There’s further research looking at bilingualism and onset of dementia. There is a brief write-up at the Alzheimer’s Forum of a cross-sectional study showing an association between an older age of onset of dementia and bilingualism. Those who were bilingual had symptoms of dementia 5 years later on average than those that were monolingual. However because this was a cross-sectional study it does not establish causality and so there may be other factors which account for this relationship. Additionally it’s not clear if people can learn a second language in mid-life and still gain the benefits as people in this study were bilingual from early adulthood.
A small EEG study comparing subjects with probable Alzheimer’s Disease with controls showed evidence of an increase in left intra-hemispheric and left parieto-temporal central coherence and a decrease in right temporo-parietal-central coherence in people with probable Alzheimer’s Disease compared to the control group. These differences were interpreted as alterations in cortical connectivity resulting from the disease process.
A small study compared dental health in people with Alzheimer’s Disease with controls. The researchers found that people with Alzheimer’s Disease were more likely to leave their dentures in at night-time and that 70% of the people with Alzheimer’s Disease had irregular brushing of their teeth and cleaning of their dentures.
A small FDG PET study found that people with vascular patients with dementia were more likely to have metabolic disturbances in the frontal lobes and deep nuclei than vascular patients without dementia.
The authors of a systematic review on personality changes in Alzheimer’s Disease found decreases in conscientiousness and extraversion amongst other changes.
The authors of a PLOS one study examined flashbacks after presentation with distressing images. Subjects were also asked to take part in either a game of Tetris which involved visual memory or a verbal memory task. They found that those who played Tetris were less likely to experience flashbacks after presentation of the images than those engaged in verbal memory tasks. The researchers suggest that playing Tetris may be useful in preventing PTSD although the events leading to PTSD are considerably different (in the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria) from the research paradigm.
Vaughan Bell has another installment of Spike Activity at Mind Hacks including a link to a Nature special edition on schizophrenia.
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