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Health News Results - 135

Older adults who get together with friends, volunteer or go to classes have healthier brains, which could help them ward off dementia, according to a new study.

Researchers who used brain imaging to examine brain areas involved in mental decline found that greater social engagement made a difference in brain health.

Being socially engaged -- even moderately -- with at least one ...

Offering fresh insight into the deep-seated roots of dementia, new research finds that diminished blood flow to the brain is tied to buildup a protein long associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Called "tau," high levels of the protein are "one of the hallmark pathologies that define Alzheimer's disease in the brain," explained study author Judy Pa. She is an associate professor of neur...

Older adults who aren't interested or enthusiastic about their usual activities may have a higher risk of developing dementia, new research suggests.

The nine-year study of more than 2,000 older adults -- average age 74 -- found that people with severe apathy (a lack of interest or concern) were 80% more likely to develop dementia during the study period than those with low apath...

A procedure to restore normal heart rhythm is more effective than medications in reducing dementia risk in people with the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation (AF), researchers report.

Previous studies have shown that AF is associated with an increased risk of dementia. This one assessed whether catheter ablation and medications for AF reduced that risk.

In catheter ab...

A common type 2 diabetes drug called metformin may have an unexpected, but positive, side effect: New research suggests that people taking the drug appear to have significantly slower declines in thinking and memory as they age.

"Our six-year study of older Australians with type 2 diabetes has uncovered a link between metformin use and slower cognitive [mental] decline and lower deme...

In older people a fall can sometimes be a sign of oncoming Alzheimer's disease, even in the absence of mental issues, new research suggests.

Although falls are common among older people, in some cases they can be a sign of hidden mental problems that can lead to dementia, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Older people who hav...

Everyone needs sleep, but too little or too much of it might contribute to declines in thinking, a new study suggests.

Too little sleep was defined as four or fewer hours a night, while too much was deemed 10 or more hours a night. The ideal amount? Seven hours a night.

"Cognitive function should be monitored in individuals with insufficient or excessive sleep," said study ...

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)may significantly increase the risk of dementia later in life, according to a new study.

The researchers found that people with a history of PTSD were up to two times more likely to develop dementia than those who never had PTSD.

"Our study provides important new evidence of how traumatic experiences can impact brain health, and how the l...

Add a heightened risk for depression to the list of challenges facing the caregivers of loved ones who have Alzheimer's disease.

A new study found that older adults caring for spouses newly diagnosed with Alzheimer's had a 30% increase in symptoms of depression compared to those whose spouses didn't have Alzheimer's or related dementia.

And with care often lasting for y...

A group of widely used medications might speed up older adults' mental decline -- especially if they are at increased risk of dementia, a new study hints.

The medications in question are called anticholinergics, and they are used to treat a diverse range of conditions -- from allergies, motion sickness and overactive bladder to high blood pressure, depression and Parkinson's disease.<...

Feeling woozy when you stand up may be a sign of an increased risk of developing dementia, a new study suggests.

Doctors call this feeling "orthostatic hypotension," and it occurs when there's a sudden drop in blood pressure as you stand, explained a team of researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

The researchers found a connection between orth...

Aging baby boomers may not be as mentally sharp as their parents were, a new study suggests -- raising questions about what the pattern could mean for future dementia rates.

Looking at two decades' worth of data on U.S. adults, the study found generational differences in tests of cognitive function. That refers to essential mental abilities such as remembering, reasoning and problem-s...

Need fresh motivation to lose some weight? New research suggests that young adults who are overweight or obese face a higher risk for dementia in their golden years.

For the study, the researchers looked at just over 5,100 older adults who were involved in two long-term studies. The investigators found that women who were overweight between 20 and 49 years of age had nearly twice the ...

A new blood test offers hope that doctors may soon be able to diagnose Alzheimer's disease with astonishing accuracy.

A study led by Swedish researchers found the test did more than differentiate between Alzheimer's and other types of dementia. It also spotted signs of Alzheimer's two decades before symptoms appeared in people who were genetically predisposed to develop the degenerati...

First responders to the 9/11 terrorist attacks appear to be at increased risk for Alzheimer's disease and dementia, new research suggests.

The prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mild thinking impairments among them is well-known, and now two studies from Stony Brook University in New York have identified changes in their brains similar to those in dementia patient...

People with a history of concussion may face increased risks of certain psychological and neurological conditions, a large new study suggests.

The study of more than 186,000 Canadians found that those who suffered a concussion were more likely to develop any of several conditions, including: attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); depression or anxiety; Parkinson's disease; o...

Getting vaccinated to protect against pneumonia and flu may offer an unexpected benefit -- a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease, new research suggests.

Two new studies being presented Monday at this summer's virtual Alzheimer's Association International Conference found a lower incidence of Alzheimer's in people who got flu and pneumonia vaccines. A third study underscored the importa...

Some people in their 90s stay sharp whether their brain harbors amyloid protein plaques -- a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease -- or not, but why?

That's the question researchers sought answers for among 100 people without dementia, average age 92, who were followed for up to 14 years. Their answer? A combination of genetic luck and a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle.

"The vast ...

If you've been looking for a good reason to slim down, consider this: Being obese at midlife appears to increase your odds for dementia.

That's the takeaway from a large study just published by British researchers, and it echoes similar findings published in December.

Dorina Cadar, lead researcher on the new study, said the goal is to identify risk factors that are influence...

People with inflammatory bowel disease might be vulnerable to developing dementia, a new study suggests.

Inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, is an umbrella term for ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Both cause chronic inflammation in the digestive tract, thought to be triggered by a misguided immune system attack.

In the new study of more than 19,000 adults, those with...

Caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease comes with daily challenges and disruptions, and those have only increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to the risk of infection, contact with your loved one may now be off-limits or severely restricted. Caregivers probably need to wear masks, which may be confusing to someone with Alzheimer's. And, if your loved one gets sick, how do ...

Social restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic can be especially hard for people who can't visit loved ones with Alzheimer's disease who are in nursing homes.

Despite an easing of restrictions, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says nursing homes shouldn't allow outside visitors until the last phase of its reopening guidelines.

"One of the hardest part...

An Alzheimer's diagnosis is devastating, no matter your sex. But the disease strikes far more women than men.

Journalist and author Maria Shriver is determined to help researchers figure out why women make up two-thirds of those with Alzheimer's disease. And why certain races and ethnicities are harder hit, too.

"Some of the biggest research challenges in terms of gender d...

People who have a flawed gene linked to Alzheimer's disease may face a higher risk of COVID-19, an international team of researchers reports.

Part of the increased risk among people with dementia may owe to high rates of new coronavirus infections in nursing homes. But this study suggests genetics may also be a factor.

The APOE e4e4 gene variant is known to increase Alzheime...

Preventing heart disease may protect you from dementia, researchers say.

The new study looked at nearly 1,600 people, at an average age of 79.5, who were followed for 21 years. Their heart disease risk was assessed at the outset, and participants had annual memory and thinking tests.

The takeaway: People with a higher risk of heart disease also had greater mental (cognitive)...

If you're worried about developing Alzheimer's disease, new research suggests that eating more fruits or drinking more tea or red wine might help protect your brain.

People who had the lowest amounts of fruits -- like apples and berries -- and red wine and tea in their diets were two to four times more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease or another related dementia, the study found...

If your diet consists mostly of processed meats, starches and sugary snacks, you may run the risk of developing dementia, a new study suggests.

"How foods are consumed, not only the quantity consumed, may be important for dementia prevention," said lead researcher Cecilia Samieri, a senior researcher in epidemiology at the University of Bordeaux in France.

In other words, ...

Eating a Mediterranean diet that's high in vegetables, whole grains and fish could reduce your risk of mental decline, two studies from the U.S. National Eye Institute (NEI) suggest.

"We do not always pay attention to our diets. We need to explore how nutrition affects the brain and the eye," lead author Dr. Emily Chew said in an NEI news release. She is director of the institute's di...

Even before symptoms develop, the brains of people with early Alzheimer's disease have high levels of amyloid protein plaques, a new study reveals.

Those levels in older adults with no dementia symptoms are associated with a family history of disease, lower scores on thinking/memory tests, and declines in daily mental function.

The first findings from the so-called A4 study ...

The coronavirus pandemic is throwing Americans' daily lives into disarray, and such disruptions are especially hard on people with Alzheimer's disease.

Changes in daily routines can trigger anxiety, confusion, agitation and/or discomfort for people with Alzheimer's, but there are a number of things family caregivers can do to adapt, according to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (...

The coronavirus pandemic will put extra stress on caregivers of loved ones with dementias, so the Alzheimer's Foundation of America offers some advice.

"Reducing stress is always important for caregivers, and even more so now," said Charles Fuschillo Jr., the foundation's president and CEO.

"Disruptions in daily routines, social isolation and anxiety are all added stressors c...

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, Annette Adams-Brown's 87-year-old mother was an avid follower of TV news. Now Adams-Brown has to channel-surf for a less stressful pastime.

Her mother, Bertha, has dementia, and each time she hears the news about a terrible disease spreading through the country, it's like she is hearing it for the first time.

"It produces a lot of anxiety," said...

Smog drives up dementia risk, particularly for older men and women with heart disease, according to a new Swedish study.

For more than a decade, researchers tracked exposure to air pollution and dementia cases among nearly 3,000 Stockholm residents aged 60 and up.

Lead author Dr. Giulia Grande noted that exposure to dirty air has long been linked to an increased risk for lun...

Millions of Americans pop a low-dose aspirin each day to help ward off heart issues, but a new study finds that protection may not extend to dementia.

Although the anti-inflammatory effects of aspirin have been touted as protection against thinking and memory (or "cognitive") problems from Alzheimer's and other dementias, a large, randomized trial suggests aspirin won't slow mental de...

New research out of France suggests that untreated sleep apnea could raise your odds for developing Alzheimer's disease.

Evidence linking the two is based on a series of neurological assessments, brain scans and sleep analyses conducted between 2016 and 2018.

"This is further support of Alzheimer's as a lifestyle chronic condition that results from a lifetime of experiences,...

Brain inflammation may be more of a factor in dementia than previously believed, a new British study suggests.

"We predicted the link between inflammation in the brain and the buildup of damaging proteins, but even we were surprised by how tightly these two problems mapped on to each other," said co-author Thomas Cope of the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Ca...

Many U.S. primary care doctors worry they aren't ready to care for the growing ranks of Americans with Alzheimer's disease, a new report suggests.

In a Alzheimer's Association survey, half of primary care doctors said the U.S. medical profession is unprepared for the coming surge in Alzheimer's cases.

Right now, it's estimated that more than 5 million Americans age 65 and ol...

Take a walk, weed your garden, go for a swim or dance -- it could keep your brain from shrinking as you age, a new study suggests.

Being physically active may keep your brain four years younger than the rest of you, which might help prevent or slow the progression of dementias like Alzheimer's disease, researchers say.

"We recently published a paper using information of bo...

A genetic variant associated with Alzheimer's disease increases the risk of dementia in people with Parkinson's disease, researchers say.

The finding could lead to new treatments for dementia in Parkinson's patients, according to the team at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disorder that causes tremors, ...

A breakthrough study has identified a class of natural gene variants that may protect against Alzheimer's disease.

For the study, researchers at University College London analyzed DNA from more than 10,000 people -- half with Alzheimer's and half without. The investigators found that these gene variants reduce the functioning of proteins called tyrosine phosphatases.

These p...

Older adults who regularly consume a group of antioxidants called flavonols may have a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests.

The compounds exist in many fruits and vegetables, with the richest sources including green vegetables like kale, spinach and broccoli, apples and tea.

The researchers found that of over 900 older adults they followed ...

Dementia patients may develop distinct speech and reading problems depending on their native language, a new study finds.

The study included 20 English-speaking and 18 Italian-speaking patients with primary progressive aphasia (PPA), a neurodegenerative disorder that affects language areas in the brain. It is often associated with dementia.

The patients had a type of PPA cha...

Poor sleep has been linked to the development of dementia and Alzheimer's disease, and now a new study suggests a possible reason why.

A small group of young, healthy men deprived of just one night of sleep had higher blood levels of tau protein than when they had a full and uninterrupted night of rest, researchers reported in a study published online Jan. 8 in Neurology.

...

A new brain scanning technique is shaking up what researchers thought they knew about Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers now say they can predict with reasonable accuracy which brain regions will wither and atrophy in Alzheimer's by identifying the places where tau protein "tangles" have built up.

"You could really predict which brain regions were going to get damaged just on ...

Obesity in middle age is associated with an increased risk of dementia later in life, according to a study of more than 1 million women in the United Kingdom.

Those who were obese in their mid-50s had 21% greater risk of being diagnosed with dementia 15 or more years later, compared with women who had a healthy weight, a team of British and international researchers found.

T...

Cross-country skiing may be good for your brain, a new study suggests.

Previous research found that participants of the Vasaloppet, a popular long-distance, cross-country skiing race in Sweden, have a lower risk of heart attack, but potential brain benefits have been unclear.

This new research compared the brain health of about 200,000 who took part in the Vasaloppet between...

Playing cards and board games like chess, bingo and Scrabble might be the mental workout you need to keep your wits as you age, Scottish researchers suggest.

People in their 70s who regularly play board games score higher on tests of memory and thinking skills than those who don't. And 70-somethings who step up their game-playing are more likely to maintai...

Air pollution may trigger Alzheimer's-like brain changes and speed memory decline in older adults, a new study suggests.

Previous research has implied that exposure to fine particle air pollution increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia, but it wasn't clear how this type of pollution affects the brain and memory.

"This is the first study to reall...

Many Americans believe they are likely to develop dementia -- and they often turn to unproven ways to try to better their odds, a new study suggests.

In a survey, researchers found that almost half of Americans in their 50s and 60s believed they were at least "somewhat likely" to develop dementia. Yet few -- 5% -- said they had talked to their doctor about ways to lower their risk...

Could illiteracy up your odds for dementia?

That's the suggestion of a study that found seniors who couldn't read or write were two to three times more likely to develop dementia than those who could.

The finding "provides strong evidence for a link between illiteracy and dementia risk," said study author Jennifer Manly, a professor of neuropsychology at Columbia University'...

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