11/29/2012 – Why Can’t I Hear as Well as Before?

While hearing loss can have a variety of causes, including infection and some medications, presbycusis is the term for the gradual decline in ear function that occurs as people age. “The sensory nerve endings in the organ of hearing become structurally damaged,” said Dr. Gordon B. Hughes, program director of clinical trials for the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. “There are other changes in chemistry and such which take place as well, but the structural damage is what causes the permanent hearing loss.”

Most often the problem is the loss of sensory receptors in the inner ear known as hair cells, experts say. Heart disease, high blood pressure and vascular conditions caused by problems like diabetes can also play a role by reducing the blood supply to the ear.

Read the full article at The New York Times.

11/26/2012 – Alzheimer's May Progress Differently in Women, Men

Alzheimer’s disease may look and act differently in men and women, new research suggests.

An emerging field known as gender-specific medicine has shown pronounced differences among the sexes in terms of heart disease and other conditions. These latest findings — if confirmed by further research — may have significant implications for diagnosing and treating Alzheimer’s among the sexes.

Read the full article at US News & World Report.

11/21/2012 – Positive Outlook Helps Seniors Heal

Older patients with positive attitudes on aging may be more likely to fully recover from severe disability compared with those who can’t see the bright side of life, a new study found.

A positive stereotype about aging was associated with a 44 percent greater likelihood of recovery from severe disability versus negative stereotypes, according to study author Becca Levy from the Yale School of Public Health and colleagues.

Read the full article at ABC News.

11/14/2012 – Alzheimer’s Tied to Mutation Harming Immune Response

Alzheimer’s researchers and drug companies have for years concentrated on one hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease: the production of toxic shards of a protein that accumulate in plaques on the brain.

But now, in a surprising coincidence, two groups of researchers working from entirely different starting points have converged on a mutated gene involved in another aspect of Alzheimer’s disease: the immune system’s role in protecting against the disease. The mutation is suspected of interfering with the brain’s ability to prevent the buildup of plaque.

Read the full article in The New York Times.

 

11/12/2012 – Alzheimer’s Precursors Evident in Brain at Early Age

Scientists studying Alzheimer’s disease are increasingly finding clues that the brain begins to deteriorate years before a person shows symptoms of dementia.

Now, research on a large extended family of 5,000 people in Colombia with a genetically driven form of Alzheimer’s has found evidence that the precursors of the disease begin even earlier than previously thought, and that this early brain deterioration occurs in more ways than has been documented before.

Read the full article at The New York Times.

10/29/2012 – Lilly trials boost amyloid link to Alzheimer's-analysis

Levels of a protein believed to be a main cause of Alzheimer’s disease rose in the blood of patients treated with Eli Lilly’s experimental drug in late-stage trials, suggesting the protein, beta amyloid, was removed from the brain as intended, researchers said on Monday.

Read the full article at Reuters.

10/29/2012 – How Cannabinoids May Slow Brain Aging

Since the mid 2000′s researchers have been building an appreciation for the power of marijuana-like substances that make up the brain’s cannabinoid systems. In animal experiments, for example, synthetic compounds similar to THC—marijuana’s main psychoactive component—have shown promise in preserving brain functions. A 2008 study even demonstrated that a THC-like substance reduced brain inflammation and improved memory in older rats.

Read the full article at Time.

10/19/2012 – Alzheimer’s Prevention Seen Promising as Drug Cures Fail

Three studies set to explore the use of experimental drugs that may become the first to change the course of Alzheimer’s disease aren’t looking to cure the illness. Their goal is to prevent it altogether.

Read the full article at the San Francisco Chronicle.

10/19/2012 – New Dementia Diagnostic Exams and Gene Findings Bode Well for Treatment

Today it is possible to diagnose dementias more accurately than ever before, thanks to improvements in behavioral assessment tools, imaging techniques, gene testing and data collection and analysis, according to Bruce L. Miller, MD, a behavioral neurologist and professor of neurology at UCSF.

Read the full article at UCSF.

10/17/2012 – Carbs, Sugar Linked With Cognitive Impairment Risk In Elderly: Study

A Mayo Clinic study of 1,230 people between the ages of 70 and 89 found that those who eat food high in carbohydrates have nearly four times the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment. The danger also rises with a heavy-sugar diet.

Read the full article at Huffington Post.