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Alzheimer's Disease Blog

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

Fish Oil Tied to Better Brain Function in Older Adults

Posted 5 hours ago 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, EPA Fish Oil, Omega 3-6-9 Complex, Sea-Omega, Doxycycline/Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, MegaKrill, Sea-Omega 70, Lactobacillus Casei/omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, TheraTears Nutrition, Restora

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

Posted 3 days ago 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 9 days ago 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 16 days ago 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

Could a Diet Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?

Posted 27 Mar 2015 by

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

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

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

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

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

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

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