New brain scan analysis tool can detect early signs of dementia

Researchers develop the first objective tool for assessing the onset of cognitive decline through the measurement of white spots in the brain.

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  • MRI brain scans may show white spots that scientists believe are linked to cognitive decline.
  • Experts have had no objective means of counting and measuring these lesions.
  • A new tool counts white spots and also cleverly measures their volumes.
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  • A new study found that weekly 15-minute "awe walks" have positive effects on mental health.
  • Volunteers reported higher levels of gratitude and compassion after eight weeks of these short walks.
  • Researchers believe this low-cost intervention could help prevent cognitive decline in older adults.
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Only 35 percent of Americans know the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease

Yet 80 percent of respondents want to reduce their risk of dementia.

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  • A new MDVIP/Ipsos survey found that only 35 percent of Americans know the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
  • Eighty percent of respondents said they want to reduce their risks.
  • An estimated 7.1 million Americans over the age of 65 will suffer from Alzheimer's by 2025.
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Oxytocin may play a role in protecting against Alzheimer's

Preliminary studies on mice show positive results.

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  • While the exact cause of Alzheimer's remains unknown, researchers are targeting toxic beta-amyloid buildup.
  • A recent study on mice found oxytocin could be a protective agent against plaque buildup.
  • Though more research needs to be conducted, this is a hopeful sign in our fight against a crippling disease.
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As belly size gets larger, the memory center in the brain gets smaller

Researchers at University College London link waist circumference with dementia.

Photos: Robyn Beck, Ronaldo Schemidt, Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images
  • Researchers at University College London have discovered a link between waist circumference and dementia.
  • Seventy-four percent of volunteers that developed dementia were overweight or obese.
  • Women with central obesity had a 39 percent greater risk of dementia.
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