Tag Archives: dementia

The different types of dementia – NIH

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November 5, 2022 · 11:04 pm

Mediterranean diet may not reduce dementia risk – Study

A number of studies have suggested that eating a healthy diet may reduce a person’s risk of dementia, but a new study has found that two diets including the Mediterranean diet are not linked to a reduced risk of dementia. The study is published in the October 12, 2022, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

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The Mediterranean diet includes a high intake of vegetables, legumes, fruits, fish and healthy fats such as olive oil, and a low intake of dairy products, meats and saturated fatty acids.

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Music helps patients with dementia connect with loved ones – NW

People with dementia often lose their ability to communicate verbally with loved ones in later stages of the disease. But a Northwestern Medicine study, in collaboration with Institute for Therapy through the Arts (ITA), shows how that gap can be bridged with a new music intervention. 

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In the intervention — developed at ITA and called “Musical Bridges to Memory” — a live ensemble plays music from a patient’s youth such as songs from the musicals “Oklahoma” or “The Sound of Music.” This creates an emotional connection between a patient and their caregiver by allowing them to interact with the music together via singing, dancing and playing simple instruments, the study authors said. 

The program also enhanced patients’ social engagement and reduced neuropsychiatric symptoms such as agitation, anxiety and depression in both patients and caregivers.

More than 6 million people in the U.S. have Alzheimer’s disease. 

The study is unusual because it targeted patients with dementia and their caregivers, said lead study author Dr. Borna Bonakdarpour. Most prior studies using music for dementia patients have focused only on the patients. 

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Which leisure activities are linked to lower risk of dementia?

Leisure activities, such as reading a book, doing yoga and spending time with family and friends, may help lower the risk of dementia, according to a new meta-analysis published in the August 10, 2022, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The meta-analysis reviewed available studies on the effects of cognitive activities, physical activities, and social activities and the risk of dementia.

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“Previous studies have shown that leisure activities were associated with various health benefits, such as a lower cancer risk, a reduction of atrial fibrillation, and a person’s perception of their own well-being,” said study author Lin Lu, PhD, of Peking University Sixth Hospital in Beijing, China. “However, there is conflicting evidence of the role of leisure activities in the prevention of dementia. Our research found that leisure activities like making crafts, playing sports or volunteering were linked to a reduced risk of dementia.”

The meta-analysis involved a review of 38 studies from around the world involving a total of more than 2 million people who did not have dementia. The participants were followed for at least three years.

Participants provided information on their leisure activities through questionnaires or interviews. Leisure activities were defined as those in which people engaged for enjoyment or well-being and were divided into mental, physical and social activities.

During the studies, 74,700 people developed dementia.

After adjusting for factors such as age, sex and education, researchers found that leisure activities overall were linked to a reduced risk of dementia. Those who engaged in leisure activities had a 17% lower risk of developing dementia than those who did not engage in leisure activities.

Mental activity mainly consisted of intellectual activities and included reading or writing for pleasure, watching television, listening to the radio, playing games or musical instruments, using a computer and making crafts. Researchers found that people who participated in these activities had a 23% lower risk of dementia.

Physical activities included walking, running, swimming, bicycling, using exercise machines, playing sports, yoga, and dancing. Researchers found that people who participated in these activities had a 17% lower risk of dementia.

Social activities mainly referred to activities that involved communication with others and included attending a class, joining a social club, volunteering, visiting with relatives or friends, or attending religious activities. Researchers found that people who participated in these activities had a 7% lower risk of dementia.

“This meta-analysis suggests that being active has benefits, and there are plenty of activities that are easy to incorporate into daily life that may be beneficial to the brain,” Lu said. “Our research found that leisure activities may reduce the risk of dementia. Future studies should include larger sample sizes and longer follow-up time to reveal more links between leisure activities and dementia.”

A limitation of the study was that people reported their own physical and mental activity, so they may not have remembered and reported the activities correctly.

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Thyroid problems linked to increased risk of dementia

Older people with hypothyroidism, also called underactive thyroid, may be at increased risk of developing dementia, according to a new study — and the risk of developing dementia was even higher for people whose condition required thyroid hormone replacement medication.

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Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland doesn’t make enough thyroid hormones, which can slow metabolism. Symptoms include fatigue, weight gain and sensitivity to cold.

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Thyroid Problems Linked to Increased Risk of Dementia

Older people with hypothyroidism, also called underactive thyroid, may be at increased risk of developing dementia, according to a study published in the July 6, 2022, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The risk of developing dementia was even higher for people whose thyroid condition required thyroid hormone replacement medication.

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Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland doesn’t make enough thyroid hormones. This can slow metabolism. Symptoms include feeling tired, weight gain and sensitivity to cold.

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How walking speed and memory might predict dementia

Dementia is predominantly associated with advancing age. So, as the average age of humans on planet Earth steadily rises, the burden of dementia is set to increase.

Currently, there is no cure; however, starting treatment early is associated with better outcomes. Because of this, researchers are focused on finding ways to predict who is most likely to develop dementia.

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Also, certain factors increase the risk of dementia, including hypertension and sedentary behavior. Understanding which groups tend to develop dementia helps scientists and doctors identify and manage further risk factors.

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Higher antioxidant levels tied to lower dementia risk

People with higher levels of antioxidants in their blood may be less likely to develop dementia, according to a new study.

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People with higher levels of antioxidants in their blood may be less likely to develop dementia, according to a study published in the May 4, 2022, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

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Risk Factors for Dementia May Vary with Age

Which vascular risk factors are associated with the risk of developing dementia may vary with age. A new study shows that among people around age 55, the risk of developing dementia over the next 10 years was increased in those with diabetes and high blood pressure.

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For people around 65 years old, the risk was higher in those with heart disease, and for those in their 70s, diabetes and stroke. For 80-year-olds, the risk of developing dementia was increased in those with diabetes and a history of stroke, while taking blood pressure medications decreased the risk.

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These Heart Risk Factors Are a Recipe for Dementia

The faster you pile up heart disease risk factors, the greater your odds of developing dementia, a new study suggests.

Previous research has linked heart health threats such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity with mental decline and dementia.

Amassing those risk factors at a faster pace boosts your risk for Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, according to findings published online April 20 in the journal Neurology.

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New research identifies blood biomarker for predicting dementia before symptoms develop

New research from NUI Galway and Boston University has identified a blood biomarker that could help identify people with the earliest signs of dementia, even before the onset of symptoms.

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The study was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The researchers measured blood levels of P-tau181, a marker of neurodegeneration, in 52 cognitively healthy adults, from the US-based Framingham Heart Study, who later went on to have specialised brain PET scans. The blood samples were taken from people who had no cognitive symptoms and who had normal cognitive testing at the time of blood testing. 

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Early menopause may raise risk of dementia later in life

Women who enter menopause very early, before age 40, were found to be more likely to develop dementia of any type later in life compared to women who begin menopause at the average menopause-onset age of 50 to 51 years, according to preliminary research to be presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology, Prevention, Lifestyle & Cardiometabolic Health Conference 2022. The meeting was held in-person in Chicago and virtually Tuesday, March 1 – Friday, March 4, 2022, and offers the latest in population-based science related to the promotion of cardiovascular health and the prevention of heart disease and stroke.

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“Our study found that women who enter menopause very early were at greater risk of developing dementia later in life,” said Wenting Hao, M.D., a Ph.D. candidate at Shandong University in Jinan, China. “Being aware of this increased risk can help women practice strategies to prevent dementia and to work with their physicians to closely monitor their cognitive status as they age.”

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How Music Affects Memory in Those with Dementia

Most people aren’t connected to music the way Tony Bennett is, but virtually everyone has songs they love. And music can reengage a person with dementia.

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“When my father was in hospice in the last weeks of his life, he had been unable to speak for a while and wasn’t responding to us,” says Daniel Potts, MD, FAAN, a neurologist at VA Tuscaloosa Health Care and author of A Pocket Guide for the Alzheimer’s Caregiver. “We’re a singing family, so we called everybody who used to sing with us. Most of them came, and we just sat around his bedside and sang…and he sang with us. We’ll never forget that.”

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The different types of dementia – Infographic

Everyone over the age of 50 has concerns about their aging brain. I went through it and I know that the concerns are pervasive. Here is an infographic that explains a great deal about your brain.

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Cataract surgery may lower dementia risk

  • An observational study of more than 3,000 adults aged 65 years or older has uncovered a link between cataract surgery and a reduced risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
  • The researchers say the results support the connection between sensory impairments, such as vision loss, and a higher risk for dementia.
  • The scientists also believe there is a link between blue light and the development of dementia.

More than 55 million peopleTrusted Source worldwide live with dementia — a syndrome that causes a decline in cognitive functions such as memory, language, and comprehension.

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Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 60–80% of all people who have dementia. Scientists have carried out much research over the years examining the causes of Alzheimer’s; however, they remain unclear.

Researchers from the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle now say they have uncovered a link between cataract surgery and a lowered risk for developing dementia in older adults, including Alzheimer’s disease.

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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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