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: April 7, 2013
by Business Standard:
Scientists have developed a new brain-imaging tool that along with stroke risk assessment can identify signs of cognitive decline early on in individuals who don’t yet show symptoms of dementia.
The connection between stroke risk and cognitive decline has been well established. Individuals with higher stroke risk, as measured by factors like high blood pressure, have traditionally performed worse on tests of memory, attention and abstract reasoning.
The new study demonstrated that not only stroke risk, but also the burden of plaques and tangles, as measured by a University of California, Los Angeles brain scan, may influence cognitive decline. The imaging tool used in the study was developed at UCLA and reveals early evidence of amyloid beta “plaques” and neurofibrillary tau “tangles” in the brain – the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.
The study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, demonstrated that taking both stroke risk and the burden of plaques and tangles into accout may offer a more powerful assessment of factors determining how people are doing now and will do in the future.
“The findings reinforce the importance of managing stroke risk factors to prevent cognitive decline even before clinical symptoms of dementia appear,” said first author Dr David Merrill.
According to the researchers, the UCLA brain-imaging tool could prove useful in tracking cognitive decline over time and offer additional insight when used with other assessment tools.
For the study, the team assessed 75 people who were healthy or had mild cognitive impairment, a risk factor for the future development of Alzheimer’s. The average age of the participants was 63.
The individuals underwent neuropsychological testing and physical assessments to calculate their stroke risk using the Framingham Stroke Risk Profile, which examines age, gender, smoking status, systolic blood pressure, diabetes, atrial fibrillation (irregular heart rhythm), use of blood pressure medications, and other factors.
The study found that greater stroke risk was significantly related to lower performance in several cognitive areas, including language, attention, information-processing speed, memory, visual-spatial functioning (eg, ability to read a map), problem-solving and verbal reasoning.
“Our findings demonstrate that the effects of elevated vascular risk, along with evidence of plaques and tangles, is apparent early on, even before vascular damage has occurred or a diagnosis of dementia has been confirmed,” said the study’s senior author, Dr Gary Small.
By the time you start losing your memory, it’s almost too late. That’s because the damage to your brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) may already have been going on for as long as twenty years....
For decades, the only way to officially diagnose Alzheimer’s disease was by analysing a patient’s brain during a postmortem. More recently, physicians have been able to use positron emission tomography scans of the brains of living people...
It can be difficult to tell the difference between persistent memory loss and so-called “senior moments,” which could be the excuse your mom leans on to blame or hide her growing cognitive deficits. Your mom’s memory problems...
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.