Mental illness and Alzheimer’s disease

I read this interesting news clip from the AMA on Alzheimer’s disease and thought I would share it.
Remember, September is World Alzheimer’s Month to raise awareness, education and support for persons and families living with Alzheimer’s disease.

Early memory lapses associated with tripled risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s.
The Los Angeles Times (9/25, Healy) “Science Now” blog reports that according to a study published online Sept. 24 in the journal Neurology, “after the age of 60, ‘cognitive complainers’ – people who say they have noticed mental slippage – are more likely than those who do not complain of such changes to develop mild cognitive impairment, and to have Alzheimer’s-like plaques and tangles in their brains upon death even when dementia was never diagnosed.”

The CBS News (9/25, Firger) website reports the decade-long study evaluated 531 individuals without dementia annually, finding those who reported memory problems at any point were three times as likely to develop dementia or Alzheimer’s. The study revealed that 56 percent of participants reported changes in memory by age 82, with one in six developing dementia during the study and 80 percent reporting serious changes in memory early on. The findings urge physicians to take memory concerns seriously.

CNN (9/24, Christensen) provides more background, going on to cite higher incidences of memory problems in smokers and women who did not take hormone replacement therapies. The article also cites the benefits of exercise, proper diet, and mental engagement.
HealthDay (9/25, Salamon) reports that individuals carrying a gene increasing the risk for Alzheimer’s had double the odds of impairment. Also covering the story is MedPage Today (9/25, Gever).

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