December 22, 2016

Health Roundup - sniff test Alzheimer's, aluminum, saunas, aging

A simple 'sniff test' is accurate in diagnosing Alzheimer's early on

The sense of smell is known to decline sharply in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.  Experts believe this is because the build-up of toxic clumps in the brain - the signature hallmark of dementia - affects the memory region. Asking people at risk to try and identify a range of odors could provide an accurate early diagnosis, a new study found.  The 5-minute test could also be used to detect mild cognitive impairment - the pre-cursor to the debilitating disease, it suggested.

The 5-minute test could also be used to detect mild cognitive impairment - the pre-cursor to the debilitating disease, it suggested. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania asked 728 elderly people to detect 16 different odors using the Sniffin' Sticks test - which was developed in Germany and available to buy online.

Saunas Help Your Brain, Says Deeply Finnish Study

Published in Age and Ageing and highlighted by the New York Times’ Well blog, the study tracked 2,315 healthy guys between the ages of 42 and 60 over the course of about 20 years.

After controlling for lots of things — age, alcohol, smoking, diabetes, resting heart rate, body mass index, and the like — the analysis found that the dudes who bathed in saunas four to seven times a week had a 65 percent lower risk of Alzheimer’s and a 66 percent lower risk of dementia compared to those who went just once a week.

Aluminum DOES cause Alzheimer's: Expert says new findings confirm the metal plays a role in the devastating brain disease

A link between aluminium and Alzheimer's disease has long existed.But many scientists says there is not enough evidence to blame the metal, used by thousands for everyday purposes to cook and store food.

However, Professor Chris Exley, from Keele University, says his latest research confirms it does indeed play a role in cognitive decline.  Alzheimer’s disease has a much earlier age of onset, for example, fifties or early sixties, in individuals who have been exposed to unusually high levels of aluminium in their everyday lives. We now show that some of the highest levels of aluminium ever measured in human brain tissue are found in individuals who have died with a diagnosis of familial Alzheimer’s disease.

Scientists reverse aging in mammals and predict human trials within 10 years

Using a new technique which takes adult cells back to their embryonic form, US researchers at the Salk Institute in California, showed it was possible to reverse aging in mice, allowing the animals to not only look younger, but live for 30 per cent longer.
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Dr Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a professor in Salk's Gene Expression Laboratory. “With careful modulation, aging might be reversed. Obviously, mice are not humans and we know it will be much more complex to rejuvenate a person. But this study shows that aging is a very dynamic and plastic process, and therefore will be more amenable to therapeutic interventions than what we previously thought."
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The breakthrough could also help people stay healthier for longer.  The aging population means that the risk of developing age-related diseases, such as dementia, cancer and heart disease also rises. But if the body could be kept younger for longer then it could prevent many deadly diseases for decades.
Posted by Jill Fallon at December 22, 2016 12:45 PM | Permalink