View Full Version : Alzheimer's & dementia

11-08-2012, 03:06 PM
New study shows way to detect Alzheimer's earlier...
Alzheimer's detected decades before symptoms
5 November 2012 - Researchers have found some of the earliest signs of Alzheimer's disease, more than two decades before the first symptoms usually appear.

Treating the disease early is thought to be vital to prevent damage to memory and thinking. A study, published in the Lancet Neurology, found differences in the brains of an extended Colombian family predisposed to develop an early form of Alzheimer's. Experts said the US study may give doctors more time to treat people. Alzheimer's disease starts long before anyone would notice; previous studies have shown an effect on the brain 10-15 years before symptoms.

The shrunken brain of an Alzheimer's patient compared with a healthy one

It is only after enough brain cells have died that the signs of dementia begin to appear - some regions of the brain will have lost up to 20% of their brain cells before the disease becomes noticeable. However, doctors fear so much of the brain will have degenerated by this time that it will be too late to treat patients. The failure of recent trials to prevent further cognitive decline in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease has been partly put down to timing.

Early start

A team at the Banner Alzheimer's Institute in Arizona looked at a group of patients in Colombia who have familial Alzheimer's. A genetic mutation means they nearly always get the disease in their 40s. Alzheimer's normally becomes apparent after the age of 75. Brain scans of 20 people with the mutation, aged between 18 and 26, already showed differences compared with those from 24 people who were not destined to develop early Alzheimer's. The fluid which bathes the brain and spinal cord also had higher levels of a protein called beta-amyloid.

The researchers said differences could be detected "more than two decades before" symptoms would appear in these high-risk patients. Dr Eric Reiman, one of the scientists involved, said: "These findings suggest that brain changes begin many years before the clinical onset of Alzheimer's disease. "They raise new questions about the earliest brain changes involved in the predisposition to Alzheimer's and the extent to which they could be targeted by future prevention therapies."

MORE (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-20206267)

11-08-2012, 05:38 PM
Thanks for posting. Good information for the conservative posters on the forum.

Got anything on Romneysia?

Captain Obvious
11-08-2012, 06:09 PM
Thanks for posting. Good information for the conservative posters on the forum.

Got anything on Romneysia?

Please keep to the topic


Other Discussions (http://thepoliticalforums.com/forums/4-Other-Discussions) are for more serious discussion and stricter moderation. The rules apply but, on the positive side, we will also require that all posts make a contribution be it information, question or argumentation, and on the negative side we will not allow trolling, inflammatory remarks, personal attacks, or off-topic comments.

11-08-2012, 07:08 PM
I kind of laughed when I saw this since I have found myself frequently arguing the many benefits of hormonal contraception, which now also apparently could include some protection against Alzheimer's and other conditions which affect cognitive functioning:

Longer Use of Hormonal Contraception During Midlife Predicts Better Cognitive Function Later

ScienceDaily (Nov. 7, 2012) — Premenopausal use of hormonal contraceptives may improve the cognitive abilities of women in midlife and for years afterward. This finding may have implications for prevention of declining cognitive function that occurs with advancing age and in diseases such as Alzheimer's. The beneficial effects of hormones increase the longer a woman uses them, as described in a study published in Journal of Women's Health, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.


11-08-2012, 07:29 PM
I have heard there is research suggesting NOT eating meat contributes to Alzheimer's. It would be (literally) ironic if strict vegetarianism increased one's chances for the disease (no snark intended). I mean eating a lot of vegetables is definitely very healthy overall. Maybe deep down in ways we don't yet understand, man/woman is meant to consume some meat.

11-09-2012, 10:44 AM
I have heard there is research suggesting NOT eating meat contributes to Alzheimer's. It would be (literally) ironic if strict vegetarianism increased one's chances for the disease (no snark intended). I mean eating a lot of vegetables is definitely very healthy overall. Maybe deep down in ways we don't yet understand, man/woman is meant to consume some meat.

Right. You need high quality Omega 3s to protect the CPU. You aren't getting that from non-meat sources.

11-09-2012, 10:56 AM
We're carnivores for a reason.

11-09-2012, 12:59 PM
If your mom or dad had it, most likely you will some won't. Some people say this when their parents have mild strokes, it's not the same. I have known 50 year olds that came down with stage 1. The first signs are when you are talking to someone they after 5 to 10 minutes say the same thing over. It doesn't run in my family but does in my spouses family. Listen and watch for the signs. I called it way before the Dr. on his mom. One of his younger brothers already shows the signs. I worked with these people for a long time. The best thing I have found is to work the mind and try to prolong it. Until we can find a cure.

04-30-2016, 01:03 AM
Worsening depression 'link to dementia'...
Worsening depression 'may predict dementia risk'
Sat, 30 Apr 2016 - Increasing symptoms of depression in older age could indicate early signs of dementia, say scientists.

Other patterns of symptoms, such as chronic depression, appear not to be linked, a study found. Dutch researchers looked at different ways depression in older adults progressed over time and how this related to any risk. They concluded worsening depression may signal the condition is taking hold. The research, published in The Lancet Psychiatry, followed more than 3,000 adults aged 55 and over living in the Netherlands. All had depression but no symptoms of dementia at the start of the study.

A link between depression and dementia has been known for some time

Dr M Arfan Ikram of the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam said depressive symptoms that gradually increase over time appear to be a better predictor of dementia later in life than other paths of depression. "There are a number of potential explanations, including that depression and dementia may both be symptoms of a common underlying cause, or that increasing depressive symptoms are on the starting end of a dementia continuum in older adults," he said. Only the group whose symptoms of depression increased over time were found to be at increased risk of dementia - about one in five of people (55 out of 255) in this group developed dementia. Others who had symptoms that waxed and waned or stayed the same were not at increased risk. For example, in those who experienced low but stable levels of depression, around 10% went on to develop dementia.

Prevention strategies?

The exact nature of depression on dementia risk remains unknown. They often occur together, but the Dutch study is among the first to look at different patterns of depression symptoms. Dr Simone Reppermund from the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, said more studies were needed to understand the link. "A focus on lifestyle factors such as physical activity and social networks, and biological risk factors such as vascular disease, neuroinflammation, high concentrations of stress hormones, and neuropathological changes, might bring new treatment and prevention strategies a step closer," she wrote in a linked editorial in the journal. Depression varies greatly from one person to another. Some experience depressive symptoms only briefly, others have remitting and relapsing depression and some people are depressed all the time.

Dr Simon Ridley, director of research at Alzheimer's Research UK, said anyone concerned about either condition should seek help. "The findings suggest that low levels of depression or fluctuating symptoms may not affect dementia risk but that a worsening of symptoms in the over-55s may be an early indicator of diseases like Alzheimer's," he said. "It's important to remember that only a relatively small number of people experiencing symptoms of depression went on to develop dementia during this 11-year study, but anyone concerned about either condition should talk to their GP."


01-04-2017, 08:59 PM
Granny says, "Dat's right - is prob'ly from breathin' in all dem exhaust fumes...
Dementia rates 'higher near busy roads'
Thu, 05 Jan 2017 - People who live near major roads have higher rates of dementia, research suggests.

People who live near major roads have higher rates of dementia, research published in the Lancet suggests. About 10% of dementia cases in people living within 50m of a major road could be down to traffic, the study suggests. The researchers, who followed nearly 2m people in Canada over 11 years, say air pollution or noisy traffic could be contributing to the brain's decline. Dementia experts in the UK said the findings needed further investigation but were "certainly plausible". Nearly 50 million people around the world have dementia. However, the causes of the disease, that robs people of their memories and brain power, are not understood.

Car exhaust pipes

Population growth

The study in the Lancet followed nearly two million people in the Canadian province of Ontario, between 2001 and 2012. There were 243,611 cases of dementia diagnosed during that time, but the risk was greatest in those living closest to major roads. Compared with those living 300m away from a major road the risk was:

* 7% higher within 50m
* 4% higher between 50-100m
* 2% higher between 101-200m

The analysis suggests 7-11% of dementia cases within 50m of a major road could be caused by traffic.

Dr Hong Chen, from Public Health Ontario and one of the report authors, said: "Increasing population growth and urbanisation have placed many people close to heavy traffic, and with widespread exposure to traffic and growing rates of dementia, even a modest effect from near-road exposure could pose a large public health burden. "More research to understand this link is needed, particularly into the effects of different aspects of traffic, such as air pollutants and noise." The researchers suggest noise, ultrafine particles, nitrogen oxides and particles from tyre-wear may be involved. However, the study looks only at where people diagnosed with dementia live. It cannot prove that the roads are causing the disease.

'Provocative' (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-38506735)

Private Pickle
01-04-2017, 09:01 PM
Granny says, "Dat's right - is prob'ly from breathin' in all dem exhaust fumes...
Dementia rates 'higher near busy roads'
Thu, 05 Jan 2017 - People who live near major roads have higher rates of dementia, research suggests.

Solution? Stop driving cars and stop herding cattle.

Granny says, "Dats right! I'm a granny cause we have the highest life expectancy in history! So quit bitchin about dying at 84! You are on borrowed time!"

*Banjo pickin plays out*

01-05-2017, 04:21 PM
Right. You need high quality Omega 3s to protect the CPU. You aren't getting that from non-meat sources.

What makes meat a high quality source of Omega 3 but not plant sources? I've never heard of that before. Animals get their Omega 3s from eating plants or from eating other animals that have eaten plants.
Therefore I'm skeptical of where the research comes from stating that the best place to get Omega 3s is from meat.

Good plant sources of Omega 3s:

Flax seeds
Chia seeds
Winter squash
Leafy greens
Vegetables in the cabbage family
Wild rice
Honeydew Melon

In order to be healthy, it's very important for Omega 3s to get converted to DHA and EPA in the body. However, high levels of Omega 6 will inhibit the conversion process. And animal sources of Omega 3, more often than not, are much higher in Omega 6 than Omega 3.

01-26-2017, 03:57 AM
Treating tau bundles in Alzheimer's patients...
New Drug Takes on Alzheimer’s by Sweeping for Protein Clumps
January 25, 2017 - Scientists have developed a drug they hope will benefit people with Alzheimer’s disease, which afflicts an estimated 44 million people around the world. The new compound sweeps away abnormal protein clumps in the brain which are a hallmark of the neurodegenerative disorder.

In a study reported in the journal Science Translational Medicine, researchers describe how a synthetic drug, called antisense oligoneucleotide, reduced the production and in some cases cleared clumps of tau in the brain. Tau bundles are one of the hallmarks of the disease, along with beta amyloid deposits, another destructive protein. By stopping the formation of tau, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, found they could extend the lives of mice that were bred to have collections of human tau in their brains.

An image shows activity in a human brain. Scientists have developed a drug capable of sweeping away abnormal protein clumps in the brain which are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.

Lead author Sara DeVos said scientists saw an improvement in their condition. “So these mice die earlier than normal. So when we treat with our drug, the mice live longer and we can also prevent neurons from dying. So if we give this drug, the neurons will no longer die as a result of these tau bundles,” said DeVos The investigators also tested the compound in monkeys and saw positive results.

Human testing expected soon

Antisense oligneucleotide targets the genetic instructions for building tau. The molecule binds to messenger RNA, which carries out the DNA blueprint for life, preventing tau from being produced. The drug can be made to target RNA for destruction of any protein, said scientists. Tim Miller, a professor of neurology at Washington University and senior author of the study, hopes the drug, developed with Ionis Pharmaceuticals, will soon be tested in humans with Alzheimer’s disease. “The most exciting and most interesting ... is to apply this to people who we presume have abnormal tau to test the hypothesis whether lowering tau in those people will be of benefit to those people,” he said.

Patients with Alzheimer's and dementia are seen during a therapy session. Alzheimer's afflicts an estimated 44 million people around the world.

Other types of antisense oligoneucleotides have been approved by U.S. regulators and are being used to treat the neurodegenerative disease muscular dystrophy and spinal muscular atrophy. The compound is in clinical trials for Huntington’s disease and ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Because tau deposits are only a piece of the puzzle that causes Alzheimer’s, the investigators envision using the drug with other treatments, also in development. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, which primarily strikes senior adults, leading to a decline in mental functioning and eventually death.


01-26-2017, 04:09 AM
I wonder if this drug would also be effective for treating Lewy body disorder? That's what Robin Williams (supposedly) had and what my late father in law was diagnosed with. It, too, results in the formation of protein "bodies" in the brain.

Looks like positive news so far.

Fingers crossed.

06-16-2017, 12:23 AM
Don't give yer Granny Liquid Laundry Detergent Pods - she might think it's candy...
Liquid Laundry Detergent Pods Pose Lethal Risk for Adults With Dementia
June 15, 2017 - One day last May, an 87-year-old woman named Edith was rushed to the hospital in a small Texas town after she was found slumped over and unresponsive at the home where she lived with her son and daughter-in-law. The woman, who suffered from dementia, had eaten two liquid laundry detergent packets. She died two days later.

Edith’s is one of eight deaths related to ingesting liquid laundry packets in the U.S. between 2012 and early 2017 that have been reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Two of the cases were young children and six were adults with dementia. “Caregivers and children of seniors should be aware that ingestion of the contents of certain liquid laundry packets has led to serious and even tragic incidents,” says Patty Davis, press secretary for the CPSC. “Water, wet hands, and even saliva can dissolve the packets and release the highly concentrated liquid.”


Liquid laundry detergent packets are squishy like playthings and colorful like candy, which helps explain why children can be drawn to them. Not long after Tide Pods debuted in a television commercial during the Academy Awards in 2012, promoting a new product category, Consumer Reports began calling on manufacturers to make liquid packets safer. CR’s advice to consumers has been to keep laundry packets out of households where children under 6 years old may be present. And although some manufacturers have made some changes to the packaging and the product itself, pods continue to pose serious health risks. Now it’s clear that kids aren’t the only vulnerable population.

Consumer Reports learned about the pod-related deaths through a Freedom of Information Act request that we filed earlier this year with the CPSC. (CR discovered Edith's name through further reporting but chose to withhold her last name in the interest of her family’s privacy.) According to the information we received from the CPSC, Edith had seemed fine during lunch, just a few hours before she was found. The first clues as to what happened came when her daughter-in-law returned home from the hospital to collect a few things. She found that the pungent smell of laundry detergent filled Edith’s bedroom, and a new container of liquid laundry detergent packets had been opened. Several of the pink pods were missing. Edith, who had been known to mistake objects for candy, had eaten them. The medical examiner ruled her death an accident; ingestion of laundry detergent was listed as the cause.


Six of the eight deaths, including Edith's, involved pods manufactured by Procter & Gamble, according to the CPSC reports. P&G’s laundry packets are the industry's biggest sellers, with its Tide Pods and sibling brands representing 79 percent of the market, according to IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm. “We are aware of accidental ingestions related to our liquid laundry pacs among adults with previously diagnosed dementia,” Elizabeth Kinney, P&G’s senior communications manager for North America fabric care, told CR. “We are deeply saddened by this and have taken action to understand and help prevent these types of incidents.” Sales of laundry pods totaled $1.2 billion over a recent 12-month period, according to IRI, and accounted for 17 percent of all laundry detergent sales.

Reported Cases (https://www.yahoo.com/news/liquid-laundry-detergent-pods-pose-100006459.html)

06-17-2017, 04:40 PM
I have heard there is research suggesting NOT eating meat contributes to Alzheimer's.

I have read the opposite. Red meat, for example, is rich in heme iron which can accumulate in the brain. Excess iron can create free radicals in the brain, thereby damaging neurons. On the other hand, we can get all the iron we need from such foods as dark leafy greens and beans. Iron from plant foods is called non-heme iron and will not accumulate to reach excess levels in the brain. Excess amounts of non-heme iron will simply be disposed of. High levels of copper can likewise be a problem.

Perhaps what you were referring to is a deficiency of iron. But a healthy variety of plant foods should not lead to deficiency.

Search: New Study Links Excess Iron With Alzheimer's Disease

Also, you can read about this in the following book: 100 Simple Things You Can Do To Prevent Alzheimer's And Age Related Dementia

06-20-2017, 11:32 PM
When Granny gets cranky, Uncle Ferd shows her ol' folks home brochures...
What It's Like Being the Long-Distance Caregiver of a Parent with Dementia
June 20, 2017 - I am my mom's primary caregiver, but I cannot be with her all the time, which adds a lot of responsibility and stress to my life. My mom has dementia. She lives in her own apartment in Hilton Head, SC, within a complex for seniors where aides come to check on her between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

They make sure she is taking her medication, showering, and eating properly. I live with my husband in Massachusetts and my daughter and her family live near my mom. My daughter visits her often-sometimes to check on her but mostly to take her out to dinner or the park so her kids can spend quality time with their GiGi. Fully trusting and relying on someone else to take care of my mom, even someone in the family, is tough. Each month I make it a point to write or talk to the head nurse of the complex to set up my mom's doctors' appointments, review her grocery bills, and plan her weekly activities. But once I hang up, I have to trust that someone else is taking care of things and that my mom is safe because when I call and ask my mom if she ate lunch or went to the dentist when she was supposed to, her response is always "I don't know," or worse, "no."

Caregiving from 1,000 miles away has its challenges.

About two years ago, I had to have a heartfelt conversation with my mom to tell her she couldn't go to her singing group anymore and needed an aide to help her on a daily basis. It was a challenging conversation to say the least. My mother loves to sing. For years, she sang with a choir in Hilton Head. But one day, she went to the wrong place for practice. Then I got a call from another singer in the group saying my mom's hygiene was bad, as if she hadn't showered in days. I was miles away at home, but I knew I needed to fly down to South Carolina and check on my mom. This is when I realized that she was beginning to struggle with signs of dementia. We sat in the car to have this conversation like I used to do with my daughter-they can't walk away, they have to listen. I put my hand on her shoulder and I didn't cry. I'm a crier but I was determined to have her understand why she needed the help a senior facility would provide. Since I was only visiting for a brief time during a break from my job as a junior high school teacher, I had to accomplish so much. My life as well as my mother's was becoming a little more complex.

We have journeyed through the adjustment period. Since then she's settled into her life in her new apartment with the help of her aides. We talk regularly, but the changes I notice in her tend to upset me. When I was a kid, my mom was president of the PTO and now it can be too difficult for her to go to activities in her senior complex-she wouldn't remember what time, where to go, or what to wear. It's hard to see her less vibrant than I'm used to. She spends a lot of time sitting alone in her apartment. By going to caregiver meetings, talking with other caregivers, and reading articles, I learned how to have a relationship with my mom on a far different level than it had ever been. Before I call her, I write down a list of what we could talk about since she never has much to say. I also like to zone in on her lucid moments-if she tells me a story about her uncle or why she likes a certain tomato salad, I try to write it down. The good news is that I have the chance to build a new type of relationship with her, when so many of my friends don't have their mom around anymore. I feel happier and relieved since I altered the way I deal with my mom and think about the shift in our relationship.


Now that I'm 58 and retired, I bought a condo in Hilton Head and stay down there for longer periods of time, a month or more. That's part of the reason why I decided to retire. I can spend more than a few days in South Carolina and take my mom to appointments as well as spend some quality fun time with her. On my most recent visit, we went out to dinner twice, saw a show, and went to the movies. An aide curled my mom's hair, helped her pick out a skirt, and even put a spritz of perfume on. Being there makes it easier for us both. I can see that she has good days when she'll tell me about my grandson's visit and a concert she saw. And when I leave, I can't think about how she's possibly sitting in her apartment all alone, like I tend to imagine. I know she is safe and that I have to let go of my guilt for not being there and trust the people who care for her.

The most important thing I've learned is that my mom just wants to be treated with respect and dignity; just like she always did. Nothing had changed really, except how I act and react to her. I still need to be the strong-handed, in-charge person many times. I have also changed my tone of voice and the way I word what needs to be said when speaking important themes to her. In a few years, my husband and I hope to move down to South Carolina full time, which I'm sure will create new obstacles and teach me new lessons. My mom and I have both come to an understanding of what our roles are to be. I am the daughter but caregiver who makes decisions that keep her safe and presumably happy. When I am down there, she likes it because "I can do the thinking for her." She is the person who is trying to grasp this new way of having to think, act, and, react to her life.

I have learned to recognize when I need to step away, have some alone time, and especially reach out to others for support. I need to give myself permission to be me in order to be there for her.


06-23-2017, 07:23 AM
Granny gonna start usin' olive oil to fry chicken...
Study: Olive Oil Protects Brain From Alzheimer’s
June 22, 2017 - The benefits of a Mediterranean diet are widely chronicled, but new research shows extra-virgin olive oil, a key part of the diet, may protect “against cognitive decline.”

Specifically, researchers at Temple University in Philadelphia say extra-virgin olive oil “protects memory and learning ability and reduces the formation of amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain – classic markers of Alzheimer's disease.” Researcher say olive oil reduced inflammation and triggers a process called autophagy, which helps broken down cells to flush intracellular debris and toxins. This includes amyloid plaques and tau tangles, the latter of which is associated with memory loss in Alzheimer’s. “Brain cells from mice fed diets enriched with extra-virgin olive oil had higher levels of autophagy and reduced levels of amyloid plaques and phosphorylated tau,” said senior investigator Domenico Praticò.

For their study, the researchers looked at mice with three traits of Alzheimer’s: memory impairment, amyloid plaques, and neurofibrillary tangles. The mice were put into two groups, one group got a diet enriched with extra-virgin olive oil, while the other group received a normal diet. The olive oil was given to the mice when they were only six months old and before any symptoms of Alzheimer’s set in. While there was no difference in the appearance of the mice, at age 9 months and 12 months, the mice in the olive oil group “performed significantly better on tests designed to evaluate working memory, spatial memory, and learning abilities.”

Olive oil, according to a new study, could help stave off Alzheimer's disease.

An analysis of the brain tissue of the mice revealed more differences. “One thing that stood out immediately was synaptic integrity,” Praticò said. The integrity of the connections between neurons, known as synapses, were preserved in animals on the extra-virgin olive oil diet. In addition, compared to mice on a regular diet, brain cells from animals in the olive oil group showed a dramatic increase in nerve-cell autophagy activation, which ultimately was responsible for the reduction in levels of amyloid plaques and phosphorylated tau.”

Next, researchers plan to see what happens to mice who are given olive oil at 12 months, when they are already showing symptoms. “Usually when a patient sees a doctor for suspected symptoms of dementia, the disease is already present,” Praticò added. “We want to know whether olive oil added at a later time point in the diet can stop or reverse the disease.” The study was published online June 21 in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology.


11-23-2017, 11:05 AM
Granny does crossword puzzles fer brain exercise...
Researchers identify first brain training exercise positively linked to dementia prevention
Nov. 16, 2017 - Aging research specialists have identified, for the first time, a form of mental exercise that can reduce the risk of dementia.

The cognitive training, called speed of processing, showed benefits up to 10 years after study participants underwent the mental exercise program, said Frederick W. Unverzagt, PhD, professor of psychiatry at Indiana University School of Medicine. The proportion of participants who underwent the training and later developed dementia was significantly smaller than among those who received no cognitive training, the researchers said. There were measurable benefits even though the amount of training was small and spread out over time: 10 one-hour sessions over six weeks initially and up to eight booster sessions after that. "We would consider this a relatively small dose of training, a low intensity intervention. The persistence – the durability of the effect was impressive," said Dr. Unverzagt, who explains more in a Q&A blog post. Results from the Advanced Cognitive Training in Vital Elderly – ACTIVE – study of 2,802 older adults were recently reported in Alzheimer & Dementia Translational Research and Clinical Interventions, a peer-reviewed journal of the Alzheimer's Association.

The researchers, from IU, the University of South Florida, Pennsylvania State University and Moderna Therapeutics, examined healthy adults aged 65 years and older from multiple sites and who were randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups:

Participants who received instructions and practice in strategies to improve memory of life events and activities.
Participants who received instruction and practice in strategies to help with problem solving and related issues.
Participants who received computer-based speed of processing exercises – exercises designed to increase the amount and complexity of information they could process quickly.
A control group whose members did not participate in any cognitive training program.

Initial training consisted of 10 sessions lasting about an hour, over a period of five to six weeks. A subset of participants who completed least 80 percent of the first round of training sessions were eligible to receive booster training, which consisted of four 60 to 75-minute sessions 11 months and 35 months following the initial training. Participants were assessed immediately after training and at one, two, three, five and 10 years after training. After attrition due to death and other factors, 1,220 participants completed the 10-year follow-up assessment. During that time, 260 participants developed dementia. The risk of developing dementia was 29 percent lower for participants in speed of processing training than for those who were in the control group, a statistically significant difference. Moreover, the benefits of the training were stronger for those who underwent booster training. While the memory and reasoning training also showed benefits for reducing dementia risk, the results were not statistically significant. Dr. Unverzagt noted that the speed of processing training used computerized "adaptive training" software with touch screens. Participants were asked to identify objects in the center of the screen, while also identifying the location of briefly appearing objects in the periphery. The software would adjust the speed and difficulty of the exercises based on how well participants performed.

In contrast the memory and reasoning programs used more traditional instruction and practice techniques as might occur in a classroom setting. Earlier studies had shown that ACTIVE cognitive training improved participants' cognitive abilities and the ease of engaging in activities of daily living five and 10 years after the initial training. However, an examination of the role of ACTIVE cognitive training on dementia incidence was not significant after five years of follow-up. The ACTIVE study was supported by grants from the National Institute of Nursing Research (U01 NR04508, U01 NR04507) and the National Institute on Aging (U01 AG14260, U01 AG 14282, U01 AG 14263, U01 AG14289, U01 AG 014276). The newly reported analyses of the impact on dementia were supported by the Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center (P30AG10133) and the Cognitive and Aerobic Resilience for the Brain Trial (R01 AG045157). In addition to Dr. Unverzagt, researchers involved in the study were first author Jerri D. Edwards of the University of South Florida, Huiping Xu and Daniel O. Clark of IU School of Medicine, Lin T. Guey of Moderna Therapeutics of Cambridge, Mass., and Lesley A. Ross of the Pennsylvania State University.


12-08-2017, 06:55 PM
Uncle Ferd says Granny gettin' goofier as she gets older...
Dementia Set to Triple in Next 30 Years as Global Population Ages
December 07, 2017 — The World Health Organization warns the number of people living with dementia globally will triple from 50 million to 152 million by 2050. WHO is launching a global monitoring system on dementia, which will track progress and identify areas of concern.

The WHO reports dementia exacts a huge social and economic burden, one that will grow as people age and succumb to this mental illness. The agency estimates five percent of the world’s older population suffers from dementia and is in need of care. Belying common belief, WHO says this is not mainly a problem of rich countries as dementia also affects people living in poorer countries.

The health agency says the cost of caring for dementia patients today is $818 billion or one percent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product. Tarun Dua is a medical officer in WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse. She says this economic cost will be more than $2 trillion by 2030. “Moreover, there is stigma, human rights violations associated with people with dementia and their caregivers," said Dua. "And, therefore, it is imperative that we have a public health response. An important step that has been taken by all member States has been endorsing an action plan on dementia this year.”


[CENTER]https://gdb.voanews.com/752621BF-7287-4281-B71A-DE773AD91F42_w1023_r1_s.jpg] Kim Mueller, left, administers a test to Alan Sweet, in which he describes an illustration, as part of a University of Wisconsin-Madison study on dementia
She says the plan focuses on caring for people who have dementia, on preventing and on finding a cure for this illness. She says raising awareness of this problem is essential. “Many people consider that dementia is a normal part of ageing, which is not true," said Dua. "We need to think about risking, preventing dementia because the risk factors for dementia are the same for communicable diseases. So, good exercise, good diet, no tobacco, decreasing alcohol, all of this can decrease the risk of dementia.”

Along with this, she says elderly people who suffer from depression should receive treatment for this malady. She says social inclusion and cognitive exercise are other strategies that should be employed to reduce the risk of dementia.


12-20-2017, 05:37 AM
Granny likes playin' hula-hoops...
Study: There's No Fail-safe Way to Prevent Dementia
December 19, 2017 - A new study has dashed hopes that people may be able to protect themselves from dementia through medicine, diet or exercise. "To put it simply, all evidence indicates that there is no magic bullet," Dr. Eric Larson wrote in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The study outlined in the medical journal looked at four types of intervention to try to prevent dementia — prescription drugs, exercise, cognitive training, and nonprescription vitamins and supplements. Researchers found none worked.

Patients with Alzheimer's disease and dementia are seen during a therapy session in Mexico City.

The Lancet, a British medical journal, ​reported earlier this year that about one-third of dementia cases could be linked to such conditions as cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, a lack of exercise and depression.

While Larson said there was no simple answer to the prevention of dementia, he highly recommended a commonsense, healthful lifestyle that may help delay the disease. It would involve exercising regularly, refraining from smoking, eating a healthful diet and taking part in activities that stimulate the brain.


01-11-2018, 03:46 AM
Will also affect Parkinson's research...
Pharma giant Pfizer pulls out of research into Alzheimer's
10 January 2018 - Drug company Pfizer has announced it is pulling out of research into drugs to treat Alzheimer's disease.

The US-based pharmaceutical giant said it would be ending its neuroscience discovery programmes following a review, and 300 jobs would be lost. The Alzheimer's Society called the news "disappointing" and a "heavy blow" to those living with dementia. Companies should be encouraged to invest in research into neuroscience, Alzheimer's Research UK said. The move means Pfizer will also stop looking for treatments for Parkinson's disease, but the company said it planned to create a new fund dedicated to neuroscience research in the future. A statement from the company said: "We have made the decision to end our neuroscience discovery and early development efforts and re-allocate funding to those areas where we have strong scientific leadership and that will allow us to provide the greatest impact for patients."

Complex brain

Prof Tara Spire-Jones, a neuroscientist at Edinburgh University, told the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 that despite the decision, there was still a lot of hope. "Not all pharmaceutical companies are pulling out and there are over 100 clinical trials at the moment. "There is a lot going on in the basic science - we need to understand the complexity of the brain." She said Pfizer's decision was understandable because of the failure rate of clinical trials. "More than 99% of trials for Alzheimer's drugs have failed in past 15 years. "So companies are justifiably cautious, but we are making great advances on the scientific front."

Pfizer's decision will affect research into drugs for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease

Prof Spire-Jones added: "We've learned from these failures of trials that we need to take a step back and understand brain changes. "At the moment we don't fully understand how memory and thinking work fully in a healthy brain." Pharmaceutical companies including Novartis, Janssen, Biogen, Abbvie and Eli Lilly are still developing medicines to treat Alzheimer's disease and a spokesman for the ABPI (Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry) said they continued "to make progress in unravelling the complexities of the brain and identifying the underpinnings of the disease".

Dr James Pickett, head of research at Alzheimer's Society, said: "Of course it's disappointing to hear that Pfizer, one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies, will be terminating their research efforts in neuroscience, including Alzheimer's disease drug discovery. "The brain is the most complex organ in the body and developing drugs to treat brain diseases is a tremendous challenge, but with no new drug for dementia in the last 15 years, this will come as a heavy blow to the estimated 46.8 million people currently living with the condition across the globe."

Long-term commitment

The Alzheimer's Society said it had committed £50m to fund new research at the UK Dementia Research Institute alongside Alzheimer's Research UK and the Medical Research Council. Dr Matthew Norton, director of policy at Alzheimer's Research UK, said: "We hope that pharmaceutical companies will look at the long-term potential when deciding whether to participate in this effort. "It is vital that all of us - charities, government and industry alike - make long-term commitments to dementia research if we are to bring an end to the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia." Currently, about 850,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia. One million people are predicted to be living with the condition by 2021, and this could rise to two million by 2051.


01-30-2018, 07:00 AM
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy acts as a pace maker for Alzheimer's patients..
Brain 'pacemaker' for Alzheimer's
30 Jan.`18 - LaVonne Moore has Alzheimer's disease, but her doctors hope her dementia symptoms could possibly be kept in check by a new type of treatment.

Electric wires implanted deep in her brain stimulate areas involved with decision-making and problem-solving. Unlike many long-term dementia patients, LaVonne, 85, can cook meals, dress herself and organise outings. But it remains unclear whether her deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy is responsible for her independence. DBS is already helping hundreds of thousands of patients with Parkinson's disease to overcome symptoms of tremor, but its use in Alzheimer's is still very experimental.

Scan showing the implanted wires

Only a small number of DBS studies have been done for Alzheimer's and they have focused on stimulating brain regions governing memory, rather than judgement. But Dr Douglas Scharre and colleagues at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center believe their approach, which targets the decision-making frontal lobe of the brain, might help patients keep their independence for longer.

Deep brain stimulation

* Involves permanently implanting very fine wires, with electrodes, into the brain, under anaesthetic
* The wires are connected to a pulse generator (pacemaker) under the skin of the chest wall
* The device delivers electric stimulation to the brain to improve function or reduce symptoms

LaVonne's brain pacemaker was implanted three and a half years ago. Since then, her husband, Tom, from Delaware, Ohio, says her dementia has worsened - but more slowly than he had expected. "LaVonne has had Alzheimer's disease longer than anybody I know, and that sounds negative, but it's really a positive thing because it shows that we're doing something right." Two other patients have had the same treatment as LaVonne, but only one of them appeared to benefit significantly, according to the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. Experts say it is too early to say if the treatment will help counteract cognitive decline.

Larger trials

Neurosurgery expert Prof Andres Lozano, who has been conducting his own DBS trials in Alzheimer's patients in Canada, said: "We desperately need a novel treatment for Alzheimer's. "This may seem bold and aggressive to some, but it is promising. Studies so far show it is safe. "We've got patients with Parkinson's who have had these devices inside of them for 30 years with no problems. "Although we are not talking about treating the Alzheimer's degeneration, we can look at changing the downstream consequences by turning parts of the brain back on." Dr Carol Routledge from Alzheimer's Research UK, said: "The study did not compare against a dummy treatment and so while signs of benefit are worthy of follow-up, the full benefits and cost-effectiveness of this treatment need much more robust investigation in larger trials."


03-06-2018, 11:19 PM
3 Brits and German share Alzheimer's brain research prize...
Alzheimer's researchers win brain prize
6 March 2018 - Four dementia scientists have shared this year's 1m Euro brain prize for pivotal work that has changed our understanding of Alzheimer's disease.

Profs John Hardy, Bart De Strooper, Michael Goedert, based in the UK, and Prof Christian Haass, from Germany, unpicked key protein changes that lead to this most common type of dementia. On getting the award, Prof Hardy said he hoped new treatments could be found. He is donating some of his prize money to care for Alzheimer's patients. Much of the drug discovery research that's done today builds on their pioneering work, looking for ways to stop the build-up of damaging proteins, such as amyloid and tau. Alzheimer's and other dementias affect 50 million people around the world, and none of the treatments currently available can stop the disease.

Path to beating Alzheimer's

Prof Hardy's work includes finding rare, faulty genes linked to Alzheimer's disease. These genetic errors implicated a build-up of amyloid as the event that kick-starts damage to nerve cells in Alzheimer's. This idea, known as the amyloid cascade hypothesis, has been central to Alzheimer's research for nearly 30 years. Together with Prof Haass, who is from the University of Munich, Prof Hardy, who's now at University College London, then discovered how amyloid production changes in people with rare inherited forms of Alzheimer's dementia. Prof Goedert's research at Cambridge University, meanwhile, revealed the importance of another damaging protein, called tau, while Prof De Stooper, who is the new director of the UK Dementia Research Institute at UCL, discovered how genetic errors that alter the activity of proteins called secretases can lead to Alzheimer's processes.

Alzheimer's disease brain (left) compared to normal (right)

Dr David Reynolds, Chief Scientific Officer at Alzheimer's Research UK, said: "Our congratulations go to all four of these outstanding scientists whose vital contributions have transformed our understanding of the complex causes of Alzheimer's disease. "The fact that three of these researchers work in the UK reflects the country's position as a global leader in dementia research." Prof Hardy said he would be donating around 5,000 euros of his share of the 1m euros from the Lundbeck Foundation to help campaigns to keep Britain in the EU, and called Brexit a "unmitigated disaster" for scientific research. He also pledged his thanks to all the people with Alzheimer's who, over the years, have volunteered to help with dementia research.


See also:

How one woman and her family transformed Alzheimer's research

07-26-2018, 11:05 PM
Lowering Blood Pressure Cut Risk of Memory Decline...
Lowering Blood Pressure Cut Risk of Memory Decline: US Study
July 25, 2018 — Aggressively lowering blood pressure significantly reduced the risk of mild cognitive impairment and dementia among hypertension patients in a large government-backed clinical trial, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

The results, presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Chicago, offer some of the first tangible steps individuals can take to reduce their risk for dementia, experts said. The results come from a landmark 2015 trial dubbed SPRINT involving of more than 9,300 hypertension patients which showed significant cardiovascular benefits in people whose systolic blood pressure - the top number in a blood pressure reading - was lowered aggressively to below 120, compared to a higher target of under 140. The Sprint MIND study looked specifically at the implications of aggressive blood pressure lowering on symptoms of dementia from any cause, and mild cognitive impairment, or MCI, a precursor to dementia.

It found that people whose blood pressure was lowered to below 120 had a 19 percent lower rate of new cases of mild cognitive impairment and a 15 percent reduction in MCI and dementia combined. The takeaway of the study, said Dr. Keith Fargo, director of scientific and outreach programs at the Alzheimer’s Association, is “see your doctor and know your numbers,” and if individuals have hypertension, get it treated. “Not only do we already know that it reduces the risk for death due to stroke and heart attacks but we now know it supports healthy brain aging,” he said in an interview.

A man has his blood pressure checked at the Remote Area Medical Clinic in Wise, Virginia

Although the study showed effects on MCI and combined dementia plus MCI, it did not show an overall reduction in dementia alone, at least not yet. Fargo said it takes longer for people to develop dementia, but as the study continues, he expects more people treated to the higher target of 140 will develop dementia. “Since it’s too early, too few people have developed dementia,” he said.

The study looked at all causes of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, the most common form marked by clumps of amyloid in the brain, and vascular dementia, which is caused by blocked blood flow to the brain. Fargo said the result most likely affects the impact of blood pressure lowering on vascular dementia but noted that many people with Alzheimer’s also have some degree of vascular disease, and reducing the total dementia risk could delay the onset of memory problems.