Saturday, June 30, 2018

A More Efficient Brain: Speaking Another Language or Learning Music

  Bilinguals and musicians use fewer brain resources when completing a working memory task.
  Using brain functional imagery, musicians remembered the type of sound presented to them faster than non-musicians, while bilinguals and musicians performed better on locating the source of a sound.
  Bilinguals performed about the same as individuals who spoke only one language and were not musicians on remembering the sound, but they showed less brain activity when completing the task.
Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2018 May 17

Increased Risk of Dementia with Multisensory Impairment

  Sensory impairments in older persons is common but this is the first study to look at the number of sensory impairments (visual, hearing, smell, touch) as risk factors for dementia.
  One sensory impairment was associated with a 50% greater risk of dementia, two impairments with a twofold greater risk, and three or four impairments was associated with a 2.8-fold greater risk of dementia.
  The lead researcher stated that it is possible that sensory impairment, particularly multiple impairments could limit an older person's engagement in protective lifestyle factors such as physical, cognitive, and social activity, thereby increasing dementia risk.
  Further studies are needed to determine whether multisensory impairment is a risk factor for dementia or an indicator of neurodegeneration.
Brenowitz, W et al UCSF 2018 April 26
But also reported in a recent syudy in China : J Am Geriatr Soc. 2018 Mar;66(3):480-486

Midlife Risk Factors for Alzheimer's Revisited

  A recent review indicates that lifestyle and demographic factors in midlife could potentially modify the risk of dementia in late adulthood.
  As expected, advancing age was strongly associated with dementia. But the study also identified widowed status, lower BMI, and less sleep at midlife as risk factors for dementia.
J Alzheimers Dis. 2018;63(3):1119-1127

Friday, June 29, 2018

SAUNA Baths For Everyone !

  I previously reported the decreased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease with frequent sauna bathing (Age Aging 2016 Dec 7) now comes a new study that reports that frequent sauna bathing is associated with a decreased risk of stroke.
  In a study of 1,628  Finnish adults without a known history of stroke, compared with people that took one sauna bath per week, the risk of stroke was 14% lower in people with 2 to 3 sessions and a whopping 61% lower risk of stroke among folks with 4 to 7 sessions per week.
Neurology. 2018 May 2

APOE4 Re-visited : Greater Role in Women than Men

  Researchers studying biomarkers in the spinal fluid of 1,798 patients found a statistically significant interaction between APOE-e4 and sex on CSF total tau and phosphorylated tau.
  Meaning there is a stronger association between APOE-e4 and spinal fluid tau levels among women than among men.
  Alzheimer's disease is associated with increased total tau and phosphorylated tau in spinal fluid.
  Therefore, having one copy of the genetic mutation APOE-e4 is associated with 3 times the risk of developing Alzheimer's in women compared to the general population whereas one copy in men have a risk similar to the general population. Two copies of APOE-e4 is associated with 15 times the risk of developing AD.
JAMA Neurol. 2018 May 7

New Non-Drug Treatment of Essential Tremor

  Cala Health, based in California has received FDA approval (April 2018) for a wearable device to treat the inherited tremor called essential tremor.
  The Cala ONE device includes electrodes worn on the wrist to stimulate median and radial nerves.
  The device captures 20 seconds of a patient's postural tremor and delivers a stimulation pattern based on a patient's peak tremor frequency.

Increased Risk of Parkinson's in mild TBI

  Mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) among military veterans is associated with a 56% increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease.
  42 million people worldwide sustain mild TBI. It is common among athletes and military personnel and is now a known growing epidemic among the elderly.
Neurology. April 2018