Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Keeping mind active may delay Alzheimer's symptoms, but not underlying disease


Public Release: 24-Feb-2016
Keeping mind active may delay Alzheimer's symptoms, but not underlying disease
Mayo Clinic

Keeping the mind active may delay symptoms of Alzheimer's disease; however, the activity does not change the underlying disease in the brain for most people, according to a study published today in the online edition of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

For people who are carriers of a gene linked to Alzheimer's, the findings differed. People with a gene called APOE4, who had at least 14 years of education and kept mentally active in middle age had lower levels of proteins called amyloid plaques. The proteins can build up in brain tissue and lead to Alzheimer's disease. People with the gene and a high level of education but did not keep mentally active in middle age had higher levels of amyloid plaques.

"When we looked specifically at the level of lifetime learning, we found that carriers of the APOE4 gene who had higher education and continued to learn through middle age had fewer amyloid deposition on imaging when compared to those who did not continue with intellectual activity in middle age," says study author Prashanthi Vemuri, Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic dementia researcher.

Dr. Vemuri said the overall findings for people who do not carry the gene should not discourage people from exercising and taking part in activities, such as reading books and magazines, playing games and using computers. "The takeaway message for the general public is that keeping your mind active is very important in delaying symptoms of Alzheimer's disease," says Dr. Vemuri.


No comments:

Post a Comment