Thursday April 19, 2018

An active mind keeps Alzheimer away: Indian origin researcher

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New York: Being indulged in the activities that keep mind stimulating and active such as reading books and magazines, playing games and using computers in the middle age can help stopping symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease according to the study, done by Indian origin researcher.

“The takeaway message for the general public is that keeping your mind active is very important in delaying symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease,” said study author Prashanthi Vemuri, dementia researcher at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, US.

The findings were published in the online edition of the journal Neurology.

People who are carriers of a gene linked to Alzheimer’s, called APOE4, who had at least 14 years of education and kept mentally active in middle age had lower levels of proteins called amyloid plaques.

The proteins can build up in brain tissue and lead to Alzheimer’s disease. People with the gene and a high level of education but did not keep mentally active in middle age had higher levels of amyloid plaques, the study said.

For the study, researchers evaluated 393 people without dementia who were part of the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging. Of those, 53 had mild cognitive impairment.

All were 70 years of age or older. They were divided into two groups: those with more than 14 years of education and those with less.

Then, researchers used MRI and positron emission tomography scans to look for biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease and questionnaires to evaluate weekly intellectual and physical activity in middle age.

“When we looked specifically at the level of lifetime learning, we found that carriers of the APOE4 gene who had higher education and continued to learn through middle age had fewer amyloid deposition on imaging when compared to those who did not continue with intellectual activity in middle age,” Vemuri said.(IANS)(image-senior.in)

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Reducing Alzheimer’s stigma crucial for prevention research

Almost half expected the person's health insurance would be limited due to data in the medical record (47 percent), a brain imaging result (46 percent) or genetic test result (45 percent)

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A lady suffering from Alzheimer's. Flickr
  • Alzheimer’s is a serious disease
  • To prevent it, it is important to remove the stigma attached to it
  • It was found in a recent survey

Reducing stigma attributed to Alzheimer’s disease is vital for prevention research, a new study suggests, adding that the stigma associated with the disease may be an obstacle for individuals to seek information about their risk of developing it.

The survey focused on what beliefs, attitudes and expectations are most often associated with the disease. “We found that concerns about discrimination and overly harsh judgments about the severity of symptoms were most prevalent,” said co-author of the study, Shana Stites from the University of Pennsylvania. “By understanding what the biggest concerns are about the disease, we can help develop programmes and policies to reduce the stigma about Alzheimer’s disease,” Stites added.

Diabetes drug could now treat Alzheimer's disease
To treat Alzheimer’s disease, it is important to remove stigma attached to it. IANS

For the study, published in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, a random sample of 317 adults was asked to react to a fictional description of a person with mild stage Alzheimer’s disease dementia.

The study asked respondents to read a vignette and then complete the survey. Three different assessments were presented for the fictional person’s condition. Respondents were told the person’s condition would worsen, improve or remain unchanged. Over half of the respondents (55 percent) expected the person with mild cognitive impairment or dementia due to Alzheimer’s to be discriminated against by employers and to be excluded from medical decision-making.

Also Read: Beetroot compound may prevent Alzheimer’s

Almost half expected the person’s health insurance would be limited due to data in the medical record (47 percent), a brain imaging result (46 percent) or genetic test result (45 percent). Those numbers increased when the participants were informed that the condition of the person with Alzheimer’s would worsen over time, the researcher said. IANS

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