Behavior changes offer clues that dementia could be brewing

In another study they presented at the AAIC 2016, the researchers found that more than 80 percent of patients with MCI or subjective cognitive decline (SCD) - a self-perception of declining memory and thinking skills - had neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS). They also prepared a 38-question checklist that would be indicative of a person's dementia risk depending on his/her answers.

Previous research released as part of the Active study showed all three types of brain training tested led to improvements in cognitive function and the ability to perform daily living skills, such as preparing a meal. It now has about 1,500 participants, who come for regular tests of cognitive skills, as well as brain scans, cerebral spinal fluid draws and other testing. It said that 1 in 6 women and 1 in 10 men who live over the age of 55 might develop dementia in the future.

A computerized brain training program cut the risk of dementia among healthy people by 48 percent, US researchers said on Sunday in reporting an analysis of the results of a 10-year study. However, the same benefits were not found in the group who took the memory trainings.

Participants who did booster sessions, those who participated in 11 or more sessions of the computerized training showed a 48 percent reduction. Research presented at meetings is considered preliminary until published in a peer- reviewed journal. But researchers including Dr. Zahinoor Ismail, a specialist in neuropsychiatry at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary, who presented the study, suggested otherwise.

Dr. Morris said the future of brain training may extend to and include new, exciting games. That has sparked pushback from some scientists skeptical of claims manufacturers made, including that the products could reduce or reverse cognitive decline. The jobs that were less likely to offer a form of protection against the onset of Alzheimer's disease included, machine operator, cashier, general laborer and shelf stockers in grocery stores. In 2014, neuroscientists gathered under the auspices of the Stanford Center on Longevity took the brain-training industry to task for promising results that were "frequently exaggerated and at times misleading".

The speed training focused on visual perception.

÷ A stimulating job and an active social life can protect the brain from the negative impact of eating unhealthy food, the Alzheimer's Association conference heard.

The computerized brain training exercise is commercially available as the "Double Decision" game, one of a suite of cognitive exercises marketed online by the San Francisco-based Posit Science Corp.

In the study, the people were trained for five weeks and the effects seemed to last for at least 10 years.

King is part of the original clinical trial where the latest analysis is based. UFOV decreases with age and is associated with a decline in performance on daily tasks, particularly driving a vehicle. Previously, medical practitioners believe that HIV patients may not develop Alzheimer's because HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) may prevent the formation of amyloid clumps.

"The whole idea is to create tests that a general clinician can use in an office setting", says Dr. William Kreisl, a neurologist at Columbia University, where both studies were done. The other two training groups did not show a significant difference from the control group.

"Dementia by definition involves functional impairment", Dr. Edwards says.

Director of research and development at Alzheimer's Society, Dr Doug Brown commented: "These studies add to growing evidence that sense of smell can be affected in the early stages of dementia".

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