16 June 2009

Study looks at brain changes of very old

Myths dispelled on age-related Alzheimer’s
University of Cambridge: 28 May 2009
Having the brain changes of Alzheimer’s disease is not necessarily associated with dementia in very elderly people, according to a new study.

Emphasis on diagnostic indicators developed on the younger old may lead to overdiagnosis and overtreatment in the older population.

Scientists studied 456 brains donated to the Medical Research Council Cognitive Function and Ageing Study from people aged 69 to 103 at time of death. The research paper, Age, Neuropathology, and Dementia, will appear in The New England Journal of Medicine.

They studied the effect of age on the relationship between neuropathological features and dementia. This study followed a representative sample of more than 18,000 people since the 1980s.

Researchers observed that although the relationship between cerebral atrophy and dementia persisted into the older age group (about 95 years), the strength of the association between the pathological features of Alzheimer's disease and clinical dementia diminished after age 75.
... > full press release : review on AlzForum

Related information: The 90+ Study

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