A five-minute neck scan can predict a person's risk of developing dementia for a decade before symptoms arise, researchers have…
A five-minute neck scan can predict a person’s risk of developing dementia for a complete decade before symptoms occur, researchers have said.
The test, which analyzes the blood vessel’s pulse in the neck, could be part of routine cognitive decline testing, according to researcher at University College London (UCL), who presented his work on Sunday at the American Heart Association annual scientific conference.
A group of nearly 3,200 patients aged 58-74, had ultrasound on the throat of 2002 before receiving their cognitive functions monitored for up to 14 years, from 2002 to 2016.
People with the most  intensive pulses, pointing to a larger and more irregular blood flow were up to 50% more prone to suffer from reduced cognitive functions, found the research because the strength with which blood rose in the brain caused damage to the brain’s network of blood vessels.
Pulse becomes more intensive when arteries close to the heart are worn – usually of lifestyle factors such as bad diet and drug abuse – and can no longer “pudder” blood flow from
“If you can detect [the risk] in humans in the middle of life, it really gives them the power to change their way of life, “said Dr. Scott Chiesa, postdoctoral researcher at UCL.
“What is good for the arteries is good for the brain,” he added. “Dementia is not an inevitable cause of aging. How you live your life … has a real impact on how fast your condition can decrease.”
If the results are confirmed by major studies, they can significantly improve the ability to detect dementia in middle ages .
And the scans would be “well-established for routine testing,” according to Chiesa. “It’s very easy to do, and it’s very fast to do.”
When it’s healthy, arteries around the heart can regulate the blood pumped from the organ so that it flows smoothly and constantly at the brain. 19659004] But damage to the arteries means that the blood flows more aggressively and irregularly through vessels and into the brain, which can damage its network of blood vessels and cells. Over time, the researchers believe that this led more often to cognitive decline in the participants in the study.
“What we know is that blood supply in the brain is extremely important and maintaining a healthy heart and blood pressure is associated with a lower risk of developing dementia,” said Carol Routledge, Research Director at Alzheimer’s Research UK, who was not involved in research
Vascular dementia is caused directly by the bloodstream to the brain, and this can also play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease studies have found. These two conditions constitute the major part of dementia.
Demens is an umbrella used for To describe symptoms related to the loss of brain function. Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia constitute a major part of the cases.
About 50 million people suffer from dementia worldwide, according to the World Health Organization, with figures expected to rise to 152 million by 2050.
In the United States, the state is the sixth largest cause of death among all adults , according to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, whereas in Britain, it has taken over heart disease as the leading cause of death, according to the National Statistics Agency.
The study results have been met with careful optimism of dementia organizations.
“Being diagnosed with dementia can be time consuming and quite frustrating for many people, so promising that earlier indicators of cognitive decline are in development,” said Paul Edwards, director of clinical services at Dementia UK.
But he added that focus should also be paid to the dementia after diagnosis, saying: “The elephant in space is the lack of support for people and their families when they are diagnosed with dementia.”
There is currently no cure for dementia, although medication can be used to temporarily treat its symptoms.
“A diagnosis is often made and people are sent home without information, no follow-up and no idea what’s next.”
Earlier studies this year have linked dementia to lifestyle factors such as alcohol consumption and fitness levels, but the effects remain largely irreversible.
More research is needed to determine whether neck scanning will be part of routine testing for dementia.
“Although these findings are interesting, as the complete data from this research is not yet published, it is difficult to assess how useful this type of scan might be,” Routledge says.
Routledge added that current evidence shows that not smoking, just consuming alcohol within recommended limits, staying active, monitoring cholesterol levels and eating a balanced diet can all help with the hearts and brain health.