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New research shows MCI hits men more than women

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September 21st, 2010
YH1010_Health411
YH1010_Health411

A new study from the Mayo Clinic found that the prevalence of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) was 1.5 times higher in men than women. [caption id="attachment_14487" align="alignright" width="280" caption="Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is the stage between normal forgetfulness and the development of dementia. (File photo)"][/caption] MCI is the stage between normal forgetfulness due to aging and the development of dementia. People with MCI have problems with thinking and memory that do not interfere with everyday activities. They are often aware of the forgetfulness, and not everyone with MCI develops dementia. According to study author Ronald Peterson, M.D., director of the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer s Disease Research Center, the finding is unexpected because the prevalence of Alzheimer s disease is actually greater in women. Peterson adds that more research is needed, and that this study emphasizes the need for early diagnosis and treatment of MCI.

Scientists identify protein that spurs formation of Alzheimer s plaques

Researchers from Nobel Prize winner Paul Greengard s laboratory, the Fisher Center for Alzheimer s Research at Rockefeller, have found a protein that triggers the production of the devastating brain plaques associated with Alzheimer s disease. Alzheimer s disease, the most common form of dementia, occurs when plaques and tangles form in particular brain areas, interfering with the function of healthy nerve cells. Greengard s team identified the protein that stimulates growth of these plaques by experimenting with Gleevec, a cancer drug. The researchers were able to reduce the levels of both the protein and the plaques in the brains of mice. In the future, Alzheimer s treatments based on drugs like Gleevec may provide new hope for those who suffer with the disease.

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