1 January 2008

Most older adults have mixed brain pathologies

Most older adults have brain disease: study
Reuters UK / Reuters Health: 28 December 2007
Results of a brain autopsy study indicate that most older adults have significant brain pathology (disease), regardless of the presence or absence of outward signs of dementia.

As part of the long-term Rush Memory and Aging Project, researchers evaluated the spectrum of abnormalities found in the brains of 141 older adults, with and without clinically evident dementia…. > full story

Journal article abstract: Mixed brain pathologies account for most dementia cases in community-dwelling older persons.

Alzheimer's Australia Research Officer, Suzanne Dixon comments:
These observations, once supported by a larger trial, could result in heavier research emphasis on factors which prevent the development of mental deterioration (such as increasing cognitive reserve by higher education), rather than preventing the formation of the specific Alzheimer's hallmarks in the brain. In addition, the results show that managing vascular risk factors in older patients may be critical, regardless of whether cognition impairment is already exhibited. (27 January 2008)

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