ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Spot light on Dani Antman New Lionheart teacher
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
Barefoot Lifestyle Has Its Dangers
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
CANCER
Sharing Cancer Info May Be Empowering
Immune Therapy May Aid Kids With Neuroblastoma
Poor Women Seem to Be Skipping Breast Cancer Drugs
CAREGIVING
Distance No Bar to Kidney Transplants in Remote Areas
Hospital Practices Influence Which Moms Will Breast-Feed
Babies Born in High Pollen Months at Wheezing Risk
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
COSMETIC
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
DIABETES
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Fish Twice a Week Cuts Diabetics' Kidney Risks
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Mediterranean Diet May Help Prevent Depression
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Vitamin D Deficit May Trigger MS Risk Gene
Chemical in Plastics May Cause Fertility Problems
Staying Slim Is Good for the Environment
EYE CARE, VISION
Gene-Transfer Proves Safe for Vision Problem
'Blind' Man Navigates Obstacle Course Without Error
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
FITNESS
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
When It Comes to Lifting, the Pros Have Your Back
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
Go To Work But Skip The Car
Swine Flu May Pose Problems for Pregnant Women
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fondness for Fish Keeps Japanese Hearts Healthy
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
Coconut Oil May Help Fight Childhood Pneumonia
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
MEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
MENTAL HEALTH
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
SENIORS
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
Nighttime Urination Linked to Higher Death Rate Among Elderly
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
How Much Fish to Eat While Pregnant?
Add your Article

15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have developed a 15-point test that can identify the risk for developing Alzheimer's disease in older people.

But the tool, which involves both simple questions as well as complex physiological testing, may not be practical for clinical use.

"Some of the points on there are fairly easy, such as age and mental status exams. We do those already in the clinic," said Dr. Michael Palm, an assistant professor of neuroscience and experimental therapeutics and internal medicine at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine. "But, as far as the screening tests, I don't think we can order MRI and genetic testing on everybody who starts getting older."

And the simpler parts of the system, Palm added, are already routinely used in screening for Alzheimer's.

Palm was not involved with the study, conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, and published online May 13 issue in the journal Neurology.

According to the authors of the study, which was supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, while there are ways to predict dementia two decades in the future in middle-aged individuals, there is no system to predict onset of the disease later in life.

The study involved 3,375 people, mean age 76, none of whom had dementia when they were enrolled. About 60 percent were women, and 15 percent were black.

Risk factors in the index included: older age; poor performance on cognitive tests; low body-mass index; having the predisposing apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene; abnormal MRI findings; thicker carotid artery measurements and other vascular indications; slowness buttoning a shirt or performing other physical tasks; and not drinking alcohol.

Only 4 percent of participants with low scores went on to develop dementia (Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia including vascular dementia) over the next six years, versus 23 percent of those with mid-range scores and 56 percent of those with high scores.

Not surprisingly, older age and poorer performance on cognitive tests were the strongest indicators of future dementia.

Other risk factors were more surprising, said Dr. Gary Kennedy, director of geriatric psychiatry at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. Those included lower body-mass index and abstaining from alcohol, which contradict previous findings.

Still, Kennedy agreed with Palm when he pointed out that some aspects of the tool are not likely to be adopted on a large scale, such as an MRI.

More information

The Alzheimer's Association has more on risk factors for this disease.



SOURCES: Gary J. Kennedy, M.D., director, geriatric psychiatry, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; Michael Palm, M.D., assistant professor, neuroscience and experimental therapeutics and internal medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, and director, Parkinson's and Headache programs, Texas Brain and Spine Institute, Bryan; May 13, 2009, Neurology, online

Last Updated: May 13, 2009

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