Cognitive decline is a pressing global health care issue. Worldwide, one case of dementia is detected every seven seconds. Mild cognitive impairment is a well recognized risk factor for dementia, and represents a critical window of opportunity for intervening and altering the trajectory of cognitive decline in seniors.
The aggregated proteins strewn about the brain are the hallmark of one of the most common neurodegenerative disorders: Alzheimer's disease. But while these irregular, gunky proteins, called amyloid-β, are believed to contribute to the deterioration of memory and cognitive ability in Alzheimer's patients, no one knows how they lead to these symptoms, and the severity of the dementia doesn't directly depend on the amount of amyloid-β plaques found in diseased brains.
Using a mouse model of autism, researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have successfully treated an autism spectrum disorder characterized by severe cognitive impairment. The research team, led by Joe Clark, PhD, a professor of neurology at UC, reports its findings online July 2, 2012, in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, a publication of the American Society for Clinical Investigation.
Cognitive training including puzzles, handicrafts and life skills are known to reduce the risk, and help slow down the progress, of dementia amongst the elderly. A new study published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Medicine showed that cognitive training was able to improve reasoning, memory, language and hand eye co-ordination of healthy, older adults.
The discovery by UCLA biochemists of a new method for preventing oxidation in the essential fatty acids of cell membranes could lead to a new class of more effective nutritional supplements and potentially help combat neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease and perhaps Alzheimer's.
New research links 'silent strokes,' or small spots of dead brain cells, found in about one out of four older adults to memory loss in the elderly. The study is published in the January 3, 2012, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Scientists from the University of South Florida and Fudan University in Shanghai found increases in brain volume and improvements on tests of memory and thinking in Chinese seniors who practiced Tai Chi three times a week, reports an article published June 19 in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.
Middle-age men and women who have cardiovascular issues, such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure, may not only be at risk for heart disease, but for an increased risk of developing early cognitive and memory problems as well. That's according to a study released Feb. 21 that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 63rd Annual Meeting in Honolulu April 9 to April 16, 2011.
In the initial stages of sleep, energy levels increase dramatically in brain regions found to be active during waking hours, according to new research in the June 30 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.
If you've ever wondered if nicotine offered society any benefit, a new study published in The FASEB Journal offers a surprising answer. Nicotine can protect the brain against Parkinson's disease, the research suggests, and the discovery of how nicotine does this may lead to entirely new types of treatments for the disease.
Drugs being investigated for Alzheimer's disease may be causing further neural degeneration and cell death, calling for a change in the way Alzheimer's medications are developed, according to results published in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Two years ago, researchers at UCLA found that specific regions in the brains of long-term meditators were larger and had more gray matter than the brains of individuals in a control group. This suggested that meditation may indeed be good for all of us since, alas, our brains shrink naturally with age.