“Our results show that plaques may be a more important factor in determining which people are at greater risk for cognitive impairment or other memory diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease,” said study author Yen Ying Lim, MPsych, with the University of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia. “Unfortunately, testing for the APOE genotype is easier and much less costly than conducting amyloid imaging.”
For the study, 141 people with an average age of 76 who were free of any problems in memory and thinking underwent PET brain scans and were tested for the APOE gene. Their memory and thinking was then tracked over the following year and a half, using a set of computer-based cognitive assessments that were based on playing card games and remembering word lists.
The study found that after a year and a half, people who had more brain plaques at the start of the study had up to 20 percent greater decline on the computer based assessments of memory than did those who had fewer brain plaques. The study also found that while carriers of the APOE å4 allele also showed greater decline on the memory assessments than those who did not have the allele, carrying the å4 allele did not change the decline in memory related to the plaques.
“Our finding that brain plaque-related memory decline can occur while people still have normal memory and thinking shows that these plaque-related brain changes can be detected and measured while older people are still healthy. This provides an enormous opportunity for understanding the development of early Alzheimer’s disease and even a sound basis for the assessment of plaque-targeting therapies,” said Lim.
The study was supported by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific Industrial and Research Organization, Edith Cowan University, Mental Health Research Institute, Alzheimer’s Australia, National Aging Research Institute, Austin Health, CogState Ltd., Hollywood Private Hospital, Sir Charles Gardner Hospital, the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, the Dementia Collaborative Research Centers Program and the Science and Industry Endowment Fund.
To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease, visit http://www.aan.com/patients.
The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 25,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, brain injury, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.
For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit http://www.aan.com
Angela Babb | American Academy of Neurology
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Controlling electronic current is essential to modern electronics, as data and signals are transferred by streams of electrons which are controlled at high speed. Demands on transmission speeds are also increasing as technology develops. Scientists from the Chair of Laser Physics and the Chair of Applied Physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have succeeded in switching on a current with a desired direction in graphene using a single laser pulse within a femtosecond ¬¬ – a femtosecond corresponds to the millionth part of a billionth of a second. This is more than a thousand times faster compared to the most efficient transistors today.
Graphene is up to the job
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
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Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
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Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
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Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
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