Education lessens the effects of Alzheimer’s



Violence against women is a public health problem globally. Knowledge within the health care system about abuse in childhood as a possible cause of illness is limited, and this can lead to misdiagnoses. “The mental symptoms of abused women can be alleviated through discussions in self-help groups run by the participants”, says GullBritt Rahm who

Full Post: Women with sexual trauma from childhood gain strength in self-help groups

Scientists say brain scans show that education appears to lessen the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.

The scientists from the Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, say their research supports the ‘cognitive reserve’ hypothesis and individuals with levels of higher education levels score higher on cognitive tests despite having Alzheimer’s disease.

According to the hypothesis, individuals with greater cognitive (thinking, learning and memory) abilities are able to delay symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease despite underlying changes in the brain.

Background information says education is commonly used as a substitute measure of cognitive reserve and greater education has been associated with better cognitive function during life and the researchers suggest that education interacts with Alzheimer disease to ease the effects of the disease symptoms by calling on that cognitive reserve.

For the research Dr Catherine M. Roe and colleagues studied 37 individuals with Alzheimer type dementia and 161 individuals without dementia between 2003 and 2008.

The participants reported their education history and took cognitive tests and were injected with a marker known as carbon 11-labelled Pittsburgh Compound B ([11C]PiB) and then underwent a 60-minute positron emission tomography (PET) scan of the brain.

Recent studies have shown that [11C]PiB adheres to beta-amyloid brain plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease, which allows researchers to identify these characteristics of the disease in living patients.

They found scans revealed that the level of [11C]PiB uptake interacted significantly with years of education in predicting cognitive test scores and among individuals whose brains took up higher levels of [11C]PiB, indicating the presence of beta-amyloid plaques, performance on the test increased with increasing education levels.

Education was not associated with cognitive scores among those with low [11C]PiB uptake, indicating no plaques.

The researchers say the results support the hypothesis that cognitive reserve influences the association between Alzheimer disease pathological burden and cognition.

They say there may be a ceiling effect when the extensive beta-amyloid pathological burden increases, and a greater proportion of highly educated participants will reach the threshold for dementia and the initial advantage provided by cognitive reserve decreases.

The research is published in the November issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Link




Individuals with higher education levels appear to score higher on cognitive tests despite having evidence of brain plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of Neurology. The cognitive reserve hypothesis holds that individuals with greater cognitive (thinking, learning and memory) abilities are able to delay symptoms of

Full Post: Greater thinking, learning and memory abilities delay symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease



A test that reveals brain changes believed to be at the heart of Alzheimer’s disease has bolstered the theory that education can delay the onset of the dementia and cognitive decline that are characteristic of the disorder. Scientists at the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that

Full Post: Education delays onset of the dementia



A drug commonly used to treat epilepsy could help clear the plaques in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease, according to researchers at the University of Leeds. The plaques are known to lead to the progressive death of nerve cells in the brain linked to many forms of dementia. Sodium valproate - which is marketed

Full Post: Anti-seizure drug Epilim shows promise for Alzheimer’s



Patients with dementia and diabetes appear to display a different pattern of injuries in their brains than patients with dementia but without diabetes, according to an article posted online today that will appear in the March print issue of Archives of Neurology. “The association between diabetes mellitus and increased risk for dementia in the elderly

Full Post: Diabetes associated with different types of brain injury in patients with dementia



Australian scientists are suggesting that grape seeds may be a potential treatment in warding off Alzheimer’s disease. The scientists at Flinders University have found that adding grape seed extract to the diet prevented the formation of deposits of amyloid proteins in the brain. The discovery was made by a team of medical scientists in the

Full Post: Grape seeds could ward off Alzheimer’s