Scientists Find a Clue to Age-Related Memory Loss

Age-related memory loss is a distinct condition from pre-Alzheimer’s, new research shows, offering a hint that what we now consider the normal forgetfulness of old age might eventually be treatable. They discovered that a certain gene in a specific part of the hippocampus, the brain’s memory center, quits working properly in older people.

Scientists Find Clue to Age Related Memory LossScientists have found a compelling clue in the quest to learn what causes age-related memory problems and to one day be able to tell if those misplaced car keys are just a "senior moment" or an early warning of something worse.

[The recent] report offers evidence that age-related memory loss really is a distinct condition from pre-Alzheimer’s — and offers a hint that what we now consider the normal forgetfulness of old age might eventually be treatable.

Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center examined brains, young and old, donated from people who died without signs of neurologic disease. They discovered that a certain gene in a specific part of the hippocampus, the brain’s memory center, quits working properly in older people. It produces less of a key protein.

That section of the brain, called the dentate gyrus, has long been suspected of being especially vulnerable to aging. Importantly, it’s a different neural neighborhood than where Alzheimer’s begins to form.

Full story of age related memory loss at Sci-Tech Today

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Digital dementia: The memory problem plaguing teens and young adults

Digital Dementia Plaguing Young AdultsDementia is a disease that typically affects the elderly.  But recently, a new cognitive condition has been discovered that is afflicting people in their teens and 20s.

It’s called “digital dementia.”

A recent study from South Korea found that individuals who rely heavily on technology may suffer a deterioration in cognitive abilities such as short term memory dysfunction.

Dr. Carolyn Brockington from St. Luke’s Roosevelt Medical Center in New York City sat down with Dr. Manny Alvarez, senior managing health editor for FoxNews.com, to talk about this new phenomenon.  She said one of the reasons younger adults are suffering from poor memory is because they don’t feel the need to memorize information anymore.

“The problem is that we’re using technology, which is good, but we’re overusing in many ways,” Brockington said.  “We’re not relying on our brains to sort of retrieve the information when we need it.”

While elderly dementia is typically a permanent condition, Brockington said that’s not necessarily the case with digital dementia.  However, she said these kind of memory issues could affect future generations.

Full story of digital dementia at Fox News

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MRI Shows Memory Changes Following Traumatic Brain Injury

Memory Changes After Traumatic Brain InjuryMR imaging demonstrates that mild traumatic brain injury affects working memory function, even if there is no obvious change in behavior, according to a small study published in the September issue of the journalRadiology.

Researchers in Taiwan studied the brain activation patterns of 20 patients who had experienced a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) within the previous month and 18 healthy control subjects. The goal was to analyze the brain patterns in response to tests of working memory.

(MORE: MRI-based technique finds post-traumatic brain injury)

The subjects were assessed with functional MR imaging and all study participants underwent a series of tests involving number memory; digit span, a memory test for how many numbers a person can remember in a sequence; and a continuous performance test, which measures a person’s sustained and selective attention and impulsivity.

Full story of traumatic brain injury at Diagnostic Imaging

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