Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

White Matter Changes May Predict Dementia Risk

Date:
July 15, 2009
Source:
American Academy of Neurology
Summary:
Elderly people with no memory or thinking problems are more likely to later develop thinking problems if they have a growing amount of "brain rust," or small areas of brain damage, according to a new study.

Elderly people with no memory or thinking problems are more likely to later develop thinking problems if they have a growing amount of "brain rust," or small areas of brain damage, according to a study published in the July 14, 2009, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

For the study, researchers followed 49 people age 65 and older who had no memory or thinking problems for an average of 9.5 years. The participants had at least three brain scans and annual tests of thinking skills. During the study, 24 of the participants developed persistent cognitive impairment, or memory problems that are a potential precursor to Alzheimer's disease or another type of dementia.

The study found that those who had the fastest rate of growth in the amount of small areas of brain damage, or white matter hyperintensities, were more likely to later develop permanent thinking problems that in many cases led to dementia than those with a slow rate of growth in these types of brain lesions. Every cubic centimeter (less than a quarter of a teaspoon) increase in the amount of brain lesions was associated with a 94 percent increased risk of developing cognitive impairment.

The total amount of brain lesions at the beginning of the study was not a predictor of risk of developing cognitive impairment after taking into consideration the rate of change of these brain lesions over time.

"We need to determine factors that can decrease the accumulation of white matter hyperintensities over time," said study author Lisa Silbert, MD, MCR, of Oregon Health & Science University in Portland and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. "We also need to determine how to identify those who are vulnerable to this accumulation so they can be targeted for potential early prevention or treatment methods."

The study was supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs, National Institutes of Health, Paul B. Beeson Career Development Award in Aging, Max Millis Fund for Neurological Research, and Storms Family Fund at the Oregon Community Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Neurology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy of Neurology. "White Matter Changes May Predict Dementia Risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090713170653.htm>.
American Academy of Neurology. (2009, July 15). White Matter Changes May Predict Dementia Risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090713170653.htm
American Academy of Neurology. "White Matter Changes May Predict Dementia Risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090713170653.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — Scientists are tripping the elderly on purpose in a Chicago lab in an effort to better prevent seniors from falling and injuring themselves in real life. (Aug.28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — It’s an unusual condition with a colorful name. Kids with “Alice in Wonderland” syndrome see sudden distortions in objects they’re looking at or their own bodies appear to change size, a lot like the main character in the Lewis Carroll story. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — Scientists have long called choline a “brain booster” essential for human development. Not only does it aid in memory and learning, researchers now believe choline could help prevent mental illness. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive brain cancer in humans. Now a new treatment using the patient’s own tumor could help slow down its progression and help patients live longer. Video provided by Ivanhoe
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