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Electrical Brain Stimulation Not a Memory Booster: Study

Posted 2 days 17 hours ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 7, 2016 – Deep brain stimulation does not improve memory, and may actually harm it, a new study contends. In deep brain stimulation, electrodes are implanted into the brain and an electrical current is passed through them to stimulate nearby neurons, or brain cells. This study included epilepsy patients who already had the electrodes implanted to map their seizures. The Columbia University researchers stimulated areas of the brain known to be involved in making memories, but none of the 49 volunteers showed improvements in memory. In fact, their memory declined 5 to 20 percent after stimulation. The finding, published Dec. 7 in the journal Neuron, contradicts previous research suggesting that deep brain stimulation improves memory, the researchers behind the new study said. That 2012 study only involved seven participants. However, the authors of this latest study said ... Read more

Related support groups: Mild Cognitive Impairment, Diagnosis and Investigation, Head Imaging

Aerobic Exercise May Help Guard Against Dementia

Posted 10 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 30, 2016 – Aerobic exercise may strengthen memory and thinking skills in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a small study suggests. People with mild cognitive impairment are at increased risk for Alzheimer's disease. The study included 16 people, average age 63, who did aerobic workouts such as on a treadmill, stationary bike or elliptical training. They worked out four times a week for six months. There was also a control group of 19 people, average age 67, who did stretching exercises four times a week for six months but no aerobic activity. All of the participants had mild cognitive impairment. After six months, brain scans revealed that those in the aerobic exercise group had greater increases in brain volume than those in the stretching group, the researchers said. Those in the exercise group also showed significant improvement in thinking and ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Drug-Induced Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia, Dementia with Depressive Features

Can Occupational Therapy Slow Alzheimer's Decline?

Posted 19 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 21, 2016 – Home-based occupational therapy may not slow down the physical decline that comes with Alzheimer's disease, a new clinical trial suggests. The study looked at whether home visits from occupational therapists could put the brakes on Alzheimer's patients' "functional decline." As the brain disorder progresses, it's not only memory that fades, but also day-to-day functioning. People gradually lose their ability to perform routine tasks – such as making meals, using household items and bathing and dressing. The goal of occupational therapy is to help family caregivers manage those difficulties. Sessions might address safe bathing or helping a loved one in and out of a car, for instance. In the two-year study, the hope was that weaving occupational therapy into Alzheimer's patients' primary care would slow down their functional decline. But that did not happen, said ... Read more

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

Fewer Americans Suffering From Dementia, Study Finds

Posted 19 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 21, 2016 – Here's some good news for America's seniors: Dementia rates have dropped dramatically over the last decade or so, according to a new study. An analysis of responses from a study of more than 10,000 people aged 65 and older found the prevalence of dementia dropped about 24 percent between 2000 and 2012. The reasons for the decline aren't clear, researchers say. But two factors stand out: The participants in 2012 had more years of schooling than those in 2000; and chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes were being controlled more aggressively. "The decline in dementia risk among older adults that we found in our study – and that an increasing number of other studies around the world have found – does not mean that Alzheimer's and dementia have been solved," said lead researcher Dr. Kenneth Langa. He is a professor of medicine at the ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Type 2, Hypertension, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Insulin Resistance, Pre-Diabetes, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Diabetes Mellitus, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance, Hypertensive Heart Disease, Lewy Body Dementia

Poor Sense of Smell May Signal Alzheimer's Risk

Posted 16 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 16, 2016 – A person's sense of smell may help predict their risk for Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests. The researchers included 183 older people, and 10 had possible or probable Alzheimer's disease, the researchers said. Study volunteers were tested on their ability to recognize, remember and distinguish between odors. These odors included menthol, clove, leather, strawberry, lilac, pineapple, smoke, soap, grape or lemon. The study participants were then asked to complete another test of odors. The second test included 10 new odors in addition to those from the original test. These tests were developed at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. The participants also underwent genetic, imaging and memory tests. Those with a reduced sense of smell seemed to be at increased risk of Alzheimer's, the researchers said. "There is increasing evidence that the ... Read more

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

Could Common Heartburn Drugs Up Stroke Risk?

Posted 15 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 15, 2016 – A popular category of heartburn medications – including Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec and Protonix – may increase your risk of stroke, a new study suggests. Known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), these drugs increased people's overall stroke risk by 21 percent, said study lead author Dr. Thomas Sehested. However, the risk appears to be driven by people who take high doses, added Sehested, research director at the Danish Heart Foundation in Copenhagen. "People treated with a low dose of PPIs did not have a high risk of stroke," he said. "Those treated with the highest doses of PPIs had the highest risk of stroke." The extent of risk also depends on the specific PPI taken. At the highest dose, stroke risk ranged from 30 percent for lansoprazole (Prevacid) to 94 percent for pantoprazole (Protonix), the researchers said. Takeda Pharmaceutical, the maker of ... Read more

Related support groups: GERD, Heart Disease, Ischemic Stroke, Omeprazole, Nexium, Dementia, Prilosec, Protonix, Indigestion, Zantac, Alzheimer's Disease, Pantoprazole, Ranitidine, Lansoprazole, Dexilant, Transient Ischemic Attack, Prevacid, Pepcid, Barrett's Esophagus, Aciphex

Some Elderly With Alzheimer's Brain Plaques Stay Sharp

Posted 14 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 14, 2016 – In a discovery that challenges conventional thinking, researchers report that several people over the age of 90 had excellent memory even though their brains showed signs that they had Alzheimer's disease. The meaning of the findings isn't entirely clear. The elderly people, whose brains were studied after their deaths, may have been in the early stages of Alzheimer's, although the researchers said they doubt this. It's also possible that something about these people – or their brains – could have kept dementia symptoms in check. "The implication is that factors protect some elderly people" from the brain-clogging proteins that are thought to cause Alzheimer's, said study author Changiz Geula. He is a research professor of cognitive neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. "Investigation of these factors is crucial if we are ... Read more

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

Memory Can Fade After Menopause

Posted 9 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 9, 2016 – Middle-aged women can remember more than men their own age, but new research suggests that memory may fade as estrogen levels drop during menopause. Memory loss is a common age-related complaint, affecting up to 75 percent of older people, the study's authors explained. The researchers noted that many women going through menopause report being more forgetful, though they still outperform men on memory tests. "Brain fog and complaints of memory issues should be taken seriously," said Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, executive director of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS). "This study and others have shown that these complaints are associated with memory deficits," she said in a society news release. The study by Harvard Medical School researchers was led by Jill Goldstein, a professor of psychiatry and medicine. It included 212 men and women, between 45 and 55 ... Read more

Related support groups: Hot Flashes, Menopausal Disorders, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Atrophic Vaginitis, Perimenopausal Symptoms, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Dyspareunia, Atrophic Urethritis, Vaginal Dryness, Premenopausal Anovulation

Brain Scans May Improve Dementia Diagnosis, Treatment

Posted 8 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 8, 2016 – Tens of millions of people worldwide suffer from memory loss and mental impairment due to dementia. While there's no cure, medication may temporarily improve some symptoms. Proper treatment, however, depends on identifying the type of dementia and early detection. A new study shows that MRI brain scans can help doctors tell which people with certain thinking and memory problems might go on to develop dementia with Lewy bodies rather than Alzheimer's disease. The researchers found that scans from people who eventually developed Lewy body dementia showed a lack of shrinkage in a portion of the brain related to memory, known as the hippocampus. "Identifying people with mild cognitive impairment at risk for dementia with Lewy bodies is critical for early interventions with the potential treatments emerging in the field," said study author Dr. Kejal Kantarci. She's a ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Alcoholic Dementia, Drug-Induced Dementia, Head Imaging, Dementia with Depressive Features, Lewy Body Dementia

Got a Moody Teen? Lack of Sleep May Not Be the Culprit

Posted 3 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 3, 2016 – It's not a lack of sleep that makes many teens cranky, ill-mannered and muddled during the day, a new study contends. Rather, it's a combination of being night owls and then suffering daytime drowsiness, researchers report. The solution is starting school later, according to study lead author Dr. Judith Owens, director of sleep medicine at Boston Children's Hospital. "School start times which coincide with sleep needs, amount and timing, and reduce daytime sleepiness, are critical for adolescent health, safety and performance," she said. The findings suggest that the sleep time misalignment and daytime sleepiness associated with early school start times "may contribute to risk-taking behaviors, poor control of emotions and impaired thinking skills," Owens said. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends starting high school at 8:30 a.m. or later, she noted. ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Severe Mood Dysregulation

1 in 4 Seniors Doesn't Discuss End-of-Life Care

Posted 31 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 31, 2016 – More than one-quarter of American seniors have never discussed end-of-life care, a new study finds. "Despite decades of work to improve advance care planning, over a quarter of older adults have still not engaged in any type of discussion or planning for their end-of-life preferences or plans," said lead author Krista Harrison, a geriatrics research fellow at the University of California, San Francisco. The researchers looked at more than 2,100 Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 and older. Data from the group included self-reported age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, income, self-rated health, number of chronic conditions, disability in activities of daily living, and dementia. The researchers found that 60 percent of the beneficiaries said they'd had discussions on end-of-life care, 50 percent on power of attorney, and 52 percent on other advanced directives. ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Colorectal Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Cervical Cancer, Stomach Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Gastric Cancer

Study Links Disasters to Dementia

Posted 25 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 25, 2016 – Earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters may raise dementia risk for seniors forced to leave their homes, a new study suggests. "In the aftermath of disasters, most people focus on mental health issues like PTSD," said study author Hiroyuki Hikichi, a research fellow at Harvard University's School of Public Health, in Boston. "But our study suggests that cognitive decline is also an important issue," Hikichi said in a university news release. Relocation to a temporary shelter after a disaster may have the unintended effect of separating people not just from their homes but from their neighbors – and both may speed up mental decline among vulnerable people, Hikichi's team noted. Researchers looked at nearly 3,600 survivors of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. All were 65 and older. The rate of dementia in this group was 4.1 percent before the ... Read more

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

Stronger Muscles May Pump Up Your Memory

Posted 24 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 24, 2016 – Boosting muscle strength may boost brain function in people with mild memory and thinking problems, a new study finds. The research included 100 people aged 55 to 86. All had mild memory and thinking problems (mild cognitive impairment). The study volunteers who did weight training twice a week for six months to at least 80 percent of their maximum strength showed significant improvements in mental function. The benefits lasted for at least a year after their supervised weight-lifting sessions ended, the study showed. The results were published Oct. 24 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. "What we found in this follow-up study is that the improvement in cognition [mental] function was related to their muscle strength gains," said study lead author Yorgi Mavros, of the faculty of health sciences at the University of Sydney, Australia. "The stronger ... Read more

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

Exercise May Help People Who Already Have Memory Loss

Posted 19 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 19, 2016 – Older people who have memory and thinking problems may get a slight benefit from exercise, a new study suggests. People who exercised showed some improvement on a test of thinking and memory skills compared with those who didn't exercise, the Canadian researchers found. "We found that three times a week of moderate intense aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, significantly improved cognitive function in older adults with impaired cognitive function due to disease affecting the small blood vessels in the brain," said lead researcher Teresa Liu-Ambrose. She's an associate professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. The people in the study had mental decline caused by narrowing of blood vessels in the brain, which is the second most common cause of dementia after Alzheimer's disease, Liu-Ambrose said. Although the improvement in mental ... Read more

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

More Evidence Menopause 'Brain Fog' Is Real

Posted 12 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 12, 2016 – Those memory lapses many women notice around menopause are real, and they can begin at a relatively young age, researchers report. It's common for women going through menopause to complain of what researchers sometimes call "brain fog" – forgetfulness, and difficulty concentrating and thinking clearly. And while those complaints are subjective, a number of studies have also shown they can be objectively detected. Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston said the new study builds on that objective evidence. It found that, yes, a woman's performance on certain memory tasks tends to dip as her estrogen levels drop – and it happens during the average age range of menopause: 45 to 55. Menopause is defined as when a woman's menstrual period stops, confirmed when she has missed her period ... Read more

Related support groups: Hot Flashes, Menopausal Disorders, Alzheimer's Disease, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Perimenopausal Symptoms, Mild Cognitive Impairment

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