Loss of a sense of smell may be an early indication of Alzheimer's disease, research suggests.
Scientists found that changes linked to the most common form of dementia begin in mice in an area of the brain responsible for recognising smells.
The physical symptoms coincided with impaired olfactory, or smell, function. Affected animals had to sniff odors for longer to remember them than healthy mice. They also had problems differentiating between smells.
People with a gene linked to long life and good health are also less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday.
They said people with two copies of a certain version of the cholesteryl ester transfer protein or CETP gene had significantly slower memory declines compared with people who had different versions of the gene.
A fast-acting compound that appears to improve cognitive function impairments in mice similar to those found in patients with progressive Alzheimer's disease has been identified by scientists at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Program in Drug Discovery. Researchers hope to one day replicate the result in humans.
Current Alzheimer's Disease (AD) research indicates that accumulation of amyloid-beta (Aβ) protein plaques in the brain is central to the development of AD. Unfortunately, presence of these plaques is typically confirmed only at autopsy. In a special issue of the journal Behavioral Neurology, researchers review the evidence that positron emission tomography (PET) can image these plaques during life. This exciting new technique provides researchers with an opportunity to test the amyloid hypothesis as it occurs in living patients.
Elderly assisted-living facilities are disproportionally located in more affluent areas, with Massachusetts lagging far behind other states in terms of the number of assisted-living units available, according to a recent Harvard Medical School study.
Alzheimer's disease may be better treated with a cocktail of therapies that limit production of the plaque that impairs the brain rather than with a single treatment, a study in mice suggests.
The combination approach preserved memory with few side effects, something individual treatment methods haven't been able to do as well, researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine said in a report published yesterday in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
A new type of brain scan, called diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), appears to be better at detecting whether a person with memory loss might have brain changes of Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study published in the January 6, 2010, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
The popular botanical ginkgo biloba does not improve memory nor does it prevent cognitive decline in older people, according to the largest and longest scientific study ever undertaken to look at the supplement.
An extract derived from the gingko tree, gingkgo biloba has been touted since the 1970s by the supplement industry and others as an aid to improving memory, cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Ginkgo extract has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 500 years, according to the American Botanical Council.
The early stages of Alzheimer's disease are thought to occur at the synapse, since synapse loss is associated with memory dysfunction. Evidence suggests that amyloid beta (Aß) plays an important role in early synaptic failure, but little has been understood about Aß's effect on the plasticity of dendritic spines.