Low Vitamin D May Double Risk of Dementia

As with so many other perplexing questions about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, researchers are unsure why there seems to be a link between low vitamin D levels and a higher risk of developing these brain diseases. Now one of the largest studies yet finds that link is even more worrisome: Too little of the vitamin may, in fact, double the risk of developing the devastating conditions. The new research, which followed nearly 1,700 adults over the age of 65 for …

Study Questions the Need to Fast for Cholesterol Test

For years we’ve been told we need to fast for eight to 12 hours before getting a blood test to measure our cholesterol. But for the second time in two years, a large study finds there’s no evidence that fasting is necessary. “The evidence on which the fasting recommendation is based is weak at best,” said senior author and cardiologist Sripal Bangalore of New York University Langone Medical Center. “Our study and data from other studies now really question this …

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 …

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. …

Blood Test May Help Find Ovarian Cancer Early

Hopes for a screening test that could detect ovarian cancer early – something that has eluded the fight against this lethal disease – were boosted this week with results from an important new study. Published online in the journal Cancer, the research involved monitoring women’s yearly blood test results for a sudden change in a biomarker called CA-125, a protein that indicates tumor growth. More than 4,000 postmenopausal women took part in the 11-year study at the University of Texas MD …

Skip Fasting Before a Cholesterol Test, Study Says

We’re supposed to fast for eight to 12 hours before having our blood tested for cholesterol, but wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to forgo breakfast and that first cup of coffee? Well, maybe we can. A new study suggests that most of us can skip fasting and still get accurate cholesterol measurements. The study, published Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine, says fasting before the test has little impact on the results. Lipid, or fat, levels …