help us study early treatments to limit or reverse the damage to brain cells and even prevent the ... Read more

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

Exercise, Games, Puzzles Don't Prevent Signs of Alzheimer's in the Brain: Study

Posted 10 Jun 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, June 10, 2015 – Physical and mental activity don't appear to prevent the brain from developing the telltale beta-amyloid deposits that are a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests. "While it was hoped that early, or current, engagement in these sorts of activity would be protective against developing Alzheimer's, our findings suggest that, while beneficial for overall mental health, the activity does not seem to prevent amyloid buildup," said lead researcher Dr. Keith Johnson. He is co-director of the Neuroimaging Core at the Massachusetts Alzheimer's Disease Research Center and a professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School in Boston. The report was published June 10 online in the journal Neurology. Alzheimer's disease is a type of dementia that causes progressive problems in thinking and memory. The exact cause of the disease remains elusive, but ... Read more

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

Alzheimer's-Linked Brain Proteins Tied to Poor Sleep in Study

Posted 1 Jun 2015 by

MONDAY, June 1, 2015 – Poor sleep in old age may be linked to the brain-clogging plaques thought to contribute to Alzheimer's disease, new research suggests. "Sleep appears to be a missing piece in the Alzheimer's puzzle, and enhancing sleep may lessen the cognitive burden that Alzheimer's disease imparts," said study author Bryce Mander, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. It's not clear how sleep and memory affect – or are affected by – the accumulation of beta amyloid plaques, believed to interfere with mental functioning. Still, the study findings hint at a major message regarding Alzheimer's, said Mander, who works at the university's Sleep and Neuroimaging Laboratory. For the new study, Mander and colleagues recruited 26 mentally healthy adults ages 70 to 79. They underwent brain imaging to assess plaque buildup, and were asked to remember pairs of ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment

White Matter Damage in Brain May Help Spot Early Alzheimer's

Posted 27 May 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, May 27, 2015 – Damage to the brain's white matter may be an early sign of certain types of Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study. Researchers used a specialized MRI technique called diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to assess white matter in 53 people with three different types of Alzheimer's. Some patients had atypical forms of the disorder that affect localized parts of the brain (called focal AD syndromes). These atypical forms may cause vision and language problems. Other patients in the study had early onset Alzheimer's, which affects several areas of the brain and interferes with thinking skills such as reasoning, planning and problem solving. This is different than late-onset Alzheimer's, which develops after age 65 and is marked by progressive memory loss. All of the patients had extensive white matter damage, along with regional gray matter damage, according to ... Read more

Related support groups: Alzheimer's Disease, Diagnosis and Investigation, Magnetic Resonance Angiography, Head Imaging

Fish Oil Tied to Better Brain Function in Older Adults

Posted 22 May 2015 by

FRIDAY, May 22, 2015 – Consuming more omega-3 fatty acids – found in many types of fish – may benefit people at risk for Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests. Researchers looked at 40 mentally healthy adults, aged 65 to 75, who had the gene variant APOE e4, which put them at risk for late-onset Alzheimer's. Those who consumed higher amounts of two omega-3 fatty acids found in fish – DHA and EPA – did better on tests that assessed their ability to switch between mental tasks – called cognitive flexibility. They also had a larger anterior cingulate cortex, a part of the brain involved in mental flexibility, the researchers said. The findings suggest – but do not prove – that consuming DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids might improve mental flexibility by boosting the size of the anterior cingulate cortex, said the authors of the study published online May 21 in the journal ... Read more

Related support groups: Alzheimer's Disease, Fish Oil, Lovaza, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation and Deficiency, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Omega-3, Omacor, Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, MaxEPA, Animi-3, Marine Lipid Concentrate, TherOmega, Mi-Omega, Omega-500, EPA Fish Oil, Sea-Omega, Omega 3-6-9 Complex, Doxycycline/Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, Sea-Omega 70, MegaKrill

Alzheimer's-Linked Brain Plaques May Arise Decades Before Symptoms

Posted 19 May 2015 by

TUESDAY, May 19, 2015 – Abnormal protein clumps may appear in the brain up to 30 years before people develop Alzheimer's disease, a new study estimates, perhaps providing a window of opportunity to intervene. Scientists have long known that people with Alzheimer's disease show brain "plaques," where pieces of a protein called amyloid abnormally clump together. The new study, published May 19 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, confirms that brain plaques become increasingly common as people age – even when memory and thinking are still intact. However, at all ages, plaques are more common among people with risk factors for Alzheimer's. That includes people who already have milder memory problems, and those who carry a gene variant – APOE4 – that boosts risk for Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia. But, the study authors estimate those brain plaques may ... Read more

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

'Medical Marijuana' Pill Falls Short in Dementia Study

Posted 13 May 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, May 13, 2015 – So-called medical marijuana pills may not ease the common behavioral symptoms that affect people with dementia, a small study suggests. In a trial of 50 dementia patients, researchers found that pills containing the main active ingredient in marijuana were no better than placebo pills in easing agitation, aggression and wandering. However, that doesn't mean the approach is a failure, the investigators report in the May 13 online edition of Neurology. The researchers say the medical marijuana pills were well-tolerated, so it seems safe to test a higher dose in future studies. The lack of side effects suggests the dose was too low, according to Dr. Marcel Olde Rikkert and his colleagues at Radboud University Medical Center, in the Netherlands. In the United States, more than 5 million people have Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia, according ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Agitation, Agitated State, Cannabis, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Lewy Body Dementia

Healthy Eating May Shield the Aging Brain

Posted 6 May 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, May 6, 2015 – People who eat plenty of fruits and veggies may preserve more of their memory and thinking skills as they grow old, a new large study suggests. The findings, published online May 6 in the journal Neurology, add to a growing body of evidence linking healthy eating habits to a lower risk of dementia. Researchers found that among nearly 28,000 older adults from 40 countries, those who scored in the top 20 percent on a "healthy eating" scale were less likely to show declines in memory, attention and other mental skills over the next five years. Compared with older adults who favored foods like red meat and sweets, the risk of mental decline for the healthiest eating group was about one-quarter lower. Among the people with the healthiest diet, about 14 percent showed declines in thinking, compared to about 18 percent of those with the least healthy diets. The study ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss, Dementia, Dietary Supplementation, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia

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

Posted 17 Apr 2015 by

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 14 Apr 2015 by

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 14 Apr 2015 by

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 10 Apr 2015 by

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

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

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