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Alzheimer's Hits Harder Earlier In Life 

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  #1  
Old 08-03-2012, 10:48 AM
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Alzheimer's Hits Harder Earlier In Life

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People who develop Alzheimer's symptoms in their 60s and 70s, are more likely to decline quickly compared to those diagnosed in very old age, researchers say.
A team from the University of California said the 'younger elderly' showed faster rates of brain tissue loss and cognitive decline than Alzheimer patients who were over 80 years old.
The findings have profound implications for both diagnosing the degenerative condition and efforts to find new treatments. There is currently no cure for Alzheimer's and therapies can only ease some of the symptoms.
Study author Dr Dominic Holland, said: 'One of the key features for the clinical determination of AD is its relentless progressive course.
'Patients typically show marked deterioration year after year. If older patients are not showing the same deterioration from one year to the next, doctors may be hesitant to diagnose AD, and thus these patients may not receive appropriate care, which can be very important for their quality of life.'
The team used imaging and biomarker data from 723 who participated in the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. The people aged 65 to 90 years, were categorised as either cognitively normal, with mild cognitive impairment or suffering from full-blown AD.
Dr Holland said: 'We found that younger elderly show higher rates of cognitive decline and faster rates of tissue loss in brain regions that are vulnerable during the early stages of AD.
'Additionally cerebrospinal fluid biomarker levels indicate a greater disease burden in younger than in older individuals.'
Co-author Dr Linda McEvoy said it's not clear why AD is more aggressive among younger elderly.
'It may be that patients who show onset of dementia at an older age, and are declining slowly, have been declining at that rate for a long time.
'But because of cognitive reserve or other still-unknown factors that provide 'resistance' against brain damage, clinical symptoms do not manifest till later age.'
Another possibility, according to Dr Holland, is that older patients may be suffering from mixed dementia – a combination of AD pathology and other neurological conditions.
These patients might withstand the effects of AD until other adverse factors, such as brain lesions caused by cerebrovascular disease, take hold. However, as AD can only be diagnosed definitively by an autopsy this remains a theory.
'So we do not yet know the underlying neuropathology of participants in this study,' Holland said.
Dr Simon Ridley, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
'These findings challenge the misconception that Alzheimer’s and dementia is only a problem for much older people, suggesting it may be more aggressive in people in their 60s and 70s.
'The results highlight the importance of helping younger people with Alzheimer’s to access clinical trials, as new drugs could have a big impact on their lives.
'With more people reaching retirement age, it is important to understand how Alzheimer’s affects people of different ages.
'Understanding why very elderly people with Alzheimer’s are less likely to feel its full force could provide new clues for preventing or slowing the disease. To answer these questions, we must invest in research.'
The study is published online on 2 August in the journal PLoS ONE.

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Old 08-03-2012, 08:25 PM
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Re: Alzheimer's Hits Harder Earlier In Life

My mother's started at around 60, she was dead at 70.

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Old 08-03-2012, 08:30 PM
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Re: Alzheimer's Hits Harder Earlier In Life

And now we wait for the 'i started reading that but forgot what i was doing' comment theres bound to be one smartarse

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Old 09-28-2012, 02:30 PM
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Re: Alzheimer's Hits Harder Earlier In Life

just found out my mother has it. she's 70. fucking hell.

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Old 09-28-2012, 10:41 PM
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Re: Alzheimer's Hits Harder Earlier In Life

Pretty sure it's slowly developing in me, and I'm only 41. I've never done any drugs although I do have trouble sleeping and depression, so I've been kidding myself that those are the cause. I have to keep notepads everywhere to write down things I think of, otherwise I drive myself crazy trying to recall them. I get lost going places I've been many times before. I forget who people are in relation to my friends.. in one painfully embarrassing situation I forgot that a friend had had a stillborn daughter, or the daughter's name when she was talking about her.

I don't know which is worse.. feeling stupid all the time, or thinking of what I'm facing in the future.

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