Tag Archives: dementia risk

Self-administered cognition test predicts early signs of dementia sooner

Many people experience forgetfulness as they age, but it’s often difficult to tell if these memory issues are a normal part of aging or a sign of something more serious. A new study finds that a simple, self-administered test developed by researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, College of Medicine and College of Public Health can identify the early, subtle signs of dementia sooner than the most commonly used office-based standard cognitive test.   

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This earlier detection by the Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination (SAGE test) is critical to effective treatment, especially as new therapeutics for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are being developed and approved.   “New disease modifying therapies are available and others are currently being evaluated in clinical trials, and we know that the earlier cognitive impairment is detected, the more treatment choices a patient has and the better the treatments work,” said Dr. Douglas Scharre, director of the Division of Cognitive and Memory Disorders in the Department of Neurology at Ohio State and lead author of the study published in the journal Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy.

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Dementia linked to inflammatory foods

Diets with higher inflammatory potential were tied to an increased risk of incident dementia, a prospective observational study showed.

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Each unit increase in dietary inflammatory index scores was associated with a 21% higher risk of dementia over 3 years (HR 1.21, 95% CI 1.03-1.42, P=0.023), reported Nikolaos Scarmeas, MD, PhD, of Columbia University in New York City and the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School in Greece, and co-authors.

Diets with higher inflammatory potential were tied to an increased risk of incident dementia, a prospective observational study showed.

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The link between hearing loss and dementia – AHA

Hearing loss is a natural part of aging nobody likes to admit is happening. But happen it does – and ignoring it comes with a cost. It could put you at risk for another feared consequence of aging: dementia.

“The greater your hearing loss, the more likely you are to develop dementia,” said Dr. Alexander Chern, an ear, nose and throat doctor at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.

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By age 70, research shows 2 in 3 U.S. adults have lost some hearing. Yet the vast majority – more than 80% – fail to seek treatment. Age-related hearing loss is the largest modifiable risk factor for dementia, according to a 2020 report from the Lancet Commission on dementia prevention and care. Hearing loss in midlife accounts for an estimated 8.2% of all dementia cases.

But why that is remains unclear.

Just as there are many causes for dementia, there also are many potential mechanisms linking hearing loss to a decline in brain health, experts say. And as with dementia, it’s possible more than one is operating at the same time, said Timothy Griffiths, a professor of cognitive neurology at Newcastle University in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England.

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Earlier onset of high blood pressure may increase dementia risk – AHA

  • People with high blood pressure diagnosed before age 55 had smaller brains compared to people who had normal blood pressure, and people who developed high blood pressure in early adulthood had the greatest reduction in brain size, according to a new study analyzing data from the UK Biobank.
  • People diagnosed with high blood pressure between ages 35 and 44 were 61% more likely to develop dementia during the study’s follow-up period 8-10 years later, compared to individuals who had normal blood pressure during the same years.
  • The results suggest that initiating efforts to prevent and control blood pressure in early adulthood may help prevent dementia.

Individuals who are diagnosed with high blood pressure at ages 35-44 had smaller brain size and were more likely to develop dementia compared to people who had normal blood pressure, according to new research published today in Hypertension, an American Heart Association journal.

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The results raise the possibility that taking steps in young adulthood to control or delay the onset of high blood pressure may reduce the risk of dementia.

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Could This Test Determine Dementia Risk?

People whose scores on a dementia risk test indicated a less brain-healthy lifestyle,  including smoking, high blood pressure and a poor diet, may also have the following: lower scores on thinking skills tests, more changes on brain scans and a higher risk of cognitive impairment. That’s according to a new study published in the August 25, 2021, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The study also found that in men, the test scores were associated with poor memory function and markers of brain shrinkage.

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“Dementia risk scores might be useful to help identify people at higher risk of dementia earlier, so that potential lifestyle factors can be addressed earlier and monitored more closely,” said study author Sebastian Köhler, PhD, of Maastricht University, the Netherlands. “Our study found that a substantial proportion of brain changes might be attributable to risk factors that can be modified.”

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