Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Biomolecular Screening
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Brain-Imaging, Stroke Risk Test Identify Cognitive Decline

Published: Thursday, April 04, 2013
Last Updated: Thursday, April 04, 2013
Bookmark and Share
UCLA researchers have used a brain-imaging tool and stroke risk assessment to identify signs of cognitive decline early on in individuals who don't yet show symptoms of dementia.

The connection between stroke risk and cognitive decline has been well established by previous research. Individuals with higher stroke risk, as measured by factors like high blood pressure, have traditionally performed worse on tests of memory, attention and abstract reasoning.

The current small study demonstrated that not only stroke risk, but also the burden of plaques and tangles, as measured by a UCLA brain scan, may influence cognitive decline.

The imaging tool used in the study was developed at UCLA and reveals early evidence of amyloid beta "plaques" and neurofibrillary tau "tangles" in the brain — the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease.

The study, published in the April issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, demonstrates that taking both stroke risk and the burden of plaques and tangles into accout may offer a more powerful assessment of factors determining how people are doing now and will do in the future.

"The findings reinforce the importance of managing stroke risk factors to prevent cognitive decline even before clinical symptoms of dementia appear," said first author Dr. David Merrill, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA.

This is one of the first studies to examine both stroke risk and plaque and tangle levels in the brain in relation to cognitive decline before dementia has even set in, Merrill said.

According to the researchers, the UCLA brain-imaging tool could prove useful in tracking cognitive decline over time and offer additional insight when used with other assessment tools.

For the study, the team assessed 75 people who were healthy or had mild cognitive impairment, a risk factor for the future development of Alzheimer's. The average age of the participants was 63.

The individuals underwent neuropsychological testing and physical assessments to calculate their stroke risk using the Framingham Stroke Risk Profile, which examines age, gender, smoking status, systolic blood pressure, diabetes, atrial fibrillation (irregular heart rhythm), use of blood pressure medications, and other factors.

In addition, each participant was injected with a chemical marker called FDDNP, which binds to deposits of amyloid beta plaques and neurofibrillary tau tangles in the brain. The researchers then used positron emission tomography (PET) to image the brains of the subjects — a method that enabled them to pinpoint where these abnormal proteins accumulate.

The study found that greater stroke risk was significantly related to lower performance in several cognitive areas, including language, attention, information-processing speed, memory, visual-spatial functioning (e.g., ability to read a map), problem-solving and verbal reasoning.

The researchers also observed that FDDNP binding levels in the brain correlated with participants' cognitive performance. For example, volunteers who had greater difficulties with problem-solving and language displayed higher levels of the FDDNP marker in areas of their brain that control those cognitive activities.

"Our findings demonstrate that the effects of elevated vascular risk, along with evidence of plaques and tangles, is apparent early on, even before vascular damage has occurred or a diagnosis of dementia has been confirmed," said the study's senior author, Dr. Gary Small, director of the UCLA Longevity Center and a professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences who holds the Parlow–Solomon Chair on Aging at UCLA's Semel Institute.

Researchers found that several individual factors in the stroke assessment stood out as predictors of decline in cognitive function, including age, systolic blood pressure and use of blood pressure–related medications.

Small noted that the next step in the research would be studies with a larger sample size to confirm and expand the findings.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,000+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Tracking RNA in Live Cells
Technique may open doors to new treatments for many conditions, from cancer to autism.
Friday, March 18, 2016
Cat Stem Cell Therapy Gives Humans Hope
By the time Bob the cat came to the UC Davis veterinary hospital, he had used up most of his nine lives.
Monday, February 08, 2016
Crowdfunding the Fight Against Cancer
From budding social causes to groundbreaking businesses to the next big band, crowdfunding has helped connect countless worthy projects with like-minded people willing to support their efforts, even in small ways. But could crowdfunding help fight cancer?
Monday, February 08, 2016
Cellular “ORACLs” to Aid Drug Discovery
New approach for finding therapeutics is inspired by face-recognition software.
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Embryonic Switch for Cancer Stem Cell Generation
An international team of scientists report that decreases in a specific group of proteins trigger changes in the cancer microenvironment that accelerate growth and development of therapy-resistant cancer stem cells (CSCs).
Wednesday, December 02, 2015
Rare Childhood Leukemia Reveals Surprising Genetic Secrets
A coalition of leukemia researchers led by scientists from UC San Francisco has discovered surprising genetic diversity in juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML), a rare but aggressive childhood blood cancer.
Thursday, October 15, 2015
Simple Technology Makes CRISPR Gene Editing Cheaper
University of California, Berkeley, researchers have discovered a much cheaper and easier way to target a hot new gene editing tool, CRISPR-Cas9, to cut or label DNA.
Friday, July 24, 2015
Delivering Drugs to the Right Place
Thomas Weimbs has developed a targeted drug delivery method that could potentially slow the progression of polycystic kidney disease.
Monday, June 29, 2015
Designing New Pain Relief Drugs
Researchers have identified the molecular interactions that allow capsaicin to activate the body’s primary receptor for sensing heat and pain, paving the way for the design of more selective and effective drugs to relieve pain.
Thursday, June 11, 2015
Engineers Crack DNA Code of Autoimmune Disorders
Researchers have identified an unexpectedly general set of rules that determine which molecules can cause the immune system to become vulnerable to the autoimmune disorders lupus and psoriasis.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Genetic Markers for Detecting and Treating Ovarian Cancer
Custom bioinformatics algorithm identifies human mRNAs that distinguish ovarian cancer cells from normal cells and provide new therapeutic targets
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Industry-Sponsored Academic Inventions Spur Increased Innovation
Analysis questions assumption that corporate support skews science toward inventions that are less useful than those funded by the government or non-profit organizations.
Monday, March 24, 2014
Chemical Signature for Fast Form of Parkinson's Found
The physical decline experienced by Parkinson's disease patients eventually leads to disability and a lower quality of life.
Monday, November 25, 2013
Digging Deeper Into Cancer
What a pathologist looks for in a Pap test sample, but hopes not to find, are oddly shaped cells with abnormally large nuclei. The same is true for prostate and lung cancer biopsies.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Discovery Could Lead to Saliva Test for Pancreatic Cancer
The disease is typically diagnosed through an invasive and complicated biopsy.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Scientific News
It’s Now Easier To Go With The Flow
Rice University tool simplifies comparison of flow cytometry data for laboratories.
FNIH Launches Project to Evaluate Biomarkers in Cancer Patients
Company has announced that it has launched a new project to evaluate the effectiveness of liquid biopsies as biomarkers in colorectal cancer patients.
Drugs that May Combat Deadly Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Uncovered
Study identifies 79 compounds that inhibit carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE).
Making Precision Medicine a Reality
Researchers are one step closer to understanding the genetic and biological basis of diseases like cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and rheumatoid arthritis – and identifying new drug targets and therapies.
Potential “Good Fat” Biomarker
New method to measure the activity of energy consuming brown fat cells could ease the testing weight loss drugs.
MicroRNA Pathway Could Lead to New Avenues for Leukemia Treatment
Cancer researchers at the University of Cincinnati have found a particular signaling route in microRNA (miR-22) that could lead to targets for acute myeloid leukemia, the most common type of fast-growing cancer of the blood and bone marrow.
Soy Shows Promise as Natural Anti-Microbial Agent
Soy isoflavones and peptides may inhibit the growth of microbial pathogens that cause food-borne illnesses, according to a new study from University of Guelph researchers.
Doubling Down on Dengue
HMS researchers have discovered two ways a compound blocks dengue virus.
Soy Shows Promise as Natural Anti-Microbial Agent
Researchers from University of Guelph show that soy isoflavones and peptides could be used to reduce microbial contamination of food.
AstraZeneca to Sequence 2 Million Genomes in Search for New Drugs
Company launches integrated genomics approach which aims to transform drug discovery and development.
SELECTBIO

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,000+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,500+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!