Dementia in the News

Alzheimer's disease (AD) researchers are testing the effectiveness of gene therapy for the first time to treat patients with this common brain disease. Emory University is one of 12 institutions participating in a nationwide study to test the experimental medication, CERE-110.

The Phase 2 clinical trial seeks to enroll a total of 50 study participants with mild to moderate AD.

Drowsiness, staring off into space, or losing your train of thought may be early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study.

Researchers found that people with at least three different symptoms of mental lapses like these were 4.6 times more likely to have dementia than people without such episodes. In addition, people with mental lapses tended to have more severe Alzheimer's symptoms and perform worse on memory and thinking tests.

A simple eye test might be able to detect Alzheimer's and other diseases before symptoms develop, according to UK scientists.

The technique uses fluorescent markers which attach to dying cells which can be seen in the retina and give an early indication of brain cell death.

The research has been carried out on mice, but human trials are planned.

Scientists from University College London hope this could lead to a high street opticians test for the disease.

Diabetes may hasten progression to dementia in older people with mild thinking impairment, new research shows.

So-called mild cognitive impairment, or MCI, increases a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia. But aside from a person's severity of mental impairment, there is currently no way to predict which people with MCI will go on to develop full-blown dementia.

Diabetes has been tied to mental decline and dementia in aging, but it is not currently known whether people with MCI who have diabetes are at greater risk of future dementia.

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.

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.

Drugs commonly used to treat high blood pressure and heart disease may reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests.

Boston University scientists, reporting in the journal BMJ, say a class of high blood pressure drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers is associated with a striking decrease in the risk of occurrence and progression of dementia.

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.

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