Dementia in the News

Reuters (June 14, 2010): Brain Scan Study Confirms Role of Alzheimer's Genes

Publication Date: 
Mon, 06/14/2010

A study of brain scans has confirmed the role of several genes linked with Alzheimer's disease, and turned up two others that are worth exploring, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

A team at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston used magnetic resonance imaging or MRI scans to study changes in brain structures -- such as the size of the hippocampus and amygdala -- in 700 healthy volunteers and Alzheimer's patients.

They used computer programs to sort through the genetic sequences of the 700 volunteers to see which gene mutations are most linked with these changes.

WebMD (June 7, 2010): Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Linked to Dementia

Publication Date: 
Mon, 06/07/2010

Older veterans who suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are almost twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's disease and other age-related dementias as veterans without PTSD, a study shows.

The study is among the first to link combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder to dementia later in life, but it is not clear if having PTSD increases the risk for late-life dementias or if recurring PTSD is an early symptom of dementia in older veterans, Deborah Barnes, PhD, of the University of California, San Francisco, tells WebMD.

New York Times (June 1, 2010): A Family's Torment as Relatives Slip Away

Publication Date: 
Tue, 06/01/2010

The anguish of Alzheimer's in a sprawling extended family in Columbia may be hardest on those still lucid enough to know they have it, or those who know they could.

Blanca Nelly Betancur's family is rife with people dangerously close to the age when dementia begins, including Ms. Betancur, 41, and her 11 siblings.

Two sisters already have symptoms of the disease inherited from their mother. They deny it. But her oldest brother, William, 48, knows he is unraveling.

New York Times (June 1, 2010): Thief of Memory Stalks a Columbian Family

Publication Date: 
Tue, 06/01/2010

Tucked away on a steep street in this rough-hewn mountain town, an old woman found herself diapering her middle-age children.

At frighteningly young ages, in their 50s, four of Laura Cuartas's began forgetting and falling apart, assaulted by what people here have long called La Bobera, the foolishness. It is a condition attributed, in hushed rumors, to everything from touching a mysterious tree to the revenge of a wronged priest.

It is Alzheimer's disease, and at 82, Mrs. Cuartas, her gray raisin of a face grave, takes care of three of her afflicted children.

New York Times (June 1, 2010): A Perplexing Case Puts a Doctor on the Trail of 'Madness'

Publication Date: 
Tue, 06/01/2010

In 1982, Dr. Francisco Lopera, a Medellin neurologist, was puzzled. A 47-year-old patient was losing his memory, and so had his father, grandfather and seven other relatives.

Other cases appeared. Dr. Lopera asked one, a 45-year-old lottery-ticket seller, to redraw portraits he had sketched years earlier, the deformed results showed already significant neurological damage.

Patients' families said this "madness" or "idiocy," called La Bobera, came from witchcraft, a tree, a Spaniard's statue, a priest angry about being burglarized.

Science Daily (May 17, 2010): Caffeine May Slow Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias, Restore Cognitive Function, According to New Evidence

Publication Date: 
Mon, 05/17/2010

Although caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive drug worldwide, its potential benefit for maintenance of proper brain functioning has only recently begun to be adequately appreciated. Substantial evidence from epidemiological studies and fundamental research in animal models suggests that caffeine may be protective against the cognitive decline seen in dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Proto Magazine (Spring 2010): Longevity Research: Is Aging A Disease?

Publication Date: 
Mon, 05/17/2010

When David Harrison began studying aging, he had yet to experience its effects. In his late twenties, he was fit, healthy and impervious to harsh New England winters; on all but the coldest days, he'd strap on cross-country skis and head for the Maine hills. Now, though, at age 67, he sees in himself the progressive decline he has observed in the mice and other animals of his research. A decade ago, doctors removed a prostate tumor before the cancer spread to his bones, but other problems have accumulated.

Heart Rhythm Society (April 1, 2010): Atrial Fibrillation Independently Linked with Development of Alzheimer's Disease

Publication Date: 
Thu, 04/01/2010

New findings confirm atrial fibrillation (AF) is independently associated with the risk of all forms of dementia, including Alzheimer's and other senile and vacular dementia types. According to a study published in the April edition of the HeartRhythm Journal, the official journal of the Heart Rhythm Society, the presence of atrial fibrillation indicated highter mortality rates in all dementia subtypes; however, mortality risk was most prominent in the youngest population studied.

EurekAlert (May 13, 2010): Cardiac Procedure Significantly Reduces Risk of Alzheimer's Disease and Stroke, Researchers Find

Publication Date: 
Thu, 05/13/2010

New findings by researchers from the Heart Institute at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah, reveals treatment of the most common heart rhythm disorder that affects more than two million Americans significantly reduces the risk of stroke, mortality, Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.

EurekAlert (May 12, 2010): Music Aids Alzheimer's Patients in Remembering New Information

Publication Date: 
Wed, 05/12/2010

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have shown that patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) are better able to remember new verbal information when it is provided in the context of music even when compared to healthy, older adults. The findings, which currently appear on-line in Neuropsychologia, offer possible applications in treating and caring for patients with AD.

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