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New Alzheimer’s Studies Highlight Advances in Research
Two studies suggested that a low-cost odor identification test has proven useful in predicting cognitive decline and detecting Alzheimer’s disease in its early stages. The findings from Columbia University Medical Center, New York State Psychiatric Institute and New York-Presbyterian support odor identification as an early predictor and an impairment in detecting smells may precede thinning in the entorhinal cortex in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.
There’s also a strong association between thinning nerve layers in the retina of the eye and poor cognition, according to another study, suggesting the potential of retinal imaging as part of early Alzheimer’s testing. Amyloid deposits in the retina show possibility for pre-symptomatic detection, found the researchers at the Moorfields Eye Hospital in London in collaboration with the Topcon Advanced Biomedical Imaging Laboratory in Oakland, N.J.
Canadian research was also presented at the event, showing that during the past eight years, the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias has increased more than 18 percent in Ontario with the greatest increase among men. Canadian research also addressed the need to improve culturally safe care for indigenous people with dementia in Canada.
In other research news, the National Institutes on Aging is funding scientists to use and study brain scans to explore the regions and connectivity in the brain associated with the ability to manage money with a focus on combating financial elder abuse.
And even in facing the prospects of early dementia or mild cognitive impairment (MCI), there’s a silver lining. A group of scientists from the University of Kentucky’s Sanders-Brown Center on Aging asked 48 men and women experiencing early dementia and MCI a series of questions about quality of life and outlook post-diagnosis. The Silver Lining Questionnaire, which has been in practice for cancer patients, showed that almost half of respondents reported positive scores including less concern about failure and appreciation and acceptance of life.
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