Sunday February 18, 2018

Memory and thinking tests can help in early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease: New Study

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New York: Even if symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease become apparent in old age, the biological processes that cause the mental decline may begin a couple of decades ago in the ‘middle age’, suggests a new study by an Indian-origin researcher.

Low scores on memory and thinking tests may signal Alzheimer’s up to 18 years before the disease can be diagnosed, the findings showed.

“The changes in thinking and memory that precede obvious symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease begin decades before,” said study author Kumar Bharat Rajan, assistant professor, at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

“While we cannot currently detect such changes in individuals at risk, we were able to observe them among a group of individuals who eventually developed dementia due to Alzheimer’s,” said Rajan, an alumnus of Madras Christian College.

For the study, 2,125 people from Chicago, with an average age of 73, without Alzheimer’s disease were given tests of memory and thinking skills every three years for 18 years.

The researchers found that those who were finally diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, scored lower overall on the memory and thinking tests throughout the study.

One unit lower in performance of the standardized cognitive test score was associated with an 85 percent greater risk of future dementia.

“A general current concept is that in development of Alzheimer’s disease, certain physical and biologic changes precede memory and thinking impairment. If this is so then these underlying processes may have a very long duration. Efforts to successfully prevent the disease may well require a better understanding of these processes near middle age,” Rajan said.

The research was published online in The Journal of Neurology. (IANS)

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Breastfeeding May Reduce Hypertension Risk

For the study, published in the American Journal of Hypertension, researchers examined 3,119 non-smoking postmenopausal women aged 50 years or older in the 2010-2011 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

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Evidence from epidemiologic data has also shown the beneficial effects of breastfeeding on the health of infants and their mothers. Pixabay
Evidence from epidemiologic data has also shown the beneficial effects of breastfeeding on the health of infants and their mothers. Pixabay
  • Women who breastfeed more children and for a longer duration were less likely to suffer from hypertension after they reach menopause
  • Evidence from epidemiologic data has also shown the beneficial effects of breastfeeding on the health of infants and their mothers
  • The study was published in the American Journal of Hypertension

Breastfeeding mothers, take note! New research suggests that women who breastfeed more children and for a longer duration were less likely to suffer from hypertension after they reach menopause.

According to the researchers, elevated blood pressure is the greatest single risk factor for disease and mortality.

“Our findings endorsed the current recommendations for breastfeeding for the benefit of maternal health in later lives,” said the lead author of the study, Nam-Kyong Choi from Ewha Woman’s University in South Korea.

ALSO READ: World Breastfeeding Week: Breast milk, the answer to malnutrition in children

Evidence from epidemiologic data has also shown the beneficial effects of breastfeeding on the health of infants and their mothers.

It has been well documented that long-term breastfeeding is associated with reduced children’s allergies, celiac disease, obesity, and diabetes mellitus, the researchers said.

However, the effects of breastfeeding on maternal health have been little studied compared with the effects on the children.

Several studies have consistently found that absence of breastfeeding or premature discontinuation was associated with increased risks of diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease and cardiovascular diseases, the researchers mentioned. Pixabay
Several studies have consistently found that absence of breastfeeding or premature discontinuation was associated with increased risks of diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease and cardiovascular diseases, the researchers mentioned. Pixabay

 

For the study, published in the American Journal of Hypertension, researchers examined 3,119 non-smoking postmenopausal women aged 50 years or older in the 2010-2011 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

They found that breastfeeding of more children and for longer duration was associated with lower risk of hypertension in postmenopausal women.

ALSO READ: Breastfeeding of new-born babies during the first hour after birth is less than 50 percent in India

In particular, the highest quintile of a number of children breastfed (five to 11) showed a 51 percent lower risk of hypertension compared with the lowest quintile (zero to one).

The highest quintile of the duration of breastfeeding (96 to 324 months) showed a 45 percent lower risk of hypertension.

The researchers, however, said that this link may prove to be less true in obese women. (IANS)