Alzheimers

Alzheimer's & other dementias

Loss of smell may predict early onset of Alzheimer's

January, 2010

Previous research suggesting loss of smell function may serve as an early marker of Alzheimer's disease has now been supported by evidence from genetically engineered mice.

Previous research suggesting loss of smell function may serve as an early marker of Alzheimer's disease has now been supported by a finding that in genetically engineered mice, loss of smell function is associated with amyloid-beta accumulation in the brain, and that amyloid pathology occurs first in the olfactory region. It was striking how sensitive olfactory performance was to even the smallest amount of amyloid presence in the brain as early as three months of age (equivalent to a young adult).

Reference: 

Source: 

Topics: 

tags: 

tags memworks: 

tags problems: 

Training program improves eating skills of dementia patients

January, 2010

A study using two training programs to help dementia patients regain eating skills, found spaced retrieval training was particularly effective.

Loss of memory and problems with judgment in dementia patients can cause difficulties in relation to eating and nutrition; these problems in turn can lead to poor quality of life, pressure ulcers and infections. A study used two different step-by-step training programs to help dementia patients regain eating skills. Three institutions, involving 85 patients, were assigned to one of three programs: spaced retrieval training; Montessori-based training; control. Training consisted of three 30-40 min sessions per week, for 8 weeks. Both training programs resulted in significantly improved feeding skills, however the Montessori group needed more physical and verbal assistance. Nutritional status was significantly higher in the spaced-retrieval group compared to the control.

Reference: 

Lin, L., Huang, Y., Su, S., Watson, R., Tsai, B. W., & Wu, S. (2010). Using spaced retrieval and Montessori-based activities in improving eating ability for residents with dementia. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 9999(9999), n/a. doi: 10.1002/gps.2433.

Source: 

Topics: 

tags development: 

tags problems: 

tags strategies: 

Nutritional drink may help fight Alzheimer's

January, 2010
  • A clinical trial has found improvement in verbal (but not general) memory in patients with mild Alzheimer's who drank a nutritional cocktail for 12 weeks.

A European trial involving 225 patients with mild Alzheimer's has found that those who drank Souvenaid (a cocktail of uridine, choline and the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, plus B vitamins, phosopholipids and antioxidants) for 12 weeks were more likely to improve their performance in a delayed verbal recall task. 40% of the Souvenaid group showed improved performance compared to 24% of the placebo group. Those with the mildest cases of Alzheimer’s showed the most improvement. There was no improvement on the more general ADAS-cog test. Three further clinical trials, one in the U.S. and two in Europe, are now underway.

Reference: 

Scheltens, P. et al. 2010. Efficacy of a medical food in mild Alzheimer's disease: A randomized, controlled trial. Alzheimer's & Dementia, 6 (1), 1-10.

Source: 

Topics: 

tags development: 

tags lifestyle: 

tags problems: 

Subjective memory loss may increase risk for MCI & dementia

January, 2010

Healthy older adults reporting subjective cognitive impairment are dramatically more likely to progress to MCI or dementia, and decline significantly faster.

Subjective cognitive impairment (SCI), marked by situations such as when a person recognizes they can't remember a name like they used to or where they recently placed important objects the way they used to, is experienced by between one-quarter and one-half of the population over the age of 65. A seven-year study involving 213 adults (mean age 67) has found that healthy older adults reporting SCI are dramatically more likely to progress to MCI or dementia than those free of SCI (54% vs 15%). Moreover, those who had SCI declined significantly faster.

Reference: 

Reisberg, B. et al. 2010. Outcome over seven years of healthy adults with and without subjective cognitive impairment. Alzheimer's & Dementia, 6 (1), 11-24.

Source: 

Topics: 

tags: 

tags development: 

tags problems: 

Exercise helps prevent, improve MCI

January, 2010

Two large studies have found moderate exercise was associated with a lower risk of developing mild cognitive impairment. A small study suggests women may benefit more than men.

A German study involving nearly 4000 older adults (55+) has found that physical activity significantly reduced the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment over a two-year period. Nearly 14% of those with no physical activity at the start of the study developed cognitive impairment, compared to 6.7% of those with moderate activity, and 5.1% of those with high activity. Moderate activity was defined as less than 3 times a week.

In another report, a study involving 1,324 individuals without dementia found those who reported performing moderate exercise during midlife or late life were significantly less likely to have MCI. Midlife moderate exercise was associated with 39% reduction in the odds of developing MCI, and moderate exercise in late life was associated with a 32% reduction. Light exercise (such as bowling, slow dancing or golfing with a cart) or vigorous exercise (including jogging, skiing and racquetball) were not significantly associated with reduced risk for MCI.

And in a clinical trial involving 33 older adults (55-85) with MCI has found that women who exercised at high intensity levels with an aerobics trainer for 45 to 60 minutes per day, four days per week, significantly improved performance on multiple tests of executive function, compared to those who engaged in low-intensity stretching exercises. The results for men were less significant: high-intensity aerobics was associated only with improved performance on one cognitive task, Trail-making test B, a test of visual attention and task-switching.

Reference: 

Source: 

Topics: 

tags development: 

tags lifestyle: 

tags memworks: 

tags problems: 

Rapamycin rescues memory in Alzheimer's mice

February, 2010

A mouse study found Rapamycin improved learning and memory and reduced Alzheimer's-like damage in the brain.

Rapamycin, a drug that keeps the immune system from attacking transplanted organs, was recently found to extend the life span of aged research mice. Now a study involving genetically engineered mice has found that 10 weeks of taking the drug improved learning and memory and reduced Alzheimer's-like damage in the brain.

Reference: 

Source: 

Topics: 

tags: 

tags development: 

tags problems: 

Damaged protein identified as early biomarker for Alzheimer's

February, 2010

Evidence that levels of damaged tau protein in the cerebrospinal fluid is associated with atrophy in the medial temporal lobe may help diagnose Alzheimer’s early.

A study involving 57 cognitively healthy older adults has found that those who showed decreased memory performance two years later (20 of the 57) had higher baseline levels of phosphorylated tau231 in the cerebrospinal fluid, and more atrophy in the medial temporal lobe. Higher levels of damaged tau protein were associated with reductions in medial temporal lobe gray matter. The finding may be useful in early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

Reference: 

Source: 

Topics: 

tags development: 

tags problems: 

Hypertension may predict dementia in older adults with particular cognitive deficits

February, 2010

A large five-year study concludes that late-life hypertension doubles the risk of dementia in those with executive dysfunction only (but not for those with memory dysfunction alone or memory and executive dysfunction).

Midlife hypertension has been confirmed as a risk factor for the development of dementia in late life, but there have been conflicting findings about the role of late-life hypertension. Now a five-year study involving 990 older adults (average age 83) with cognitive impairment but no dementia, has found that dementia developed at around the same rate among participants with and without hypertension, among those with memory dysfunction alone and those with both memory and executive dysfunction. However, among patients with executive dysfunction only, presence of hypertension was associated with double the risk of developing dementia (57.7 percent of those with high blood pressure progressed to dementia, vs. 28 percent of those without). The findings suggest that efforts to control to hypertension should be especially targeted to this group.

Reference: 

Source: 

Topics: 

tags development: 

tags problems: 

Predicting the progression of Alzheimer's

February, 2010

A 15-year study concludes that a simple progression rate calculated at the initial visit can reliably identify slow, intermediate and rapid progression.

By following 597 Alzheimer’s patients over 15 years, researchers have determined that a simple progression rate can be calculated at the initial visit, using symptom onset and present performance, and that this can reliably identify slow, intermediate and rapid progression.

Reference: 

[175] Doody, R. S., Pavlik V., Massman P., Rountree S., Darby E., & Chan W.
(2010).  Predicting progression of Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer's Research & Therapy. 2(1), 2 - 2.

Full text available at http://alzres.com/content/2/1/2/

Source: 

Topics: 

tags development: 

tags problems: 

Review confirms early diagnosis tool

February, 2010

A comprehensive survey confirms the value of an early diagnostic tool, and provides strong evidence for the central importance of amyloid-beta protein plaques in the development of Alzheimer’s.

A survey of more than 100 studies involving PIB-PET, a diagnostic tool that involves injecting a radiotracer called Pittsburgh compound B into the brain via the bloodstream, and imaging the brain with positron emission tomography (PET), has confirmed its sensitivity in detecting amyloid-beta protein plaques. The tool is not yet commercially available. The study also provides strong evidence supporting the theory that accumulation of amyloid-beta protein plaques in the brain is central to the development of Alzheimer’s. The findings, that amyloid deposits appear to reach a plateau early in the disease course, may explain why Alzheimer's patients have not responded to promising experimental drugs that target amyloid. It may be that they are being administered too late.

Reference: 

Source: 

Topics: 

tags development: 

tags problems: 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Alzheimers