Navigation Links
Fighting Alzheimer's before its onset
Date:9/10/2012

Montreal, September 10, 2012 By the time older adults are diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, the brain damage is irreparable. For now, modern medicine is able to slow the progression of the disease but is incapable of reversing it. What if there was a way to detect if someone is on the path to Alzheimer's before substantial and non-reversible brain damage sets in?

This was the question Erin K. Johns, a doctoral student in Concordia University's Department of Psychology and member of the Center for Research in Human Development (CRDH), asked when she started her research on older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). These adults show slight impairments in memory, as well as in "executive functions" like attention, planning, and problem solving. While the impairments are mild, adults with MCI have a high risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

"We wanted to help provide more reliable tools to identify people who are at increased risk for developing Alzheimer's so that they can be targeted for preventive strategies that would stop brain damage from progressing," says Johns.

The new study was published in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society and was funded by the Quebec Network for Research on Aging and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. In it, Johns and her colleagues found that people with MCI are impaired in several aspects of executive functioning, the biggest being inhibitory control.

This ability is crucial for self-control: everything from resisting buying a candy bar at the checkout aisle to resisting the urge to mention the obvious weight gain in a relative you haven't seen in a while. Adults with MCI also had trouble with tests that measure the ability to plan and organize.

Johns and her colleagues found that all the adults with MCI they tested were impaired in at least one executive function and almost half performed poorly in all the executive function tests. This is in sharp contrast with standard screening tests and clinical interviews, which detected impairments in only 15 percent of those with MCI.

"The problem is that patients and their families have difficulty reporting executive functioning problems to their physician, because they may not have a good understanding of what these problems look like in their everyday life." says Johns. "That's why neuropsychological testing is important."

Executive function deficits affect a person's everyday life and their ability to plan and organize their activities. Even something as easy as running errands and figuring out whether to go to the drycleaners or to the supermarket can be difficult for adults with MCI. Detecting these problems early could improve patient care and treatment planning.

"If we miss the deficits, we miss out on an opportunity to intervene with the patient and the family to help them know what to expect and how to cope," says Johns. She is now conducting a follow-up study funded by the Alzheimer Society of Canada and Canadian Institutes of Health Research, along with her supervisor, Natalie Phillips, associate professor in the Department of Psychology and member of CRDH.

Johns hopes her continued research will lead to a better understanding of why these deficits start at such an early stage of Alzheimer's and what other tools could be used for earlier detection of the disease.

Rewarding research: In recognition of the excellence of this research, Johns was awarded the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Aging Age+ Prize.
'/>"/>

Contact: Clea Desjardins
clea.desjardins@concordia.ca
514-848-2424 x5068
Concordia University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Toward medicines that recruit the bodys natural disease-fighting proteins
2. UCI microbiologists find new approach to fighting viral illnesses
3. Mayo Clinic: Drug duo turns on cancer-fighting gene in kidney, breast cancers
4. Male Ontario students show declines in fighting; females show elevated bullying and mental distress
5. Fighting obesity with thermal imaging
6. Ordinary chickens may be extraordinary in fighting cancer, says Texas A&M researcher
7. Why current strategies for fighting obesity are not working
8. Parents Fighting May Have Long-Lasting Effect on Kids
9. Moffitt researcher, colleagues find success with new immune approach to fighting some cancers
10. 2-1-1 could be effective tool in fighting cancer disparities
11. Living longer - variability in infection-fighting genes can be a boon for male survival
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... The American Board of Family Medicine's (ABFM) Board of ... Executive Officer, succeeding Dr. James C. Puffer upon his retirement. Dr. Newton will serve ... Puffer’s retirement at the end of 2018. Upon assuming the role of President and ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... (SOP) alumni Hannah Randall, PharmD ‘17, and Jennifer Huggins, PharmD ’17, along ... updates for the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases during the 15th Annual ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... Many families have long-term insurance that covers care for a family ... for care if the client has a cognitive impairment diagnosis. , “What this ... often waived, so the benefits from their insurance start immediately,” said Mechell Vieira, owner ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... Milford, NJ (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... weekend at scenic Alexandria Park in Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by ... and physical activity. The fun run is geared towards children of all ages; ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Coveros, a leader in agile coaching services ... by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The Enterprise Agile Transformation ... Agile methodologies in a consistent and high value manner across CMS programs. Coveros ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/27/2017)... MIAMI , Sept. 27, 2017  Commended for their ... recent notable awards. Ranked as number one in the South ... ninth time in Inc. 5000 yearly list, the national specialty ... CEO, Armando Bardisa will soon be honored by ... Set to receive his award ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... , Sept. 25, 2017   Montrium , ... File solutions, today—from the IQPC Trial Master Files ... , NL)—announced that EastHORN Clinical Services has selected ... programs and TMF management. EastHORN, a leading European ... platform to increase transparency to enable greater collaboration ...
(Date:9/23/2017)... , Sept. 22, 2017 Janssen Biotech, Inc. ... response letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ... of sirukumab for the treatment of moderately to severely ... additional clinical data are needed to further evaluate the ... severely active RA. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: