Collaborating Authors

Autoimmune disorders linked to an increased risk of dementia

New Scientist

People who have autoimmune disorders may be 20 per cent more likely to develop dementia. Based on data collected between 1999 and 2012, the study's findings add to mounting evidence that chronic inflammation – a common feature of many autoimmune disorders – may be a trigger of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Previous studies have found that if infections or chronic inflammatory diseases – including diabetes – have pushed a person's immune system into overdrive, this can lead to immune cells attacking healthy brain tissue. According to the analysis, people with multiple sclerosis are among those with autoimmune disorders who are most likely to develop dementia. This finding isn't very surprising, as the disorder is caused by the immune system attacking the central nervous system.

Physical exercise may worsen dementia, says study

Al Jazeera

Physical exercises do not slow down mental decline in people already diagnosed with dementia, and can even make it worse, according to a new study published on Thursday. A team of UK researchers wrote in the British Medical Journal that they do not recommend moderate to high intensity exercise as a treatment option for dementia. Dementia is an umbrella term that includes Alzheimer's disease, which describes a deterioration of mental ability such as memory, language, and ability to focus. Nearly 47.5 million people have dementia in the world, and many believe that regular exercises might prevent or delay mental illness. But recent experiments showing contradictory results have challenged this popular idea.

For dementia patients and their families, isolation during the pandemic is a heavy burden

National Geographic

For a population that is particularly vulnerable to the mental consequences of social isolation, the barring of family visits, group activities, and communal dining in nursing homes and assisted living facilities has taken a unique toll. "The whole issue of isolation is huge right now," says Doug Pace, director of mission partnerships for the Alzheimer's Association, a Chicago-based national nonprofit focused on care, support, and research related to the disease. "Loneliness, helplessness, and boredom, we know, is something that, even in normal times, can really affect the quality of life of someone with dementia."

Dementia now leading cause of death

BBC News

Dementia, including Alzheimer's Disease, has overtaken heart disease as the leading cause of death in England and Wales, latest figures reveal. Last year, more than 61,000 people died of dementia - 11.6% of all recorded deaths. The Office for National Statistics says the change is largely due to an ageing population. People are living for longer and deaths from other things, including heart disease, have gone down. Also, doctors have got better at diagnosing dementia and the condition is now given more weight on death certificates.

What it's REALLY like to live with dementia: Experts release five 'unwinnable' puzzles

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A series of impossible puzzles has been created to demonstrate the frustration and confusion many people with dementia suffer every day. The brain-destroying condition causes nerve connections to break down and vital mental faculties, like understanding language or storing memories, to stop working. Experts say suffering from the condition, which affects around 850,000 people in the UK and 50million worldwide, is like being'tested to destruction'. The puzzles all appear to be simple at first glance but there is a twist when you come to answer them. The quiz has been created by experts at Babylon Health, the company which runs the NHS's online doctors' appointment app, GP at Hand.