Site updated at Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Living with Dementia

Marker for Alzheimer’s disease may affect mental function even in healthy adults

  • - Dementia News
  • Feb 02, 2012
  • Comments
  • Viewed: 940
Tags: | alzheimer's disease | apoe gene | beta-amyloid | cognitive health |

High levels of the protein beta-amyloid in the brain that is associated with Alzheimer’s disease may affect brain performance even in healthy adults, according to a study published in the February 1, 2012, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

“In our study, we observed that even in adults with apparently good cognitive health, increasing amounts of beta-amyloid in the brain are related to subtle changes in memory and mental function,” said study author Denise C. Park, PhD, of the Center for Vital Longevity at the University of Texas at Dallas.

For the study, 137 people between the ages of 30 and 89 who were highly educated and free of dementia underwent brain scans. Participants were also tested for the APOE gene, which has been linked to a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

The study found that the amount of beta-amyloid in people’s brains increased with age and that about 20 percent of adults age 60 and older had significantly elevated levels of beta-amyloid. Higher amounts of beta-amyloid detected on brain scans were linked with lower test scores related to working memory, reasoning and speed of processing information.

In the group with higher levels of beta-amyloid, 38 percent of people had the Alzheimer’s risk allele of the APOE gene compared to 15 percent of people who did not have higher levels of beta-amyloid.

“A key question for future research is whether some adults with high levels of beta-amyloid will maintain good mental function for a long period of time and whether higher beta-amyloid deposits in healthy adults always predetermines cognitive decline,” said Park.

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the Alzheimer’s Association.

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 25,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, brain injury, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.


Rachel Seroka
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
American Academy of Neurology

Post a comment [ + Comment here + ]

There are no comments for this entry yet. [ + Comment here + ]

Your details

* Required field

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

Comments are moderated by our editors, so there may be a delay between submission and publication of your comment. Offensive or abusive comments will not be published.

I have Alzheimer Disease

tomosyn1 - health and wellness1 - brain changes1 - quantitative structural neuroimaging1 - islet amyloid polypeptide1 - ruth sutherland1 - insomnia2 - guv membrane1 - blood thinning medications1 - healthy mind1 - rheumatoid arthritis1 - improved recognition1 - alcohol abuse4 - music therapy1 - vitamin b12 deficiency1 - treatment for huntington disease1 - loss of memory3 - high oestrogen levels1 - bucknill1 - the journal of neuroscience1 - treatment of alzheimer's1 - semantic dementia1 - neurodegeneration2 - penn medicine1 - wernicke’s encephalopathy1 - hearing loss1 - mini-mental state examination2 - morphometry1 - hydrocephalus1 - autism spectrum1 -