Recent Alzheimer's Studies

French researchers tested the effect of ginkgo biloba on more than 2800 elderly volunteers who took the supplement over five years. 
Half the participants, who were all aged 70 or older, were given twice-daily doses of ginkgo and half received a placebo. 
Rates of dementia and Alzheimer's symptoms hardly differed between the two groups according to a September article in Melbourne's Herald Sun.

Professor Bruno Vellas, lead author of the study, said: "While our trial appears to have shown that regular use of ginkgo biloba does not protect elderly patients from progression to Alzheimer's disease, more studies are needed on long-term exposure.

 

A federal study that found ex-NFL players more likely to die of brain disease than the general public acknowledges the size of the sample and medical data available were limited. But there also are concerns the problem might be worse than found according to a September USA Today article.

The study released Wednesday by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health was based on the cases of 3,439 former players who spent at least five years in the league from 1959 to 1988.

Everett Lehman, lead author of the report, says researchers did not have information on environmental, genetic and other risk factors for neurological disorders for the diseased. He also says thestudy was limited by the number of deaths. About 10% of the former players (334) had died.

Researchers reviewed mortality causes on death certificates for neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and also also looked for signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is not defined as a cause of death, but it can be mistaken for Alzheimer's, the authors wrote.

 

To protect your brain, feed your belly. New research from France reveals that consuming more vitamin D may reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. In the 7-year observational study, people whose diets contained the highest levels of vitamin D were less likely to develop dementia than those who consumed the least. The difference in D intake between the two groups? Just 400 IU a week. That's the amount in about four glasses of 2 percent milk according to a September brief in Men's Health

 A new study by Northwestern Medicine researcher has for the first time identified an elite group of elderly people age 80 and older whose memories are as sharp as people 20 to 30 years younger than them.

On 3-D MRI scans, these elderly people's brains appear as young - and one brain region was even bigger - than the brains of the middle-aged participants, according to the study published by the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society reported by Science Daily.

Researcher and senior author of the paper, Emily Rogalski was amazed by the vitality of the senior citizen's cortex - the outer layer of the brain important for memory, attention and other thinking abilities. Theirs was much thicker than the cortex of the normal group of elderly 80 and older (whose showed significant thinning) and closely resembled the cortex size of participants ages 50 to 65, considered the middle-aged group of the study.

“These findings are remarkable given the fact that grey matter or brain cell loss is a common part of normal aging,” said Rogalski, the principal investigator of the study and an assistant research professor at the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

By identifying older people who seem to be uniquely protected from the deterioration of memory and atrophy of brain cells that accompanies aging, Rogalski hopes to unlock the secrets of their youthful brains. Those discoveries may be applied to protect others from memory loss or even Alzheimer's disease.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources: 

Herb doesn't help dementia - study. Geelong Advertiser [serial online]. September 7, 2012;:19.

Janice LloydGary MihocesUSA, T. (n.d). Janice LloydGary MihocesUSA, T. (n.d). Brain disease study not without its flaws. USA Today.

Kita, P. (2012). NUTRITION BULLETIN. Men's Health (10544836)27(7), 30.

Northwestern Study Shows Why Some Elderly People Have Sharp Memory. (2012). Arabia 2000,

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