February 28, 2011 |
Besides age, the biggest risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease is having a parent or other first-degree relative with the condition. A new study adds to growing evidence that inheriting it from your mother is much worse than inheriting it from your father. Researchers at the University of Kansas School of Medicine recruited 21 adult children (age 63 to 83) of Alzheimer’s patients who were still “cognitively intact.” They examined their brains using an MRI scanner on two occasions, two years apart.
February 26, 2011 |
Does being bilingual give young children a mental edge, or does it delay their learning? It depends on who you ask. Bilingual education is regarded by some in education policy circles as little more than a half-baked technique of teaching students whose native language is not English. Though it takes many forms, bilingual education programs usually involve teaching students in both their native languages and in English. How much each language is used, and in which academic contexts, varies by program.
December 15, 2010 |
Alzheimer's disease research in the last two decades has focused on the theory that beta-amyloid plaque accumulates in the brain and leads to the loss of cognitive function. However, this theory has not produced advances in treating the disease, with many clinical trials on drugs targeted at amyloid plaques failing. A new hypothesis on the cause of Alzheimer's should be considered, a leading researcher said Tuesday. Age is the most important risk factor in the disease, said Karl Herrup, chairman of the department of cell biology and neuroscience at Rutgers University.
December 13, 2010 |
Here’s yet another reason to watch your cholesterol – the “good” kind may reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease later in life. That nugget comes from researchers at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. They recruited 1,130 senior citizens from Manhattan (all of them age 65 or older) and took baseline measurements of their cholesterol levels and their neurological states. They also checked to see whether these seniors had a particular mutation in the APOE gene that could increase their risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
December 3, 2010 |
There are lots of ways to raise awareness about a disease -- and having Hollywood celebrities tell their stories always helps. The Alzheimer's Foundation of America has gathered a number of notables, many of whom have a personal connection to the disease, for its first hourlong TV telethon on Saturday night. The Together for Care Telethon will feature, among others, actor Hector Elizondo, the foundation's honorary chairman, who has spoken openly lately about his own family's reluctance to seek help when his mother showed signs of Alzheimer's back in the mid-1960s.
November 30, 2010 |
Walking may put the brakes on cognitive decline in healthy older people as well as those with cognitive impairment, a new study finds. The ongoing study, which spans 20 years, also quantified how much walking is necessary to keep brain volume up. Researchers followed 426 older adults for a number of years to see if there were changes in brain volume. Among the participants 299 were healthy, and 127 had cognitive impairments, including 83 with mild cognitive impairment, and 44 with Alzheimer's disease.
November 17, 2010 |
Alzheimer’s disease isn’t always easy to recognize because early symptoms can be mistaken for normal aging. This is particularly true in the Latino community where awareness and resources may be in short supply. The Chicago Tribune says a new effort in that city aims to close the gap by having specialists conduct memory screenings and follow-up services in Spanish. "Alzheimer's exacts a particularly heavy toll among Latinos, who tend to get the condition almost seven years earlier and live with it longer than white Americans, according to research from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California at San Francisco," the story says.
November 16, 2010 |
A vaccine for Alzheimer's disease has been a long-held goal of researchers studying the devastating disease. Research presented Tuesday at the Society for Neuroscience meeting showed one potential vaccine under study appears both safe and effective in an animal model. Most Alzheimer's vaccine research aims to prevent the accumulation of amyloid-beta plaque in the brain that can interfere with memory and cognition. However, work on a vaccine was derailed when a study in 2002 showed that an investigational vaccine targeting amyloid-beta also caused an autoimmune response that led to dangerous inflammation in the brain.
November 15, 2010 |
Alzheimer's disease threatens more and more people in the United States as the population ages. Anyone concerned about himself or herself or a loved one can get a free memory screen Tuesday at one of more than 2,300 locations across the nation (Tuesday is the Alzheimer's Foundation of America's National Memory Screening Day). The five-minute screenings -- which are to be available at doctors' offices, hospitals, senior centers and K-Mart pharmacies, among other locations -- are confidential.
October 18, 2010
Doctors usually diagnose Alzheimer's disease through a combination of medical and cognitive tests along with a brain scan. New studies, even one involving family members and friends, offer the promise of making the diagnosis easier -- and maybe even earlier. An August study in the Archives of Neurology used biomarkers to correctly classify patients who had Alzheimer's disease. The study tested normal people without the disease, those with mild brain impairments and those with the disease.