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Potential Alzheimer's disease risk factor and risk reduction strategies become clearer
Date:7/14/2014

mit in 2013, of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer's by 2025. It is only through strong implementation and adequate funding of the plan, including an additional $200 million in fiscal year 2015 for Alzheimer's research, that we'll meet that goal. For more information and to get involved, visit http://www.alz.org.

Cognitively Stimulating Activities Are Associated with Greater Brain Volumes and Higher Cognitive Test Scores

Prior studies have suggested that participation in activities that stimulate thought, new ideas, new memories, and that challenge us mentally may encourage brain health as we age and possibly reduce risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. The mechanisms underlying this possible effect are not currently well understood.

At AAIC 2014, Stephanie Schultz, BSc, and colleagues at the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Institute and the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Disease Research Center reported on the results of a study of 329 cognitively normal middle-aged adults (mean age=60.3 years, 69% women) enrolled in the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer's Prevention. Forty percent of the participants were positive for the APOe4 gene and 74 percent had a parental family history of Alzheimer's, both of which are known to increase the risk for developing Alzheimer's.

These at-risk adults reported their current engagement in cognitively-stimulating activities using the Cognitive Activity Scale (CAS), underwent MRI brain imaging, and completed a comprehensive battery of neurocognitive tests. The CAS consists of 10 items that ask individuals how often they participate in various cognitive activities, such as reading books and going to museums. The scientists focused on CAS-Games, which is a single item on the scale that asks participants how often they play games such as cards, checkers, crosswords or other puzzles.

After controlling for factors known to influence brain
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Contact: Alzheimer's Association Media Line
media@alz.org
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Alzheimer's Association
Source:Eurekalert

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