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Alzheimer's Headlines

Oct 29, 2016, 6:13 p.m.

New Research Results Presented at International Conference: Smell and eye tests could provide simple, early and low-cost tools for detecting memory decline. –An experimental drug called aducanumab dramatically reduced the toxic plaques found in the brains of people living with Alzheimer's disease, according to results of a Phase1b clinical trial designed to test safety and tolerability rather than effectiveness. The results hint that the drug may also be able to slow the loss of memory and thinking. Experts caution that additional, larger studies will be necessary to determine if aducanumab has an effect on slowing down Alzheimer’s. –The Alzheimer’s Association issues a $7 million challenge to scientists to speed drug discovery that target inflammation as an innovative avenue for Alzheimer’s disease therapy.

Even a Little Exercise May Help Decrease the Risk of Developing Dementia: Seniors who get little-to-no exercise have a 50 percent greater risk of dementia compared to those who regularly exercise in moderate or heavy amounts, new research shows. According to the researchers, brain scans of study participants showed those who exercised were better able to withstand the effects of aging on the brain. Study participants aged 75 or older gained the most protective benefit from exercise against the onset of dementia.

Growing Evidence Shows Smart Dietary Choices May Help Protect the Brain: The Alzheimer’s Association believes that a healthy and balanced diet that is higher in vegetables and fruit, and lower in unhealthy fat and processed foods can help reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Best foods: leafy greens; blueberries; nuts & seeds; fatty fish; olive oil, lentils, legumes, whole grains. These “brain foods” are also elements of the Mediterranean diet, which is associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s.

High Blood Pressure May Increase Dementia Risk: High blood pressure, particularly in middle age, may increase the risk of developing dementia, according to a study by the American Heart Association.

Underweight Seniors May Have an Additional Risk of Developing Alzheimer’s: Weighing less may increase older adults’ risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. In a new study, researchers observed a link between lower body weight and more extensive deposits of Alzheimer’s-related beta-amyloid protein in the brain. The risk is particularly strong in people with the APOE4 gene variant, which is known to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s.

Work that involves complex thinking and interaction with other people seems to help protect against the onset of Alzheimer’s disease: “We believe this could have potential implications for early intervention,” said the lead investigator of the study.

Alzheimer’s Cafes Bridge the Social Engagement Gap: “Alzheimer’s Cafes” in the Seattle area provide a social engagement opportunity and sense of community for persons living with Alzheimer’s disease. Although this community experiences challenges from memory loss, they enjoy others who are living with the same challenges, as well as their care partners, friends and family. These two hours together offer understanding, acceptance, no judgment and a good time. For a list of Alzheimer’s Cafes in the area, visit www.fulllifecare. org/alzcafes/

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