Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cognitive activity linked to brain protein related to Alzheimer disease, study suggests

Date:
January 23, 2012
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Individuals who keep their brains active throughout life with cognitively stimulating activities such as reading, writing and playing games appear to have reduced levels of the beta-amyloid protein, which is the major part of the amyloid plaque in Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study.

Individuals who keep their brains active throughout life with cognitively stimulating activities such as reading, writing and playing games appear to have reduced levels of the β-amyloid protein, which is the major part of the amyloid plaque in Alzheimer disease, according to a report published Online First by Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

The recent development of the radiopharmaceutical carbon 11-labeled Pittsburgh Compound B ([11C]PiB) has made it possible to image fibrillar (fiber) forms of the β-amyloid (Αβ) protein.

In the study by Susan M. Landau, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and colleagues, [11C]PiB PET (positron emission tomography) and neuropsychological testing were performed in a sample of cognitively normal older participants. Αβ was characterized as mean cortical [11C]PiB PET uptake and was examined in healthy older people and compared to young participants and patients with Alzheimer disease (AD). Participants completed an interview about various lifestyle practices, including how frequently they participated in cognitively engaging activities at different phases throughout life (from age 6 to their current age.)

"We report a direct association between cognitive activity and [11C]PiB uptake, suggesting that lifestyle factors found in individuals with high cognitive engagement may prevent or slow deposition of β-amyloid, perhaps influencing the onset and progression of AD," the researchers write.

The study included a volunteer sample of 65 healthy older people with a mean (average) age of 76.1 years plus 10 patients with AD (mean age 74.8 years) and 11 young controls (mean age 24.5 years).

The results indicate that greater participation in cognitively stimulating activities throughout a person's life, but especially in the early and middle years, appears to be associated with reduced [11C]PiB uptake. Older people with the highest cognitive activity had [11C]PiB uptake comparable to young people in the control group, whereas those with the lowest cognitive activity had [11C]PiB uptake comparable to patients with AD.

Although greater cognitive activity was associated with greater physical exercise, exercise was not associated with [11C]PiB uptake, the authors note. The researchers suggest that the tendency to engage in cognitively stimulating activities is likely related to a variety of lifestyle practices that have been implicated in other studies showing a reduced risk of AD-related pathology.

"It is unlikely that our results reflect a single unitary cause of AD, which is a complex disease with many potential pathogenetic processes. Furthermore, cognitive activity is just one component of a complex set of lifestyle practices linked to AD risk that may be examined in future work," the researchers conclude. "However, the present findings extend previous findings that link cognitive stimulation and AD risk (an indirect downstream effect of ?β) by providing evidence that is consistent with a model in which cognitive stimulation is linked directly to the AD-related pathology itself."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Susan M. Landau; Shawn M. Marks; Elizabeth C. Mormino; Gil D. Rabinovici; Hwamee Oh; James P. O'Neil; Robert S. Wilson; William J. Jagust. Association of Lifetime Cognitive Engagement and Low β-Amyloid Deposition. Archives of Neurology, 2012; DOI: 10.1001/archneurol.2011.2748

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Cognitive activity linked to brain protein related to Alzheimer disease, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120123163356.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2012, January 23). Cognitive activity linked to brain protein related to Alzheimer disease, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120123163356.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Cognitive activity linked to brain protein related to Alzheimer disease, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120123163356.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

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Researchers found an improvement in memory and learning function in subjects who received electric pulses to their brains. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
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

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:

More Coverage


Lifelong Brain-Stimulating Habits Linked to Lower Alzheimer's Protein Levels

Jan. 23, 2012 People who have made mental engagement a lifelong habit have lower levels of a key protein linked to Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study by neuroscientists. The findings could provide ... read more
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