Exercising while playing video games may help Alzheimer's sufferers, new research suggests. Older people with mild cognitive impairment, which often occurs before dementia, have better'executive functions' after playing interactive games while riding exercise bikes - known as'exergaming', a study found. Executive functions enable people to multi task, make decisions and recall memories. Lead author Professor Cay Anderson-Hanley, from Union College, New York, said: 'Executive function is like the CEO of the brain. It is key to remaining independent in later life.
A blood test to detect two molecules that act as indicators of a person's likelihood to get Alzheimer's disease later in life could be a'game-changer', a new study claims. The two molecules – P-tau181, a tau protein, and neurofilament light polypeptide (NfL) – are found in plasma, the light yellow liquid that makes up 55 per cent of our blood. In a sample of 557 people in their 60s and 70s, the presence of high levels of either P-tau181 and NfL were the most accurate predictors of the patient's progression from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to severe memory and thinking problems, typical of Alzheimer's. Researchers say blood tests to detect levels of the two molecules could allow doctors to track the progression of Alzheimer's disease progression in at-risk populations. The new study could help the development of routine blood tests to track Alzheimer's disease progression in at-risk populations'Our study is novel in the way we address the individualised predictive value of plasma Alzheimer's disease biomarkers,' say the experts, from Lund University in Sweden.
Alzheimer's disease could be stopped by gene therapy, scientists discovered. Inserting a gene may prevent the formation of clumps of protein which are found in the brains of dementia sufferers, experts believe. The plaques - built up of amyloid-beta peptide - are thought to trigger the death of brain cells. But the PGC-1-alpha gene helped to prevent the lumps of protein and kept mice with a healthy brain, a new study found. It is involved in metabolic processes in the body, including the regulation of sugar and fat.
Four dementia scientists have shared this year's 1m Euro brain prize for pivotal work that has changed our understanding of Alzheimer's disease. Profs John Hardy, Bart De Strooper, Michael Goedert, based in the UK, and Prof Christian Haass, from Germany, unpicked key protein changes that lead to this most common type of dementia. On getting the award, Prof Hardy said he hoped new treatments could be found. He is donating some of his prize money to care for Alzheimer's patients. Much of the drug discovery research that's done today builds on their pioneering work, looking for ways to stop the build-up of damaging proteins, such as amyloid and tau.
British scientists are launching a 7million study to help develop vital early treatment for Alzheimer's. They aim to diagnose the disease in its initial stages when there are no clear symptoms. Success could herald a revolution in the treatment of Alzheimer's, and lead to drugs to halt its progress before irreparable damage is done to the brain. Scientists are launching a study to help develop early treatment for Alzheimer's. Currently, 99 per cent of clinical trials testing new dementia therapies fail – thought to be because they use participants whose brains are already too impaired.