What Do We Know About Alzheimer's?
Margaret Gatz, a psychologist at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, explains what 25 years of research have taught her about reducing the risk of dementia.
What's the Latest Development?
Psychologist at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Margaret Gatz has studied Alzheimer's disease for more than 25 years. She is optimistic about the current state of medical technology: "We now have such tools as neuroimaging and genome-wide scans that hunt for genes related to risk, as well as big samples of people who've been followed over time. So we're at an exciting place—we really have the potential to make some important findings." Gatz has concentrated on the health of 14,000 Swedish twins since 1985.
What's the Big Idea?
Alzheimer's disease remains mainly influenced by genetics. Gatz says that 70 percent of risk for Alzheimer's disease across a population is due to heredity. "In each individual, there's some combination of genes and environment. But on average, genes have a greater influence than environment in explaining the disease," she says. These facts contrasts popular solutions like lifestyle changes or doing logic puzzles to prevent or delay the onset of dementia. Gatz says that getting physical exercise and eating a balanced diet is the best protective measure.
Both schizophrenics and people with a common personality type share similar brain patterns.
- A new study shows that people with a common personality type share brain activity with patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.
- The study gives insight into how the brain activity associated with mental illnesses relates to brain activity in healthy individuals.
- This finding not only improves our understanding of how the brain works but may one day be applied to treatments.
It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.
- Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
- These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
- The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.
- Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
- Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
- Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
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