Results from a study of nearly 60,000 individuals suggest those at higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease due to family history may demonstrate changes in memory performance as early as their 20s.
In groundbreaking studies at the University of New Mexico, researchers have developed a vaccine that could prevent the formation of the tau tangles and potentially prevent the cognitive decline typically seen in Alzheimer’s patients.
A study found that consistently worrying about our memory—think rushing to WebMD every day to determine whether or not occasionally forgetting the route to a friend’s house means we’re destined to develop Alzheimer’s—is a sign that we may have a lower risk of receiving an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. The study found that forgetting your own forgetfulness is more concerning and could be an early sign of dementia.
“I think it’s almost universal that we forgot where we put the keys, we forgot someone’s name. That just happens all the time. If you have a precedence for those things, that’s not Alzheimer’s,” Dr. Jon Hallberg told MPR News host Tom Crann. “But if you take those things, plus you don’t remember what you said two minutes ago and someone says, ‘You just told me that,’ you’re driving and you don’t know where you are, you forget what things are used for, then some form of dementia might be happening.”
As of now, a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease does not exist, but researchers at the University of New Mexico believe they have found a way to prevent it. “I really wanted to take this as a challenge to see if we could develop any sort of treatment,” says Kiran Bhaskar.
Mosconi is an associate professor of neuroscience in neurology and radiology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, where she also serves as director of the Women’s Brain Initiative and associate director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic.
A survey released this week by the Alzheimer’s Association finds that nearly 90 percent of Americans say they would want others to tell them if they were showing signs of memory loss or other symptoms of dementia. And yet, nearly three quarters of Americans say having that conversation would be “challenging” for them.
The 2019 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures Report reveals that one in 10 Americans age 65 or older have Alzheimer’s disease. While researchers look for an Alzheimer’s cure, the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) recently awarded $3.5 million to researchers focused on promising early-detection Alzheimer’s tests ranging from blood tests to eye tests that can diagnose Alzheimer’s early and affordably. The latest Alzheimer’s disease facts and statistics illustrate why researchers are determined to find a cure or halt the disease’s progression. Ahead, some interesting facts about Alzheimer’s, and your guide to the most common questions.
We now know early intervention could decrease the likelihood of more than one-third of dementia cases around the world. In fact, approximately 35% are attributed to nine modifiable risk factors, including high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes, hearing loss, smoking, depression, social interaction and lack of physical exercise. Therefore, monitoring which foods we eat, starting or continuing basic cardio and strength training programs, engaging the mind in the cognitive challenges and managing vascular risk factors all play demonstrable, critical roles in maintaining cognition before disease strikes.
In line with previous studies, the researchers found that having one or more first-degree relatives with Alzheimer’s put people at significantly higher risk for the disease. People with one first-degree relative with Alzheimer’s were 1.73 times more likely to develop the disease. Looking further into the family tree, people with two first-degree relatives with Alzheimer’s were nearly four times more likely to develop the disease. Those with three first-degree relatives were nearly two-and-half more times likely, and those with four were almost 15 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
A newly described dementia strikes people in their last decades of life. The disease, aptly named LATE, comes with symptoms that resemble Alzheimer’s disease, but is thought to be caused by something completely different.
A team of researchers at the Human Computation Institute and Cornell University seek to understand what causes a 30% reduction of blood flow to the brain in Alzheimer’s patients.
Preliminary findings from the Schaffer-Nishimura Biomedical Engineering Lab suggest
that restoring blood flow to the brain could delay the onset of
Alzheimer’s and restore cognitive functioning. But there is too much
data to sift through, and the blood flow imagery is too subtle for most
algorithms to classify into capillaries that are either flowing or
stalled. So instead, citizen scientists are helping analyze the videos
in a gamified effort called “Stall Catchers” — and, through this crowdsourcing effort, are doing so at a much faster rate than the lab.
In 2016, to the surprise of Alzheimer’s disease researchers across the world, a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that setting mice in front of a blinking light could clear out the characteristic protein plaques thought to be one of the roots of the disease. A recent follow up study found that sounds played at a particular frequency clearned plaques and improved cognition, as well.