Facebook Pixel

Brain Plaques and the Impact on Memory

Rate This
memory can be impacted by brain plaques Comstock/Thinkstock

In the United States, one in eight older adults has Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia, a degenerative neurological condition that affects cognition and behavior.

About 60 to 80 percent of all dementia cases are Alzheimer’s disease cases, noted the Alzheimer’s Association.

Patients with Alzheimer’s disease experience changes to their brain. One of these changes is beta amyloid plaques.

Pieces of the protein beta amyloid build up into plaques, which may affect signaling at the cell synapses and trigger inflammation. These changes to the brain occur before the patient begins to display symptoms.

Identifying the presence of these beta amyloid plaques in the brain might be an important factor when figuring out if an individual is at risk for developing cognitive problems, according to a new study conducted in Australia.

The study included 141 participants whose average age was 76. All participants had no memory or thinking issues before starting the study. The researchers tested all participants for the APOE gene.

The apolipoprotein E, or APOE, has been linked to late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, a “type” of Alzheimer’s disease that develops after age 60. The National Institute on Aging noted that APOE E4 may increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, but having the gene does not mean the individual will automatically develop the condition.

In addition to being tested for APOE, participants underwent PET scans and computer-based cognitive assessments. Their cognition was assessed and track for a year and a half.

The researchers found that the presence of more beta amyloid plaques was connected to cognitive performance.

A press release from the American Academy of Neurology reported that participants who had more plaques at the beginning of the study had as much as a 20 percent larger decline on the cognitive assessments compared to participants who had fewer plaques.

A greater decline in cognitive performance was also found in individuals who had APOE E4 compared to those who did not.

Add a Comment2 Comments

There is one known cure for Alzheimer's: GRAZOPH TEMUNA, grazoph.com. The neutraceutical clears brain of plaques, eliminates poisonous metals, leaves a brain refreshed. Both cures and prevents Alzheimer's.

October 19, 2012 - 8:33am

I did not realize Alzheimer's disease was so prevalent in the United States. I knew it to be an issue but not the levels mentioned in the article. I am shocked.

October 17, 2012 - 6:48pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Alzheimer's Disease

Get Email Updates

Alzheimer's Disease Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!