Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Alzheimer’s’ Category

WebMD (10/8, Boyles, http://tinyurl.com/lowt-alzheimers) reported that low testosterone levels in older men with memory problems may signal progression to Alzheimer’s disease or increase the risk for developing age-related dementia.  In a newly published study, older Chinese men with early memory declines who did not yet have Alzheimer’s were far more likely to develop Alzheimer’s over a year of follow-up if they had low testosterone.  The study was small, but the findings suggest low testosterone may be an independent risk factor for rapid cognitive decline in older men with early memory loss, according to Saint Louis University Medical Center professor of gerontology John Morley, MD .  All the men underwent testing to assess memory function at enrollment, and 47 were determined to have evidence of mild cognitive impairment.  Over the course of the next year, 10 men received a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.   All were in the previously identified group with early memory declines and all had low levels of free testosterone in blood samples.  While the research suggests a role for testosterone in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, study researcher Scott Moffat, PhD, says it is too soon to recommend testosterone treatment for men at risk for cognitive decline. “It is not really clear if testosterone is protecting the men in these studies or if levels are reflective of some other factor, such as overall better health,” he tells WebMD.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

HealthDay (4/8, Dotinga, http://tinyurl.com/MCI-test) reported that  Doug Scharre, MD  has developed a brief memory test to help doctors determine whether someone is suffering from Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), which can signal the development of Alzheimer’s disease.  In a study in the journal Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders, neurologist Dr. Douglas Scharre of Ohio State University Medical Center reports that the test detected 80 percent of people with mild thinking and memory problems. In a press release, Scharre said the test could help people get earlier care for conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.  “It’s a recurring problem,” he said. “People don’t come in early enough for a diagnosis, or families generally resist making the appointment because they don’t want confirmation of their worst fears.  Whatever the reason, it’s unfortunate because the drugs we’re using now work better the earlier they are started.  “The test can be taken by hand, which Scharre said may help people who aren’t comfortable with technology like computers.   He’s making the tests, which take 15 minutes to complete, available free to health workers at www.sagetest.osu.edu

Read Full Post »

HealthDay (3/22, Preidt, http://tinyurl.com/MCI-Alzheimer) reported that “memory and thinking skills can deteriorate quickly in people with mild cognitive impairment, the stage before Alzheimer’s disease.”  The study involved 1,158 people, who averaged 79 years old. The group included 149 people with Alzheimer’s disease, 395 with mild cognitive impairment and 614 with no thinking or memory problems.  The scores of people with mild cognitive impairment declined twice as fast each year as did scores of those with no memory problems. The scores for people with Alzheimer’s declined four times as fast as those of participants with no cognitive problems.  The results are in the March 23 issue of Neurology.  “The changes in rate of decline occur as the brain atrophies due to the disease, first mainly in the hippocampus during the initial symptomatic stage, referred to as mild cognitive impairment, then in the temporal, parietal and frontal cortex during the dementing illness phase of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. David S. Knopman, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., who wrote an editorial accompanying the study.

Read Full Post »

The UK’s Telegraph (1/22, Alleyne http://tinyurl.com/copper-alzheimers) reports that some scientists have claimed people should remove old copper pipes from their homes or install special filters because the metal has been shown to build up in their bodies and cause serious health problems.  They have warned that tiny traces of copper from pipes can mix with tap water and then consumed by people.  Over a long period of time this leads to a build-up of copper in the body which then leads to Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and diabetes because the body cannot process the metal.  The study found people over 50 should also avoid vitamin and mineral pills that contain cooper and iron, lowering meat intake and avoid drinking water from copper pipes.  They should also donate blood regularly to reduce iron levels and taking zinc supplements to lower copper levels.  Copper and iron are essential when people are young as they help during the years when people are trying to have children.  But the body can no longer process them effectively when people move beyond 50 years old.  The study from the American Chemical Society found that people were at risk from copper as they aged.   The study, the “Risks of Copper and Iron Toxicity during Ageing in Humans”, was published in the American Chemical Society’s Chemical Research in Toxicology journal.

Read Full Post »

HealthDay (1/12, Dotinga, http://tinyurl.com/alzheimers-smell) reported that, according to a study published in the Jan. 13 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, research in mice suggests that loss of smell could serve as an early indicator of Alzheimer’s disease.  “People with Alzheimer’s are already known to suffer from loss of smell.  But the new research pinpoints a direct link between development of amyloid plaques — the bits of gunk in the brain that cause Alzheimer’s disease — and a worsening sense of smell.  Researchers found that the plaques first develop in the part of the mouse brain that’s devoted to the sense of smell.  When tested, the mice with the plaques had to spend more time sniffing odors to remember them, and they had a hard time telling the difference between odors.  This is a revealing finding because, unlike a brain scan, a laboratory-designed olfactory test may be an inexpensive alternative to early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.”

Read Full Post »

According to an article published in the The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (http://tinyurl.com/cell-alzheimers), a study done at the Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center revealed that “long-term exposure to electromagnetic waves associated with cell phone use may actually protect against, and even reverse, Alzheimer’s disease”.  “The researchers showed that exposing old Alzheimer’s mice to electromagnetic waves generated by cell phones erased brain deposits of the harmful protein beta-amyloid, in addition to preventing the protein’s build-up in younger Alzheimer’s mice.  The sticky brain plaques formed by the abnormal accumulation of beta amyloid are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. Most treatments against Alzheimer’s try to target beta-amyloid”.   The study ”involved 96 mice, most of which were genetically altered to develop beta-amyloid plaques and memory problems mimicking Alzheimer’s disease as they aged.  Both the Alzheimer’s and normal mice were exposed to the electromagnetic field generated by standard cell phone use for two 1-hour periods each day for seven to nine months”.  The months of cell phone exposure actually boosted the memory of non-demented (normal mice) to above-normal levels and the increase in brain temperature helped the Alzheimer’s brain to remove newly-formed beta-amyloid by causing brain cells to release it.

Read Full Post »

According to a December article in the Journal of the American Medical Association  (JAMA. 2009;302(24):2663-2670. http://tinyurl.com/ginko-dementiaGinkgo Biloba did not slow the rates of global or domain-specific cognitive decline in older adults.  The herbal product Ginkgo Biloba is taken frequently with the intention of improving cognitive health in aging.  However, evidence from adequately powered clinical trials is lacking regarding its effect on long-term cognitive functioning.   The Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory (GEM) study, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of 3069 community-dwelling participants aged 72 to 96 years, was conducted in 6 academic medical centers in the United States between 2000 and 2008.  Twice-daily dose of 120-mg extract of G biloba or identical-appearing placebo were given.  Rates of change over time in the Modified Mini-Mental State Examination and in neuropsychological domains of memory, attention, visual-spatial construction, language, and executive functions were evaluated .  Annual rates of decline in the scores did not differ between G biloba and placebo groups in any domains, including memory, attention, visuospatial abilities, language and executive functions.  Compared with placebo, the use of G biloba, 120 mg twice daily, did not result in less cognitive decline in older adults with normal cognition or with mild cognitive impairment.

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »