ST. PAUL, Minn – People who develop dementia or Alzheimer's disease experience brain structure changes years before any signs of memory loss begin, according to a study published in the April 17, 2007, issue of Neurology®, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Researchers say these findings may help identify people at risk of developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which leads to Alzheimer's disease.
Researchers performed brain scans and cognitive tests on 136 people over the age of 65 who were considered cognitively normal at the beginning of the five-year study. Participants were then followed annually with neurologic examination and extensive mental status testing. By the end of the study, 23 people had developed MCI, and nine of the 23 went on to be diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. The brain scans of the 23 people with memory loss were then compared to the 113 people who remained cognitively normal.
Compared to the group that didn't develop memory problems, the 23 people who developed MCI or Alzheimer's disease had less gray matter in key memory processing areas of their brains even at the beginning of the study when they were cognitively normal.
Your brain is aging. It is getting older every day. Alzheimer's Disease isn't something you just catch one day and start forgetting things the next day and get diagnosed a week later. Your brain accumulates damage over a period of years until finally the brain can't compensate for the losses.
Some people think aging is okay because it is graceful and you get old and wise and gray. But aging isn't nice. Aging is destruction, not wisdom. Brain aging will turn into Alzheimer's if you live long enough. A recent Plos One article states: Virtually the entire population has Alzheimer-related pathology (amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles) by age 90 years .
We need brain rejuvenation therapies. Vascular stem cells will help repair decaying arteries, capillaries, and veins to improve brain cell food supplies. Gene therapies will conduct repairs on genomes of neurons. Gene therapies, drugs and immunotherapies will help to clear away accumulated debris. We need a much larger research effort to develop all the therapies we need to make our minds young again. The costs will get paid back many times over in increased productivity and more rapid economic growth.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2007 April 22 09:20 PM Brain Alzheimers Disease|