ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Not Help Hot Flashes
Soybean Chemicals May Reduce Effects of Menopause
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Put Your Best Foot Forward Next Year
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
Genes May Help Drive Rotator Cuff Injury
CANCER
Green Tea Compound Slowed Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
HPV Vaccine Has Higher Allergic Reaction Rate
CAREGIVING
Baby's Sleep Position May Not Affect Severity of Head Flattening
Weekend Admission May Be Riskier for GI Bleeding
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome as Deadly as Ever
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
DIABETES
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
DIET, NUTRITION
Fish Oil's Benefits Remain Elusive
Vinegar Might Help Keep Off Pounds
Compound in Red Wine Fights Ravages of Age
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Dementia Underestimated in Developing Countries
Researchers ID Genetic Markers for Esophageal Cancer
Pregnant Rural Women More at Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Music Can Help Restore Stroke Patients' Sight
Half of U.S. Adults Lack 20/20 Vision
Magnetic Pulses to Brain Improve Lazy Eye in Adults
FITNESS
Seniors Who Exercise Help Their Health
Exercise 30 Minutes a Day? Who Knew!
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
New Options Offered for Sleep Apnea
Should the FDA Regulate Tobacco?
Tune Up Your Health With Music
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
MEN'S HEALTH
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
MENTAL HEALTH
Optimism May Boost Immune System
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
SENIORS
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Natural Relief for Painful Menstrual Cramps
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
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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