Navigation Links
Memory loss affects more of the brain than previously thought

Memory loss associated with early Alzheimer's disease (AD) may be linked to altered activity in several areas of the brain, according to a study in the July issue of Radiology.

For the first time, researchers at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., used a special, high-field- strength, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner to study the brain activity of people with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a precursor to AD, and found altered functionality in both the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. Previous studies looking at structural changes alone have shown evidence that brain atrophy in the earliest stages of AD tends to be restricted to the temporal lobe, a region critical to long-term memory formation.

"Involvement of both the frontal and temporal lobes in the earliest stages of AD suggests the possibility of a breakdown in the communication pathway between these two regions, which house short-term and long-term memory, respectively," said lead author Jeffrey R. Petrella, M.D., associate professor of radiology and director of Alzheimer's Disease Imaging Research Laboratory at Duke. "So in many ways the AD brain may be like a computer that is having problems with both its temporary files and its hard-drive files."

MCI affects an estimated 15 percent of the elderly population in the United States. Ten to 15 percent of people with MCI develop AD every year compared to one percent of the normal elderly population. Amnestic MCI is characterized by mild memory impairment and is often confused with ordinary age-related forgetfulness.

The researchers used 4-Tesla fMRI, which has a very strong magnetic field, to observe the brain activity of 20 elderly patients with amnestic MCI and 20 age-matched controls with no memory impairment during a memory task that tested memory formation and retrieval.

"It's like doing a treadmill test for heart patients, except this test puts your brain on a treadmi ll," Dr. Petrella said.

The test required 40 patients to recall names of familiar faces and to learn and recall unfamiliar face-name associations. All patients showed brain activation in several brain regions during the task, but, compared with the controls, the patients with MCI showed a lower level of activation in the prefrontal cortex (during formation and retrieval), left hippocampus (during retrieval) and left cerebellum (during formation) and an increased level of activation in the posterior frontal lobes (during retrieval).

"These findings suggest that we should be paying closer attention to frontal lobe function in detecting people at risk for AD and may also point to new preventive strategies," said co-principal investigator P. Murali Doraiswamy, M.D., chief of the Division of Biological Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at Duke.

Both researchers caution that their findings are preliminary. They are in the process of completing a larger study to confirm these results and to examine their value as a diagnostic or predictive test. There have also been a number of previous fMRI studies in people with MCI, and researchers are working to put these findings together to develop a synergistic combination of memory testing, genetic and imaging studies that together can best predict early onset and monitor progression of AD.

"If memory problems are beginning to impact the day-to-day life of you and your family, you should undergo comprehensive testing by a physician, as memory loss can be caused by many underlying factors such as depression, thyroid problems and stress, and doesn't necessarily indicate early AD," Dr. Petrella said.


Source:Radiological Society of North America

Related biology news :

1. Researchers Uncover Key Step In Manufacture of Memory Protein
2. Nanogen Issued Patent for Electronic Microarray With Memory
3. Cytoplasm affects the number of vertebrae in carp-goldfish clones
4. Clam embryo study shows pollutant mixture adversely affects nerve cell development
5. Road salt affects mitigation wetlands
6. Exercise training in ordinary people affects the activity of 500 genes
7. Enzyme affects hypertension by controlling salt levels in body
8. Tropical Deforestation affects rainfall in the U.S. and around the globe
9. New study examines how sense of smell affects mating and aggression in mice
10. Gene variation affects tamoxifens benefit for breast cancer
11. New discovery: Molecular variation in one gene affects the growth of natural populations
Post Your Comments:

(Date:10/12/2015)... , Oct. 9, 2015 Research and Markets ... Research, Inc,s new report "Biometrics: Market Shares, Strategies, ... --> --> The ... the Biometrics market segment. Research represents a selection from ... and cogent market materials, with selections made by the ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... -- Research and Markets ( ) has ... Market by Component (Hardware & Software), Product (Scanner ... (Travel & Immigration, Military & Defense, & Others) ... report to their offering. ... worth 3627.90 Million USD by 2020 ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... Oktober 2015 Die Track Group, ... des Bereiches Tracking, hat heute bekannt gegeben, ... Virginias (Department of Corrections – DOC) unterzeichnet ... alle Strafen geliefert werden, die der Behörde ... für den Amerikanischen Kontinent der Track Group. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... , Oct. 12, 2015  Patara Pharma, ... allergic and inflammatory diseases and conditions, today announced ... preferred stock financing. Concurrent with the close of ... into a Loan and Security Agreement with Silicon ... to $7 million. Patara will use the funds ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... NAMUR , Belgium , Oct. 12, ... today announced that full results from a completed clinical study ... pancreatic cancers have been published in the online issue of ... Epigenetics Society. The peer-reviewed study was conducted in collaboration with ... , and led by Roland Andersson , MD, PhD, ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... 2015 , ... LifeTrak , a leader in consumer fitness, heart rate ... amphibious fitness tracker that seeks to meet the needs of multi-sport athletes. Zoom is ... monitoring both in water and on land, making it the only fitness tracker ...
(Date:10/10/2015)... ANNAPOLIS, Maryland , 10. Oktober, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... O. Matsui (Abgeordnete der Demokratischen Partei für Kalifornien) ... 11. bis 17. Oktober) in die Aufzeichnungen des ... Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA) und ... , Hebung des Bewusstseins über Plasmaspenden ...
Breaking Biology Technology: