Wednesday, November 20, 2013
The Aging Brain and Alzheimer's Disease
If you're ambitions, tackle this article (it's a bit technical) or see below. AGING BRAIN Cognitive decline with age has become one of the greatest health care problems worldwide. Approximately 1 in 10 persons older than 65 years and about half of those 85 or older have some degree of dementia. Because brain aging is such an important risk factor for Alzheimer disease (AD), scientists are studying these brains and, in the course of research, are finding tools for early diagnosis. These areas include brain imaging and chemical markers in the spinal fluid. The brain of AD patients show the accumulation of an unusual protein named amyloid. New imaging techniques such as PET Imagining can show the accumulation of this protein. Examination of spinal fluid in AD patients shows markers for amyloid protein. These techniques offer researchers tools to monitor the brain for AD, and show the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions. In the future, these techniques may be effective enough to be used for early diagnosis. Currently, treatment for AD involves drugs like Aricept that treat symptoms, but not the disease itself. Research suggests a possible role for insulin and antibodies against the amyloid protein.