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: November 13, 2012
by Jacqui Bealing for Medical XPress:
A gene that confers a higher risk for dementia in old age could also promote better-than-average memory and verbal skills in youth, according to a new University of Sussex-led study.
Neuroscientists tested the cognitive abilities of those with a particular gene variant, known as ‘APOE e4’, found in approximately 25 per cent of the population, against those without it. They also looked at the brain structure and brain activities of both groups during the tasks.
They found that young people with the e4 variant performed better in attention tests (one involving episodic memory of words, the other requiring participants to spot number sequences), which correlated with increased task-related brain activation as detected by MRI scans. The researchers also noticed subtle differences in the white matter of the brains of those with the variant.
Lead researcher Professor Jennifer Rusted said: “Earlier studies suggested that those with the e4 variant outperform those without it in tasks such as memory, speed of processing, mental arithmetic and verbal fluency. But it is also well-established that this gene is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.
The suggestion is that while this confers cognitive advantages in early life, leading to higher achievement, it may also increase susceptibility to memory failure as we enter old age. “Our study is the first to show that subtle differences in the structure and activation of the brain during cognitive tasks in APOE e4 carriers are linked to their cognitive performance. It is possible that the brain over-activations that we see in youth have negative effects over the longer term and contribute to a kind of ‘burnout’ in older adulthood.”
The study, “APOE e4 polymorphism in young adults is associated with improved attention and indexed by distinct neural signatures,” was funded by the BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council) and is published in NeuroImage.
Consumption of canola oil is linked to weight gain and declines in memory and learning ability in mice that model Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports. Canola...
Low memory scores are an early marker of amyloid positivity, but have limited value as a screening measure for early Alzheimer’s disease among persons without dementia, according to a study published online in JAMA Psychiatry. Willemijn J....
Can the brain heal and preserve itself—or even improve its functioning—as we get older? For some time, many scientists have tended to think of our brains as machines, most commonly as computers,...
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.