New Test Could Predict Whether Memory Problems Will Become Alzheimer’s

A blood test that can predict whether someone with memory problems will develop Alzheimer’s disease may be available in as little as two years, British researchers announced today. By analyzing more than 1,000 patients – and performing MRI brain scans on 467 – researchers at King’s College in London discovered a combination of 10 proteins that seem to predict with 87 percent accuracy whether people with mild cognitive impairment will develop full-blown Alzheimer’s within a year. Because the research, which was published in …

Major New Study Tests Drug to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

In what some experts are calling the most important Alzheimer’s research of the decade, scientists at 61 medical centers across the country and elsewhere have launched a groundbreaking study to test whether an experimental new medication can protect healthy older adults from the memory loss and brain damage caused by the disease.  “Our best chance of really changing the disease is to start treatment before people have symptoms,” said lead researcher Reisa Sperling, professor in neurology at Harvard Medical School and director of the …

Learning a Second Language at Any Age Can Slow Brain Aging

I lived in Stockholm for two years after college and doggedly learned Swedish, even though most Swedes speak beautiful English. Not only could I communicate better with then-tiny (now giant) Swedish nephews, turns out it was a good move for my brain. Learning a second language – even as an adult – helps protect the brain from aging,  says a new study published in the Annals of Neurology. “Learning a language later in life is a challenge but is very, very good for …

New Blood Test May Predict Alzheimer’s, Dementia Risk

A simple blood test that a researcher calls a “game changer” may be able to accurately predict whether older adults will develop dementia. The experimental test, developed by researchers at six universities, was 90 percent accurate at predicting whether adults age 70 and older would develop either mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s within two to three years. The study was published online Sunday in the journal Nature Medicine. The test measures the levels of 10 lipids, or fats, in the bloodstream. …

Can a Take-Home Test Reveal Early Alzheimer’s?

Could a 15-minute test you take with pen and paper provide an early warning of Alzheimer’s or other cognitive problems? Researchers at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center say the simple 22-question test, called the Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination, or SAGE, can’t diagnose Alzheimer’s, but it can reveal cognitive impairments at an early, more treatable stage. (To take the test, click here to download.) These impairments “could be related to many conditions like medications, ministrokes, dementia or sleep apnea to …

Test Your Brain With the Toughest Tongue Twister Ever

Try saying this 10 times fast: “pad kid poured curd pulled cod.” If you can do it, a team of scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) just might give you a prize. The team has been researching tongue twisters, those seemingly simple words or phrases that when spoken quickly and repeatedly make our brains stumble and our tongues get tangled. The researchers are interested in what tongue-twister errors can tell us about how our brains process speech. The …