Posted by WBHI on May 16, 2013 in Think Twice
by Todd Neale for MedPage Today:
Depression appears to be a risk factor for stroke among middle-age women, even after accounting for other variables, an Australian study showed.
Among women in their late 40s and early 50s who were followed for up to 12 years, meeting criteria for depression was associated with more than double the likelihood of having a stroke (OR 2.41, 95% CI 1.78-3.27), according to Caroline Jackson, PhD, and Gita Mishra, PhD, of the University of Queensland in Australia.
The relationship was partly explained by age, socioeconomic status, lifestyle, and physiological factors, but remained statistically significant after adjustment for those variables (OR 1.94, 95% CI 1.37- 2.74), they reported online in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.
Posted by WBHI on May 15, 2013 in Think Outside The Box
by Catherine Winters for Huffington Post:
Though it’s smart to take steps to prevent skin cancer, people diagnosed with the non-melanoma types of the disease may have a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, a new study finds.
Study participants who had been diagnosed with either basel cell or squamous cell skin cancer were nearly 80 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s, according to researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.
The researchers followed 1,102 people age 70 and older, for an average of 3.7 years, checking them annually for Alzheimer’s and skin cancer. All participants were enrolled in an ongoing study of aging in New York City.
Posted by WBHI on Apr 17, 2013 in Think About It
by Denise Mann for WebMD:
If Alzheimer’s disease runs in your family, you may be more likely to have brain changes associated with the disorder even before symptoms such as memory and thinking problems occur, according to new research.
An estimated 5.2 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, a number expected to increase dramatically as the baby boomer generation ages. The Alzheimer’s Association predicts that the number of people aged 65 and older with the condition will reach 7.1 million by 2025.
To get a better handle on risk for Alzheimer’s disease, researchers at Duke University looked at brain scans of more than 250 adults aged 55 to 89. Some had no signs of memory or thinking problems, while others did.
The researchers also analyzed genes and other markers in spinal fluid that are known to help predict Alzheimer’s risk. A variation in the APOE gene was seen among those participants who were at greater risk for earlier onset of Alzheimer’s. Individuals who had a parent or sibling with Alzheimer’s disease showed silent brain changes, the study found.
Posted by WBHI on Apr 15, 2013 in Uncategorized
by Medical XPress:
Researchers at the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome and the University of Colorado School of Medicine have found that a single mechanism may underlie the damaging effect of cholesterol on the brain and on blood vessels.
High levels of blood cholesterol increase the risk of both Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease, but it has been unclear exactly how cholesterol damages the brain to promote Alzheimer’s disease and blood vessels to promote atherosclerosis.
Using insights gained from studying two much rarer disorders, Down Syndrome and Niemann Pick-C disease, researchers at the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome and the Department of Neurology of the University of Colorado School of Medicine found that cholesterol wreaks havoc on the orderly process of cell division, leading to defective daughter cells throughout the body.
Posted by WBHI on Apr 13, 2013 in Think Ahead
by International News Network:
Researchers have linked feeling of loneliness to an increased risk of developing dementia in later life.
The researchers tracked the long-term health and wellbeing of more than 2000 people with no signs of dementia and living independently for three years.
All the participants were taking part in the Amsterdam Study of the Elderly (AMSTEL), which is looking at the risk factors for depression, dementia, and higher than expected death rates among the elderly.
At the end of this period, the mental health and wellbeing of all participants was assessed using a series of validated tests. They were also quizzed about their physical health, their ability to carry out routine daily tasks, and specifically asked if they felt lonely. Finally, they were formally tested for signs of dementia.
Posted by WBHI on Apr 9, 2013 in Come To Think Of It
by Gina Kolata for The New York Times:
African-Americans have a slightly higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease than people of largely European ancestry, but there is no major genetic difference that could account for the slight excess risk, new research shows.
The results are from one of the only large studies ever done on Alzheimer’s in African-Americans. Researchers identified the same gene variants in older African-Americans that they had found in older people of European ancestry. But they found that African-Americans with Alzheimer’s disease were slightly more likely to have one gene, ABCA7, that is thought to confer risk for the disease.
Another gene, APoE4, long known to increase Alzheimer’s risk in older white people, was present in about the same proportion of African-Americans with Alzheimer’s as it is in people of European ancestry.
The researchers’ paper was published online on Tuesday in The Journal of the American Medical Association. In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Robert L. Nussbaum of the University of California, San Francisco, noted that finding ABCA7 and APoE4 in African-Americans as well as those of European ancestry “strengthens the case” that the genes are important in conferring susceptibility to the disease.
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 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 11, 2013 in Think About It
by Véronique Lacarpa for St. Louis Public Radio:
Another study has shown a link between disrupted sleep patterns and Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers at Washington University looked at 32 people who have what’s known as “preclinical” Alzheimer’s disease. They have a marker in their spinal fluid associated with Alzheimer’s, but they still don’t have any symptoms of dementia.
Wash U neurologist and sleep specialist Yo-El Ju says when she and her colleagues compared those people to 110 healthy controls, they found the two groups slept about the same amount.
But the people with preclinical Alzheimer’s were more restless: they spent a slightly higher percentage of their time in bed unable to fall asleep.