Published on: September 19, 2013
by Medical XPress:
A recent study by the Clinical Institute of Neurology at the MedUni Vienna has shown that neurodegenerative diseases other than Alzheimer’s disease are more common among older people than previously thought. Researchers believe that more personalised treatment may offer considerable opportunities to address this.
The Vienna Trans-Danube Aging (VITA) study has just been published in the September edition of the highly respected journal Acta Neuropathologica and has been created by researchers at the Medical University of Vienna, the SMZ-Ost Donauspital and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Gerontology.
The study’s primary author, Gabor G. Kovacs from the Clinical Institute of Neurology, sums up the key findings of the study as follows: “The VITA study shows that, in addition to the classic Alzheimer’s-associated changes in the ageing brain, there are other neurodegenerative conditions that are characterised by protein deposits in the brain.”
The scientists also discovered that combinations of these “proteinopathies” with each other and with diseases of the blood vessels are more common than previously assumed. According to Dr. Kovacs, some of these pathological changes can lead to dementia progressing more quickly. However there also appear to be variations that are less “harmful” and which therefore progress less quickly.
Says Kovacs: “Further studies are therefore required in which patients will be monitored in order to determine which of the combinations are associated with more favourable or more deleterious prognoses for the patients.” The authors also outline new conditions that are associated with dementia in the ageing brain. Kovacs believes that the factors identified in this context represent the starting point from which patients with dementia will in future be able to be offered more personalised and therefore more effective treatment.
As part of the long-term VITA study which has been ongoing since 2000, a group of residents of Vienna’s districts 21 and 22 who were born between May 1925 and June 1926 was investigated. Regular medical examinations were performed at Vienna’s SMZ-Ost Donauspital. A total of 233 people who died at the Donauspital also underwent general pathological and specifically neuropathological examinations.
The VITA study is an important part of the ongoing EU project DEVELAGE. Under the supervision of the Institute of Neurology at the MedUni Vienna, eight partner centres from six European countries (Austria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain) are collaborating on the DEVELAGE project (www.develage.eu). The VITA study was initiated by a research group established by the MedUni Vienna and the Donauspital and led by Peter Fischer, Director of the Psychiatry Department at Vienna’s SMZ-Ost Donauspital.
Older people who report greater levels of social engagement have more robust gray matter in regions of the brain relevant in dementia, according to new research led by scientists at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of...
In a new study, University of Nebraska–Lincoln sociologist Marc A. Garcia explored how educational attainment can benefit cognitive health in later life, and whether there are differences in its benefits among minorities. Garcia and his co-authors...
A genetic variation in some people may be associated with cognitive decline that can’t be explained by deposits of two key proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease, amyloid β and tau, according to a study...
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.