Navigation Links
Plaques, Tangles in Brain Don't Always Lead to Alzheimer's
Date:5/27/2009

Study raises questions about possible link

WEDNESDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- New British research provides more evidence that the bits of gunk in the brain known as plaques and tangles don't necessarily lead to Alzheimer's disease, as many experts have long believed.

In fact, the study found that many people over the age of 75 had signs of significant clogging in their brains but still managed to avoid senility.

The findings don't have immediate ramifications for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, which remains incurable and only somewhat treatable. But in conjunction with other studies, they could redirect ongoing research, said Dr. Gary Kennedy, director of the division of geriatric psychiatry at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

"A lot of what is out there that's focusing on reducing the formation of amyloid plaques and tangles may just be off the mark," Kennedy said.

Amyloid plaques are globs of protein that form outside brain cells and stick together. Tangles are bits of protein that develop inside brain cells and create havoc of their own. Both have been linked to Alzheimer's disease.

In the new study, British researchers examined the brains of 456 people who had donated their bodies to science. The subjects were 69 to 103 years old when they died.

The findings appear in the May 28 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The team found a strong link between clogging in the brain and Alzheimer's in 75-year-olds, but the connection lessened by the time people were 95.

In other words, plaques and tangles developed in very old people just as in their younger counterparts, but the very old weren't as likely to develop Alzheimer's.

The picture is not perfectly clear, however. "At all ages, there are some people who don't become demented before they died -- despite having a lot of plaques and tangles," said study co-author Dr. Paul Ince. "We do not know what would have happened if they had survived."

It's possible that Alzheimer's disease shortens life, so people who are susceptible to it simply don't make it into the older age group, reasoned Ince, a professor of neuropathology and head of the Academic Unit of Pathology at Sheffield University Medical School in the U.K.

Also, he added, the study suggests that people who become senile at a very old age may be affected by another factor -- shrinking of the brain.

As for future research, "we need to take account of the ability of some people's brains to withstand Alzheimer's better than others," he said. "If we knew why, it might help us with strategies to delay the onset of dementia."

For now, doctors are very limited in how they can treat Alzheimer's, Kennedy said. Medications can treat symptoms, much as painkillers help some people tolerate arthritis, but they don't cure the disease, he said.

And in many cases, the drugs simply don't work, he said.

More information

To learn more, try the Alzheimer's Association.



SOURCES: Gary Kennedy, M.D., director, division of geriatric psychiatry, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; Paul Ince, M.D., professor, neuropathology, and head, Academic Unit of Pathology, Sheffield University Medical School, U.K.; May 28, 2009, New England Journal of Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Fewer Brain Tangles May Mean Smarter Old Age
2. Researchers find first conclusive evidence of Alzheimers-like brain tangles in nonhuman primates
3. Vaccine Stops Alzheimers Brain Tangles
4. Singing brains offers epilepsy and schizophrenia clues
5. Games for Health Conference Announces First Cognitive Health Track Powered by SharpBrains
6. Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain
7. Cocaine Spurs Long-Term Change in Brain Chemistry
8. Brain Scans Show How Humans Hear Emotion
9. Bonnie Hunt, Melina Kanakaredes and Dr. Ruth Westheimer Lend Their Support to Childrens Brain Tumor Foundation Benefit
10. Man Dies of Brain Inflammation Caused by Deer Tick Virus
11. UCLA study shows traumatic brain injury haunts children for years
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Plaques, Tangles in Brain Don't Always Lead to Alzheimer's
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. ... his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in ... to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... plastic surgery procedures that most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to ... known procedures, but also many of these less common operations such as calf and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) learned during ... two significant new grants to support its work to advance research and patient ... recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in fighting pulmonary hypertension ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief ... a minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly ... lost value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Investment Group (TGIG), has initiated cultivation and processing operations at its production facility, ... Pahrump, Nevada. , Puradigm is the manufacturer of a complete system of proactive ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Ill. , June 23, 2016  In a startling report ... are failing their residents by lacking a comprehensive, proven plan to ... a definitive ranking of how states are tackling the worst ... to only four states – Kentucky , ... Vermont . Of the 28 failing states, three ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... their offering. The current ... environment for MedImmune to enter. The US ageing population creates ... drive considerable growth for effective anti-influenza medications. The introduction of ... but development is still in its infancy. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... announced the establishment of Astellas Farma Colombia (AFC), a new affiliate with operations headquartered in Bogota. Colombia ... ... ... ... Astellas is a pharmaceutical ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: