Navigation Links
Alzheimer's-Linked Brain Plaques May Affect Memory in Healthy People
Date:2/1/2012

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- A new study suggests that a brain-clotting plaque linked to Alzheimer's disease may cause cognitive decline even in healthy people, potentially setting the stage for the development of the devastating illness later in life.

The findings don't point to any new treatment for Alzheimer's disease, which is incurable, and the detected decline in brain function is so small that affected people probably wouldn't notice anything in their daily lives.

Still, "I think they certainly are at higher risk of Alzheimer's," said study co-author Denise Park, A cognitive neuroscientist at the Center for Vital Longevity at the University of Texas at Dallas. She added that the test that turned up signs of the brain plaque could eventually help doctors figure out if someone's at risk for the disease long before they reach old age.

"Just because we don't have a treatment for Alzheimer's doesn't mean we'll never have one. What if we can develop this field enough that we can say things about your brain in your 40s and tell people, 'Here's a pill that you can take to slow [cognitive deterioration] down so it will never go to Alzheimer's?'" she said.

The plaque at issue is known as beta amyloid. It's a kind of protein that collects in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease along with stringy "tangles" that appear in neurons. Research suggests that the plaques and neurons kill off brain cells, leading to declines in mental function.

The researchers wanted to study beta amyloid levels in people without Alzheimer's disease. They did PET scans on 137 people aged 30 to 89, and gave them several cognitive tests that measured things like memory and how fast their brains worked.

Those with higher levels of the brain gunk performed worse on cognitive tests measuring brain-processing speed, working memory and reasoning.

However, the differences in brain function may not mean much to the individuals. "In everyday life, I don't think you'd notice it," Park said

The study appears in the Feb. 1 online issue of Neurology.

What does the study suggest about the brain plaque? "One idea is that it's a first step in a cascade of events that ultimately leads to Alzheimer's disease," Park said. "Another possibility is that although the amyloid is there, maybe it won't increase or harm the individual for 20 or more years, that it doesn't progress as rapidly as many people think it does."

Dr. Brad Dickerson, an associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, said the study is important because it adds to previous research that links higher levels of beta amyloid to cognitive problems.

"It will be interesting to follow these individuals over time in order to see whether these differences between people have any implications for risk for future cognitive decline," he said. "It would also be interesting to investigate other types of measures of brain structure and function in these individuals."

More information

For more about Alzheimer's disease, try the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Denise Park, Ph.D., professor and cognitive neuroscientist, University of Texas at Dallas; Brad Dickerson, M.D., associate professor, neurology, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Feb. 1, 2012, Neurology


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Gadgets not related to teenagers brain pain
2. Dementia Rates Escalate as Brain Capacity Diminishes with Age
3. Researchers discover new way to kill pediatric brain tumors
4. Scientists Pinpoint Area of Brain That Fears Losing Money
5. Physical Changes in Brain Linked to Altered Spirituality
6. Pro Athletes Brains React at Olympic Speed
7. Neuroscientists reveal new links that regulate brain electrical activity
8. Brain Scan Shows What Beauty is Worth
9. Study supports alternative anti-seizure medication following acute brain injury
10. Exercise helps protect brain of multiple sclerosis patients
11. Pittsburgh Neurosurgeons Explore Use of Drug that Illuminates Brain Tumor Cells To Guide Surgery
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Alzheimer's-Linked Brain Plaques May Affect Memory in Healthy People 
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... Eating disorders and post-traumatic stress ... women and men with eating disorders report a history of trauma, research suggests ... of an eating disorder. , At the 2016 iaedp Symposium, the workshop, ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... ... Discover the Rocky Mountain region’s longest running and impressive garden and home ... get to see the most incredible gardens and home improvement experts that attend this ... Convention Center - 700 14th St. Denver CO, is an exciting event that Performance ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... share this important news! AHCC and the Home Health and Hospice ICD-10 Transition ... designee for official ICD coding guidance and clarifications, to address concerns over the ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... 08, 2016 , ... Joshua Rosenthal, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer ... use newly released government data on populations and physicians to better calculate risk ... the value they create to succeed in new economic models for value based ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... ... The schedule is now online for the largest and most ... being held May 25-29 at the Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel, continues to give the ... chronic illness in children. , Very recent articles have cited 1 child in 20 ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... -- ivWatch, a medical devices company, is one of five recipients ... Terry McAuliffe,s office. ivWatch will be receiving the ... event to be held at the Science Museum of ... business that have made significant contributions to science. ... ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... -- Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. ("Aralez") today announced the completion of ... Canada Inc. ("Tribute") following approval of the transaction by ... company will operate under Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. ("Aralez"), a ... Canada , Ireland and ... terms of the Agreement and Plan of Merger and ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... Feb. 5, 2016  Venice,s newest laser clinic, ... first of its kind in the area and ... advanced laser treatment. The physician-owned and operated laser ... Suncoast by storm with its revitalizing skin care ... multi-wavelength Astanza Trinity technology. http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160204/329957 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: