April 22, 2007
Brain Changes Detectable Years Before Alzheimers Diagnosis

Years before an Alzheimer's diagnosis scans of the brain show changes.

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

bark_on_tree said at April 23, 2007 7:23 PM:

Actually, I'm still fairly young. I hope we countinue making blockbuster movies and arm oureslves to the teeth to protect ourselves againstfor a while. Who knows when Canada could be on the move? We have plenty of time to start researching later. Should be before 2030 though, if any neuro scientists are reading this.

Mick said at April 24, 2007 11:47 PM:

"RESEARCHERS in Perth have made a groundbreaking discovery into the prevention of Alzheimer's disease, after showing that boosting testosterone levels in the body can lower levels of a toxic brain protein linked to the development of the crippling condition."

-- http://www.smh.com.au/news/science/alzheimers-tackled-by-testosterone-boost/2007/03/29/1174761669462.html (registration required)

Paul Costa said at June 29, 2007 2:23 PM:

I invite you to visit www.alzheimerslifeplan.com - the Alzheimer's LifePlan, where you can hear Dr. J. Wesson Ashford, PhD., M.D., Senior Research Scientist at the Stanford VA Alzheimer's Center - as he present his Memory Assessment (Early Alzheimer's Onset Screening) and Top Ten Alzheimer's Prevention treatments. Dr. Ashford is joined by Dr. Dale Schenk, PhD., Senior Drug Developer at elan - and the individual who pioneered the Alzheimer's Vaccine - in promoting freqent Memory Fitness testing - memory fitness as a vital sign and mental exercise program to combat the disease.

The tragic situation in the Alzheimer's nation is that each day thousands of people enter early Alzheimer's onset - undetected.

This early stage of Alzheimer's can be prevented - and the condition is detectable by yet unvalidated Memory Assessment Procedures (these produce a highly probably diagnosis several years before apparent memory loss symptoms).

So the tradgy is millions of people missing their last chance to use their cognitive/physical fitenss (the time when prevention/fda treatment programs are most effective) - to slow or reverse the disease process. When they are doagnosed with mild cognitive impairment - they have effectively joined the group that will fall to the disease.

Our program is open to anyone 24/7 - and provides free memory fitness testing s well as active online community between the population and treatment development sectors.

Your comments and interest in the brain's health/fitness prompted me to invite you into the Alzheimer's LifePlan camp. Hope it all works into an Alzheimer's free life.

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