Thursday February 21, 2019

Sound Waves May Help Treat Dementia

Presently no curative treatments are available for vascular dementia or Alzheimer's disease which are the most common causes of dementia

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The researchers believe that this type of low intensity sound therapy may benefit humans. (IANS)

Low-intensity ultrasound waves may improve cognitive dysfunction in patients with dementia and/or Alzheimer’s disease, scientists suggest.

Applying low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) to the whole brain of the mice improved blood vessel formation and nerve cell regeneration without having obvious side effects.

The researchers believe that this type of therapy may also benefit humans.

“The LIPUS therapy is a non-invasive physiotherapy that could apply to high-risk elderly patients without the need for surgery or anaesthesia, and could be used repeatedly,” said lead author Hiroaki Shimokawa from Tohoku University in Japan.

The team treated mice with vascular dementia on three alternative days, followed by a surgical procedure that limited the brain’s blood supply.

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A woman suffering from Dementia. Pixabay

The mice with a condition simulating Alzheimer’s disease in humans received 11 LIPUS treatments over a period of three months.

The results, published in the journal Brain Stimulation, showed that cognitive impairment markedly improved in mice from both the groups when LIPUS was applied to the whole brain three times a day for 20 minutes each.

Also Read: Scientists Develop Potential Approach to Treat Dementia, Stroke

Further, genes related to the cells lining blood vessels were turned on. The team also found increased expression of an enzyme involved in blood vessel formation and a protein involved in nerve cell survival and growth.

Presently no curative treatments are available for vascular dementia or Alzheimer’s disease which are the most common causes of dementia. (IANS)

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Distress May Spike up Risk of Dementia

For the study, the team included 6,807 Danish participants aged 60 years on average

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Extreme distress increases risk for dementia: Study. Pixabay

Men and women who are distressed in midlife could be at higher risk of developing dementia in their old age, suggests a new study.

The study showed that vital exhaustion, which can be perceived as an indicator of psychological distress, is a risk factor for future risk of dementia.

Psychological distress is potentially linked to the risk of dementia through neurological and cardiovascular mechanisms.

The findings, led by researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, revealed that for each additional symptom of vital exhaustion, the risk of dementia rose by two per cent.

While participants reporting five to nine symptoms had a 25 per cent higher risk of dementia than those with no symptoms, those reporting 10 to 17 symptoms had a 40 per cent higher risk of dementia compared with not having symptoms.

However, the researchers are yet not aware of "exactly how anticholinergics might cause dementia", the researchers said.
Representational Image- dementia, Pixabay

Importantly, physiological stress response, including cardiovascular changes and excessive production of cortisol over a prolonged period, may also contribute to linking psychological distress with an increased risk of dementia, revealed the study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

“Stress can have severe and harmful consequences not just for our brain health, but our health in general. Cardiovascular risk factors are well-known modifiable risk factors for dementia, and in some countries, a stagnation or even a decreasing incidence of dementia has been observed,” said Sabrina Islamoska, postdoctoral student from the varsity.

Also Read- CBSE to Issue Module to Deter Students From Cheating

For the study, the team included 6,807 Danish participants aged 60 years on average.

Psychological distress is an important risk factor that should receive more focus when considering prevention initiatives in relation to later dementia, the team said. (IANS)