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WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Could illiteracy up your odds for dementia?

That's the suggestion of a study that found seniors who couldn't read or write were two to three times more likely to develop dementia than those who could.

The finding "provides strong evidence for a link between illiteracy and dementia risk," said study author Jennifer Manly, a profess...

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Higher levels of education may counter the genetic risk of Alzheimer's disease among older black adults, a new study indicates.

"This suggests that education can buffer the effects of the APOE e4 gene on episodic memory retention and working memory, which are usually the first types of memory to be affected in people with Alzheimer's," said ...

MONDAY, Nov. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Could one woman's rare genetic mutation one day have a global impact on dementia risk?

It's possible, say investigators who report on a potentially groundbreaking case of a woman whose genetic mutation staved off dementia for decades, even though her brain had already been damaged by Alzheimer's disease.

While most Alzheimer's...

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you were good with words and puzzles at age 8, you're likely to fare well on tests of mental acuity at age 70, too.

That's among the findings of a new study that followed the thinking abilities of a group of Britons born in the 1940s. Researchers found that their performance on standard cognitive tests at age 8 predicted their performanc...

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 13 million Americans will have dementia by 2040 -- nearly twice as many as today, a new report says.

The number of women with dementia is expected to rise from 4.7 million next year to 8.5 million in 2040. The number of men with dementia is projected to increase from 2.6 million to 4.5 million.

Over the next 20 years, the e...

TUESDAY, Oct. 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Unpaid bills, overdrawn accounts, dwindling investments: When seniors begin experiencing fiscal troubles, early dementia or Alzheimer's disease could be an underlying cause, researchers say.

In the early stages of the disease, people with undiagnosed Alzheimer's are at high risk of making foolish and dangerous decisions about their finances,...

MONDAY, Oct. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When a loved one shows signs of dementia, sometimes a head injury is the cause and MRI scans can help prevent a misdiagnosis of Alzheimer's, researchers report.

As many as 21% of older adults with dementia may be misdiagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, a previous study found. Up to 40% of dementias are caused by conditions other than Al...

MONDAY, Oct. 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Former professional soccer players have a significantly increased risk of death from brain diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, a new study finds.

Former soccer players were about 3.5 times more likely to die of neurodegenerative diseases than people in the general population, according to a study in Scotland.

"This analysis...

TUESDAY, Oct. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Dealing with the agitation, anxiety and aggression that often come with dementia is one of the most challenging aspects of caring for someone with this brain disorder. But new research suggests that massage and other non-drug treatments may be more effective than medications.

Even just taking people with dementia outdoors can help, said stud...

THURSDAY, Oct. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you're Hispanic and missing out on needed sleep, a new study suggests that could make you more prone to memory problems and possibly Alzheimer's disease.

"This finding is particularly important because Hispanics have a significantly higher risk of Alzheimer's disease compared with non-Hispanic whites," said st...

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Are some tests designed to measure memory declines missing signs of trouble in women?

New research suggests that might be the case.

More women than men were diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) when sex-specific scores were used on memory tests, researchers report.

They explained that women generally score high...

FRIDAY, Oct. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When you hear the word diet, you might think only of weight loss. But a lifestyle diet can bring even greater benefits.

One option that belongs on your radar is the MIND diet created by researchers at Rush University in Chicago.

MIND stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. It's a hybrid of those two he...

MONDAY, Sept. 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Many older people show evidence of mental decline, called mild cognitive impairment, but doctors often miss this sometimes early sign of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

To help doctors get a better handle on their patients' mental state, the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) is urging physicians to assess patients aged 65 and older at lea...

MONDAY, Sept. 23, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Fluctuating blood pressure may be associated with worsening dementia in people with Alzheimer's disease, according to new research.

The study published Monday in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension sought to add a new understanding about the links between Alzheimer's, the heart and blood vessels. Past ...

THURSDAY, Sept. 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For people at risk of Alzheimer's disease, working out a couple of times a week might at least slow the onset of the illness, new research suggests.

Regular exercise over a year slowed the degeneration of the part of the brain tied to memory among people who had a buildup of amyloid beta protein in their brain. These protein "plaques" are a...

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Sleep loss is a problem for people who care for loved ones with dementia, which can put both caregivers and patients at risk, researchers say.

Investigators at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, found caregivers lost between 2.5 to 3.5 hours of sleep a week due to difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep.

"Losing 3.5 hours of ...

SATURDAY, Aug. 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- There are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk of Alzheimer's disease, according to an expert.

"People think Alzheimer's is an entirely genetic disorder, but most often, it's not," said Dr. Charles Duffy, a neurologist at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pa. "The two biggest risk factors for develop...

MONDAY, Aug. 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Seniors, here's a recipe for preventing dementia: eat well, exercise and don't smoke.

The only catch, according to a new study? If you carry genes that leave you vulnerable to the memory-robbing disease, lifestyle might not be enough.

In the study, researchers found that of over 6,300 adults aged 55 and older, those with healthy habi...

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Could a pacemaker for the brain improve the memories of people with dementia or Alzheimer's disease?

New research suggests it might be possible one day: Electrical stimulation directed at key memory regions of the brain created intense flashbacks in some Alzheimer's patients, including sensations of emotions, smells, taste and temperature.<...

MONDAY, Aug. 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Heat waves can pose a serious risk to people with Alzheimer's disease, so their families should know how to keep them safe, advocates say.

Extreme heat is "dangerous for everyone, but especially for someone with Alzheimer's disease, who may be unable to spot the warning signs of trouble or know how to get help," said Charles Fuschillo Jr., pre...

TUESDAY, Aug. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Staying sharp and warding off dementia might rely, in part, on doing your best to keep high blood pressure at bay.

So finds a new study that suggests strict control of hypertension may help prevent dementia.

In the study, researchers at the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) used MRIs to scan the br...

MONDAY, Aug. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- New research is untangling the complex relationship between symptoms of depression and losses in memory and thinking that often emerge together with Alzheimer's disease.

In fact, the new data suggests that "depression symptoms themselves may be among the early changes in the preclinical stages of dementia syndromes," explained study lead autho...

MONDAY, Aug. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you often find yourself dosing off during the day, new research suggests it might be an early warning sign that you have Alzheimer's disease.

Areas of the brain that keep you awake during the day are damaged in the early stages of the memory-robbing disease, which is why people with Alzheimer's may nap excessively long before they start t...

THURSDAY, Aug. 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Want to reduce your risk of dementia? Take care of your heart.

That's the takeaway from a new study that suggests good heart health in middle age could lower your odds for problems with thinking and memory later in life.

The study included nearly 7,900 British adults who did not have heart disease or dementia at age 50. Over an aver...

MONDAY, Aug. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The evidence continues to mount that staying socially engaged as you age helps keep dementia at bay.

In a new study, British researchers found that being socially active in your 50s and 60s may reduce the risk of developing dementia.

The findings showed that people in their 60s who interacted with friends nearly every day had a 12%...

FRIDAY, Aug. 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A small electric "tickle" to the ear may affect the body's nervous system, and British researchers claim this can promote overall well-being and may potentially slow down some effects of aging.

The tickle treatment is called transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS). The procedure involves placing custom-made clips containing electrodes on...

THURSDAY, Aug. 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A simple blood test helped pinpoint the early signs of Alzheimer's in a new study.

Up to two decades before people develop Alzheimer's symptoms such as memory loss and confusion, harmful clumps of amyloid beta protein begin to accumulate in their brain, researchers explained.

But it's possible to measure levels of amyloid beta in th...

WEDNESDAY, July 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Even mild anemia -- low levels of hemoglobin in the blood -- may raise a person's odds for Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia, a new study finds.

The same Dutch research also found a correlation between heightened dementia risk and high blood levels of hemoglobin.

"With around 10% of people over age 65 having an...

WEDNESDAY, July 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- One of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's is the accumulation of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain, but what part those plaques play in the development of the disease isn't clear.

Now researchers have taken the first steps to trace the progression of plaque buildup in living patients. This way of "staging" the disease has implications for researc...

WEDNESDAY, July 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Rates of Alzheimer's disease are higher in women than in men, and researchers now think they know why.

A team from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, in Nashville, Tenn., has identified gender differences in how the Alzheimer's-related protein tau spreads in the brain.

Research suggests that tau spreads through the brain like a...

WEDNESDAY, July 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Even if you are at high risk for Alzheimer's disease, a little more exercise may buy you time, new research suggests.

Folks with elevated levels of a brain protein called beta amyloid tend to be more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease and experience rapid brain decline later in life, previous research has found.

But apparently ...

MONDAY, July 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Join a book club, take a cruise or just visit friends -- new research supports the notion that social activities help stave off mental decline as you age.

The study found that seniors with high levels of an Alzheimer's-linked protein in their brains were able to slow any mental decline if they got out and socialized regularly.

So, "s...

MONDAY, July 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Even if you are unlucky enough to carry genes that predispose you to Alzheimer's disease, a healthy lifestyle can minimize that risk, new research shows.

The study tracked the genetics, lifestyles and Alzheimer's disease incidence of nearly 200,000 British people over 60 for an average of eight years.

Researchers found that people wh...

WEDNESDAY, July 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Keeping your brain active as you age, whether it be working on a computer, playing games or being socially involved, might ward off memory loss, a new study suggests.

Losing memory as you age is a sign of mild cognitive impairment, which can be a gateway to dementia or Alzheimer's disease. But using your brain can help keep it sharp, and i...

MONDAY, July 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Soon after a man is diagnosed with prostate cancer, drugs that lower levels of testosterone are often offered as treatment, since testosterone fuels the cancer's growth.

But a major new study suggests that this approach might have an unwanted side effect: Higher odds for Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.

"Our results suggest th...

THURSDAY, June 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Every college student misplaces keys or forgets an appointment from time to time. Usually it's no big deal. But a new study warns that when young people with a family history of Alzheimer's disease have memory lapses, it could be an early sign of something serious.

That's the concern raised by a new memory test taken by nearly 60,000 men and...

MONDAY, June 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors often prescribe anticholinergic drugs for a variety of ills. But a new study suggests they may increase the risk of dementia in older patients.

These medicines include everything from Benadryl (diphenhydramine) to certain antipsychotics and Parkinson's meds. They're used to treat a wide range of other conditions, including depression, ...

FRIDAY, June 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have found more evidence of a puzzling phenomenon: Older adults who survive cancer seem to be somewhat protected against dementia.

A number of studies in recent years have found that cancer survivors have a relatively lower risk of developing Alzheimer's.

The new research adds another layer. It shows that even before thei...

TUESDAY, June 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Many aging Americans have the common heart rhythm disorder known as atrial fibrillation, or "a-fib." Now comes the sobering news that it might raise their odds for dementia.

The Korean study couldn't prove cause and effect, but researchers noted that the link between a-fib and dementia was found even among people who hadn't suffered a stroke....

MONDAY, June 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The strong link between brain health and heart health is reinforced in a new study. The research showed that as cardiovascular health falters, so too does thinking and memory.

In one of the largest and longest studies of its kind to date, researchers studied a group of nearly 8,000 people in the United Kingdom. The participants were over 49 y...

MONDAY, June 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with blood pressure medication can improve blood flow to a key brain region in people with Alzheimer's disease, a small clinical trial has found.

Researchers stressed that they do not know whether the brain finding can translate into any benefits for patients. But future studies should look into that possibility, they said.

FRIDAY, June 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Being smart and highly educated may not prevent Alzheimer's disease, but it appears to delay the disease's impact on everyday life, a new study suggests.

Researchers can't prove that that's the case, but their data suggests it might be.

"Our study was designed to look for trends, not prove cause and effect, but the major implication...

FRIDAY, June 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- People with Alzheimer's disease who take opioid painkillers are more likely to develop pneumonia, Finnish researchers report.

The overall odds are 30% higher, especially in the first two months of use, the researchers found. And the risk is highest for those taking strong opioids such as oxycodone or fentanyl.

However, pneumonia r...

WEDNESDAY, June 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If someone you know is struggling to keep track of their finances as they age, early dementia might be the culprit.

That's the conclusion of researchers who tested 243 adults, aged 55 to 90, on their financial skills and performed brain scans to assess the buildup of beta-amyloid plaques, which are associated with Alzheimer's disease.

...

MONDAY, June 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Liquid detergent packets or "pods" continue to poison kids years after their makers volunteered to make them safer.

Such poisonings fell just 18% between 2015 and 2017, a new study reports. From 2012 to 2017, poison control centers fielded nearly 73,000 calls about poisoning from these pods. That's about one call every 42 minutes, and almos...

WEDNESDAY, May 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- New research delivers fresh hope for everyone who struggles with a fading memory: Neurons continue to form well into old age, even in people with mental impairments or Alzheimer's disease.

"We found that there was active neurogenesis [new neurons forming] in the hippocampus of older adults well into their 90s," said study author Orly Lazarov...

WEDNESDAY, May 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Here's another reason to keep your cholesterol under control: New research suggests that LDL, or "bad," cholesterol may play a role in the development of early-onset Alzheimer's.

A rare form of the disease that occurs before the age of 65, early-onset Alzheimer's has previously been linked to a gene mutation involved in how the body processe...

THURSDAY, May 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Mornings spent figuring out Sudoku or finessing a crossword could spell better health for aging brains, researchers say.

In a study of over 19,000 British adults aged 50 and over who were tracked for 25 years, the habit of doing word or number puzzles seemed to help keep minds nimble over time.

"We've found that the more regularly p...

FRIDAY, May 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Cuddler the bear, Aibo the dog, Justocat the purring kitty: They may only be furry, lifelike robots, but they have a made a real impact in nursing homes.

That's the finding of new British research that suggests these high-tech "robopets" are the next best thing for nursing home residents unable to have a beloved pet or those suffering from lone...

SUNDAY, May 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When men with prostate cancer have to take drugs that block the testosterone fueling their tumors, they can suffer a host of side effects that include impotence, bone loss, heart trouble and obesity.

But new research uncovers yet another possible downside to the treatment: These men may be at greater risk for dementia...

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