Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New research on little-understood brain disease

Date:
November 5, 2013
Source:
University of Kentucky
Summary:
Three recent papers on aging explore the neuropathology behind a little-understood brain disease, hippocampal sclerosis (known to scientists and clinicians as HS-AGING). HS-AGING, much like Alzheimer's disease, causes symptoms of dementia -- cognitive decline and impaired memory -- in aged persons. Although Alzheimer's disease is probably the most recognized cause of dementia, HS-AGING also causes serious cognitive impairment in older adults.

As the population of older adults continues to grow, researchers at the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging are engaged in work to understand the mechanisms of a variety of diseases that predominately affect those of advanced age.

Three recent papers authored by Dr. Peter Nelson and others at the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, explore the neuropathology behind a little-understood brain disease, hippocampal sclerosis (known to scientists and clinicians as HS-AGING). HS-AGING, much like Alzheimer's disease, causes symptoms of dementia -- cognitive decline and impaired memory -- in aged persons. Although Alzheimer's disease is probably the most recognized cause of dementia, HS-AGING also causes serious cognitive impairment in older adults.

In those who live to a very advanced age (beyond the age of 85) HS-AGING is almost as prevalent as Alzheimer's. Remarkably, HS-Aging appears to be a completely separate disease from Alzheimer's, although it is almost always diagnosed as Alzheimer's disease while people are alive.

The first paper, published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, draws from a very large sample population and shows that presently around 20 percent of all dementia cases are diagnosed as HS-AGING at autopsy, although almost none are given that diagnosis during life. That means that the presence of this disease is currently almost unknown by the health care providers who are seeing patients.

A second study, "Arteriolosclerosis that affects multiple brain regions," appears in a recent issue of the journal Brain, and looks at small blood vessels in patients with HS-Aging and describes a specific change, called "arteriolosclerosis," which is present in patients with HS-Aging. This small blood vessel change may provide a new therapeutic target to alter the progression of the disease. These analyses were also boosted through collaboration with the larger NACC-based dataset. Further, the first author, Dr. Janna Neltner, provided critical expertise in digital pathologic measurement of the brain.

Finally, the third paper, "Hippocampal sclerosis of aging, a prevalent and high‑morbidity brain disease," appears in Acta Neuropathologica and offers an overview of HS-AGING for patients and researchers. This paper reviews the relevant scientific literature and also presses home the point that HS-AGING is a very common disease that exerts a strongly adverse impact on public health.

It is important for physicians and scientists to understand the unique pathology of HS-AGING, and to be able to differentiate it from other diseases, as it is only by making an accurate diagnosis that clinicians can hope to treat people who present with signs of cognitive decline. These current studies represent a leap forward in the knowledge base about HS-AGING, and represent potential new paths to explore for diagnosis and treatment of this serious, but under-appreciated brain disease.


Story Source:

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


Journal References:

  1. Peter Nelson, Janna Neltner et al. Arteriolosclerosis that affects multiple brain regions. Brain, November 2013
  2. Peter T. Nelson, Charles D. Smith, Erin L. Abner, Bernard J. Wilfred, Wang-Xia Wang, Janna H. Neltner, Michael Baker, David W. Fardo, Richard J. Kryscio, Stephen W. Scheff, Gregory A. Jicha, Kurt A. Jellinger, Linda J. Eldik, Frederick A. Schmitt. Hippocampal sclerosis of aging, a prevalent and high-morbidity brain disease. Acta Neuropathologica, 2013; 126 (2): 161 DOI: 10.1007/s00401-013-1154-1
  3. Peter Nelson et al. Hippocampal Sclerosis of Aging is a Key Alzheimer’s Disease Mimic: Clinical-Pathologic Correlations and Comparisons with both Alzheimer’s Disease and Non-Tauopathic Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, November 2013

Cite This Page:

University of Kentucky. "New research on little-understood brain disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131105132029.htm>.
University of Kentucky. (2013, November 5). New research on little-understood brain disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131105132029.htm
University of Kentucky. "New research on little-understood brain disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131105132029.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) 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