The Preclinical Alzheimer Cognitive Composite Measuring Amyloid-Related DeclineAnalyses of at-risk cognitively normal populations suggest that we can reliably measure the first signs of cognitive decline with the ADCS Preclinical Alzheimer Cognitive Composite (ADCS-PACC). The ADCS-PACC combines tests that assess episodic memory, timed executive function, and global cognition. (JAMA, September 2014)
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder as a Risk Factor for SchizophreniaIn this national cohort study, an elevated risk of schizophrenia and schizophrenia spectrum disorders was observed in association with a prior diagnosis of OCD in the patients and the parents. The observed increase in risk suggests that OCD, schizophrenia, and schizophrenia spectrum disorders probably lay on a common etiological pathway. (JAMA, September 2014)
Brain Morphometric Biomarkers Distinguishing Unipolar and Bipolar DepressionA cross-sectional study has shown that individuals with Unipolar Depression and those with Bipolar Depression are differentiated by structural abnormalities in neural regions supporting emotion processing, based on neuroimaging and multivariate pattern classification techniques. (JAMA, September 2014)
Apolipoprotein E Genotype and the Diagnostic Accuracy of Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarkers for Alzheimer DiseaseSeveral studies suggest that cerebrospinal fluid levels of Aβ42 are strongly associated with the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and cortical Aβ accumulation independent of APOE genotype. (JAMA, August 2014)
High-Frequency Deep Brain Stimulation for Treatment of Parkinson DiseaseHigh-frequency stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus improves motor function and quality of life and provide better results than best medical therapy, for advanced Parkinson’s disease. (JAMA, September 2014)
Higher Working Memory Predicts Slower Functional Decline in ADPreservation of working memory, but not episodic memory, in the mild cognitive impairment and early dementia stages of Alzheimer’s Disease relates to slower rate of functional decline.(Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, August 2014)
Association of Poor Subjective Sleep Quality with Risk for Death by Suicide During a 10-Year PeriodA longitudinal case-control cohort study of late-life suicide indicates that poor subjective sleep quality is associated with increased risk for death by suicide 10 years later, even after adjustment for depressive symptoms. (JAMA, September 2014)
Glucose Levels and Risk of DementiaStudies from the National Institutes of Health suggest that higher glucose levels may be a risk factor for dementia, even among persons without diabetes. (NEJM, September 2014)
Half of Dementia Patients Prescribed Medications of Questionable BenefitPharmacy records revealed that 54% of elderly nursing home patients received at least one of what the researchers called “medications of questionable benefit”: more than a third were given a cholinesterase inhibitor (Aricept), a quarter received memantine (Namenda), more than 20% were on statins to lower cholesterol, and 7% were on blood thinners. All these drugs were deemed “never appropriate” for palliative care patients with advanced dementia, in a list developed by a panel of geriatricians and published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. (JAMA, September 2014)
Omega-3 Fatty Acids Linked to Heart BenefitsMice genetically altered to produce their own eicosapentaenoic (EPA), an n-3 or omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, were protected against heart disease and had improved cardiac function in a recent study. Direct treatment with EPA metabolite 18-hydroxyeicosapentaenoic acid (18-HEPE) provided similar heart-protective effects. (JAMA, September 2014)
Potassium-Rich Foods Help Reduce Stroke Risk in Older WomenEating more high-potassium foods such as sweet potatoes, beet greens, white beans, bananas, and nonfat plain yogurt may help postmenopausal women reduce their stroke risk, a new study suggests. (JAMA, September 2014)
Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Cognitive DeclineA longitudinal study among non-demented older adults indicates that low levels of Vitamin D might be associated with cognitive decline and poorer mental flexibility. (Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, August 2014)
Phosphatidylserine Containing Omega-3 fatty Acids May Improve MemoryConsumption of 100mg/day of PS-DHA (Phosphatidylserine enriched with docosahexaenoic acid) might be associated with improving or maintaining cognitive status in elderly subjects with memory complaints. (Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, August 2014)
Self-reported Head Injury Linked to Early DementiaSelf-reported head injury is associated with earlier onset and increased risk of cognitive impairment and dementia, increased risk of mortality, and Alzheimer’s disease-type pathological changes. (Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, August 2014)
Sodium Intake Linked to Increased Activity in MSA higher sodium intake is associated with increased clinical and radiological disease activity in patients with multiple sclerosis. (Journal of Neurology, neurosurgery and Psychiatry, August 2014)
Effect of Physical Exercise on Cognitive Performance in Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment or DementiaNumerous studies have shown that physical exercise has positive effects on cognition in healthy adults, and randomized control studies on older subjects with MCI reported some positive effects on cognition, mainly on global function, attention, and delayed recall. However, most studies performed on older subjects with dementia showed no effect of exercise on cognition. (Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, August 2014)
Proper Weight Loss with a Balanced DietA total of 3500 calories equals 1 pound of body weight (with 500 calories plus-or-minus daily you will gain or lose 1 pound per week). Long-term healthy weight loss is based on a balanced diet, and most health experts recommend a balanced diet that provides 15-20% of calories from protein, 20-35% from fat, and the rest from complex carbohydrates; make sure you eat enough protein and avoiding empty calories. (JAMA, September 2014)
Association of Lifetime Intellectual Enrichment with Cognitive Decline in the Older PopulationLifetime intellectual enrichment might delay the onset of cognitive impairment and be used as a successful preventive intervention to reduce the impending dementia epidemic. Higher education/occupation scores were associated with higher levels of cognition. Higher levels of mid/late-life cognitive activity were also associated with higher levels of cognition, but the slope of this association slightly increased over time. (JAMA, August 2014)
Reports keep coming about the role natural supplements, and diet and lifestyle changes play in improving health and lowering the cost of medical care. For a free nutritional consultation and/or AgePrint quiz, and for all of your supplement needs, call THN today—and don’t forget to ask about the 50% discount on the new edition of the PATH Wellness Manual – Contact us!
Eric R. Braverman, M.D.
Dr. Braverman is a Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brandeis University and NYU Medical School, did brain research at Harvard Medical School, and trained at an affiliate of Yale Medical School. He is acknowledged worldwide as an expert in brain-based diagnosis and treatment, and he lectures to and trains doctors in anti-aging medicine.