Dementia Today.net

Site updated at Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Living with Dementia

Potential Alzheimer’s disease risk factor and risk reduction strategies become clearer

  • - Dementia News
  • Jul 14, 2014
  • Comments
  • Viewed: 0
Tags: | alzheimer's disease | alzheimer's disease risk | alzheimer's epidemic | cognitive impairment |

Participation in activities that promote mental activity, and moderate physical activity in middle age, may help protect against the development of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in later life, according to new research reported today at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference® 2014 (AAIC® 2014) in Copenhagen.

Research reported at AAIC 2014 also showed that sleep problems - especially when combined with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) - may increase dementia risk in veterans. Additionally, in a population of people age 90 and older, High Blood Pressure was seen to help protect against cognitive decline. This is counter intuitive as heart health risk factors, including hypertension, are generally considered to elevate risk of Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

“Determining more specifically the factors that raise and lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is an essential component in our battle against the Alzheimer’s epidemic,” said Heather Snyder, Ph.D., Alzheimer’s Association director of Medical and Scientific Operations. “We are now getting a more clear idea of the opportunities for risk reduction through behavior changes and other health factors. We’re learning that Alzheimer’s risk and protective factors may change over the course of our lives.”

“These studies from AAIC 2014 underscore the need to fund larger, longer-term studies in different and diverse populations to enable us to develop helpful ‘prescriptions’ for lifestyle change - for example, which foods to eat and avoid, how much physical activity and what types - and to learn more specifically about how Alzheimer’s and dementia risk factors change as we age,” Snyder added.

With the support of the Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s community, the United States created its first National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease in 2012. The plan includes the critical goal, which was adopted by the G8 at the Dementia Summit 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 volume and cognitive test scores, such as age and gender, the researchers found that a higher self-reported frequency of game playing was significantly associated with greater brain volume in several regions involved in Alzheimer’s disease (such as the hippocampus) and with higher cognitive test scores on memory and executive function.

“Our findings suggest that, for some individuals, engagement in cognitively stimulating activities, especially those involving games such as puzzles and cards, might be a useful approach for preserving brain structures and cognitive functions that are vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease,” said Schultz. “More detailed studies of specific cognitive activities, including games, would help further our understanding of how an active, healthy lifestyle may help delay the development of Alzheimer’s.”

Moderate Exercise in Middle Age Is Associated with Decreased Risk of Dementia

Of the growing body of research concerning lifestyle and brain health, and also the possibility of reduced risk of Alzheimer’s and other dementias, perhaps the strongest and most consistent evidence exists for regular physical activity.

Page 1

1 2 Next »



Post a comment [ + Comment here + ]

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




Comment
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.

Living with Dementia

tau tangles1 - morosis1 - caffeine2 - retinopathy1 - preventing alzheimer's1 - hip fracture1 - anti-hypertension medication1 - nilotinib1 - saykin1 - alzheimer2 - dopaminergic neurons1 - alzheimer's changes2 - microrna1 - alzheimer's researchers1 - ophthalmoplegia4 - frontotemporal dementia8 - agnosia3 - postitron emission tomography1 - progression of pd1 - intracoronary ultrasound1 - rates of dementia1 - dementia alliance1 - trouble sleeping1 - peanut butter1 - bapineuzumab1 - antipsychotics1 - learning1 - decline in cognitive functioning1 - dementia screening1 - fronto temporal lobar degeneration1 -