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Archive for the ‘older adults’ Category

internet_explorer_logoHealthDay (10/19, Gardner) reported, “Researchers found that older adults who started browsing the Web experienced improved brain function after only a few days.” In a study presented at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting, researchers asked “24 neurologically normal adults, aged 55 to 78…to surf the Internet while hooked up to an MRI machine. Before the study began, half the participants had used the Internet daily, and the other half had little experience with it.” The researchers said that “at baseline, those with prior Internet experience showed a much greater extent of brain activation,” but “after at-home practice…those who had just been introduced to the Internet were catching up to those who were old hands.”  The Los Angeles Times (10/19, Healey) “Booster Shots” blog explained that the Internet-“naïve” subjects “had used many of the regions of brain associated with judgment, visual and spatial perception, and higher-order reasoning to perform their faux-search task. But a scan of their brains found that after two weeks of honing their search-skills, the newbies used those brain regions as well as several others when performing the faux-search task.” WebMD (10/19, Warner) also covered the story.

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namMedscape (6/18, Jeffrey) reported that, according to a study presented at a Parkinson’s disease conference and published online June 9 in The Lancet Neurology, “patients with dementia associated with Parkinson’s disease (PDD) or dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) may benefit from treatment with memantine,” a medication that is “already approved for use in moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease.” Researchers from the Norwegian Center for Movement Disorders at Stavanger University Hospital conducted a “parallel-group, 24-week randomized and placebo-controlled pilot study that included 75 patients with PDD and DLB from four centers in Sweden, Norway, and the United Kingdom.” Patients “were randomized to receive either 20 mg per day of memantine or placebo.” At study end, the team found “a significant difference between groups…on the CGIC, with a mean difference of 0.7 points (95 percent CI, 0.04 – 1.39; P = .03).”

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MedWire (3/20, Davenport) reported that, according to a study published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, nearly “a third of older adults with mood disorders use orally ingested herbal and nutritional compounds (HNC).” For the study, researchers from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine “administered a questionnaire to 50 older bipolar disorder patients and 50 older major depression patients on their use of orally ingested HNC in the previous three months, their perspective on the efficacy and safety of HNC, and their discussions with healthcare providers.” The team found that “orally ingested HNC were used by 30 percent of the patients, at 16 percent of major depression patients and 44 percent of bipolar disorder patients.” Notably, “29 percent of patients admitted to using HNC in addition to prescribed medications, while 64 percent of patients had not discussed HNC use with their doctor.” The authors concluded, “Clinicians need to actively seek information about possible use of HNC.”

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