Concussion injury damage and progressive deterioration of neurons from Alzheimer’s disease look similar on brain scans, according to the latest study. They appear to produce similar symptoms as well.
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine studied a group of concussion patients to determine which were the ones who experienced the most severe symptoms. They reported that those who experienced mild traumatic brain injury after a fall or a blow to the head had brain scans that looked similar to those of Alzheimer’s patients.
“Previous studies have documented changes in the brain resulting from trauma to the head, and some analyses have associated concussions with a higher risk of learning problems, depression and early death.
The latest study, published in the journal of Radiology, looked at 64 patients who experienced concussions and compared their MRI brain scans a year after their injury to those of 15 healthy patients over the same time period. The images picked up white matter, which is made up of nerves and their protective coating, myelin, which facilitates connections between nerves in different regions of the brain. Networks of these nerves are responsible for cognitive functions such as memory, planning and reasoning. The scans revealed that the damage to the white matter in the concussion patients was similar to that of Alzheimer’s patients, whose nerves gradually died after being strangled by expanding plaques of amyloid proteins.”
Alzheimer’s disease is a very scary thing to go through. Oftentimes the person going through it recognizes that they are, as they become less and less able to recall some of the simplest things. There is currently a study on the effectiveness of improv on the well-being of Alzheimer’s patients.
“Improv is all about being in the moment, which for someone with memory loss, that is a very safe place,” says Mary O’Hara, a social worker at the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. “Maybe thinking about the past and trying to remember makes the person a little anxious or even a bit sad because their memory is failing. And maybe thinking about the future too much is also anxiety-provoking. So being in the moment is such a safe and a good place to be.”
More information: Chicago News
This is an interesting twist of events that surprised even the researchers at the University of South Florida. Cellphone radiation may be good for you and bad for you at the same time. Tests on mice suggest that long-term cellphone use might actually help to fend off some of the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.
The findings are exactly the opposite of what they expected to find. They say that exposure to electromagnetic waves from cellphones could both prevent some of the effects of Alzheimer’s if the exposure is introduced in early adulthood, or potentially even reverse some of the impairment among those already memory-impaired.
Robots that can cook, dance to Michael Jackson songs or guide the blind are among the gadgets aimed at helping humans cope with illnesses on display in Spain at one of the world’s biggest annual gatherings of new technology enthusiasts.
Standing 58 centimetres (23 inches) tall and with a plastic shell for a body, a humanoid robot called Nao drew a crowd at the Campus Party in Valencia as it danced to Jackson’s “Billie Jean” with a black hat on its head.
Eating a “heart healthy” diet and maintaining or increasing participation in moderate physical activity may help preserve our memory and thinking abilities as we age, according to new research reported today at the Alzheimer’s Association 2009 International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease (ICAD 2009) in Vienna.
“We can’t do anything about aging or family history, but research continues to show us that there are lifestyle decisions we all can make to keep our brains healthier, and that also may lower our risk of memory decline as we age,” said William Thies, PhD, Chief Medical & Scientific Officer at the Alzheimer’s Association.
Colleen E. Jackson, M.S., a doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at the University of Connecticut, and colleagues conducted an anonymous online survey of 690 adults to measure “dementia literacy,” that is, their knowledge and beliefs that may assist in the recognition, management, or prevention of Alzheimer’s.