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Dementia from Unexpected Source

brainResearchers discover a significant number of individuals diagnosed with dementia showed evidence of small, cumulative blood vessel damage that can arise from hypertension or diabetes.

The finding may be good news, because while Alzheimer’s treatments remain investigational, there are many options to reduce hypertension and diabetes.

Autopsy data of 221 men and women found that the brains of one-third of individuals who had dementia before death showed evidence of small blood vessel damage.

Dr. Thomas Montine and colleagues analyzed the brain tissue of select volunteers from the Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study, wherein 3,400 adult participants (65+) in the Seattle region agreed to undergo neurological and psychological tests every two years until their death.

While some results were unsurprising, such as showing that changes due to Alzheimer’s disease or the formation of Lewy bodies (structures indicative of a degenerative disease known as Lewy Body Dementia) accounted for significant dementia risk, the researchers also found that about 33 percent of dementia risk was associated with brain damage from small vessel disease.

This small vessel damage is the cumulative effect of multiple tiny strokes caused by hypertension and diabetes, strokes so small that the person experiences no sensation or problems until they reach a tipping point.

Source: American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Dementia from Unexpected Source

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Dementia from Unexpected Source. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 15, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2008/04/07/dementia-from-unexpected-source/2122.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.