“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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The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
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Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
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Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
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The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
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Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
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