Dementia research

Mediterranean diet positively impacts brain health

UCLA researchers spruik the benefits of a healthy Mediterranean diet, regular physical activity and maintaining a healthy BMI to reduce protein build-up in the brain which is commonly associated with Alzheimer's disease. The Mediterranean diet (high in vegetables, beans and whole grains) limits red meat and dairy, and is thought to reduce one’s risk for dementia in later life.

Read more about how diet and exercise affect the risk of Alzheimer's


Is your blood type linked to your risk of Alzheimer's disease?

A 30,000-person strong US study over 3.5 years found those with a rare AB blood type are at heightened risk of memory decline and cognitive impairment.

Those with AB blood types are already identified as being more at risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). There’s a proven correlation between CVD and cognitive impairment, which is why researchers maintain this blood type specifically 

Although risk factors, such as blood types, cannot be altered. Other risk factors for chronic diseases like Alzheimer's disease can, which is how you could potentially work to reduce your overall risk and stay well. Maintaining a healthy diet, staying physically 

Read more about how your blood type could influence your brain health
Read more about prevention strategies for Alzheimer's disease

Breakthrough in treating Alzheimer's disease

Australian researchers have identified a novel way of treating Alzheimer's disease using non-invasive and inexpensive ultrasound technology.

According to Professor Götz from the Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia, ultrasound waves ultimately "remove the amyloid plaques that destroy brain synapse” and “fundamentally change our understanding of how to treat this disease."

Human clinical trials are a year or so away.

Read more about the Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia's research

Is a poor sense of smell a sure sign of Alzheimer's disease?

Studies show beta amyloid proteins (a known indication of Alzheimer's disease) found in the brain of those with the disease, can first accumulate in the areas of the brain which affect the sense of smell. Researchers suspect this can sometimes be the first sign of Alzheimer’s disease, before any cognitive function is affected.

Read more about how a decreased sense of smell and dementia are related

Detecting Alzheimer's disease sooner through retinal imaging

Alzheimer's disease is typically difficult to diagnose until the presentation of significant, obvious symptoms. Current treatments either slow the progression or maintain symptoms. However, the later a person is diagnosed, the harder it is for treatment plans to have a positive impact.

An early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is pivotal and, according to research, it seems the eyes may hold the answer. Two relatively recent studies reveal retinal imaging detects beta-amyloid proteins in the eyes. The levels of these proteins correlated with those present in the brains of study subjects living with Alzheimer's disease, meaning researchers could pinpoint which specific participants had the disease, purely from examining their eyes.

Read more about retinal imaging research

Can better brain health keep Alzheimer's disease at bay?

Researchers worldwide are seeking breakthroughs for the treatment of dementia with several treatments currently undergoing development and testing via clinical trials. A drug trial underway at Caulfield Hospital, Melbourne involving Anavex 2-73 has showed some promising results. The drug targets the sigma-1 receptor cells that remove abnormal proteins from cells believed to be responsible for neurodegenerative conditions.

Read more about brain exercises and dementia

For dementia-related information and support, please call our Dementia Helpline on 1800 180 023.

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