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Conference Highlights: AAIC 2016

Conference Highlights: AAIC 2016

New research was presented at AAIC 2016, the annual Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, from July 22 to 28 in Toronto. The features below highlight some of the studies emerging from the conference.   Protecting Against Cognitive Decline & Dementia Prior research indicates that lifelong learning and certain types of cognitive training may reduce one’s risk of cognitive decline. Whether these approaches also reduce risk of dementia has yet to be determined. For a study, researchers assessed the effect of three cognitive training programs—memory, reasoning, or speed-of-processing training—on time to incident dementia in more than 2,700 community-dwelling adults aged 65 and older with no baseline evidence of cognitive impairment or dementia. After 10 years, only speed-of-processing training had a statistically significant effect on cognition, with patients in this group 33% less likely to develop cognitive impairment or dementia when compared with controls. Speed training reduced dementia by 8% per completed session and by 48% for those who completed 11 or more sessions. —————————————————————-   Smell Test Predicts Memory Decline A reduced ability to identify odors has been seen in patients who are later diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at autopsy. This phenomenon has also been seen in patients with mild memory loss and in those who develop Alzheimer’s disease dementia. However, few studies have compared the predictive utility of odor identification impairment with that of amyloid status in predicting memory decline. Study investigators assessed this link using the University of Pittsburgh Smell Identification Test (UPSIT) among elderly patients with either mild cognitive impairment or normal memory at baseline. Participants had also undergone amyloid PET scanning or lumbar puncture. Amyloid positivity and...
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