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Brain Decline, Dementia Common Among Older American Indians

Higher rates of blood vessel-damaging conditions like hypertension or diabetes may be driving up rates of cognitive decline and dementia among older American Indians, new research shows.

The study found that 54% of American Indians ages 72 to 95 had some form of impairment in their thinking and/or memory skills, while 10% had dementia.

The underlying causes: Vascular (blood vessel)...

Tips to Celebrating Mom on Her Day, Even When Dementia Intervenes

Women account for two-thirds of all Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, which means this Mother’s Day will be bittersweet for many families across the nation.

“Mother’s Day is all about honoring the mother figures in our lives who loved, nurtured, and supported us,” Jennifer Reeder, director of educ...

Gene Discovery Points to a New Form of Alzheimer's

People who carry two copies of the gene mutation most strongly implicated in Alzheimer’s disease are almost certain to develop brain changes related to the degenerative disorder, a new study says.

A single mutated APOE4 gene has been found to pose the strongest genetics-driven risk factor for late-onset

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • May 7, 2024
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  • Medicare Warnings Stop Nursing Homes From Overusing Antipsychotic Meds

    Warning letters sent by Medicare officials can prompt a decline in antipsychotic prescriptions for seniors with dementia, a new study finds.

    Letters sent to heavy prescribers of quetiapine (Seroquel), the most popular antipsychotic in the United States, led to a significant decline in drugs handed out to seniors, researchers reported Apr...

    Work That Challenges Your Brain Helps You Stay Sharp With Age

    Jobs that challenge your mind could help your brain age more gracefully, a new study suggests.

    The harder your brain works on the job, the less likely you are to have memory and thinking problems later in life, researchers reported April 17 in the journal Neurology.

    “We examined the demands of various jobs and found that cognitive stimulation at work during different sta...

    Antipsychotics May Do Great Harm to People With Dementia: Report

    Antipsychotics can substantially increase dementia patients’ risk of many serious health problems, a new study warns.

    Dementia patients prescribed antipsychotics have increased risk of stroke, blood clots, heart attack, heart failure, bone fractures, pneumonia and kidney damage, researchers ...

    Researchers Probe Moments of Lucid Clarity Among People With Advanced Dementias

    Lucid episodes are an unexpected occurrence among people with late-stage Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

    But these spontaneous events -- in which a person temporarily regains an ability to communicate that appeared to be permanently lost -- are not always a sign of impending death, a recent study argues.

    Half the time, people live more than six months following their lu...

    These 3 Factors Make Your Brain More Vulnerable to Dementia

    Out of a host of possible risk factors for dementia, three really stood out in a new analysis: Diabetes, air pollution and alcohol.

    British and American researchers used brain scans to focus on a neurological network they labeled a "weak spot" in the brain. This network is known to be vulnerable to the effects of aging, as well as

  • Ernie Mundell HealthDay Reporter
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  • March 28, 2024
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  • Staying Social Vital for People With Alzheimer's, Caregivers

    People with dementia -- and their caregivers -- need active social lives to stay healthy, a new study reports.

    However, researchers found that both dementia patients and their caregivers had declining social connections as the disease progressed.

    Patients' social netw...

    Eating Healthy Slows 'Aging Clock,' Helping to Shield Your Brain From Dementia

    Scientists have long noticed that folks who eat healthy have healthier brains as they age, including lowered odds for dementia.

    Now, researchers believe they know why: Regimens like the heart-healthy Mediterranean or DASH diets appear to slow biological aging, helping to protect the brain.


    Living in Poor Neighborhoods Ups  Risks for Dementia, Early Aging

    Doctors looking to help their patients head off dementia may want to ask for their address.

    An international team of researchers has linked accelerated brain aging and a higher risk of thinking declines to living in a poorer neighborhood. 

    "If you want to prevent dementia, and you're not asking someone about their neighborhood, you're missing information that's important to kno...

    Could War Zone Blasts Raise Veterans' Odds for Alzheimer's?

    Combat veterans who suffered traumatic brain injuries due to explosive blasts may have markers in their spinal fluid similar to those of Alzheimer's disease, new research finds.

    "Previous research has shown that moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries may increase a person's risk of Alzheimer's disease," said senior study author

  • Carole Tanzer Miller HealthDay Reporter
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  • March 14, 2024
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  • FDA Delays Decision on New Alzheimer's Drug

    Instead of approving the new Alzheimer's drug donanemab this month, as was expected, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will now require the experimental medication be scrutinized more closely by an expert panel, the drug's maker said Friday.

    “The FDA has informed Lilly it wants to further understand topics related to evaluating the safety and efficacy of donanemab, including the saf...

    Tremor Could Point to Higher Odds for Dementia

    Dementia could three times more common among people suffering from essential tremor, a movement disorder that causes involuntary shaking, a new study suggests.

    “Not only do tremors affect a person's ability to complete daily tasks such writing and eating, our study suggests that people with essential trem...

    More Evidence Sleep Apnea Harms Thinking, Memory

    Sleep apnea could have detrimental effects on the brain, causing memory or thinking problems, a new study suggests.

    People suffering from sleep apnea are about 50% more likely to also report having memory or thinking problems, compared to those without sleep apnea, researchers say.

    “These findings highlight the importance of early screening for sleep apnea,” said researcher

    Impaired Sense of Direction Could Be Early Alzheimer's Sign

    Middle-aged folks who have difficulties navigating their way through space could be at higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease years later, a new study finds.

    “Very early symptoms of dementia can be subtle and difficult to detect, but problems with navigation are thought to be some of the first changes in Alzheimer's disease," noted

  • Ernie Mundell HealthDay Reporter
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  • February 29, 2024
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  • Yoga Brings Brain Benefits to Women at Risk for Alzheimer's

    In a new study, yoga appears to have bolstered the brain health of older women who had risk factors for Alzheimer's disease.

    The study can't prove that the ancient practice will slow or prevent the onset of Alzheimer's, but it did seem to reverse some forms of neurological decline, researchers said.

    “That is what yoga is good for -- to reduce stress, to improve brain health, subje...

    Fat Around Men's Pancreas Might Raise Odds for Alzheimer's

    Excess fat around your pancreas could bode ill for the health of your aging brain, new research shows.

    But maybe only if you're male: The relationship wasn't observed among women, noted the team from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J.

    “In middle-aged males at high Alzheimer's disease risk -- but not females --higher pancreatic fat was associated with lower cognition and bra...

    Wendy Williams Diagnosed With Frontotemporal Dementia

    Former talk show host Wendy Williams has been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia, her representatives announced in a statement on Thursday.

    The conditions are the same diagnoses actor Bruce Willis received in 2022...

    Helping a Loved One With Dementia Enjoy Valentine's Day

    When a loved one has dementia, Valentine's Day can be bittersweet.

    "When dementia enters someone's life, it can change many things, including the dynamic of their relationships," said Jennifer Reeder, director of educational and social services for the Alzheimer's Foundation of America. 

    That's why it's important to ...

    Dementia Care Costs Can Quickly Burn Through People's Savings: Study

    Dementia care can eat through the savings of cash-strapped seniors, a new study warns.

    The average senior with dementia in non-nursing residential care facilities spent 97% of their monthly income on long-term care, researchers found. Meanwhile, those living in nursing homes spend nearly 83% of their monthly income on their care, results show.

    “Because dementia is such an expensiv...

    Medical Tourism in Mexico Led to Deadly Fungal Illness for Americans

    Medical tourism to Mexico for cosmetic procedures exposed Americans to a deadly fungal infection last year, a new report shows.

    An outbreak of Fusarium solani meningitis occurred at two clinics in Matamoros specializing in elective cosmetic procedures like breast augmentation, liposuction and Brazilian butt lifts.

    The new report, published Feb. 8 in the

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • February 9, 2024
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  • Your Brain Finds Ways to Compensate Against Age-Related Decline

    No one's brain is as sharp at 60 as it was at 20.

    However, new research supports the notion that folk's brains can make subtle adjustments with age to compensate for that decline.

    A team of British researchers has found more evidence that as the mind ages, it sometimes recruits help from certain brain regions to make up for deficits elsewhere.

    This does not happen for everyone...

    Healthy Living Builds 'Cognitive Reserve' in Brain That May Prevent Dementia

    New research suggests healthy lifestyles can help stave off dementia, perhaps by building a resilient 'cognitive reserve' in the aging brain.

    The study was based on the brain autopsies on 586 people who lived to an average of almost 91. Researchers compared each person's lifestyle and end-of-life mental skills to their neurological signs of dementia, such as brain protein plaques or chang...

    Hearing Troubles Can Affect the Mind, Too

    If you're over 65, you likely struggle sometimes to hear conversations clearly, but ignoring that may prompt even more serious health problems, experts say.

    If left unchecked, hearing loss can lead to social isolation and depression -- two conditions known to raise dementia risk, said Dr. Leah Ross, a physician in the Di...

    Ancient Greeks Seldom Hit by Dementia, Suggesting It's a Modern Malady

    Dementia seems like a disorder that's always haunted the human race.

    But this form of severe memory loss is actually a modern malady, if classical Greek and Roman physicians are to be believed.

    A new analysis of ancient Greek and Roman medical texts suggests that dementia was extremely rare 2,000 to 2,500 years ago, in the time of Aristotle, Galen and Pliny the Elder.

    The new ...

    Odds for Dementia Nearly Triple in the Year After a Stroke

    A person's odds for a dementia diagnosis nearly triple in the first year after a stroke, new research shows.

    This post-stroke spike in dementia risk does subside with time, but it never returns to pre-stroke levels, the same report found.

    "Our findings reinforce the importance of monitoring people with stroke for cognitive decline," said lead researcher 

  • Ernie Mundell HealthDay Reporter
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  • February 1, 2024
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  • Common Gynecologic Condition Tied to Cognitive Issues

    Women with a common ovarian disorder might be more likely to have memory and thinking problems in middle age, a new study suggests.

    Females diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) scored lower on cognitive tests than women without the condition, according to a report published Jan. 31 in the journal Neurology.

    The condition specifically appeared to affect memory, at...

    Could Many Cases of 'Dementia' in Men Be Liver Cirrhosis Instead?

    A new study of aging U.S. veterans finds that one in every 10 who have been diagnosed with dementia might actually have brain impairments caused by liver cirrhosis.

    It's a condition called hepatic encephalopathy, and it's often treatable, explained a team led by Dr. Jasmohan Bajaj, of the the Richmond VA Medi...

    Was Alzheimer's Transmitted Through Cadaver-Sourced Growth Hormone Given to Kids?

    Five of eight British children who received human growth hormone from the pituitary glands of deceased donors went on to develop early-onset Alzheimer's disease many decades later, researchers report.

    Researchers at University College London (UCL) suspect that the growth hormone received by these people in childhood may have contained amyloid-beta protein plaques, which build up in the br...

    Daily Multivitamin Might Help Aging Brains

    A daily multivitamin could help people keep their brains healthy as they age, a new trial finds.

    Results suggest taking multivitamins could help prevent memory loss and slow cognitive aging among older adults, researchers report in the Jan. 18 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutritio...

    Resolve to Get a Free Memory Screening in 2024

    There are so many New Year's resolutions from which to choose, but an important one could be to schedule a memory screening, experts say.

    Memory screenings consist of a series of questions that gauge memory and brain function, according to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA).

    These regular screenings are an important way to detect memory problems early, and should be part of...

    Early-Onset Dementia: Health, Lifestyle Factors May Boost Your Risk

    From alcohol use to social isolation, poor hearing and heart disease, researchers have identified more than a dozen non-genetic factors that up the risk of dementia for people under 65.

    Though about 370,000 new cases a year of young-onset dementia are diagnosed worldwide, it hasn't been well-researched.

    Now, a large study from scientists in the U.K. and the Netherlands suggests that...

    Common Stomach Bug Is Linked to Higher Alzheimer's Risk

    A common stomach bug may play a part in Alzheimer's disease risk.

    New research found that older folks infected with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) had greater odds for developing Alzheimer's, the most common type of dementia.

    "Given the global aging population, dementia numbers are expected to triple in the next 40 years," said study co-author

  • Carole Tanzer Miller HealthDay Reporter
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  • December 28, 2023
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  • Statins Might Slow Progression of Alzheimer's Disease

    In preliminary findings, Swedish researchers say taking a cholesterol-lowering statin could also slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

    The study can't prove cause-and-effect, but might pave the way to a trial that could confirm such a link, said study author Sara Garcia-Ptacek, an associate professor of neuroscience at the Ka...

    Pets Bring Health Boost to Single Seniors' Brains: Study

    For the growing number of American seniors who live alone, having a beloved dog or cat by their side could help them maintain a healthy brain.

    New research on more than 7,900 people averaging 66 years of age found that those who lived alone were able to stave off losses in memory and thinking if they had a pet.

    Pet ownership didn't seem to affect the cognition of older folks who liv...

    Irregular Sleep Is Tied to a Higher Odds for Dementia

    People who maintain a mostly regular sleep pattern could have a lower risk of developing dementia than those whose sleeping and waking times vary wildly, a new study finds.

    People with the most irregular sleep are 53% more likely to develop dementia than people with average sleep regularity, researchers report in the Dec. 13 issue of the journal Neurology.

    This suggests tha...

    A Sibling's Dementia May Mean Shorter Life Span for Brothers, Sisters

    A study involving twins suggests that if you have a sibling who develops dementia, that might not bode well for your life span.

    That's true even if you don't go on to develop dementia yourself, according to a study from U.S. and Swedish researchers.

    One investigator was surprised by the finding.

    “We expected a different result. We expected that, in twins where one developed ...

    Brain Serotonin Levels May Play Role in Alzheimer's Onset

    Loss of the “happiness” brain hormone serotonin might play a role in the decline of brain function as a person ages, a new study reports.

    People with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) had up to 25% lower levels of serotonin than healthy people in key regions of the brain associated with memory, problem-solving and emotion, researchers reported recently in the

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • December 11, 2023
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  • Swift Use of Antiretrovirals in Infected Newborns Can Banish HIV

    When an HIV-infected child known as the 'Mississippi baby' was given powerful antiretroviral drugs within hours of birth in 2013 and then appeared to be rid of HIV, people wondered if it might be replicated in other newborns.

    An international study involving 54 babies suggests it can.

    Researchers now believe that if HIV-infected newborns receive antiretroviral therapy (ART) within t...

    Cognitive Decline May Come Earlier for People With Epilepsy

    People with epilepsy suffer quicker declines in thinking than people without the brain disorder, particularly if they also have risk factors like high blood pressure or diabetes, a new study finds.

    The difference was significant: Over the course of the 14-year study, those with epilepsy experienced a 65% to 70% faster decline in memory and thinking skills.

    On top of that, having ris...

    Your Personality Might Help Shield You From Dementia

    Got a naturally sunny disposition? It might protect you from dementia as the years advance, new research shows.

    A team at Northwestern University in Chicago report that certain personality traits -- being conscientious, outgoing and positive -- appear to lower a person's odds for a dementia diagnosis.

    On the other hand, being neurotic and more negative in outlook and behavior was ti...

    Could an Overactive Thyroid Harm the Aging Brain?

    Elevated levels of thyroid hormone appear to harm the aging brain, increasing seniors' risk of dementia or other cognitive disorders, a new study finds.

    High levels of thyroid hormone -- a condition called thyrotoxicosis -- was associated with thinking problems whether they came from an overactive thyroid gland or from taking thyroid medication, researchers found.

    “Our results sug...

    Early Onset Heart Disease Is Key Factor in Later-Life Dementia

    Minding your heart health when you're young could spare your brain from dementia decades later, new research confirms.

    Chinese researchers looked at data on more than 450,000 older Britons. They found that people who'd already been in poor cardiovascular health before they reached the age of 45 had a 25% higher odds of developing dementia, compared to those with better heart heath.


    Could a 'Brain Coach' Help Folks at Higher Risk for Alzheimer's?

    Personal trainers can help people increase their strength and their fitness.

    Could a “brain coach” be just as useful in preventing Alzheimer's' disease?

    A new study suggests that personalized health and lifestyle changes can delay or even prevent memory loss for older adults at high risk of Alzheimer's or dementia.

    People who received personal coaching experienced a 74% bo...

    Soccer 'Heading' Tied to Declines in Brain Function

    Evidence that soccer heading -- where players use their heads to strike a ball -- is dangerous continues to mount.

    Research to be presented at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting in Chicago on Tuesday points to a measurable decline in brain structure and function as a result of the practice.

    "There is enormous worldwide concern for brain injury in general...

    Lab-Grown Brain Blood Vessels Show New Ways to Prevent Stroke, Dementia

    Lab-grown blood vessels are providing new insight into how damage to the tiny vessels in the brain can cause them to leak, contributing to dementia and stroke.

    Even better, this research has identified a drug target that could plug these leaks and potentially reduce a person's risk of brain-damaging blood vessel leaks.

    Antibiotic and anti-cancer drugs that inhibit a class of biochem...

    New Device Can Check Markers for Parkinson's, Alzheimer's Disease

    A wireless, noninvasive device has shown promise in detecting the biomarkers of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

    Researchers said the device uses electrical detection to identify proteins associated with Alzheimer's (amyloid beta and tau) and Parkinson's (alpha synuclein) in saliva and urine.

    “This portable diagnostic system would allow testing at-home and at point of care, l...

    One Part of Your Brain Could Point to the Mind's Decline

    Shrinkage of one of the brain's key memory centers appears to herald thinking declines, a new study finds.

    The region in question is the hippocampus, a two-sided structure located roughly above each ear and embedded deep within the brain's temporal lobe. It's long been known to play a crucial role in the storage and transference of short- and long-term memory.

    The new research was p...

    Tai Chi Might Help Seniors Counter Mild Cognitive Decline

    The ancient art of tai chi, plus a modern twist, may help older adults reverse mild declines in brain power, a new clinical trial reveals.

    Researchers found that tai chi classes helped older adults improve their subtle problems with cognition (memory and thinking skills). It also helped them with a fundamental multitasking skill: walking while your attention is elsewhere.

    But while ...

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