Single Injection of Klotho Gene Protected Animals From Cognitive Decline

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr Miguel Chillon PhD Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Universitat Autonoma Barcelona Spain

Dr. Chillon

Dr Miguel Chillon PhD
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Universitat Autonoma Barcelona
Spain

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Klotho is a protein with an anti-aging and neuroprotective role. Recent studies show it prevents the development of cognitive problems associated with aging and Alzheimer’s disease. Klotho works mainly by inhibiting the insulin / IGF-1 signaling pathway and decreasing the damage caused by oxidative stress in the brain. One of the latest results revealed that the concentration of Klotho in cerebrospinal fluid is significantly lower in Alzheimer’s patients than in human controls of the same age; and it is lower in the elderly with respect to young adults.

Our study used a gene therapy strategy to introduce the Klotho gene into the Central Nervous System of adult animals. With just a single injection of the Klotho gene, young adult animals were protected over time from the cognitive decline associated with aging in old animals. These exciting results pave the way to further advances in research and the development of a neuroprotective therapy based on Klotho.

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Multiple Brain Microbleeds Linked To Cognitive Decline and Risk of Dementia

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Meike Vernooij, MD PhD Associate professor Radiology and Epidemiology Neuroradiologist and head & neck radiologist Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Dr. Meike Vernooij

Meike Vernooij, MD PhD
Associate professor
Radiology and Epidemiology
Neuroradiologist and head & neck radiologist
Rotterdam, The Netherlands

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Vernooij: Background of this study was the fact that small brain bleeds, so-called cerebral microbleeds, are recognized increasingly as markers on brain scans of disease of the brain’s small vessels. In earlier years, microbleeds were demonstrated to be very frequent in patients with stroke, and also in persons with Alzheimer’s disease. Yet, our previous work indicated that microbleeds are not only common in patients, but are also frequently seen (in up to 1 in 5 individuals over age 45) in presumably healthy persons. Our main research question was therefore whether the presence of microbleeds on brain scans of asymptomatic, stroke-free and dementia-free individuals, was related to risk of cognitive decline and risk of dementia. We studied this in a population of > 4,800 persons whom we followed for nearly 6 years.

Our main findings are that presence of microbleeds, especially when multiple (esp > 4), relates to cognitive decline and risk of dementia, in particular Alzheimer’s disease.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Dr. Vernooij:  Our results indicate that microbleeds mark the presence of diffuse vascular and neurodegenerative brain damage.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Vernooij:  Future research should focus on exact mechanisms how microbleeds lead to dementia and cognitive decline, to identify possible preventive pathways.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

Akoudad S, Wolters FJ, Viswanathan A, et al. Association of Cerebral Microbleeds With Cognitive Decline and Dementia. JAMA Neurol. Published online June 06, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2016.1017.

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Specialized MRI May Predict Early Cognitive Decline

Sven Haller, M.D. University of Geneva in Geneva, Switzerland.
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Sven Haller, M.D.
University of Geneva in Geneva, Switzerland.

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Haller: The main finding is that some elderly individuals with intact cognitive function at baseline already have visible alterations of the brain perfusion measured in Arterial Spin Labeling (ASL)  MRI, which is similar to patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). This elderly individual may initially maintain intact cognitive functions due to the activation of their cognitive reserve, yet eventually the cognitive reserve is exhausted and those individuals develop subtle cognitive decline at follow-up 18 months later.

Consequently, Arterial Spin Labeling MRI may predict the very earliest form of cognitive decline.

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Alzheimer’s Disease: Subjective Memory Complaints May Predict Future Cognitive Decline

Dr. Erin Abner Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Epidemiology University of Kentucky College of Public Health Lexington, KentuckyMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Erin Abner Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Epidemiology
University of Kentucky College of Public Health
Lexington, Kentucky

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Abner:  The findings from this study are preliminary results from The Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease with Vitamin E and Selenium Study. This early look at the data indicates that very simple measures of memory change, in this case asking older men with no cognitive impairment about changes in their memory over the past year, and whether they believe those changes are a problem, can be used to predict cognitive impairment years later. Men who said at study baseline that the changes in their memory represented problems to them were over twice as likely as men who did not complain to develop clinically detectable cognitive impairment during follow-up. This is exciting because the field of Alzheimer’s research is moving toward earlier intervention in the disease process. As of now, our best methods for identifying individuals without cognitive impairment who are likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease in the future are procedures that many people find intimidating, like lumbar puncture and PET scanning. Identifying older adults at high risk for future cognitive impairment with low-cost, non-invasive screening techniques would help researchers to target potential therapies to the people who stand to benefit the most.

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Cognitive Decline: Dietary Patterns Associations

samantha_gardenerMedicalResearch.com:
Samantha Gardener PhD Student
Senior Research Assistant for DIAN and AIBL Studies
McCusker Alzheimer’s Research Foundation
2/142 Stirling Hwy 
NEDLANDS
6009
Western Australia

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of your study?

Answer: Our research indicates that consuming larger quantities of foods included in a western dietary pattern is associated with greater cognitive decline in visuospatial functioning after 36 months. Foods included in the western dietary pattern are red and processed meats, high fat dairy products, chips, refined grains, potatoes, sweets and condiments. Visuospatial functioning is an area which includes distance and depth perception, reproducing drawings and using components to construct objects or shapes.

In contrast, adherence to the Mediterranean diet, a healthy eating pattern is associated with less decline in executive function. Foods included in the Mediterranean diet are vegetables, fruits and fish. Examples of executive function include planning and organising, problem solving and time management.
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Obesity: Low Childhood IQ Raises Risk of Midlife Obesity and Late-Life Dementia

Daniel Belsky, PhD NIA Postdoctoral Fellow Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development | Duke University Box 104410 Durham, NC 27708MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Daniel Belsky, PhD
NIA Postdoctoral Fellow
Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development
Duke University
Box 104410 Durham, NC 27708

Is Obesity Associated With a Decline in Intelligence Quotient During the First Half of the Life Course?

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Belsky: Midlife obesity is linked with increased risk for dementia later in life. Recently, studies have reported that obese children and teens also have lower IQs. These studies have led scientists to speculate that obesity may harm the brain already in early life. We followed a cohort of 1000 children from birth through midlife (age 38 years) to understand how becoming obese might affect intellectual functioning.

We measured children’s IQs when they were ages 7-11. We measured the IQs of those same children three decades later (at age 38).

We found that, as expected, the children who became obesity between age 11 and age 38 years had lower IQs. But they had lower IQs already at age 11, before they became obese. We found no evidence that developing obesity contributed to decline in IQ from childhood to adulthood. This remained true when we accounted for childhood obesity preceding the first IQ measurement and when we focused on cases who developed severe obesity, with metabolic and or inflammatory abnormalities.

MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Belsky:  These findings were not unexpected–previous longitudinal studies have shown that children with low IQs are at increased risk for obesity--but they do call for new consideration of findings linking obesity with cognitive decline. Low childhood IQ is a risk factor for both midlife obesity and late-life dementia. Therefore, studies linking obesity with dementia may need to consider premorbid IQ lest they overestimate the effects of obesity on cognitive decline.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Belsky:  Obesity is unlikely to damage the brain during the first half of the life course.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Belsky:  Future studies should investigate whether associations between midlife obesity and later life cognitive decline can be explained by premorbid differences in IQ between obese cases and lean controls.

Citation:

Is Obesity Associated With a Decline in Intelligence Quotient During the First Half of the Life Course?

Daniel W. Belsky, Avshalom Caspi, Sidra Goldman-Mellor, Madeline H. Meier, Sandhya Ramrakha, Richie Poulton, and Terrie E. Moffitt

Am. J. Epidemiol. first published online September 12, 2013 doi:10.1093/aje/kwt135