Elderly individuals who eat plenty of strawberries and blueberries are less likely to experience cognitive decline, compared to those who rarely or never eat berries, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School reported in Annals of Neurology. According to their findings, the authors explained that adding flavonoids-rich berries to elderly people's diet could delay their cognitive decline by up to two-and-a-half years. Flavonoids, compounds which exist in plants, are extremely powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances. Scientists say inflammation and stress play a major role in cognitive decline, and that consuming plenty of flavonoids helps reduce their effects. Previous studies had already shown that consuming flavonoids, especially anthocyanidins, can improve cognitive functions.
Potential Treatment For Cerebral Palsy, Other Neurologic Disorders With Nano-Devices That Cross Blood-Brain Barrier
A team of scientists from Johns Hopkins and elsewhere have developed nano-devices that successfully cross the blood-Brain barrier and deliver a drug that tames brain-damaging inflammation in rabbits with cerebral palsy. A report on the experiments, conducted at Wayne State University in collaboration with the Perinatology Research Branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, before the lead and senior investigators moved to Johns Hopkins, is published in Science Translational Medicine. For the study, researchers used tiny, manmade molecules laced with N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), an anti-inflammatory drug used as antidote in acetaminophen poisoning. The researchers precision-targeted brain cells gone awry to halt brain injury. In doing so they improved the animals' neurologic function and motor skills.
Studying a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease, neuroscientists at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen have observed correlations between increases in both soluble and plaque-forming beta-amyloid - a protein implicated in the disease process - and dysfunctional developments on several levels: individual cortical neurons, neuronal circuits, sensory cognition, and behavior. Their results, published in Nature Communications, show that these changes progress in parallel and that, together, they reveal distinct stages in Alzheimer's disease with a specific order in time. In addition to its well known, devastating effects on memory and learning, Alzheimer's disease can also impair a person's sense of smell or vision. Typically these changes in sensory cognition only show themselves behaviorally when the disease is more advanced.
Cognitive decline is a pressing global health care issue. Worldwide, one case of dementia is detected every seven seconds. Mild cognitive impairment is a well recognized risk factor for dementia, and represents a critical window of opportunity for intervening and altering the trajectory of cognitive decline in seniors. A new study by researchers at the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility at Vancouver Coastal Health and the University of British Columbia shows that implementing a seniors' exercise program, specifically one using resistance-training, can alter the trajectory of decline. Perhaps most importantly, the program improved the executive cognitive process of selective attention and conflict resolution as well as associative memory, which are robust predictors of conversion from mild cognitive impairment to dementia.
Teasing out the exact type or types of dementia someone suffers from is no easy task; neurodegenerative brain diseases share common pathology and often co-occur. Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania are continuing efforts to differentiate diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) from frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), as FTLD is often clinically difficult to distinguish from atypical presentations of AD. In a series of studies being presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 64th Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Penn researchers demonstrated that, while tests created for AD are effectively diagnosing the condition when it's clear cut, additional tests are needed to address the many cases with mixed pathology. "With the emergence of disease-modifying treatments for AD and other neurodegenerative diseases, it will be of utmost importance to accurately identify the underlying neuropathology in patients, " said senior author John Q.