Posted by WBHI on May 21, 2013 in Sooner Than You Think
by Brian Krans for HealthLine:
Of all the reasons to rethink how much you’re eating, a healthy, functioning brain in your golden years might be the best motivation.
New research published in The Journal of Neuroscience says that calorie restriction activates an enzyme that delays the loss of neurons and protects brain function.
While testing has only been done in mice, for now, researchers are working on an experimental new drug that may prevent the human brain from aging.
SIRT1: The Body’s Fountain of Youth?
The secret is the enzyme Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1), which prior research suggests can protect cells from the harmful effects of aging, including mental decline.
Posted by WBHI on May 14, 2013 in Sooner Than You Think
by Huffington Post:
Researchers have figured out new ways to identify who is at risk of developing Alzheimer’s, an incurable brain disease that affects 5.4 million Americans.
By studying spinal fluid samples and health data from 201 research participants at the Charles F. and Joanne Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown various biomarkers are reliable predictors of Alzheimer’s even years before symptoms become evident.
The findings, researchers say, provide more proof that scientists can detect Alzheimer’s well before the onset of memory loss and cognitive decline.
Posted by WBHI on May 1, 2013 in Sooner Than You Think
by Anna Salleh for ABC:
Blood tests could one day be used to tell who is at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, say researchers.
Dr Samantha Burnham, from SCIRO’s Preventative Health flagship in Perth, and colleagues, report their findings today in the journal Molecular Psychiatry. “We have a set of blood markers that estimate how much toxic protein people have in their brain,” says Burnham. “We’re hoping that this will develop into a population screening test.”
Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause of dementia and affects 250,000 Australians – a number that is expected to grow to 1 million by 2050.
The disease is associated with the build up of a protein called amyloid beta in the brain, which Burnham and colleagues recently found occurs 17 years before dementia symptoms appear. Burnham and colleagues’ latest research focused on finding ways to predict who is at risk of amyloid build up.
Posted by WBHI on Apr 25, 2013 in Sooner Than You Think
by HealthDay News:
Insight into genes that play a key role in disrupting immune system pathways in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease could offer a potential target for new drugs against the disease, two new studies show.
“Defining the precise steps of the inflammatory response crucial to causing Alzheimer’s disease has been elusive. We are pleased to discover these novel insights into that process,” Bin Zhang, lead author of one of the studies and an associate professor of genetics and genomic sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, said in a school news release.
In the study, Zhang’s team analyzed brain tissue samples from deceased Alzheimer’s patients, as well as healthy people who had died. By measuring the activity level of thousands of genes in these tissue samples, the team identified which gene networks are disrupted in diseased brains.
Posted by WBHI on Apr 15, 2013 in Sooner Than You Think
by University of Florida News:
A new study from researchers at the University of Florida may have uncovered a critical factor that drives the relentless progression of Alzheimer’s disease ― a discovery that could eventually slow its progression.
For more than 15 years, scientists have known that two types of brain lesions form in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, one type of lesion forming only after the other. David R. Borchelt, a professor of neuroscience, and Guilian Xu, an assistant research scientist at the UF College of Medicine, have used a mouse model to find a potential explanation for how the first type of brain lesion may trigger the second. They report their findings in the current issue of the journal Human Molecular Genetics.
“Understanding how this sequence of events works is thought to be critical and could lead to new therapeutic approaches,” said Borchelt, director of the SantaFe HealthCare Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at UF and the McKnight Brian Institute.
Posted by WBHI on Apr 10, 2013 in Sooner Than You Think
by Robert Preidt for HealthDay News:
Scientists who developed a way to make a mouse brain transparent say the process could revolutionize the way the human brain is studied.
A transparent brain can be examined whole, without the need to slice or section it. The three-dimensional complexity of molecular structures and wiring are intact and can be assessed and probed with visible light and chemicals, according to the Stanford University researchers.
The chemical process for making the brain transparent — called CLARITY — is done after it is removed from the animal. The process involves replacing the brain’s lipids (fatty molecules) with a hydrogel, according to a study published online April 10 in the journal Nature.
Posted by WBHI on Apr 1, 2013 in Sooner Than You Think
by Michael Smith for MedPage Today:
Standard risk prediction tools for heart disease and stroke are better at predicting declining mental powers than a specific dementia risk score, researchers reported.
In a long-running cohort study, higher risks on the widely used Framingham cardiovascular disease and stroke scores were strongly associated with declines on four out of five cognitive tests, according to Sara Kaffashian, PhD, of the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Paris, and colleagues.
On the other hand, higher risk on the recently proposed Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging and Dementia (CAIDE) score was less strongly associated with declines and only on three of the five tests, Kaffashian and colleagues reported in the April 2 issue ofNeurology.
All of the risk scores predict cognitive decline starting in late middle age, Kaffashian said in a statement, but the Framingham tests may have an edge in prevention.
Posted by WBHI on Mar 18, 2013 in Sooner Than You Think
A series of studies demonstrate improved detection of the second most common form of dementia, providing diagnostic specificity that clears the way for refined clinical trials testing targeted treatments. The new research is being presented by experts from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania at the American Academy of Neurology’s 65th Annual Meeting in San Diego March 16-23, 2013.
Frontotemporal degeneration, the most common dementia in people under 60, can be hereditary or sporadic in nature and caused by one of two different mutated proteins (tau or TDP-43). The disease results in damage to the anterior temporal and/or frontal lobes of the brain. As the disease progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult for people to plan or organize activities, behave appropriately in social or work settings, interact with others, and care for oneself, resulting in increasing dependency.
Posted by WBHI on Mar 15, 2013 in Sooner Than You Think
by Science Daily:
Injecting synthetic tau fibrils into animal models induces Alzheimer’s-like tau tangles and imitates the spread of tau pathology, according to research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania being presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 65th Annual Meeting in San Diego March 16-23, 2013.
This Alzheimer’s research, along with additional Parkinson’s research from Penn and beyond, further demonstrates the cell-to-cell transmission of neurodegenerative proteins. John Q. Trojanowski, MD, PhD, co-director of the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research (CNDR) and professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, will present the research in the Hot Topics plenary session on Tuesday, March 19.
Posted by WBHI on Mar 7, 2013 in Sooner Than You Think
by Beth Galvin for Fox News:
Researchers in Atlanta may have found a new way to detect the first signs of Alzheimer’s disease years before a person develops symptoms. They’re using a device that tracks eye movement, and it’s a simple and painless test.
Alzheimer’s disease progressively damages the brain over time. That damage often begins up to 20 years before a person is diagnosed. So the challenge is to find a way to detect the disease earlier and researchers are trying to do that by tracking your eye movement.
Researchers say eye-tracking technology gives them a window into the brain. Dr. Stuart Zola, Director of the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, says eye-tracking is promising because it gives researchers a way to differentiate between someone with early-stage memory loss, or mild cognitive impairment, and someone with normal brain function.
“But more importantly, it allows us to say about three years before people have symptoms whether or not they are on a trajectory for Alzheimer’s disease,” said Zola.