Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a condition in which people have more memory or thinking problems than other people their age. The symptoms of MCI are not as severe as those of Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. People with MCI can usually take care of themselves and carry out their normal daily activities.
People with MCI are at a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. Estimates vary as to how many people who have MCI will develop dementia. Roughly one to two out of 10 people age 65 or older with MCI are estimated to develop dementia over a one-year period. However, in many cases, the symptoms of MCI stay the same or even improve.
AlzheimersResearch UK (February 28, 2023) – In this video, Prof Nick Fox, Director of the Dementia Research Centre at UCL (and specialist in familial Alzheimer’s disease) answers frequently asked questions about getting a genetic test for dementia.
Video timeline:0:00 Start 0:01 #1.What is the difference between dementia risk genes and rare familial genes? 1:05 #2.Which genes are tested for? 1:45 #3.What happens in families with directly inherit dementia? 3:20 #4.What are the common misconceptions? 4:14 #5.Do I need to know which gene runs in my family? 9:50 #6.How do I get a genetic test for dementia? 11:09 #7.What if my doctor won’t refer me for the test? 11:56 #8.Will getting my results affect my life insurance or mortgage?
Having a test to look for a faulty gene that causes dementia is only appropriate for a very small number of people. This is because only around one in 100 cases of dementia are directly inherited. In these cases, there is an obvious pattern of a parent passing it on to their child (or children) throughout every generation of a family, often developing symptoms in their 40s and 50s.
Low vitamin D levels were linked with an increased risk of both dementia and stroke over the following 11 years. Based on this observational study, people with low vitamin D levels were found to have a 54% greater chance of developing dementia compared with people whose levels were normal.
A study published online April 22, 2022, by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests vitamin D deficiency may raise risk for dementia and stroke.
The study analyzed more than 294,000 people (most of them women over 60) living in the United Kingdom. Using blood tests on all participants and neuroimaging tools on about 34,000, researchers looked for associations between vitamin D levels and risks of dementia and stroke. A normal blood vitamin D level was defined as at least 50 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L); a deficiency was defined as less than 25 nmol/L.
Biomarkers are measurable indicators of what’s happening in your body. They can be found in blood, other body fluids, organs, and tissues, and can be used to track healthy processes, disease progression, or even responses to a medication. Biomarkers are an important part of dementia research.
Age-related hearing loss may be linked to an increased risk of cognitive decline. And according to two large studies, … Dr. Ronald Petersen, a Mayo Clinic neurologist, says the exact reason why is not known. It also could be that hearing loss leads to social isolation, which can lead to an increased risk in dementia.
Dr. Petersen recommends getting your hearing assessed every two to three years, especially if you’re noticing signs that your hearing may be deteriorating. The fix could be as simple as needing to get earwax removed.
Fiber is known for keeping your digestive system healthy and lowering cholesterol levels. Now, study findings suggest it also may protect the brain from dementia.
The study involved approximately 3,700 healthy adults, ages 40 to 64, who completed routine dietary surveys for 16 years. Researchers then monitored the participants for two decades to see which ones developed dementia. The study revealed that people who consumed the most daily fiber had the lowest rates of dementia. The reverse also was true — those who ate the least fiber had the highest rates. Specifically, the low-risk group consumed an average of 20 grams daily, while those with the highest risk averaged only 8 grams. (The USDA recommends that men over age 50 eat 30 grams of fiber daily.)
The potential benefit of nonpharmacologic memory-boosting strategies in the mild stages
One study from a group of Boston researchers examined 32 individuals with mild memory problems, half with mild cognitive impairment and half with mild Alzheimer’s disease dementia. They found that both groups improved their memory by simply thinking about the following question when learning new information: “What is one unique characteristic of this item or personal experience that differentiates it from others?” Another study by Boston researchers found that 19 individuals with mild cognitive impairment could improve their ability to remember items at a virtual supermarket by simply thinking systematically about whether items were already in their cupboard before putting them in their shopping cart. Larger studies are needed, however, to determine if such memory strategies are generalizable.
Music, pets, robots, and the environment in the moderate to severe stages
Similarly, there are many nonpharmacological treatments that appear to provide comfort and reduce agitation in individuals with moderate to severe dementia, but larger and more rigorous studies are needed to prove or disprove their efficacy, and thereby promote more widespread utilization.
A group of Portuguese clinicians and researchers reviewed more than 100 studies evaluating music-based interventions for people with dementia who had agitation or other behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia, finding that the vast majority were efficacious with little or no side effects.
A team of neurologists from Florida reviewed the effects of dog therapy and ownership, finding that both were safe and effective approaches to treat chronic and progressive neurological disorders.
More than 55 million people worldwide are living with dementia, a neurological disorder that robs them of their memory and costs the world $1.3 trillion a year, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.
Preventing Dementia by healthful living habits such as good sleep, diet and exercise would certainly save lots of misery and expense, by preventing dementia. These same habits would also go a long way in preventing auto immune disease, diabetes and chronic stress.
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