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29 April 2022

New Research Identifies Blood Biomarker for Predicting Dementia Before Symptoms Develop

Emer McGrath

New research from NUI Galway and Boston University has identified a blood biomarker that could help identify people with the earliest signs of dementia, even before the onset of symptoms. The researchers measured blood levels of P-tau181, a marker of neurodegeneration, in 52 cognitively healthy adults, from the US-based Framingham Heart Study, who later went on to have specialized brain PET scans. The blood samples were taken from people who had no cognitive symptoms and who had normal cognitive testing at the time of blood testing.

31 March 2022

Damage to Inner Ear System Predicts Fall Risk Among People with Alzheimer’s Disease

Johns Hopkins Medicine

A Johns Hopkins Medicine study of about 50 people with Alzheimer’s disease has added to evidence that damage to the inner ear system that controls balance is a major factor in patients’ well-documented higher risk of falling. Overall, the researchers say, their study found that impairment of the vestibular system was linked to a 50% increase in the risk of falling for patients with Alzheimer’s compared with patients who have Alzheimer’s and normal vestibular function.

9 March 2022

Baycrest-Led Audiology Study Finds Screening Memory Clinic Patients for Hearing Loss Helps in Physicians’ Management of Important Risk Factors for Dementia

A new study led by a Baycrest clinician-scientist titled “Enhancing Clinical Visibility of Hearing Loss in Cognitive Decline” demonstrated that point of care screening for hearing loss in patients of a memory clinic raised physicians’ awareness of its high prevalence among their patients and led to more frequent referrals for hearing help.

4 March 2022

Damage Early in Alzheimer’s Disease Identified via Novel MRI Approach

MRI scan of the hippocampus

Alzheimer’s disease usually is diagnosed based on symptoms, such as when a person shows signs of memory loss and difficulty thinking. Up until now, MRI brain scans haven’t proven useful for early diagnosis in clinical practice. Such scans can reveal signs of brain shrinkage due to Alzheimer’s, but the signs only become unmistakable late in the course of the disease, long after the brain is significantly damaged and most people have been diagnosed via other means.

14 February 2022

Lower Acculturation Linked with Poorer Cognitive Function in Older Hispanics

A new study on culture and cognition found that long-term Hispanic immigrants who were less acculturated to the US performed significantly worse on cognitive function tests than their highly acculturated peers. A team of researchers led by scientists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign assessed the acculturation levels and cognitive function of more than 600 Hispanics age 60 or older who were born in or had immigrated to the US.

27 January 2022

Preliminary Effect of Transcranial Electrical Stimulation on Protein Clearance in Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease

Journal of Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) incidence is constantly increasing worldwide and patients have limited therapeutic options, that ultimately are not able to stop the cognitive decline. A recent study, published in JAD, has found preliminary results of clearance of the toxic proteins that accumulates in the brain of patients with AD after 1 month of noninvasive electrical treatment. Results were paralleled by an increase in fast oscillatory brain activity in the so-called Gamma frequency band, usually decreased in patients with AD.

24 January 2022

Less Psychosocial Problems in Patients with Dementia During Second COVID-19 Lockdown

POLAR project

Patients with dementia and their loved ones are now better able to adapt to the challenges of a lockdown. They reported less psychosocial problems, such as anxiety, during the second lockdown. They also experienced more social support compared to the first lockdown. This is the conclusion of a study into the psychosocial consequences of the pandemic for patients with dementia and their loved ones. The results were recently published in JAD.

10 January 2022

rTMS as a Treatment for Veterans with Cognitive Impairment and Multiple Comorbidities

Current treatments for Alzheimer’s disease are of limited effectiveness and do not halt the progression of the disease and associated cognitive decline. A study, published in JAD, shows that a novel treatment, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), may have the potential of improving the memory function in veterans with cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease.

23 December 2021

Serious Cognitive Impairment Declines 23% Among Older American Women Over a Decade

Esme Fuller-Thomson-photo by Harry Choi

A new nationally representative study published online in JAD found an abrupt decline in the prevalence of cognitive impairment among American adults aged 65 and older compared to the same age group a decade earlier. In 2008, 12.2% of older Americans reported serious cognitive problems. In 2017, the percentage had declined to 10.0%. To put this into perspective, if the prevalence of cognitive impairment had remained at the 2008 levels, an additional 1.13 million older Americans would have experienced cognitive impairment in 2017.

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