Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Reduced Brain Volume May Predict Dementia In Healthy Elderly People

Date:
January 3, 2006
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Reduced volume, or atrophy, in parts of the brain known as the amygdala and hippocampus may predict which cognitively healthy elderly people will develop dementia over a six-year period, according to a study in the January issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Reduced volume, or atrophy, in parts of the brain known as the amygdala and hippocampus may predict which cognitively healthy elderly people will develop dementia over a six-year period, according to a study in the January issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

New strategies may be able to prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common cause of dementia among older adults, according to background information in the article. Accurate methods of identifying which people are at high risk for dementia in old age would help physicians determine who could benefit from these interventions. There is evidence that adults with AD and mild cognitive impairment, a less severe condition that is considered a risk factor for AD, have reduced hippocampal and amygdalar volumes. However, previous research has not addressed whether measuring atrophy using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can predict the onset of AD at an earlier stage, before cognitive symptoms appear.

Tom den Heijer, M.D., Ph.D., of the Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues used MRI to assess the brain volumes of 511 dementia-free elderly people who were part of the Rotterdam Study, a large population-based cohort study that began in 1990. They screened the participants for dementia at initial visits in 1995 and 1996 and then in follow-up visits between 1997 and 2003, during which they asked about memory problems and performed extensive neuropsychological testing. The authors also monitored the medical records of all participants. During the follow-up, 35 participants developed dementia and 26 were diagnosed with AD.

People with severe amygdalar or hippocampal atrophy had the highest risk of developing dementia or AD over the course of the study, which followed participants for an average period of six years. "Concerning the extent of atrophy, we found in those destined to develop dementia volume reductions between 17 percent and 5 percent, depending on how long before the diagnosis of dementia the MRI was conducted," the authors report. "In persons with mild to moderate Alzheimer disease, volume reductions compared with healthy elderly persons are between 25 percent and 40 percent, suggesting that atrophy rates accelerate in patients with Alzheimer disease."

"Our study suggests that structural brain imaging can help identify people at high risk for developing dementia, even before they have any memory complaints or measurable cognitive impairment," they write. "However, we must bear in mind that most people with atrophy did not develop dementia, even after six years. Further prospective population studies are therefore required to find additional biomarkers, including other brain imaging parameters, that alone or in combination with clinical and genetic characteristics can help separate those who are at risk for developing dementia from those who are not."

###

(Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2006;63:57-62. Available pre-embargo to the media at www.jamamedia.org.)

Editor's Note: This research was financially supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research and the Health Research and Development Council, The Hague, the Netherlands.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Reduced Brain Volume May Predict Dementia In Healthy Elderly People." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 January 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060103084050.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2006, January 3). Reduced Brain Volume May Predict Dementia In Healthy Elderly People. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060103084050.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Reduced Brain Volume May Predict Dementia In Healthy Elderly People." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060103084050.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
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