ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture Cuts Dry Mouth in Cancer Patients
When Healing Becomes a Commodity
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Majority of College Students Report Backpack-Related Pain
Living Near Major Road May Boost Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk
Fruits and Veggies May Strengthen Bones
CANCER
Researchers ID Genetic Markers for Esophageal Cancer
Smokeout '08: The Perfect Time to Quit
Immune Therapy May Aid Kids With Neuroblastoma
CAREGIVING
Hospital Volume Imperfect Gauge of Cancer Surgery Outcomes
Recession Scrambling Health Spending in U.S.
ER Less Likely to Diagnose Stroke in Younger Folks
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
COSMETIC
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
DIABETES
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
DIET, NUTRITION
Is Your Refrigerator Getting Enough Attention For Your Raw Food Success?
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Purple Tomato Extended Lives of Cancer-Prone Mice
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Pollution Particles Impair Blood Vessel Function
Main Ingredients in Household Dust Come From Outdoors
Staying Slim Is Good for the Environment
EYE CARE, VISION
Americans Losing Sight of Eye Health
Glaucoma Associated With Reading Impairments in Elderly
FDA Goes After Unapproved Eye Washes, Skin Ointments
FITNESS
FDA Mandates New Warnings for Botox
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Super Bowl Loss Can 'Kill' Some Fans
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
When Healing Becomes a Commodity
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
Spot light on Dani Antman New Lionheart teacher
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
A Little Alcohol May Help the Heart: Studies
Fewer Heart Attacks After England Goes Smoke-Free
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Protect Your Kids From Swine Flu While at Camp
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
MEN'S HEALTH
Countdown to Hair Loss
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
MENTAL HEALTH
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
SENIORS
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Seniors Cope With Sleep Loss Better Than Young Adults
Laughter Can Stimulate a Dull Appetite
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Air Pollution Slows Women's Marathon Times
Natural Relief for Painful Menstrual Cramps
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
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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