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Posts Tagged ‘MD’

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.

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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

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