Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brain Damage Seen On Brain Scans May Predict Memory Loss In Old Age

Date:
August 14, 2009
Source:
American Academy of Neurology
Summary:
Areas of brain damage seen on brain scans and originally thought to be related to stroke may help doctors predict a person's risk of memory problems in old age, according to new research.

Areas of brain damage seen on brain scans and originally thought to be related to stroke may help doctors predict a person's risk of memory problems in old age, according to research published in the August 11, 2009, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Researchers tested 679 people age 65 and older without dementia for mild cognitive impairment, the stage between normal aging and dementia. Participants underwent brain scans where scientists looked for small areas of brain damage called white matter hyperintensities, often referred to as ministrokes. They also looked for infarcts, or areas of dead tissue usually called strokes. Both types of brain damage may be caused by vascular disease in the brain.

The study found that people with white matter hyperintensities were nearly twice as likely to have mild cognitive impairment that included memory loss. However, people who had infarcts on their brain scans were more likely to experience mild cognitive impairment in abilities other than memory loss.

The results remained the same regardless of a person's age, gender, ethnic group, education, and if they had a gene thought to be a strong risk factor for dementia, called the ApoEe4 gene.

"The most interesting finding in this study was that white matter hyperintensities, or ministrokes, predicted memory problems, while strokes predicted non-memory problems," said study author José Luchsinger, MD, MPH, with Columbia University Medical Center in New York.

"Traditionally, ministrokes and strokes are thought to have a common origin and to more strongly predict non-memory cognitive problems. There are an increasing number of studies challenging the idea that all white matter hyperintensities are similar to strokes. The fact that white matter hyperintensities more strongly predicted memory problems could challenge traditional views that white matter hyperintensities are milder versions of stroke that are produced only by conditions such as high blood pressure," said Luchsinger.

Luchsinger says more work is needed to understand white matter hyperintensities and to identify which are related to stroke and which are related to other conditions such as Alzheimer's disease. He says this could eventually help doctors and researchers to design preventive strategies for memory and other types of cognitive impairment.

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health.


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. "Brain Damage Seen On Brain Scans May Predict Memory Loss In Old Age." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090810161856.htm>.
American Academy of Neurology. (2009, August 14). Brain Damage Seen On Brain Scans May Predict Memory Loss In Old Age. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090810161856.htm
American Academy of Neurology. "Brain Damage Seen On Brain Scans May Predict Memory Loss In Old Age." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090810161856.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) — Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) — A new study suggests that mixing alcohol with energy drinks makes you want to keep the party going. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

AP (July 18, 2014) — Following the nationwide trend of eased restrictions on marijuana use, pot edibles are growing in popularity. One Boston-area cooking class is teaching people how to eat pot responsibly. (July 18) 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