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Dementia News

Related terms: Chronic Brain Syndrome, DLB, Memory Loss

Early Alzheimer's Linked to Brain 'Leakage'

Posted 1 hour 40 minutes ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 31, 2016 – People in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease may have more "leaks" in the barrier that separates the brain from the bloodstream, a small study suggests. Known as the blood-brain barrier, it's made up of tightly joined cells that line blood vessels in the brain. They form a filtration system that allows certain essential substances – such as water and sugar – into the brain, while keeping potentially damaging substances out. The new study adds to evidence that leaks in the blood-brain barrier are detectable in Alzheimer's patients. But it's not clear what it all means. "They don't know whether this leakage is a result of the disease, or a cause of it," said Dr. Ezriel Kornel, an assistant clinical professor of neurological surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College, in New York City. It's also unclear exactly what is happening in the leaky areas spotted on ... Read more

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

Loss of Y Chromosome in Men Tied to Alzheimer's Risk

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 23, 2016 – Men who lose Y chromosomes from their blood cells as they age may have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests. The study of more than 3,200 men found those who already had Alzheimer's were nearly three times more likely to show a loss of the Y chromosome in some of their blood cells. What's more, older men with that "loss of Y" faced a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's over the next eight years. Experts said the study doesn't prove that loss of the Y chromosome directly contributes to Alzheimer's disease. But it adds to evidence tying loss of Y to disease risk, said study co-author Lars Forsberg. It also raises the possibility of one day testing men's blood for loss of Y, to predict their risk of developing Alzheimer's, said Forsberg, a researcher at Uppsala University in Sweden. The findings were reported online May 23 in ... Read more

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

Blood Pressure Swings Linked to Faster Decline in Mental Skills

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 23, 2016 – Fluctuations in blood pressure may be linked to faster declines in thinking skills among seniors, a new study suggests. Among older patients, those whose systolic blood pressure – the top number in a blood pressure reading – varied between doctor's visits showed more rapid mental deterioration and loss of verbal memory than those whose blood pressure stayed within normal ranges, researchers found. Variability in the bottom number – diastolic blood pressure – was also associated with faster decline of mental ability among those aged 55 to 64, but not among people aged 65 and older, the study authors added. "The relevance of blood pressure variability between doctor's visits has been dismissed until recently," said study author Bo Qin, a postdoctoral associate at Rutgers Cancer Institute, in New Brunswick, N.J. "However, over the past six years, evidence has ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Hypertensive Emergency, Hypertensive Heart Disease, Lewy Body Dementia, Arteriosclerotic Dementia w/ Depressive Features

Why Pleasant Mealtimes Could Be Key to Alzheimer's Care

Posted 14 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 17, 2016 – Making meals more enjoyable for people with dementia might reduce their risk of malnutrition and dehydration, researchers report. Family-style meals and music, in particular, showed promise for improving eating and drinking habits, British researchers found. "It is probably not just what people with dementia eat and drink that is important for their nutritional well-being and quality of life – but a holistic mix of where they eat and drink, the atmosphere, physical and social support offered, the understanding of formal caregivers, and levels of physical activity enjoyed," said lead researcher Lee Hooper, of the University of East Anglia. The researchers assessed various ways of improving food and fluid intake among more than 2,200 people with dementia. "The risk of dehydration and malnutrition are high in older people, but even higher in those with dementia," ... Read more

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

Keep Busy! Stay Sharp!

Posted 14 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 17, 2016 – Although people complain when their schedule gets too busy, new research suggests that being overbooked might actually be good for the brain. The study of older adults found that those with packed schedules tended to do better on tests of memory, information processing and reasoning. Researchers said the findings don't prove that "busyness" makes us smarter. For one, sharper people may seek out more mental stimulation. These people may also have more resources, such as higher incomes, that allow them to lead active lives. On the other hand, past research has found that learning new skills can improve older adults' overall mental acuity, said study leader Sara Festini. "We think it is likely that being busy is good for your cognition," said Festini, a researcher with the Center for Vital Longevity at the University of Texas at Dallas. She and her colleagues ... Read more

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

Meditation May Sharpen Memory

Posted 10 May 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 10, 2016 – A regular meditation practice might benefit older adults beginning to notice memory problems, a small pilot study finds. The study focused on 25 older adults deemed to have mild cognitive impairment – problems with memory and thinking that may, in some cases, progress to dementia. Researchers randomly assigned them to either 12 weeks of meditation and other yoga practices, or 12 weeks of memory enhancement training – which taught strategies for improving forgetfulness. In the end, the study found, both groups did a little better on tests of verbal memory – the kind involved in remembering names or lists of words, for example. But the meditation group showed a bigger change, on average, in tests of visual-spatial memory – which is needed for navigating while walking or driving, or trying to recall a location. The meditators also showed fewer symptoms of ... Read more

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

Widely Used Heart Drug Tied to Dementia Risk

Posted 5 May 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 5, 2016 – People with the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation may have a heightened risk of developing dementia – and the quality of their drug treatment may play a role, a new study hints. Specifically, researchers found, patients on the clot-preventing drug warfarin showed a higher dementia risk if their blood levels of the medication were frequently too high or too low. And that was true not only for people with atrial fibrillation, but also for those using warfarin for other reasons. Dr. Jared Bunch, the lead researcher on the study, said the findings uncover two potential concerns: People with atrial fibrillation may face an increased risk of dementia, independent of warfarin use, but warfarin might also contribute to dementia if the doses are not optimal. "If people's levels of warfarin were erratic, their dementia risk was higher, whether they had AF or ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Jantoven, Lewy Body Dementia

Seniors' Worsening Depression May Sometimes Predict Dementia

Posted 30 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 29, 2016 – In some cases, worsening symptoms of depression in seniors might point to early dementia, a new study suggests. The Dutch study can't prove cause-and-effect, and certainly not every depressed senior is headed for dementia. But experts said the findings are intriguing. "More research is needed, but the study raises the possibility of an overlap between the pathology of dementia and depression," said Dr. Gisele Wolf-Klein, who reviewed the findings. She directs geriatric education at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, N.Y. The study was led by Dr. M Arfan Ikram, an epidemiologist at Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam. His team tracked depression symptoms in more than 3,300 adults, aged 55 and older, in the Netherlands for 11 years. The patients were then monitored for signs of dementia for another 10 years. During that follow-up, 434 of the ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Major Depressive Disorder, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Dysthymia, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Neurotic Depression, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Depressive Psychosis, Lewy Body Dementia, Arteriosclerotic Dementia w/ Depressive Features

Trouble With Sense of Direction May Be Linked to Early Alzheimer's: Study

Posted 26 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 26, 2016 – Difficulty remembering how to get around in new surroundings may be an extremely early sign of Alzheimer's, a small study suggests. The findings, if borne out in future research, might help doctors diagnose Alzheimer's long before someone shows obvious memory problems, said researchers from Washington University in St. Louis. The study included 16 people with symptoms of early stage Alzheimer's and 13 outwardly normal people with signs of preclinical Alzheimer's in fluid from around their brain and spinal cord (cerebrospinal fluid). A control group of 42 healthy people without the cerebrospinal markers was also involved. Preclinical Alzheimer's disease refers to brain changes that occur before symptoms develop that lead to its diagnosis. The study participants were tested on their ability to remember how to navigate a virtual maze on a computer with a series ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease

Do Genes That Protect Against Dementia Guard Against Chronic Diseases?

Posted 21 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 21, 2016 – Healthy elderly people have a higher-than-normal number of genetic variants that protect against mental decline, a new study reports. The findings suggest a possible link between long-term brain health and protection from chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes, the researchers said. "For many decades, we have searched for the genetic causes of disease in sick individuals," said Eric Schadt, founding director of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology at Mount Sinai in New York City. This study "presents an attractive alternative by studying those who are well in order to uncover the solutions nature has provided to protect us against disease," said Schadt, who was not involved with the study. The researchers – from the Scripps Translational Science Institute, in La Jolla, Calif. – analyzed the genetic makeup of 511 ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Cancer, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Ischemic Heart Disease

HIV Patients Now Living Long Enough to Develop Alzheimer's

Posted 19 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 19, 2016 – The first case of Alzheimer's disease diagnosed in a person with HIV highlights the fact that long-time HIV survivors are starting to reach ages where their risk for Alzheimer's increases, researchers report. The 71-year-old man was diagnosed after a medical scan revealed amyloid protein clumps in his brain. Until now, it was believed that HIV-related inflammation in the brain might prevent the formation of such clumps and thereby protect these people from Alzheimer's. "This patient may be a sentinel case that disputes what we thought we knew about dementia in HIV-positive individuals," said study author Dr. R. Scott Turner. He is head of the Memory Disorders Program at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. The case also suggests that some older people with HIV and dementia may be misdiagnosed with HIV-associated brain disorders, but ... Read more

Related support groups: HIV Infection, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia, Arteriosclerotic Dementia w/ Depressive Features

Alzheimer's Can Steal Ability to Know Loved Ones' Faces

Posted 13 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 13, 2016 – A new study sheds light on what is often called one of the cruelest effects of Alzheimer's disease – the patient's inability to recognize loved ones. Researchers report that along with causing memory loss, Alzheimer's also seems to affect people's visual perception – specifically their ability to recognize faces. The investigators tested a group of seniors with Alzheimer's, and a "control" group without the brain disease, to see how well they could perceive faces and cars in photos. The pictures were shown either upright or upside down. "The results for people with Alzheimer's were similar to those in the control group in terms of answer accuracy and the time to process the upside-down faces and cars," study author Sven Joubert, from the University of Montreal, said in a school news release. "To perform these tasks, the brain must perform a local analysis ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Diagnosis and Investigation, Visual Defect/Disturbance, Lewy Body Dementia, Arteriosclerotic Dementia w/ Depressive Features

Severe Depression Linked to Dementia in Seniors

Posted 13 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 12, 2016 – Major and worsening depression may significantly increase seniors' risk of dementia, a new study suggests. The research included close to 2,500 people in their 70s who did not have any signs of dementia at the start of the study. The participants were monitored for five years for symptoms of depression, and then for six years for signs of dementia. Dementia developed in just over 21 percent of participants with serious and escalating symptoms of depression, compared to about 12 percent of those with consistently minimal symptoms of depression, the findings showed. "Our results raise the possibility that older adults' cognitive [mental] health could be improved with interventions to reduce depressive symptoms, such as psychotherapy or other behavioral interventions, or medications," said study author Allison Kaup. She is an assistant professor in the department ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Major Depressive Disorder, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Dysthymia, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Lewy Body Dementia

Is Seniors' Dental Health Tied to Mental Health?

Posted 1 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 1, 2016 – There seems to be a link between poor oral health and age-related mental decline, researchers say. However, the researchers emphasized there is not enough evidence to prove a direct link between oral health and thinking ("cognitive") abilities. In a new report, investigators reviewed studies on oral health and cognition published between 1993 and 2013. Some of the studies found that oral health indicators – such as the number of teeth, the number of cavities and the presence of gum disease – was associated with a higher risk of mental decline or dementia, while other studies did not find any association. The study authors also noted that some of the findings based on the number of teeth or cavities were conflicting. The new review was published in the April 1 issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Overall, "clinical evidence suggests that the ... Read more

Related support groups: Oral and Dental Conditions, Xerostomia, Dementia, Toothache, Alzheimer's Disease, Gingivitis, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Periodontitis, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Stomatitis, Prevention of Dental Caries, Lewy Body Dementia, Arteriosclerotic Dementia w/ Depressive Features

Scientists Reduce Alzheimer's-Linked Brain Plaques in Mice

Posted 1 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 31, 2016 – Scientists working with mice report preliminary progress in efforts to eliminate brain-clogging proteins linked to Alzheimer's disease. By tweaking genes in the brains of mice, researchers say they reduced levels of a substance called beta amyloid that's closely tied to Alzheimer's. There's no guarantee the findings will be relevant to people with Alzheimer's disease because results of animal studies often aren't replicated in humans, experts say. Still, "we can now target amyloids from a different angle," said study co-author Guojun Bu, a neuroscientist and professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla. The approach "can be explored for Alzheimer's disease prevention and therapy," he added. Clumps of beta-amyloid proteins, known as plaque, are believed to disrupt brain functioning in people with Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of ... Read more

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

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Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Lewy Body Dementia, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Central Nervous System Disorders

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