Posted by WBHI on May 8, 2013 in Think It Over
Elevated blood sugar levels may increase a person’s risk for Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study.
Previous research has suggested that diabetes may be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s, but University of Arizona researchers wanted to examine if high blood sugar levels in people without diabetes may also increase the chances of developing Alzheimer’s.
The study included 124 people, aged 47 to 68, who were diabetes-free and had normal brain function, but did have a family history of Alzheimer’s. The participants underwent scans that revealed metabolic activity in the brain.
Posted by WBHI on May 1, 2013 in Think It Over
by Judith Graham for The New York Times:
A large body of research has linked late-life depression to social isolation, poorer health and an increased risk of death. Now, a new study finds that depression is associated with subsequent vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, conditions poised to expand dramatically with the aging population.
The report, published on Wednesday in the British Journal of Psychiatry, is a meta-analysis of 23 previous studies that followed nearly 50,000 older adults over a median of five years.
The researchers found that depressed older adults (defined as those over age 50) were more than twice as likely to develop vascular dementia and 65 percent more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than similarly aged people who weren’t depressed.
Posted by WBHI on Apr 12, 2013 in Think It Over
by Endocrine Today:
Patients with diabetes are at risk for early-onset dementia and mortality, especially among older age groups, according to researchers in Australia. Although the epidemiology surrounding the association between diabetes and dementia remains fairly uncertain, researchers wrote that the effect of diabetes on dementia projections based on their study is likely to worsen, given the incidence and prevalence of type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Research fellow Renate R. Zilkens, MPH, of Curtin University, and colleagues conducted a retrospective population study utilizing Western Australian hospital inpatient, mental health outpatient and death records to compare the age at index dementia record (proxy for onset age) and survival outcomes among dementia patients with and without pre-existing diabetes (n=25,006; diabetes, 17.3%).
According to the researchers, dementia onset occurred at an average of 2.2 years earlier and death 2.6 years earlier in patients with diabetes compared with patients without diabetes (P<.0001). Additionally, the age-specific mortality rates increased in patients with diabetes, they wrote.
Posted by WBHI on Apr 4, 2013 in Think It Over
by Medical XPress:
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a new set of genetic markers for Alzheimer’s that point to a second pathway through which the disease develops.
Much of the genetic research on Alzheimer’s centers on amyloid-beta, a key component of brain plaques that build up in the brains of people with the disease. In the new study, the scientists identified several genes linked to the tau protein, which is found in the tangles that develop in the brain as Alzheimer’s progresses and patients develop dementia.
The findings may help provide targets for a different class of drugs that could be used for treatment. The researchers report their findings online April 24 in the journal Neuron. “We measured the tau protein in the cerebrospinal fluid and identified several genes that are related to high levels of tau and also affect risk for Alzheimer’s disease,” says senior investigator Alison M. Goate, DPhil, the Samuel and Mae S. Ludwig Professor of Genetics in Psychiatry.
Posted by WBHI on Mar 26, 2013 in Think It Over, Think Twice
by Steve James for NBC News:
Researchers have found that the virus that causes cold sores, along with other viral or bacterial infections, might be associated with memory loss, and if further studies establish such a link, it could eventually prove helpful in preventing strokes or Alzheimer’s disease.
A long-term study of a group of people in one neighborhood of New York City found that those with higher levels of infection in their blood — meaning they had been exposed to various pathogens such as the herpes simplex type 1 virus that causes cold sores — were more likely to have cognitive problems than people with lower levels of infection in the blood. The results, released Monday, are published in the March 26 issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Posted by WBHI on Mar 19, 2013 in Think It Over
by Carolyn Gregoire for Huffington Post:
Chronic stress has been shown to increase the risk of a number of negative health outcomes, including heart disease, cancer and dementia. The means by which stress contributes to the development of these conditions, however, aren’t as clear. But Swedish scientist Sara K. Bengtsson of Umea University may have an answer to the question of why chronic stress contributes to the development of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia.
Bengtsson’s research thesis, which she will publicly defend at Umea University later this month, suggests that the elevated levels of stress steroids in the brain during periods of stress have the power to inhibit general brain activity.
Posted by WBHI on Mar 18, 2013 in Think It Over
by Emily Martinez for EurekAlert:
A study in the JAMA Neurology (formerly the Archives of Neurology) suggests that controlling or preventing risk factors, such as hypertension, earlier in life may limit or delay the brain changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related neurological deterioration.
Dr. Karen Rodrigue, assistant professor in the UT Dallas Center for Vital Longevity (CVL), was lead author on a study that looked at whether people with both hypertension and a common gene associated with risk of Alzheimer’s disease (the APOE-4 gene carried by about 20 percent of the population) had more buildup of the brain plaque (amyloid protein) associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Many scientists believe the amyloid plaque is the first symptom of Alzheimer’s disease and shows up a decade or more before Alzheimer’s symptoms of memory impairment and other cognitive difficulties begin.
Posted by WBHI on Mar 14, 2013 in Think It Over
by Tim Watt for Sunrise Senior Living:
Many seniors already know the joy of being surrounded by friends and family, but the recent Amsterdam Study of the Elderly has proven that loneliness increases the risk of dementia in older adults by as much as 64 percent.
Loneliness has an impact
Research conducted over three years on more than 2,000 seniors living outside of a long-term care setting determined that loneliness was a significant factor when predicting an individual’s odds of developing dementia. Even after adjusting the findings for other factors such as age, initial cognitive functioning and socioeconomic status, the researchers found that lonely seniors were more likely to develop dementia than those who did not have these feelings.
Posted by WBHI on Mar 4, 2013 in Think It Over
by Chris Kaiser for MedPage Today:
Atrial fibrillation carries a significant risk for cognitive decline, even when stroke is not involved, a meta-analysis found.
In 14 observational and prospective studies of patients with or without stroke, the relative risk of cognitive impairment was 1.40 (95% CI 1.19 to 1.64), according to Jeremy N. Ruskin, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital, and colleagues.
The risk was similar when researchers excluded cognitive impairment and analyzed the studies only for dementia, “which is more reliably diagnosed than cognitive impairment,” (RR 1.38, 95% CI 1.22 to 1.56), they reported March 4 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Posted by WBHI on Feb 23, 2013 in Think It Over
by Daily Rx:
When a patient suffers a stroke, he or she has a significant risk of having another one down the road. Knowing which symptoms can predict the second stroke can help docs and families prepare.
A recent study discovered that people who developed dementia after having an ischemic stroke were at greater risk of having another stroke. Compared to those without dementia, stroke patients with dementia were about two times more likely to have another stroke.
The authors concluded that post-stroke dementia is a risk factor for future stroke. Knowing this risk may help doctors and patients prevent more strokes.
Patients with post-stroke dementia may develop memory and thinking problems within a year after having a stroke.