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Gene Variant Ups Dementia Risk in Parkinson's Patients: Study

A genetic variant associated with Alzheimer's disease increases the risk of dementia in people with Parkinson's disease, researchers say.

The finding could lead to new treatments for dementia in Parkinson's patients, according to the team at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disorder that causes tremors, ...

Gene Variation May Protect Against Alzheimer's: Study

A breakthrough study has identified a class of natural gene variants that may protect against Alzheimer's disease.

For the study, researchers at University College London analyzed DNA from more than 10,000 people -- half with Alzheimer's and half without. The investigators found that these gene variants reduce the functioning of proteins called tyrosine phosphatases.

These p...

Diets Rich in Fruits, Veggies Could Lower Your Odds for Alzheimer's

Older adults who regularly consume a group of antioxidants called flavonols may have a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests.

The compounds exist in many fruits and vegetables, with the richest sources including green vegetables like kale, spinach and broccoli, apples and tea.

The researchers found that of over 900 older adults they followed ...

When Dementia Harms Speech, Native Language Matters

Dementia patients may develop distinct speech and reading problems depending on their native language, a new study finds.

The study included 20 English-speaking and 18 Italian-speaking patients with primary progressive aphasia (PPA), a neurodegenerative disorder that affects language areas in the brain. It is often associated with dementia.

The patients had a type of PPA cha...

Even 1 Night's Bad Sleep Can Raise Levels of a Brain 'Marker' for Alzheimer's

Poor sleep has been linked to the development of dementia and Alzheimer's disease, and now a new study suggests a possible reason why.

A small group of young, healthy men deprived of just one night of sleep had higher blood levels of tau protein than when they had a full and uninterrupted night of rest, researchers reported in a study published online Jan. 8 in Neurology.

...

Study Might Point Alzheimer's Research in Whole New Direction

A new brain scanning technique is shaking up what researchers thought they knew about Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers now say they can predict with reasonable accuracy which brain regions will wither and atrophy in Alzheimer's by identifying the places where tau protein "tangles" have built up.

"You could really predict which brain regions were going to get damaged just on ...

Obesity in Middle Age Could Raise Odds for Alzheimer's Later

Obesity in middle age is associated with an increased risk of dementia later in life, according to a study of more than 1 million women in the United Kingdom.

Those who were obese in their mid-50s had 21% greater risk of being diagnosed with dementia 15 or more years later, compared with women who had a healthy weight, a team of British and international researchers found.

T...

Ski Your Way to a Healthier Aging Brain

Cross-country skiing may be good for your brain, a new study suggests.

Previous research found that participants of the Vasaloppet, a popular long-distance, cross-country skiing race in Sweden, have a lower risk of heart attack, but potential brain benefits have been unclear.

This new research compared the brain health of about 200,000 who took part in the Vasaloppet between...

Cards, Board Games Could Be a Win for Aging Brains

Playing cards and board games like chess, bingo and Scrabble might be the mental workout you need to keep your wits as you age, Scottish researchers suggest.

People in their 70s who regularly play board games score higher on tests of memory and thinking skills than those who don't. And 70-somethings who step up their game-playing are more likely to maintai...

Can Air Pollution Take a Toll on Your Memory?

Air pollution may trigger Alzheimer's-like brain changes and speed memory decline in older adults, a new study suggests.

Previous research has implied that exposure to fine particle air pollution increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia, but it wasn't clear how this type of pollution affects the brain and memory.

"This is the first study to reall...

Almost Half of Older Americans Fear Dementia, Try Untested Ways to Fight It

Many Americans believe they are likely to develop dementia -- and they often turn to unproven ways to try to better their odds, a new study suggests.

In a survey, researchers found that almost half of Americans in their 50s and 60s believed they were at least "somewhat likely" to develop dementia. Yet few -- 5% -- said they had talked to their doctor about ways to lower their risk...

People Who Can't Read Face 2-3 Times Higher Dementia Risk

Could illiteracy up your odds for dementia?

That's the suggestion of a study that found seniors who couldn't read or write were two to three times more likely to develop dementia than those who could.

The finding "provides strong evidence for a link between illiteracy and dementia risk," said study author Jennifer Manly, a professor of neuropsychology at Columbia University'...

Common Muscle Relaxant Could Pose Mental Dangers for Seniors

A commonly prescribed muscle relaxant known as baclofen can leave older kidney patients so disoriented that they land in the hospital, a new study warns.

"It can present with acute stroke-like symptoms, even though it's not a stroke," said senior researcher Dr. Amit Garg, a professor of nephrology at Western University in Ontario, Canada. "It can present wi...

Down Syndrome Carries Raised Risk of Dementia by 55

Most people with Down syndrome have dementia by age 55, a new study shows.

People with Down syndrome are born with an extra copy of chromosome 21, which often results in developmental disabilities. Surviving to middle age used to be rare, with many dying young due to heart problems associated with the syndrome, the researchers noted.

While treatment advances now enable peopl...

A Gene Kept One Woman From Developing Alzheimer's -- Could It Help Others?

Could one woman's rare genetic mutation one day have a global impact on dementia risk?

It's possible, say investigators who report on a potentially groundbreaking case of a woman whose genetic mutation staved off dementia for decades, even though her brain had already been damaged by Alzheimer's disease.

While most Alzheimer's cases are not driven by genetic predispo...

Are You Lonely? Your Tweets Offer Important Clues, Experts Say

Analyzing people's tweets could reveal if they're lonely, researchers say.

Loneliness -- which has been linked with depression, heart disease, dementia and other health problems -- affects about 1 in 5 adults in the United States.

Researchers analyzed public accounts of Twitter users in Pennsylvania and identified more than 6,200 who used words like "lonely" or "alone" more ...

Test Given at 8 May Predict Your Brain Health in Old Age

If you were good with words and puzzles at age 8, you're likely to fare well on tests of mental acuity at age 70, too.

That's among the findings of a new study that followed the thinking abilities of a group of Britons born in the 1940s. Researchers found that their performance on standard cognitive tests at age 8 predicted their performance around age 70. People who scored in the top...

Number of Americans With Dementia Will Double by 2040: Report

Nearly 13 million Americans will have dementia by 2040 -- nearly twice as many as today, a new report says.

The number of women with dementia is expected to rise from 4.7 million next year to 8.5 million in 2040. The number of men with dementia is projected to increase from 2.6 million to 4.5 million.

Over the next 20 years, the economic impact of Alzheimer's disease and oth...

For Seniors, Financial Woes Can Be Forerunner to Alzheimer's

Unpaid bills, overdrawn accounts, dwindling investments: When seniors begin experiencing fiscal troubles, early dementia or Alzheimer's disease could be an underlying cause, researchers say.

In the early stages of the disease, people with undiagnosed Alzheimer's are at high risk of making foolish and dangerous decisions about their finances, mostly because families may not know they ...

Is Head Injury Causing Dementia? MRI Might Show

When a loved one shows signs of dementia, sometimes a head injury is the cause and MRI scans can help prevent a misdiagnosis of Alzheimer's, researchers report.

As many as 21% of older adults with dementia may be misdiagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, a previous study found. Up to 40% of dementias are caused by conditions other than Alzheimer's disease, according to the Alzhei...

Banned Trans Fats Linked to Higher Dementia Risk: Study

A diet high in trans fats could put you at increased risk for dementia, a new study suggests.

Most trans fats were banned in the United States last year. But foods with less than a half-gram of trans fats can be labeled as containing zero, so some foods still contain them.

The new study included over 1,600 people in Japan without dementia. Their average age was 70, and they ...

Your Personality as a Teen May Predict Your Risk of Dementia

Could your personality as a teen forecast your risk for dementia a half-century later?

Very possibly, say researchers, who found that dementia risk is lower among seniors who were calm, mature and energetic high schoolers.

"Being calm and mature as teen were each associated with roughly a 10% reduction in adult dementia risk," said study co-author Kelly Peters, principal...

What Helps Calm Agitated Dementia Patients?

Dealing with the agitation, anxiety and aggression that often come with dementia is one of the most challenging aspects of caring for someone with this brain disorder. But new research suggests that massage and other non-drug treatments may be more effective than medications.

Even just taking people with dementia outdoors can help, said study author Dr. Jennifer Watt, a geriatrician ...

Standard Memory Tests for Seniors Might Differ by Gender

Are some tests designed to measure memory declines missing signs of trouble in women?

New research suggests that might be the case.

More women than men were diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) when sex-specific scores were used on memory tests, researchers report.

They explained that women generally score higher on verbal memory tests than men, even whe...

Dementia Caregivers Often Face Sleepless Nights

Sleep loss is a problem for people who care for loved ones with dementia, which can put both caregivers and patients at risk, researchers say.

Investigators at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, found caregivers lost between 2.5 to 3.5 hours of sleep a week due to difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep.

"Losing 3.5 hours of sleep per week does not seem much, but caregiv...

Getting Hitched Might Lower Your Odds for Dementia

Marriage has been said to deflect depression, stave off stress, even help people live longer.

Now a new study says it may also decrease your chance of developing dementia.

Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life.

Married people have a far lower chance of being diagnosed with this dreaded disorder than...

How You Can Help Head Off Alzheimer's Disease

There are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk of Alzheimer's disease, according to an expert.

"People think Alzheimer's is an entirely genetic disorder, but most often, it's not," said Dr. Charles Duffy, a neurologist at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pa. "The two biggest risk factors for developing Alzheimer's are a person's age and prior...

For NFL Players, Career Length, Role Affect Future Health Risks: Study

Pro football players who had long careers at key positions are more likely to have concussion-related problems such as confusion, memory loss, depression and anxiety, a new study finds.

In a survey of nearly 3,500 former NFL players (average age 53), 1 in 8 (12%) reported serious cognitive problems. That compares to about 2% of the general U.S. population.

Age didn't...

Dodge Dementia With Healthy Lifestyle

Seniors, here's a recipe for preventing dementia: eat well, exercise and don't smoke.

The only catch, according to a new study? If you carry genes that leave you vulnerable to the memory-robbing disease, lifestyle might not be enough.

In the study, researchers found that of over 6,300 adults aged 55 and older, those with healthy habits had a lower risk of being diagnosed wit...

Deep Brain 'Zap' Restores Vivid Memories to Alzheimer's Patients

Could a pacemaker for the brain improve the memories of people with dementia or Alzheimer's disease?

New research suggests it might be possible one day: Electrical stimulation directed at key memory regions of the brain created intense flashbacks in some Alzheimer's patients, including sensations of emotions, smells, taste and temperature.

In one case, a patient suddenly rec...

Women's Mid-Life Stress Might Have Long-Term Effect on Memory

Stressful experiences in middle age are associated with greater memory loss among women later in life, but this link is not found in men, a new study says.

It included more than 900 adults who were assessed twice in the early 1980s; once between 1993 and 1996; and once between 2003 and 2004. Their average age was 47 at their third visit in the '90s.

During that visit, about ...

Too Much Napping May Signal Alzheimer's

If you often find yourself dosing off during the day, new research suggests it might be an early warning sign that you have Alzheimer's disease.

Areas of the brain that keep you awake during the day are damaged in the early stages of the memory-robbing disease, which is why people with Alzheimer's may nap excessively long before they start to struggle with forgetting things, the stu...

Football Head Trauma Linked Again to Long-Term Brain Damage

Just how dangerous is American football?

Pretty dangerous, a new analysis claims.

Repeated exposure to head trauma during play often causes significant brain damage, researchers report. That damage then gives rise to neurological disease, which then boosts the risk for dementia by the time players reach middle-age and beyond.

The conclusion follows autopsies perfor...

Stay Social to Help Cut Your Odds of Dementia

The evidence continues to mount that staying socially engaged as you age helps keep dementia at bay.

In a new study, British researchers found that being socially active in your 50s and 60s may reduce the risk of developing dementia.

The findings showed that people in their 60s who interacted with friends nearly every day had a 12% lower risk of developing dementia than ...

Blood Test May Spot Brain Changes of Early Alzheimer's

A simple blood test helped pinpoint the early signs of Alzheimer's in a new study.

Up to two decades before people develop Alzheimer's symptoms such as memory loss and confusion, harmful clumps of amyloid beta protein begin to accumulate in their brain, researchers explained.

But it's possible to measure levels of amyloid beta in the blood and use that information to determi...

Anemia Linked to Higher Odds for Dementia in Seniors

Even mild anemia -- low levels of hemoglobin in the blood -- may raise a person's odds for Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia, a new study finds.

The same Dutch research also found a correlation between heightened dementia risk and high blood levels of hemoglobin.

"With around 10% of people over age 65 having anemia in the Americas and Europe, and up to 45...

Clues to Why Women Have Higher Odds for Alzheimer's

Rates of Alzheimer's disease are higher in women than in men, and researchers now think they know why.

A team from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, in Nashville, Tenn., has identified gender differences in how the Alzheimer's-related protein tau spreads in the brain.

Research suggests that tau spreads through the brain like an infection, moving from neuron to neuron and...

More Evidence That Socializing Helps Protect the Aging Brain

Join a book club, take a cruise or just visit friends -- new research supports the notion that social activities help stave off mental decline as you age.

The study found that seniors with high levels of an Alzheimer's-linked protein in their brains were able to slow any mental decline if they got out and socialized regularly.

So, "social engagement may be an important marke...

Could Computers, Crafts Help Preserve the Aging Brain?

Keeping your brain active as you age, whether it be working on a computer, playing games or being socially involved, might ward off memory loss, a new study suggests.

Losing memory as you age is a sign of mild cognitive impairment, which can be a gateway to dementia or Alzheimer's disease. But using your brain can help keep it sharp, and it's never too late to start reaping the benef...

Alzheimer's Genes Might Show Effects in Your 20s

Every college student misplaces keys or forgets an appointment from time to time. Usually it's no big deal. But a new study warns that when young people with a family history of Alzheimer's disease have memory lapses, it could be an early sign of something serious.

That's the concern raised by a new memory test taken by nearly 60,000 men and women between the ages of 18 and 85.

...

Cancer Survivors May Have Lower Odds for Dementia

Researchers have found more evidence of a puzzling phenomenon: Older adults who survive cancer seem to be somewhat protected against dementia.

A number of studies in recent years have found that cancer survivors have a relatively lower risk of developing Alzheimer's.

The new research adds another layer. It shows that even before their diagnosis, older adults who go on to dev...

A-Fib Can Raise Dementia Risk, Even in Absence of Stroke

Many aging Americans have the common heart rhythm disorder known as atrial fibrillation, or "a-fib." Now comes the sobering news that it might raise their odds for dementia.

The Korean study couldn't prove cause and effect, but researchers noted that the link between a-fib and dementia was found even among people who hadn't suffered a stroke. A-fib is a known and potent risk factor fo...

Common Blood Pressure Med Might Help Fight Alzheimer's

Treatment with blood pressure medication can improve blood flow to a key brain region in people with Alzheimer's disease, a small clinical trial has found.

Researchers stressed that they do not know whether the brain finding can translate into any benefits for patients. But future studies should look into that possibility, they said.

The findings, published June 17 in the jo...

For Some, Trouble Tracking Finances Could Be Sign of Dementia

If someone you know is struggling to keep track of their finances as they age, early dementia might be the culprit.

That's the conclusion of researchers who tested 243 adults, aged 55 to 90, on their financial skills and performed brain scans to assess the buildup of beta-amyloid plaques, which are associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Some of the participants had no mental d...

Kids Still Being Poisoned by Detergent Pods

Liquid detergent packets or "pods" continue to poison kids years after their makers volunteered to make them safer.

Such poisonings fell just 18% between 2015 and 2017, a new study reports. From 2012 to 2017, poison control centers fielded nearly 73,000 calls about poisoning from these pods. That's about one call every 42 minutes, and almost 92% involved kids under 6.

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Does Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer Raise Dementia Risk?

When men with prostate cancer have to take drugs that block the testosterone fueling their tumors, they can suffer a host of side effects that include impotence, bone loss, heart trouble and obesity.

But new research uncovers yet another possible downside to the treatment: These men may be at greater risk for dementia.

For any type of dementia, th...

Newly Discovered Illness May Cause Nearly 1 in 5 Dementias, Experts Say

Elderly adults commonly have memory and thinking problems that look a lot like Alzheimer's disease, but they might really be suffering from a different form of dementia.

That's according to an international panel of experts who are giving the disease a name for the first time, and detailing what's known about it so far.

Writing in the April 30 issue of the journal Brain

Can Obesity Shrink Your Brain?

Obese people may show some shrinkage in their brain tissue as early as middle age, a large new study confirms.

The study, based on brain scans of thousands of adults in the United Kingdom, found that those with higher body fat levels tended to show differences in brain structure compared to thinner people.

Those differences included a lower volume of gray matter.

Even a Little More Exercise Might Help Your Brain Stay Young

Alzheimer's and dementia are not an inevitable part of normal aging, and a little exercise might help keep them at bay, a new study suggests.

The researchers found that every hour of light exercise on top of recommended weekly levels of more intense activity reduced brain aging by about a year.

"This study emphasizes the relationship we are seeing between people doing more...

Financial Scammers Often Prey on People With Early Dementia

When older adults fall prey to scam artists, it might in some cases be an early warning of Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests.

The study of 935 older adults found that those who appeared susceptible to scams were at higher risk of mental decline over the next six years. Compared with their more skeptical peers, they were 47% more likely to develop mild cognitive impairment ...

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