Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Healthy Heart Habits Promote Healthier Brains

Date:
February 23, 2004
Source:
University Of California, Los Angeles, Health Sciences
Summary:
A new UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute study suggests that medication, diet, exercise and other lifestyle choices common to good heart health could promote healthier brains as well.

A new UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute study suggests that medication, diet, exercise and other lifestyle choices common to good heart health could promote healthier brains as well.

The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study finds that brain damage from mini-strokes related to “normal” aging progresses more extensively in individuals with common heart health risk factors such as smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Detailed in the March edition of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, the study is the first to use precise measures of damage volume to evaluate the advance of subclinical structural brain disease (SSBD) in volunteers over time. SSBD encompasses a range of damage common to people beginning in midlife and often dismissed as normal aging.

Large amounts of damage are common to patients with vascular dementia, and the same research team in 2002 linked these types of brain changes to general declines in mental acuity with aging.

“Some people age more successfully than others, and our findings suggest that everyday behaviors and preventive measures – many involved in promoting heart health -- may be able to make a difference in the health of our brains,” said Dr. Ian Cook, lead author and associate professor of psychiatry at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. “If we don’t take care of our physical health, our brains and minds pay a price as well.”

In the newly published study, the UCLA research team obtained structural MRIs of 29 volunteers age 60 and older with no history of neurological or psychiatric disorders, and obtained a second MRI from each two to six years later.

Using computer-aided analysis, the research team measured increases in the volume of four types of SSBD: cortical atrophy, central atrophy, deep white-matter hyperintensities and periventricular hyperintensities. Some forms of this damage are visible as bright spots on MRIs.

A majority of the volunteers showed increased SSBD volume in their second scans compared to the first, and the amount of change in the white matter tissue related directly to vascular risk factors. White matter provides the connections between brain cells in the gray matter.

Future studies could include additional longitudinal evaluation of the volunteers, research into the impact of specific interventions on the increase of SSBD, and the relationship of SSBD to depression.

Vascular dementia involves large volumes of the changes seen in SSBD, caused by many “mini strokes” over time. Symptoms can include memory loss, communication difficulties, and diminished physical abilities.

Unlike Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia can affect specific parts of the brain while sparing others, leaving other mental abilities relatively unaffected. In addition, symptoms of vascular dementia may plateau then dip suddenly. People with vascular dementia may be particularly prone to depression because reasoning often remains intact and they understand the implications of the disease.

The UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute is an interdisciplinary research and education institute devoted to the understanding of complex human behavior, including the genetic, biological, behavioral and sociocultural underpinnings of normal behavior, and the causes and consequences of neuropsychiatric disorders. More information is available online at http://www.npi.ucla.edu


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California, Los Angeles, Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California, Los Angeles, Health Sciences. "Healthy Heart Habits Promote Healthier Brains." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 February 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/02/040223075557.htm>.
University Of California, Los Angeles, Health Sciences. (2004, February 23). Healthy Heart Habits Promote Healthier Brains. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/02/040223075557.htm
University Of California, Los Angeles, Health Sciences. "Healthy Heart Habits Promote Healthier Brains." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/02/040223075557.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a potential threat to global security, President Barack Obama is ordering 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the stricken region amid worries that the outbreak is spiraling out of control. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Nearly $1.0 billion dollars is needed to fight the Ebola outbreak raging in west Africa, the United Nations say, warning that 20,000 could be infected by year end. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Ebola Outbreak Threat to Global Security

Obama: Ebola Outbreak Threat to Global Security

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is ordering U.S. military personnel to West Africa to deal with the Ebola outbreak, which is he calls a potential threat to global security. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins