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27 July 2016

Artistic skills emerge as dementia progresses

Olivier Piguet

A new study by researchers at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) has identified the emergence of positive changes that occur after a person has been diagnosed with dementia. The first of its kind, the study has confirmed anecdotal evidence that creative skills such as painting, drawing, or singing – which were not previously evident in an individual – can emerge or improve in people with Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia.

14 July 2016

Mark W. Bondi, PhD, Recipient of 2016 Alzheimer Award

Alzheimer Medal

The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (JAD) is pleased to announce that Mark W. Bondi has been chosen as the recipient of the 2016 Alzheimer Award presented by the journal in recognition of his outstanding work on the development of a novel and promising method of staging preclinical Alzheimer’s disease (AD) based on number of abnormal biomarkers that is predictive of progression to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD.

12 July 2016

Estrogen Patch in Newly Postmenopausal Women May Reduce Alzheimer’s Risk

Can estrogen preserve brain function and decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease when given early in menopause? Newly postmenopausal women who received estrogen via a skin patch had reduced beta-amyloid deposits, the sticky plaques found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, a Mayo Clinic study published this month in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found. Ultimately, these deposits harm neurons, leading to cognitive problems.

12 July 2016

Driving ability of people with cognitive impairment difficult to assess: research review

Megan Hird: Courtesy of St. Michael's Hospital

No single assessment tool is able to consistently determine driving ability in people with Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment, a St. Michael’s Hospital research review has found. Individuals with very mild and mild Alzheimer’s disease who took a road test had a failure rate of 13.6 and 33.3 per cent respectively, compared to a failure rate of 1.6 per cent in drivers without Alzheimer’s disease. However, in general, patients with any degree of Alzheimer’s disease still had a pass rate of almost more than 46 per cent. The comprehensive research review, published today in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, found largely inconsistent results across 32 studies that looked at various cognitive tests in conjunction with driving outcomes, on-road evaluations and driving simulations.

23 May 2016

Current Screening Methods Miss Worrisome Number of Persons with Mild Cognitive Impairment

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a slight but noticeable and measurable decline in cognitive abilities, such as remembering names or a list of items. While changes may not be severe enough to disrupt daily life, a clinical diagnosis of MCI indicates an increased risk of eventually developing Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia.

11 May 2016

Genetic Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease Associated with Changes in Brain Metabolism in Young Adults

Jon Valla

A team of investigators at Midwestern University, an affiliate institution of the Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium, now report that young adult brain donors who carried a common genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease showed large changes in pathways involving the uptake and use of sugars and ketone bodies — the primary sources of energy for the brain. The average age of the donors was approximately 30, well before any sign of the microscopic abnormalities commonly associated with the disease commonly appear, and almost five decades before the age at which they might develop symptoms.

25 April 2016

Simple Mind-Body Therapies Shown to Improve Subjective Cognitive Decline, a Pre-Clinical Stage of Alzheimer’s Disease

Kim Innes

Lead investigator Kim Innes, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology in the WVU School of Public Health, and her team have published a new study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. The article details findings from their recent study of adults with subjective cognitive decline (SCD), which suggest that the practice of two simple mind-body therapies may have multiple benefits for patients with preclinical memory loss.

22 April 2016

Problems finding your way around may be earliest sign of Alzheimer’s disease, study suggests

Denise Head

Long before Alzheimer’s disease can be diagnosed clinically, increasing difficulties building cognitive maps of new surroundings may herald the eventual clinical onset of the disorder, finds new research from Washington University in St. Louis. “These findings suggest that navigational tasks designed to assess a cognitive mapping strategy could represent a powerful new tool for detecting the very earliest Alzheimer’s disease-related changes in cognition,” said senior author Denise Head, associate professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences in Arts & Sciences.

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