The size of these parts of the brain associated with the risk of dementia

By Clint Witchalls
WebMD Health News

Review by Hansa D. Bhargava, MD

October 15, 2015-If the structure of the brain, called the hippocampus, is small, it may indicate an increased risk of gaining. Alzheimer’s disease And other types dementia, New research suggests. Those who succeeded in certain memory tests tended to have a larger hippocampus.

These two seahorse-shaped structures deep in the brain are important for navigation and memory storage and retrieval.With people dementiaThe hippocampus is often the first damaged area of ​​the brain.

Early studies have shown a link between hippocampal volume (size) and hippocampal risk. dementiaHowever, the results are inconsistent. Also, few studies include people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). This is often the predecessor. dementia..

Size issue

In this latest study, Alzheimer’s disease Research and treatment, Researchers have recruited 226 people to attend the Memory Clinic. 34 participants Alzheimer’s disease, 95 had MCI, 25 had normal memory (relative to age), and the rest (72) had neuropathy, including other types dementia..

The average age of the participants was 68, Alzheimer’s disease He was considerably older than the participants with normal memory.

After all participants have completed oral and visuospatial memory tests MRI Brain scan. Visuospatial ability is associated with understanding and determining spatial relationships such as location.of Alzheimer’s diseaseVisuospatial problems can cause people to lose their sense of direction in familiar places or to become unrecognizable to familiar people. NS MRI A scan was used to determine the size of the hippocampus.

Spatial memory

The association between hippocampal size and human performance in memory tests was stronger in the visuospatial test than in the language test. This suggests that visuospatial memory testing may be a better way to measure the risk of dementia than verbal memory testing.

“Challenge previous research, Clinical trial It focused only on linguistic memory. This is because spatial memory has proved to be a larger player in the assessment of those at risk. Alzheimer’s disease “Illness,” said Dr. Aaron Bonner Jackson, an associate at the Cleveland Clinic Rubo Brain Health Center.

Needs larger research

“We have long known that the hippocampus is an important area of ​​the brain that is vulnerable to damage. Alzheimer’s disease Being a disease, this study correlates hippocampal size with human performance in different types of memory tests, “said Dr. Laura Phipps of Alzheimer’s Disease Research UK.

The findings show the value of studying the hippocampus to understand and diagnose memory problems, and the use of different types of memory tests to “get a complete picture of what is happening in the brain.” Emphasizes value.

“The amount of brain varies from person to person, so more extensive research is needed to investigate whether this approach can provide consistent and accurate predictions of people at highest risk of memory loss and dementia. Will be.

“Many people experience mild memory loss, especially later in life, but it is difficult to predict who will develop a disease like Alzheimer’s disease. Studies that detect the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Will continue to be an important focus for scientists to be able to identify those who are most likely to benefit from future treatments. “


One of the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease is __________________.
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Source: Bonner-Jackson, A. Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy, 2015. Alzheimer’s Research UK.

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The size of these parts of the brain associated with the risk of dementia

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