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: September 11, 2012
by Rick Nauert PhD for Psych Central:
Current medical interventions can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease but is incapable of reversing the damage. New research thus is focused on detection of the disease before substantial and irreversible brain damage.
In a new study, Erin K. Johns, a doctoral student at Concordia University, targeted older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) who were displaying slight impairments in memory.
Johns said that problems with “executive functions” like attention, planning, and problem-solving are associated with a high risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
“We wanted to help provide more reliable tools to identify people who are at increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s so that they can be targeted for preventive strategies that would stop brain damage from progressing,” Johns said.
Johns and her colleagues found that people with MCI are impaired in several aspects of executive functioning including inhibitory control and the ability to plan and organize.
Overall, Johns and her colleagues found that all the adults with MCI they tested were impaired in at least one executive function and almost half performed poorly in all the executive function tests.
This finding is significantly different than the deficits found by standard screening tests and clinical interviews, which detected impairments in only 15 percent of those with MCI.
“The problem is that patients and their families have difficulty reporting executive functioning problems to their physician, because they may not have a good understanding of what these problems look like in their everyday life.” Johns said. “That’s why neuropsychological testing is important.”
Experts say executive function deficits impede a person’s ability to functional normally. Even something as easy as running errands and figuring out whether to go to the dry cleaners or to the supermarket can be difficult for adults with MCI. Detecting these problems early could improve patient care and treatment planning.
“If we miss the deficits, we miss out on an opportunity to intervene with the patient and the family to help them know what to expect and how to cope,” said Johns.
Johns hopes her continued research will lead to a better understanding of why these deficits start at such an early stage of Alzheimer’s and what other tools could be used for earlier detection of the disease.
Ultrasound waves applied to the whole brain improve cognitive dysfunction in mice with conditions simulating vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The research, conducted by scientists at Tohoku University in Japan, suggests that this type of therapy may...
A Johns Hopkins Medicine analysis of information gathered for an ongoing and federally sponsored study of aging and disability adds to evidence that a substantial majority of older adults with probable dementia in the United States...
It’s not uncommon to feel disorganized and forgetful when you’re under a lot of stress. But over the long term, stress may actually change your brain in ways that affect your memory. Studies in both animals and...
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.