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Health News Results - 436

Cognitive Decline May Come Earlier for People With Epilepsy

People with epilepsy suffer quicker declines in thinking than people without the brain disorder, particularly if they also have risk factors like high blood pressure or diabetes, a new study finds.

The difference was significant: Over the course of the 14-year study, those with epilepsy experienced a 65% to 70% faster decline in memory and thinking skills.

On top of that, having ris...

Your Personality Might Help Shield You From Dementia

Got a naturally sunny disposition? It might protect you from dementia as the years advance, new research shows.

A team at Northwestern University in Chicago report that certain personality traits -- being conscientious, outgoing and positive -- appear to lower a person's odds for a dementia diagnosis.

On the other hand, being neurotic and more negative in outlook and behavior was t...

Could an Overactive Thyroid Harm the Aging Brain?

Elevated levels of thyroid hormone appear to harm the aging brain, increasing seniors’ risk of dementia or other cognitive disorders, a new study finds.

High levels of thyroid hormone -- a condition called thyrotoxicosis -- was associated with thinking problems whether they came from an overactive thyroid gland or from taking thyroid medication, researchers found.

“Our results s...

Early Onset Heart Disease Is Key Factor in Later-Life Dementia

Minding your heart health when you're young could spare your brain from dementia decades later, new research confirms.

Chinese researchers looked at data on more than 450,000 older Britons. They found that people who'd already been in poor cardiovascular health before they reached the age of 45 had a 25% higher odds of developing dementia, compared to those with better heart heath.


Could a 'Brain Coach' Help Folks at Higher Risk for Alzheimer's?

Personal trainers can help people increase their strength and their fitness.

Could a “brain coach” be just as useful in preventing Alzheimer’s’ disease?

A new study suggests that personalized health and lifestyle changes can delay or even prevent memory loss for older adults at high risk of Alzheimer’s or dementia.

People who received personal coaching experienced a ...

Soccer 'Heading' Tied to Declines in Brain Function

Evidence that soccer heading -- where players use their heads to strike a ball -- is dangerous continues to mount.

Research to be presented at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting in Chicago on Tuesday points to a measurable decline in brain structure and function as a result of the practice.

"There is enormous worldwide concern for brain injury in genera...

Lab-Grown Brain Blood Vessels Show New Ways to Prevent Stroke, Dementia

Lab-grown blood vessels are providing new insight into how damage to the tiny vessels in the brain can cause them to leak, contributing to dementia and stroke.

Even better, this research has identified a drug target that could plug these leaks and potentially reduce a person’s risk of brain-damaging blood vessel leaks.

Antibiotic and anti-cancer drugs that inhibit a class of bioch...

New Device Can Check Markers for Parkinson's, Alzheimer's Disease

A wireless, noninvasive device has shown promise in detecting the biomarkers of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Researchers said the device uses electrical detection to identify proteins associated with Alzheimer’s (amyloid beta and tau) and Parkinson’s (alpha synuclein) in saliva and urine.

“This portable diagnostic system would allow testing at-home and at point of...

One Part of Your Brain Could Point to the Mind's Decline

Shrinkage of one of the brain's key memory centers appears to herald thinking declines, a new study finds.

The region in question is the hippocampus, a two-sided structure located roughly above each ear and embedded deep within the brain's temporal lobe. It's long been known to play a crucial role in the storage and transference of short- and long-term memory.

The new research was ...

Tai Chi Might Help Seniors Counter Mild Cognitive Decline

The ancient art of tai chi, plus a modern twist, may help older adults reverse mild declines in brain power, a new clinical trial reveals. 

Researchers found that tai chi classes helped older adults improve their subtle problems with cognition (memory and thinking skills). It also helped them with a fundamental multitasking skill: walking while your attention is elsewhere.

But ...

7 Million Americans Have Mild Cognitive Impairment and Don't Know It

Millions of older Americans may be unaware they have memory and thinking impairments -- mostly because their doctors aren't diagnosing them, new research suggests.

After analyzing Medicare data covering 40 million older Americans, researchers found that only a small percentage of expected cases of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) were actually diagnosed. The upshot was that more t...

Have Diabetes? Quitting Metformin Could Take Toll on Your Brain

Millions of people with diabetes take the drug metformin to control their blood sugar levels.

Meant to be taken for the long term, new research now suggests that stopping it early may up the risk of developing thinking and memory problems as patients age.

“We found that staying on metformin prevents or delays dementia onset, and this is very encouraging,” said researcher

High Blood Triglycerides Could Help Ward Off Dementia

High triglycerides, widely known as an enemy of the aging heart, may not be as threatening to older adults' brains, new research suggests.

The study, of over 80,000 older adults, found those with triglycerides in the "high-normal" or moderately high range were less likely to develop dementia, versus their peers with lower triglyceride levels.

Over six years, 3% of older folks with t...

Neighborhood Parks Could Help Your Aging Brain

A variety of risks can make it more likely that someone develops Alzheimer's disease or other dementias.

Now you can add neighborhood environment to that list. A new study finds low income levels and a lack of green spaces are among the factors that can harm brain health.

“Social determinants of health have a major impact on cognition, as well as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular...

Eating Well in Middle Age Could Help Your Brain Decades Later

Mid-life isn't too late to make a dietary change to preserve brain health.

Women who started following the diet known as DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) to lower their blood pressure were about 17% less likely to report memory loss and other signs of mental decline decades later, a new study re...

Better Health Care Access Is Helping People With Down Syndrome Live Longer

Americans with Down syndrome have a critical lifeline in Medicaid insurance, new research confirms.

But the publicly funded insurance program will have to respond to rising numbers of older adults with Down syndrome, researchers say.

“As more people with Down syndrome survive to older ages, the Medicaid system needs to be ready to serve this population with tailored, sensitive, an...

Dementia Diagnosis Takes Huge Toll on a Family's Finances

Dementia can take a big bite out of an American's bank account, robbing 60% of a patient's net worth in the eight years after a diagnosis, a new study says.

The average dementia patient will also see a doubling of out-of-pocket health care expenses in those first eight years, said researchers who studied thousands of seniors with and without the brain disorder.

“We found a pr...

Blood Pressure's Ups & Downs Could Harm Heart, Brain

Fluctuating blood pressure can be a harbinger for both dementia and heart disease, a new study finds.

Ups and downs within 24 hours or even over several days or weeks were linked with impaired thinking, researchers from Australia reported.

Higher variations in systolic blood pressure, the top number, were linked with stiffening of the arteries, which is associated with heart disease...

Adults With ADHD May Face Higher Dementia Risk

Adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are nearly three times more likely to develop dementia than other adults, a new study suggests.

The results also indicate that treatment with ADHD medication may help reduce their dementia risk. No clear uptick in dementia risk was found among ADHD patients who received psychostimulant medication.

"More than 3% of the adult...

Woman Resistant to Alzheimer's Helps Inspire New Way to Fight the Disease

Researchers have developed an antibody that can reduce Alzheimer's-like brain damage in lab mice — inspired by the case of one woman with remarkable resistance to the disease.

The work, by researchers at Mass General Brigham, Harvard Medical School in Boston, and elsewhere, began a few years ago, with the case of a woman in Colombia who had shown "extreme protection" from Alzheimer's di...

How HDL 'Good' Cholesterol Might Raise Dementia Risk

While HDL cholesterol is considered the "good" kind for heart and brain health, too much or too little of it may up a person's risk of dementia, new research suggests.

“This study is especially informative because of the large number of participants and long follow-up,” noted study author Maria Glymour, of Bo...

Timing of Hot Flashes Could Give Clues to Alzheimer's Risk

Hot flashes and night sweats top the list of bothersome symptoms for women going through menopause.

Now, a new study suggests that hot flashes, especially during sleep, may be more than a nuisance: They may foreshadow Alzheimer's disease.

And the more hot flashes a woman experiences during sleep, the greater her risk for developing Alzheimer's disease, the most common type of ...

Experiment Shows Many Seniors Falling Prey to 'Impostor Scams'

Many older adults are savvy about telephone scams, but a sizable minority remain vulnerable, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that when they simulated a "government impersonation" scam -- contacting seniors and pretending to be federal employees -- over two-thirds knew how to handle the situation: They ignored it.

The rest, however, "engaged" with the "scammer." They either c...

Older Americans' Finances Decline in Years Before Dementia Diagnosis

Perhaps succumbing to fraudsters or facing mounting bills, older Americans begin losing wealth in the years preceding a definitive dementia diagnosis, new research shows.

For example, the median household net worth of the seniors in the study dropped by more than half in the eight years before they were diagnosed with dementia, but dipped much less for folks who retained their mental capa...

Dementia Risk Rises as Activity Rates Fall

Bolstering the notion that a strong body equals a strong mind, new research indicates that the more inactive seniors are, the higher their risk for dementia.

The finding stems from a look at the onset of dementia among nearly 50,000 Brits.

All were at least 60 years old when information about typical daily activity routines was entered into the UK Biobank database at some point betw...

An Exercise-Induced Hormone Might Help Protect Against Alzheimer's

Therapies based on a hormone people make while exercising may be the next frontier in treating Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study.

Researchers have found that the exercise-induced hormone irisin may reduce both the plaque and the tau tangles characteristic of the disease.

Before this, this same team developed the first 3D human cell culture models of Alzheimer's disease, ...

In Twins Study, Concussions in Early Life Tied to Memory Issues Decades Later

Your thinking and memory skills may take a hit decades after recovering from a concussion, a new study indicates.

Scientists who studied male twins, from an average age of 67, found that earlier concussions were tied to lower scores on tests of thinking and memory. These men also had a more rapid decline in their cognitive skills — skills needed for reasoning and the acquisition o...

Game Show Legend Bob Barker Died of Alzheimer's Disease

Game show host Bob Barker died in late August from Alzheimer's disease.

The longtime host of “The Price Is Right” died at age 99 of the memory-robbing condition, his death certificate now shows, NBC News reported.

Barker died Aug. 26. He will be buried next to his wife, Dorothy Jo, at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles, said his publicist Roger Neal. Barker's wife di...

Adult Education Classes Could Be a Buffer Against Alzheimer's

Older people who take adult education classes may lower their risk for dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, Japanese research suggests.

Middle-aged folks and older people in adult education classes had a 19% lower risk of developing dementia within five years, the researchers found.

"We also found that nonverbal reasoning performance was well preserved in the adults taking educa...

More Americans Grow Old Alone, and Faltering Minds Bring Risks

An estimated 26 million Americans 50 and older live alone, and researchers estimate that more than 4 million have dementia or cognitive impairment.

That means a large number of older Americans are at risk for medication mix-ups, unsafe driving, wandering and missing important medical appointments. And, a new study warns, the U.S. health care system is ill-equipped to address the needs of ...

Vaccines Against Shingles, Pneumonia May Also Lower Your Alzheimer's Risk

Certain adult vaccines, including shingles and pneumonia shots, may also help seniors fight off Alzheimer's disease, new research reveals.

Prior vaccination with the shingles vaccine, pneumococcus vaccine or the tetanus and diphtheria shot, with or without an added pertussis vaccine, are associated with a 25% to 30% reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease, according to researchers from t...

Most Alzheimer's Patients May Be Ineligible for Newly Approved Drugs

Two recently approved treatments offer newfound hope for patients in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, but most people who could benefit will likely be deemed ineligible, a new study finds.

Alzheimer's affects about 6.7 million Americans age 65 and older. But only about 8% to 17% of older adults with early signs of the disease meet the eligibility criteria as determined by cl...

Living With Air Pollution Raises Chances of Dementia, Study Finds

People who daily breathe in air pollution, particularly from wildfires or agricultural sources, might need to add a heightened risk of dementia to their list of health concerns.

New research looked at the potential effects of particle pollution on dementia, finding an association even ...

Could Popular Heartburn Meds Raise Your Odds for Dementia?

Older adults who use certain heartburn medications for years may have a heightened risk of developing dementia, a new study suggests.

The study, published Aug. 9 in the journal Neurology, is the latest to point to potential hazards from prolonged use of medications called proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs. They include such well-known brands as Nexium, Prevacid and Prilosec, and th...

Memory Troubles? Your Race Could Affect How Soon You Get Diagnosis, Treatment

Black Americans are less likely to be seen at a memory clinic than their white peers. So too are folks from neighborhoods that are poor and lack educational and job opportunities, according to a new study.

That could mean later diagnosis and treatment for dementias like Alzheimer's disease.

The research, published online Aug. 2 in Neurology, involved data from more than 4...

People With Alzheimer's Genes May Lose Sense of Smell First

People who carry a gene that's associated with Alzheimer's disease may lose their sense of smell long before memory and thinking problems occur, a new study suggests.

This early sign of potential dementia is not seen in people who don't carry this gene, called APOE e4, researchers report July 26 in the journal Neurology.

"Testing a person's ability to detect odors may be a...

Many Seniors With Thinking Declines Still Drive

Getting older adults who are failing mentally to relinquish their car keys can be challenging. But those conversations are necessary, said researchers who found a majority of adults with cognitive impairment still get behind the wheel.

Michigan Medicine researchers studied this issue in a South Texas community. They found that more than 600 adults over age 65 in Nueces County had cognitiv...

Dementia Patients Wind up in the ER 1.4 Million Times a Year, Study Shows

Emergency rooms can be a frightening place for people suffering from dementia, yet each year 1.4 million Americans with Alzheimer's or other dementias wind up in crowded, noisy ERs, a new study finds.

Dementia is responsible for nearly 7% of all ER visits for those older than 65, often because of accidents or mental health crises, researchers determined.

"While dementia is thought o...

Probiotics Are Good for More Than Your Gut

Many people turn to probiotics for their digestive woes, but a preliminary study suggests that what's good for gut may also be good for the aging brain.

The study involved older adults with mild cognitive impairment, where memory and other thinking skills are starting to slide but people can still carry out their daily tasks. Researchers found that when those individuals took a particular...

Are These Pricey New Alzheimer's Drugs Worth It?

Breakthrough new drugs that clear amyloid beta plaques from the brain are shaking up the field of Alzheimer's disease research.

The fact that patients' mental deterioration slows when they're on anti-amyloid drugs is solid proof that abnormal amyloid proteins are one of the culprits behind Alzheimer's, essentially ending decades of debate over the so-called “amyloid hypothesis.”

Olive Oil a Powerful Prescription Against Dementia

People looking to stay mentally sharp as they age might want to swap out margarine for olive oil, a preliminary study suggests.

The study, of more than 90,000 U.S. health professionals, found that olive oil lovers were less likely to die of dementia over the next three decades.

Compared with their counterparts who rarely used olive oil, those who consumed more than a half-tablespoon...

Scientists Spot 32 Proteins That Hint at Alzheimer's Risk

It's difficult to fully predict who will develop Alzheimer's disease in advance. Now, a new study suggests that certain markers in the blood may occur 10 to 20 years before the start of symptoms and could help doctors determine who is at high risk for dementia.

For the study, researchers analyzed 4,800-plus proteins in the blood of more than 10,000 middle-aged people (aged 45-65) ove...

Exercise and Cognitive Training Slow Thinking Declines. Vitamin D? Not So Much

As older people start to lose some of their mental abilities, regular exercise might slow the progression to dementia, a new study indicates.

With five months of physical activity, the mental ability of seniors with so-called mild cognitive impairment improved significantly, researchers in Canada report.

They also found that computerized training to improve memory added to the benef...

Volunteering Late in Life May Keep Alzheimer's Away

Many retirees opt to volunteer as a way to help others, but new research suggests this act can also benefit volunteers' brain health.

Volunteering later in life may provide protection for the brain from both cognitive (mental) decline and dementia, according to researchers. Their findings were presented this week at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference, in Amsterdam, in th...

While 8 in 10 Seniors See Wisdom of Dementia Screening, Few Have Been Tested: Poll

Most older adults think that screening for dementia is a good idea, according to a new poll on aging. But few actually take that step.

Only about 20% of those aged 65 to 80 had a screening test in the past year to see if their memory and thinking abilities have started to decline, according to the University of Michigan's National Poll on Healthy Aging.

“As many as half of Am...

Link Seen Between Inflammation, Alzheimer's

Researchers around the world are working to tease out the mechanisms behind Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Now, a new study points to so-called systemic inflammation.

British researchers found that inflammation -- activation of the body's innate immune system -- is associated with a small but statistically significant later risk of dementia. They reported their findings...

Constipation May Be a Marker for Dementia Risk

Chronic constipation may not only be an indicator of gut health, but a potential warning sign of thinking declines, a preliminary study suggests.

Researchers found that among more than 110,000 middle-aged and older U.S. adults, those who were chronically constipated -- fewer than three bowel movements a week -- also showed signs of an "older" brain.

Compared with their counterparts ...

Blood Prick Test for Alzheimer's Shows Promise

A definitive diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease now requires a series of complicated and expensive imaging scans that look for abnormal protein plaques and tangles in the brain.

But in the near future, detecting signs of Alzheimer's could be as simple as taking a finger prick blood test.

Researchers detected key Alzheimer's-related biomarkers in dried blood samples drawn from a finger...

New Opioid Use Raises Death Risk 11-Fold in Those With Dementia

Older adults who begin using opioid painkillers after a dementia diagnosis have a significantly greater risk of death — about 11-fold within the first two weeks, according to new research.

The risk of death continued beyond two weeks, but at a lower rate, said researchers in Denmark. They found a doubled death risk within 90 days of opioid initiation, and said doctors must seriousl...

Hearing Aids May Cut Dementia Risk in Those at High Risk

If you're hard of hearing and at higher risk for dementia, hearing aids could be a win-win.

New research, published July 18 in The Lancet, finds hearing aids might reduce thinking declines in older adults --but only in those at higher risk of dementia.


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