Higlights of Canadian research and policy news.

This news brought to you by the Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program and brainXchange. 

Arterial stiffness identified as a modifiable risk factor for dementia


Monday, October 22, 2018

A 15-year study of older adults in Pittsburgh has confirmed that arterial stiffness is a strong predictor of dementia. As the aorta ages, it loses elasticity and is therefore less able to protect smaller arteries by cushioning the pressure caused by pulsing blood flow. This can result in damage to vulnerable arteries in the brain and contribute to dementia risk.

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Arterial stiffness identified as a modifiable risk factor for dementia

Monday, October 22, 2018

A 15-year study of older adults in Pittsburgh has confirmed that arterial stiffness is a strong predictor of dementia. As the aorta ages, it loses elasticity and is therefore less able to protect smaller arteries by cushioning the pressure caused by pulsing blood flow. This can result in damage to vulnerable arteries in the brain and contribute to dementia risk.

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When should doctors do lumbar punctures to test for Alzheimer’s?

Monday, October 22, 2018

Testing for biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) offers an earlier and more sensitive method of diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease than relying on clinical symptoms alone, such as loss of memory and other cognitive functions. Due to recent scientific advances, CSF testing may be more widely used in future. To ensure safe and optimal use of the procedure, guidelines for the appropriate use of lumbar punctures and CSF testing have been created.

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Spontaneous genetic errors may be leading cause of dementia

Monday, October 22, 2018

Only five percent of people who develop dementia are thought to inherit the disease genetically from one or both parents. Explaining the cause of dementia in the other 95 percent is more difficult.

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Quality of work life has not improved for aides who care for older adults with dementia

Monday, October 15, 2018

Researchers in Western Canada report that emotional exhaustion is on the rise among care aides working in nursing homes, and job satisfaction has not improved. The frequency of responsive behaviours experienced by care aides who work with residents living with dementia is also increasing.

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Predicting cognitive decline using artificial intelligence

Monday, October 15, 2018

Scientists at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and University of Toronto have trained an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to accurately predict whether a person’s cognitive abilities are likely to lead to Alzheimer’s disease within five years. They designed the algorithm to learn from genetics, clinical data and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and trained it using data from more than 800 people who participated in the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative.

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Altruism motivates people to participate in dementia research

Friday, October 12, 2018

Older adults who participate in dementia-prevention trials are most often motivated by altruism, according to researchers who conducted a Research Satisfaction Survey at 27 study sites in metropolitan areas in the United States. Respondents rated their overall satisfaction level as high, although they preferred interviews administered by staff rather than via automated technologies. They liked having an opportunity to volunteer and to challenge their cognitive abilities, but disliked repetitive assessments.

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Low cognitive ability during adolescence predicts dementia in later life

Monday, October 8, 2018

The odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia (ADRD) as an adult are higher for individuals who, as adolescents, demonstrate lower cognitive abilities in areas such as language and reasoning.

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Gum disease bacteria may trigger Alzheimer’s

Monday, October 8, 2018

Dental researchers have discovered that bacteria from a common gum infection causes inflammation and degeneration of brain neurons.

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Best practices for consent in dementia research and data sharing

Monday, October 8, 2018

An expert team from Europe, Australia and Canada has developed best practice recommendations around consent processes for research involving people living with dementia. The recommendations focus on providing support and protection from exploitation in the decision-making process, clarifying regulatory frameworks, advance planning, authority to consent, and capacity assessment.

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