Piloting and validation of a new self-administered online cognitive screening tool in normal older persons: the Cognitive Function Test.
Subtle cognitive changes have been described that may predate the onset of clinically recognizable Alzheimer's disease (AD) and may reflect pathological changes in the brain that are detectable up to 10 years before the onset of AD. Early screening for cognitive status can have benefits in terms of early management and prevention strategies for cognitive decline.
17 September 2013
Association between hypoglycemia and dementia in a biracial cohort of older adults with diabetes mellitus
Hypoglycemia commonly occurs in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) and may negatively influence cognitive performance. Cognitive impairment in turn can compromise DM management and lead to hypoglycemia.
09 September 2013
Rising obesity. A 'dementia time bomb'
Ever-growing waistlines could result in a big increase in the number of people who develop dementia in the future, researchers have warned. Previous studies have shown that being overweight in middle age increases the odds of developing the mental disorder. Data presented at the European Congress on Obesity suggests stemming the rise in obesity will cut dementia.
Piling on too many pounds is known to be bad for the body, but there is growing evidence that it is also bad for the mind. Diabetes is strongly linked to increasing Alzheimer’s risk. The connection between weight gain and diabetes is insulin. In both cases people become increasingly ‘insulin resistant’, which means their body makes more insulin, and higher insulin levels has consistently be linked to increased risk of Alzheimer’s.
One study of 8,500 Swedish twins showed that those with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30, who are classified as obese, were almost four times as likely to develop dementia as those with a normal BMI.
Even those who were clinically overweight, a BMI between 25 and 30, were 71% more likely to develop dementia. In England 24% of men and 26% of women are obese. Researchers from the UK Health Forum used computer models to compare what would happen if obesity rates stayed the same or increased to 46% of men and 31% of women by 2050, which has been predicted by some groups.
They said rates of dementia would go from 4,894 cases in every 100,000 people over 65 to 6,662 cases in every 100,000 people over 65. Keeping obesity levels constant would save around £940m in dementia care, the study predicted.
For more details see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-22479049
30 May 2013
B vitamin supplements stop Alzheimer's brain shrinkage
New ground-breaking research from Oxford University shows that B vitamins stopped shrinkage in the area of the brain that defines Alzheimer's disease, called the medial temporal lobe. The discovery that the medial temporal lobe virtually stops shrinking in some people with high dose B vitamins is a highly important and convincing breakthrough in understanding what causes, and can prevent Alzheimer's.
The study led by Professor David Smith from the University of Oxford, gave a combination of vitamin B6 (20mg), B12 (500mcg) and folic acid (800mcg) or placebo pills to people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), the stage before a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer's. "In those with high homocysteine levels, the specific areas of the brain associated with Alzheimer's disease shrank 8 times more slowly in those taking B vitamins than in those on the placebo. This is strongly indicative that the B vitamins may be substantially slowing down, or even potentially arresting, the disease process in those with early stage cognitive decline. This is the first treatment that has been shown to do this." said Professor David Smith.
To find out more about how to prevent Alzheimer's, take a look at our Alzheimer's prevention information here.
Douaud, G., et al. (2013) Preventing Alzheimer's disease-related gray matter atrophy by B vitamin treatment. Proceedings National Academy Sciences, USA [in press].
21 May 2013
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