A Strange Early Sign Of Dementia And Death

Older adults should be routinely screened for this change.

Older adults should be routinely screened for this change.

Losing your sense of smell is an early sign of dementia and poor health.

Older people with a poor sense of smell have a 50 percent increased chance of dying within 10 years, new research finds.

Losing your sense of smell is an important early sign of dementia and Parkinson’s.

A loss of the sense of smell is linked to a doubling in dementia risk.

The reason is that the part of the brain that deals with smell (the olfactory bulb) is one of the first to be affected by dementia.

However, this new study finds that a poor sense of smell is a broader warning sign.

Professor Honglei Chen, study co-author, said:

“Poor sense of smell becomes more common as people age, and there’s a link to a higher risk for death.

Our study is the first to look at the potential reasons why it predicts a higher mortality.”

The conclusions come from a study of almost 2,300 people aged 71 to 82 who were followed over 13 years.

All were given smell tests of 12 common odours.

The results showed that adults with a poor, as opposed to good, sense of smell had a 46 percent higher chance of dying over 10 years.

Dementia and Parkinson’s disease, though, did not explain all the additional risk, said Professor Chen:

“We don’t have a reason for more than 70% of the increased risk.

We need to find out what happened to these individuals.”

Professor Chen thinks older adults should be routinely screened for their sense of smell:

“It tells us that in older adults, impaired sense of smell has broader implications of health beyond what we have already known.

Incorporating a sense of smell screening in routine doctor visits might be a good idea at some point.

It’s always prudent to talk to a physician about your health concerns.”

The study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (Liu et al., 2019).

How Your Gums Are Linked To Alzheimer’s Risk (M)

There is surprising link between oral health and Alzheimer’s disease, scientists find.

There is surprising link between oral health and Alzheimer's disease, scientists find.

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How Your Sleep Quality Affects Alzheimer’s Risk (M)

Sleep can help to clear the brain of toxic substances that lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

Sleep can help to clear the brain of toxic substances that lead to Alzheimer's disease.

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An Unusual Early Sign of Dementia

Be aware of this unusual sign of dementia.

Be aware of this unusual sign of dementia.

Hearing loss is linked to a higher risk of dementia, new research concludes.

Older people with severe hearing loss are at a 54% greater risk of experiencing cognitive decline.

The study included 10,107 men — average age 62 — who were followed over eight years.

All were asked standard questions about their thinking and reasoning skills every four years.

The results showed that those with mild hearing loss were at a 30% higher risk of cognitive decline, while moderate hearing loss was linked to a 43% higher risk.

Dr Sharon Curhan, the study’s first author, said:

“Dementia is a substantial public health challenge that continues to grow.

There is no cure, and effective treatments to prevent progression or reverse the course of dementia are lacking.

Our findings show that hearing loss is associated with new onset of subjective cognitive concerns which may be indicative of early stage changes in cognition.

These findings may help identify individuals at greater risk of cognitive decline.”

The researchers checked if hearing aids made any difference, but their findings were inconclusive, suggesting their influence is modest at best.

Dr Curhan said:

“Whether there is a temporal association between hearing loss and cognitive decline and whether this relation is causal remains unclear.

We plan to conduct further longitudinal studies of the relation of hearing loss and cognition in women and in younger populations, which will be informative.”

The study was published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia (Curhan et al., 2019).

New Drug Reverses Memory Loss And Brain Aging (M)

It is hoped the new drug will begin clinical trials within the next two years.

It is hoped the new drug will begin clinical trials within the next two years.

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Alzheimer’s Memory Loss Dramatically Reversed

Mouse study reverses memory loss in mice with Alzheimer’s.

Mouse study reverses memory loss in mice with Alzheimer’s.

Memory loss caused by Alzheimer’s disease has been reversed in mice, reports a new study.

Alzheimer’s disease — the most common form of dementia –results from both genetic and environmental factors, and is currently untreatable.

Scientists have discovered, though, that the disease interferes with electrical signalling in part of the brain responsible for memory.

Using techniques based on epigenetics, the researchers were able to reverse the memory loss.

Epigenetics involves how instructions contained in DNA are expressed in cells.

Professor Zhen Yan, the study’s first author, said:

“We have not only identified the epigenetic factors that contribute to the memory loss, we also found ways to temporarily reverse them in an animal model of AD.”

The scientists found that Alzheimer’s caused neurons in the frontal cortex to gradually lose glutamate receptors.

By inhibiting an enzyme, they were able to restore memory in mice.

Professor Yan said:

“When we gave the Alzheimer’s animals this enzyme inhibitor, we saw the rescue of cognitive function confirmed through evaluations of recognition memory, spatial memory and working memory.

We were quite surprised to see such dramatic cognitive improvement.

At the same time, we saw the recovery of glutamate receptor expression and function in the frontal cortex.”

While the drug only worked on the mice for one week, it is hoped the method can be refined to make it more powerful.

Epigenetics is powerful because it can target the effects of more than one gene, said Professor Yan:

“An epigenetic approach can correct a network of genes, which will collectively restore cells to their normal state and restore the complex brain function.

We have provided evidence showing that abnormal epigenetic regulation of glutamate receptor expression and function did contribute to cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease.

If many of the dysregulated genes in AD are normalized by targeting specific epigenetic enzymes, it will be possible to restore cognitive function and behavior.”

The study was published in the journal Brain (Yan et al., 2019).

The Drinkable Drug That Could Reverse Alzheimer’s

The drug healed synaptic connections in the brain and memories were partially restored.

The drug healed synaptic connections in the brain and memories were partially restored.

A new drinkable cocktail of drugs provides hope for stopping the progression of Alzheimer’s.

An old antibiotic — called Suprax — has been shown to reverse the memory problems linked to Alzheimer’s.

Now that the study on mice has been successful, the team hope to go on and test it on Alzheimer’s patients.

There are currently no drugs that effectively treat Alzheimer’s, only therapies that may help slow cognitive decline and reduce symptoms.

The team — based at Yale University — have been searching for compounds that will interfere with the first stages of the disease.

Professor Stephen Strittmatter, study co-author, said:

“We wanted to find molecules that might have a therapeutic effect on this network.”

After screening thousands of different compounds, they came across an old antibiotic, known as Suprax.

This seemed to have the desired effect of stopping Alzheimer’s in its tracks.

The tests on mice showed that the compound healed synaptic connections in the brain and their memories were partially restored.

The next step is to check that the compound is not toxic before human trials can begin.

The study was published in the journal Cell Reports (Gunther et al., 2019).

The Common Drink That Reduces Alzheimer’s Risk

The study looked at compounds called phenylindanes that may help protect against dementia.

The common drink contains compounds called phenylindanes that may help protect against dementia.

Drinking coffee could protect against both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, new research suggests.

The study looked at compounds in coffee called phenylindanes, which may help protect against dementia.

Higher levels of phenylindanes typically make coffee taste more bitter.

Dr Donald Weaver, study co-author, said:

“Coffee consumption does seem to have some correlation to a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

But we wanted to investigate why that is — which compounds are involved and how they may impact age-related cognitive decline.”

The study examined how phenylindanes interact with two proteins that are critical to the development of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

The results showed that phenylindanes inhibit both beta amyloid and tau proteins.

The researchers also compared dark roast, light roast and decaffeinated coffees.

It found that dark roasts had the highest quantities of phenylindanes.

Caffeine, though, made no difference, explained Dr Ross Mancini, the study’s first author:

“The caffeinated and de-caffeinated dark roast both had identical potencies in our initial experimental tests.

So we observed early on that its protective effect could not be due to caffeine.”

Dr Weaver said it is a major advantage that coffee is a natural crop:

“Mother Nature is a much better chemist than we are and Mother Nature is able to make these compounds.

If you have a complicated compound, it’s nicer to grow it in a crop, harvest the crop, grind the crop out and extract it than try to make it.”

More work will be required before therapies can be developed, Dr Weaver said:

“What this study does is take the epidemiological evidence and try to refine it and to demonstrate that there are indeed components within coffee that are beneficial to warding off cognitive decline.

It’s interesting but are we suggesting that coffee is a cure?

Absolutely not.”

The study was published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience (Mancini et al., 2018).

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