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IN THE NEWS

Biogen's Alzheimer's drug slows mental decline in early study
Reuters
An experimental drug from Biogen Idec Inc became the first Alzheimer's treatment to significantly slow cognitive decline and reduce what is believed to be brain-destroying plaque in patients with early and mild forms of the disease, according to a small study likely to reignite hopes of a treatment. Alzheimer's affects 15 million people worldwide, a number that is expected to grow to 75 million by 2030 without effective treatments, likely costing billions of dollars year.
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Ultrasound shows promise in mice for treating Alzheimer's
The Wall Street Journal
Ultrasound treatment helped remove brain plaques and improve memory in mice genetically engineered to develop symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, an intriguing but early-stage result that underscores the variety of approaches scientists are testing against the disease. The study was carried out on mice specially bred with a genetic defect that causes Alzheimer's.
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Risks run high when antipsychotics are prescribed for dementia
NPR
When you hear about dementia, the chances are you think about memory problems. But other common symptoms of dementia, including Alzheimer's, can be even more troublesome to patients and their families: aggressiveness, agitation, delusions and hallucinations. More than 90 percent of patients with dementia will experience some of those symptoms over the course of their illness, says University of Michigan psychiatrist Donovan Maust. And it's these burdensome symptoms that often lead doctors to prescribe antipsychotic medicines for these patients.
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Age-linked memory loss may be worse for men
HealthDay via WebMD
Can't remember that work colleague's name? Misplaced your keys again? Don't fret: a new study finds that nearly everyone will suffer more memory lapses as they age, with men being more vulnerable to failing memory than women. The study also reported that people's memory skills and brain volume typically decline with age — and, surprisingly, it seems to have little to do with the buildup of brain "plaques" that mark Alzheimer's disease, the study suggests.
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A drug has been found that reverses a precursor to Alzheimer's
TIME
Researchers at John Hopkins University have found that low doses of a drug more commonly used to treat epilepsy can reverse a condition that increases the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. According to statements, the epilepsy drug, called antiepileptic levetiracetam, calms hyperactivity in the brain — a well-documented symptom of people with amnestic mild cognitive impairment, which is a condition that heightens the possibility of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
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A simple 3-part test may predict Alzheimer's
TIME
Diseases like Alzheimer's start years, even decades, before the first symptoms of memory loss shows up. And with rates of those diseases rising, experts say that more primary care physicians — not neurology experts — will have the task of identifying these patients early so they can take advantage of whatever early interventions might be available.
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A sense of purpose may benefit your brain
HealthDay via U.S. News and World Report
Having a strong sense of purpose in life may lower the likelihood of brain tissue damage in older adults, new research suggests. Autopsies conducted among adults in their 80s revealed that those who felt their lives had meaning had far fewer "macroscopic infarcts" — small areas of dead tissue resulting from blockage of blood flow. This kind of brain tissue damage is believed to boost the risk for developing dementia, movement problems, disability and/or death — many classic characteristics of old age.
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Olive ingredients may prevent Alzheimer's disease
News Medical
It has long been proven that people who follow a Mediterranean diet and keep physically and mentally active are less likely to suffer from dementia. Olives in particular appear to play a key role in this regard. But just what are the substances contained in these small, oval fruit that are so valuable?
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