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Alzheimers disease

Analysis and Comment (19)

Who doesn’t want more brain power? Who doesn’t want more brain power? James Steidl

Zapping the brain with tiny magnetic pulses improves memory

The practice of physically stimulating the brain in order to alleviate symptoms of illness and injury has been around since the early 20th century. For example, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is still…
Brains exist in a dynamic bidirectional interplay with our bodies, and this has major implications for the health of both. Brains exist in a dynamic bidirectional interplay with our bodies, and this has major implications for the health of both. Petri Damstén/Flickr

Mind over matter: cynics, it seems, triple their risk of dementia

I don’t want to sound too cynical, but recent research findings in dementia seem hard to believe. A study of over 1,000 people has found people who scored higher on a measure of cynicism during late life…
The risk of Alzheimer’s increases with age. The risk of Alzheimer’s increases with age. Shutterstock

Explainer: what is Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease causes progressive damage to the brain, resulting in problems with memory, cognition, social engagement, and, ultimately, a person’s ability to care for themselves. Alzheimer’s is the…
Three year head start. Three year head start. Doctor's surgery via Shutterstock

An Alzheimer’s blood test could also help develop new drugs

US scientists recently announced they had developed a blood test that could predict your chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease, with 90% accuracy, up to three years in advance of other known symptoms…
Taking extra care and consideration for those with dementia can make Christmas a much more enjoyable experience for all. Taking extra care and consideration for those with dementia can make Christmas a much more enjoyable experience for all. brutusfly/flickr

How best to celebrate Christmas with a person with dementia

Christmas can be a stressful time for hosts and guests alike, and it’s more so for carers of people living with dementia. It’s difficult to give general advice about how to get through the holiday season…
Animal-based therapies have a positive effect but having them visit nursing homes has a number of drawbacks. Animal-based therapies have a positive effect but having them visit nursing homes has a number of drawbacks. Duane Keys

Robotic animals may help some people with dementia

Late-stage dementia is characterised by increasing agitation that can be distressing for the person with the illness and their carers. So, researchers are investigating whether robots disguised as animals…
Olive oil is associated with some healthy benefits. Olive oil is associated with some healthy benefits. garryknight

Proof that the Mediterranean diet is good for your brain

As life expectancies across the world steadily increase, the world’s population is inexorably ageing. Too often, with age comes difficult health problems such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. These…
The case raises important issues about the consistency of regulations that apply across the food-medicine interface. The case raises important issues about the consistency of regulations that apply across the food-medicine interface. Chuck Grimmett

Regulations around food-medicine products fail to protect consumers

It seems there’s no end to the production line of so-called “therapeutic” products promoted to trusting consumers by companies willing to make untested claims. The latest is Souvenaid®, a product promoted…
Implanted electrodes can alleviate symptoms of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and help treat addiction. Implanted electrodes can alleviate symptoms of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and help treat addiction. Wikimedia Commons

Deep brain stimulation: a fix when the drugs don’t work

Neurological disorders can have a devastating impact on the lives of sufferers and their families. Symptoms of these disorders differ extensively - from motor dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease, memory…
The vast majority of us will never be exposed to aluminium in high enough concentrations to do damage. The vast majority of us will never be exposed to aluminium in high enough concentrations to do damage. ezioman/Flickr

Does aluminium cause Alzheimer’s and breast cancer?

Silvery, ductile, malleable and so very, very useful, aluminium is the most common metal in the Earth’s crust. But despite its importance (or perhaps because of it), there are fears that this metal causes…
Neuroplasticity refers to the way in which the cells in the brain change in response to experience. Neuroplasticity refers to the way in which the cells in the brain change in response to experience. Hey Paul Studios

Explainer: nature, nurture and neuroplasticity

The human brain is the most complex and extraordinary structure in the known universe. And while there are many awe-inspiring facets of the brain, I will focus here on “neuroplasticity”, a term that has…
Researchers are now looking at the effects of diet in developing Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers are now looking at the effects of diet in developing Alzheimer’s disease. J. McPherskesen/Flickr

Is there a link between diet, obesity and Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s disease is more common among older people but it’s not a normal part of ageing. And as the global population ages, the rate of Alzheimer’s is expected to rise – from 36 million to 115 million…
Each of the 100 billion nerve cells in the brain makes an average of 1,000 connections with other neurons. Each of the 100 billion nerve cells in the brain makes an average of 1,000 connections with other neurons. Zachary Veach

The promise and challenges of biomarkers for mental illnesses

The human brain is the location of personality, emotion, learning and wisdom in a unique individual. It contains 100 billion nerve cells – roughly the same number as there are galaxies in the observable…
A dementia diagnosis can place extreme stress on patients and their families. A dementia diagnosis can place extreme stress on patients and their families. James McTaggart/Wikimedia Commons.

The perils of pre-diseases: forgetfulness, mild cognitive impairment and pre-dementia

OVER-DIAGNOSIS EPIDEMIC – David Le Couteur discusses recent changes in the definition of dementia and their ramifications. The pattern of over-diagnosis is the same for many diseases: we screen healthy…
Dementia has become Australia’s latest national health priority. Dementia has become Australia’s latest national health priority. John/Flickr

Alzheimer hypothesis stuck in intellectual cul-de-sac

The size and growing magnitude of the dementia epidemic has forced a welcome decision by health ministers to name the disorder as Australia’s latest national health priority area. Yet for researchers searching…
A positive result from predictive genetic testing can give rise to mental health issues, such as depression and suicide. A positive result from predictive genetic testing can give rise to mental health issues, such as depression and suicide. pedro veneroso/Flickr

A little bit of knowledge: the perils of genetic tests for Alzheimer’s disease

Genetic mutations are the cause of many incurable diseases and we now have tests to predict the likelihood of people developing inherited diseases. But predictive genetic tests for neurodegenerative diseases…

Research and News (3)

Research Briefs (22)

Dementia rate to triple by 2050

Approximately 135 million people are expected to suffer with dementia by 2050, more than tripling the current figures. A…

Grapes may help fight drug addictions

A natural compound found in grape skins may help stop methamphetamine cravings, and decrease the impact of Parkinson’s disease…

Protecting against Alzheimer’s

Researchers have investigated the way the cells in our nervous system protect themselves. They examined the proliferation…