weekly blog--one for the ages
With the number of people living with Alzheimer's or Dementia on the rise, some new breakthroughs in their diagnosis.
To start, a pattern of inflammatory activity in circulating blood cells two days after a stroke strongly predicts the likelihood of losing substantial mental acuity one year later, investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine report. In developed countries such as the United States, 3 out of 4 stroke patients survive for considerable periods of time. However, these survivors are at twice the normal risk for dementia over the next decade, even if their cognition was initially unimpaired by the stroke.
Meanwhile, researchers from the Duke Eye Center have shown that a new, non-invasive imaging device can see signs of Alzheimer’s disease in a matter of seconds. The researchers found that the small blood vessels in the retina at the back of the eye are altered in patients with Alzheimer’s. And they showed that they can distinguish between people with Alzheimer’s and those with only mild cognitive impairment.
Because the retina is an extension of the brain and shares many similarities with the brain, researchers believe that the deterioration in the retina may mirror the changes going on in the blood vessels in the brain, thereby offering a window into the disease process.