As the largest resource of information specific to women's brain health, we are sure you will find what you are looking for, and promise that you will discover new information.
Published on: December 28, 2012
by Live Science:
Which is bigger, a key or an ant? That question might be easy for you to answer quickly, but it could be a little more confusing for a person with Alzheimer’s.
The most obvious trait of the mind-ruining disease is memory loss, with patients forgetting once-familiar people, places and experiences. New research shows how this mental deterioration extends to semantic memory, which has more to do with remembering facts and concepts and underlies a basic understanding of how things works.
For their study, researchers recruited 70 cognitively healthy people, 27 patients with Alzheimer’s 25 patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), often considered a precursor to dementia. All were tested on their ability to make size judgments about two pictures shown to them — the premise being that the bigger the difference in size between two objects, the faster a person would be able to answer the question.
“If you ask someone what is bigger, a key or an ant, they would be slower in their response than if you asked them what is bigger, a key or a house,” researcher Terry Goldberg, of the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, said in a statement.
This held true in the experiments, but the MCI and Alzheimer’s patients had much more trouble when asked to respond to a task with small size differences.
The experiment was then tweaked so that the participants were shown pictures of a small ant and a big house or a big ant and a small house. The MCI and Alzheimer’s patients did not have a problem making judgments about the small ant and big house, but had trouble with the more incongruent set. They were confused about which object was actually larger when shown a big ant and a small house, and were more likely to answer incorrectly or take longer to arrive at a response, the researchers said.
Goldberg said the findings indicate “that something is slowing down the patient and it is not episodic memory but semantic memory.”
The team will continue to study these patients over time to see if these semantic problems get worse as the disease advances.
The research was detailed this month in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
Thirty-six million people worldwide suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. In Canada, 25,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. Those sobering numbers have researchers around the globe racing to come up with new ways to...
he Food and Drug Administration issued new guides on drug development for neurological disorders. This sets the stage for possible treatments for Alzheimer’s. The disease-oriented development guide documents will provide details on how researchers...
For young adults with autosomal dominant Alzheimer’s disease (AD), molecular markers can identify changes associated with the disease before clinical onset, according to a study published online Feb. 12 in JAMA Neurology. Yakeel T. Quiroz, Ph.D., from Massachusetts...
The material presented through the Think Tank feature on this website is in no way intended to replace professional medical care or attention by a qualified practitioner. WBHI strongly advises all questioners and viewers using this feature with health problems to consult a qualified physician, especially before starting any treatment. The materials provided on this website cannot and should not be used as a basis for diagnosis or choice of treatment. The materials are not exhaustive and cannot always respect all the most recent research in all areas of medicine.