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Study links Alzheimer’s Dementia to Frailty

Alzheimers DiseaseNeurology services in Brooklyn are a feasible option to treat neurological and spinal conditions that can significantly affect an individual’s quality of life.

Frailty and Dementia

According to recent research, people who are frail are more inclined to get dementia. The study, which was published in the journal “The Lancet Neurology”, suggests that individuals with only few brain changes due to Alzheimer’s disease may have a higher risk of dementia if their frailty levels are high. The researchers found that adults 59 years of age or older displaying higher frailty levels were likelier to undergo brain changes related to Alzheimer’s disease as well as develop dementia symptoms.

Frailty triggers Dementia by depleting Physiological Reserve

Study leader Professor Kenneth Rockwood of Canada’s Nova Scotia Health Authority and Dalhousie University explained that frailty diminishes a person’s physiological reserve and triggers the clinical expression of dementia. A brain that is frail has a greater susceptibility to conditions such as dementia since it can’t really cope with the neurological burden placed on it. On the other hand, people who were not frail, but had significant brain changes may display fewer clinical symptoms of dementia.

Study Details

The study involved the use of modelling to study the connection between brain changes related to Alzheimer’s, Alzheimer’s dementia and frailty. There were 456 participants belonging to the Rush Memory and Ageing Project (MAP). Some of them neither had dementia nor Alzheimer’s dementia. Some died later and brain autopsy was performed on them. The MAP project began in 1997 and is a clinical-pathological study involving older adults in Illinois, USA.

Clinical and neuropsychological evaluations, including cognitive testing were carried. The clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s dementia was based on clinician consensus. At their previous clinical assessment, 53% of the participants had received a diagnosis of possible Alzheimer’s dementia. The researchers measured brain plaques after the death of some of the participants. This was done to quantify the changes that have occurred as a result of Alzhiemer’s disease. A frailty index was also developed by combining 41 aspects of health status, including fatigue, osteoporosis, heart and joint problems, mobility, etc. These factors were gathered at each of the clinical evaluations.

Though this is a pathological study conducted only among adults in Illinois, USA, the research findings prove that Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions of late-life dementia aren’t just individual diseases highlighted by some brain protein abnormalities or genetic risk, but a complicated phenomenon.

Findings – Frailty Does Contribute to Dementia Status

The study revealed that 8% of the participants did have significant brain changes related to Alzheimer’s disease, though they had not been diagnosed with it. Eleven percent of the participants did have Alzheimer’s dementia though they did not display many brain changes related to the disease. After adjusting for the participants’ sex, age and education, the analysis showed that brain changes related to Alzheimer’s disease and frailty contribute independently, and in their own right, to dementia status.

The study found a significant link between frailty and brain changes related to Alzheimer’s disease. This was ascertained after the exclusion of daily activities from the index as well as adjusting for high blood pressure, heart failure, diabetes, stroke and other such risk factors. The researchers acknowledge that more study is essential. They observed that frailty is a condition that can be reversed and people can be helped to maintain independence and function later in their life. That could help them reduce the risk of dementia as well as the debilitating symptoms of the disease.

These findings pave the way for better methods to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia symptoms are caused by various factors. Brain changes are only one of the factors related to Alzheimer’s disease. According to the study, understanding how individual risk factors work together to give rise to late-life dementia could provide a new way to develop customized treatment options. The study suggests that that frailty should be considered in clinical care and management of Alzheimer’s dementia.

Addressing Neurological Conditions

Advanced, multispecialty healthcare and pain management centers in Brooklyn, NYC offer various non-surgical procedures to heal injury, provide trauma relief, and improve the quality of living by addressing various aspects of the individual’s health. Neurology services in Brooklyn address various lumbar and cervical spinal conditions. Advanced diagnostic modalities such as brain MRI are used to accurately detect the right disorder. Treatment is tailored to address individual needs. Rehabilitation services are provided to help patients regain health and get back to their normal routine.

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