by Science Alert:
In a new study, post-menopausal women on testosterone therapy showed a significant improvement in verbal learning and memory, offering a promising avenue for research into memory and ageing.
Led by Director of the Women’s Health Research Program at Monash University, Professor Susan Davis, and presented at ENDO 2103, the research is the first large, randomised, placebo-controlled investigation into the effects of testosterone on cognitive function in postmenopausal women.
Testosterone has been implicated as being important for brain function in men and these results indicate that it has a role in optimising learning and memory in women.
Dementia, which was estimated to affect more than 35 million people worldwide in 2010, is more common in women than men. There are no effective treatments to prevent memory decline.
Posted by WBHI on Jun 18, 2013 in Think Twice
by Aging Care:
Women who develop symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease typically face a faster rate of decline of their mental functioning than men in the same stage of the disease, according to a recent analysis.
Researchers from the University of Hertfordshire examined fifteen studies conducted on Alzheimer’s sufferers of both sexes and found that men with the disease regularly outperform women on tests that measured a senior’s memory capacity and their ability to perform verbal and visuo-spatial tasks (i.e. estimating distance and depth).
Previous research has shown that women are more likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease than men, but investigation into how the disease affects the brains of the sexes differently has been sparse and conflicting.
The current study aimed to get a clearer picture of the gender-based differences of Alzheimer’s and the potential causes of these disparities.
Posted by WBHI on Jun 18, 2013 in Think Outside The Box
by Science Codex:
The distribution of white matter brain abnormalities in some patients after mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) closely resembles that found in early Alzheimer’s dementia, according to a new study published online in the journal Radiology.
“Findings of MTBI bear a striking resemblance to those seen in early Alzheimer’s dementia,” said the study’s lead author, Saeed Fakhran, M.D., assistant professor of radiology in the Division of Neuroradiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “Additional research may help further elucidate a link between these two disease processes.”
MTBI, or concussion, affects more than 1.7 million people in the United States annually. Despite the name, these injuries are by no means mild, with approximately 15 percent of concussion patients suffering persistent neurological symptoms.
Posted by WBHI on Jun 18, 2013 in Helpful Thinking
by Tor Eckert for The Union:
While a person in early stages of dementia may not have particular eating problems, as Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia progresses, eating issues become increasingly common. In most cases, a spouse-caregiver would be acutely aware of even subtle eating habit changes. But sometimes, the changes suddenly jump out — such as “he/she is not eating the meat or drinking enough water. It’s been going on for two weeks now.”
Sometimes, there are simple answers such as cutting meat into smaller pieces, but there should always be awareness and concern that there might be a chewing or swallowing problem. It’s common among individuals with dementia, regardless of whether they are cared for at home or in a long-term care facility, to have eating issues. Assessing why they are not eating and obtaining an accurate diagnosis are the first steps toward maintaining adequate nutrition and body weight.
Posted by WBHI on Jun 17, 2013 in Think About It
by Dennis Thompson for Health Day:
A diet high in saturated fat can quickly rob the brain of a key chemical that helps protect against Alzheimer’s disease, according to new research.
In a small study published online Monday in the journal JAMA Neurology, researchers found that dietary saturated fat cut the body’s levels of the chemical apolipoprotein E, also called ApoE, which helps “chaperone” amyloid beta proteins out of the brain.
“People who received a high-saturated-fat, high-sugar diet showed a change in their ApoE, such that the ApoE would be less able to help clear the amyloid,” said research team member Suzanne Craft, a professor of medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine.
Amyloid beta proteins left loose in the brain are more likely to form plaques that interfere with neuron function, the kind of plaques found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
by Toi Williams for Health Aim:
The cost of treating and caring for people with dementia in the United States is expected to double by 2040, according to a new study. Some figures from the new research are staggering and carry new gravity because they come from an academic research effort. This was the most rigorous study conducted to date of the costs to care for Americans with dementia. The results of the study were published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
The research study of the issue was led by an economist at the RAND Corporation and was financed by the federal government. This new study is considered the most reliable basis yet for measuring the scope of the issue. Most of the previously cited information regarding the cost and prevalence of the condition came from an advocacy group, the Alzheimer’s Association.
Posted by WBHI on Jun 15, 2013 in Think Outside The Box
by Health India:
A Tel Aviv University research has developed a new peptide in her lab to protect and restore nerve cell communications.
A structure called ‘the microtubule network’ is a crucial part of our nervous system. It acts as a transportation system within nerve cells, carrying essential proteins and enabling cell-to-cell communications. But in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, ALS, and Parkinson’s, this network breaks down, hindering motor abilities and cognitive function.
Now, the new peptide, called NAP or Davunetide, developed by Prof. Illana Gozes of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine, has the capacity to both protect and restore microtubule function.
Posted by WBHI on Jun 15, 2013 in Wishful Thinking
by Pharma Biz:
Eli Lilly and Company has stopped phase II study (BACC) for LY2886721, a beta secretase (BACE) inhibitor being investigated as a once daily treatment for its potential to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. The decision to terminate the study was due to abnormal liver biochemical tests. Clinical study investigators have been notified.
“While stopping this phase II study for our BACE inhibitor is disappointing, patient safety is of utmost importance to Lilly,” said Jan M Lundberg, executive vice president, science and technology, and president, Lilly Research Laboratories. “Discovering and developing medicines for devastating diseases like Alzheimer’s is fraught with many challenges, but Lilly’s 25-year commitment to bringing medicines to the millions of Alzheimer’s disease patients who are waiting will not wane.”
Posted by WBHI on Jun 15, 2013 in Great Minds Think Alike
by Cardon & Associates:
Because our cognitive functions peak at age 30, it’s very important to do all we can to keep our brains fit as we age. Like our bodies, there are many things we can do physically, emotionally, and nutritionally to keep our brains healthy.
Keeping our hearts pumping and blood flowing through aerobic exercise is as important for our brain health as for the rest of our body.
Walking, swimming, tennis, and other fun activities not only help your heart stay healthy, but keep your brain healthy by boosting neural growth and synapse connectivity, which are essential for memory. Twin studies indicate that the twin who participates in moderate exercise in midlife has less risk of dementia in old age than the twin who doesn’t exercise.
Posted by WBHI on Jun 13, 2013 in Think About It
by Robert Bazell for NBC News:
Frontotemporal dementia affects a different area of the brain than Alzheimer’s, destroying the frontal lobes and spurring big personality changes.
Just two years ago, Barbara Whitmarsh was a woman who seemed to have it all. She was a highly regarded scientist at the National Institutes of Health. Married for 30 years, she’d raised six children with her beloved husband, John. But then John Whitmarsh started to notice some disturbing changes in his wife, now 62. It was as if the woman he’d married and lived with all that time was slowly and inexorably fading away.
“Her ability to feel empathy, her personality, it just disappeared over a period of time,” John said. “I would ask her, ‘Is there anything wrong?’ and she would say, ‘No, I love you and everything’s fine,’ but she wasn’t there. And she said it in that flat way.” A scientist himself, Whitmarsh knew there was, indeed, something wrong. And he was worried. He asked his wife to see a psychiatrist who eventually diagnosed her with frontotemporal dementia or FTD.