Sunday, May 15, 2022

What Diseases Causes The Brain To Shrink

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Conflict Of Interest Statement

Can a Shrinking Brain Teach Us Something New About Alzheimer’s Disease?

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.


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Kalia, L. V., and Lang, A. E. 2015. Parkinsons disease. Lancet 386:896912. doi: 10.1016/S0140-673661393-3

Holmes, C., and Amin, J. 2016. Dementia. Medicine 44:68790. doi: 10.1016/j.mpmed.2016.08.006

Jaiswal, M. 2017. Therapeutic opportunities and challenges of induced pluripotent stem cells-derived motor neurons for treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and motor neuron disease. Neural. Regen. Res. 12:72336. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.206635

Can You Reverse Brain Shrinkage

Its not possible to reverse brain atrophy after it has occurred. However, preventing brain damage, especially by preventing a stroke, may reduce the amount of atrophy that you develop over time. Some researchers suggest that healthy lifestyle strategies could minimize the atrophy thats normally associated with aging.

Hard Wiring Of The Brain Shrinks

The gray matter of the brain in the cerebral cortex controls most of the brain’s complex mental functions. The cortex is filled with neurons that connect by fibers to different regions of the brain and to other neurons inside the brain and spinal cord. The nerve fibers are the white matter of the brain or the “hard-wiring.”

These nerve fibers have shorter, more numerous fibers called dendrites that branch out like the roots of a tree to allow the neurons to “talk” with other neurons. A neuron can communicate with as few as five or as many as 10,000 other neurons at a time.

These two parts of the brainthe white matter or hard wiring and the dendritesare the ones most affected by the shrinkage that alcoholism can cause.

Of course, brain shrinkage is not the only damage alcohol abuse can do to the brain. Alcohol can cause chemical changes in the brain that affect the function of the neurotransmitters.

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What Is Alzheimers And Dementia

Although often used interchangeably, Alzheimers and dementia are not the same things. Dementia is not a single disease its a general term like heart disease. It covers a broad spectrum of distinct medical conditions, including Alzheimers disease. The Alzheimers Association estimates Alzheimers disease accounts for 60-80% of cases of dementia.

Dementia is a progressive cognitive decline that impedes a persons ability to live life independently. Dementia can impair:

  • memory
  • higher executive functions such as:
  • mental flexibility
  • self-control

This impairment of mental faculty is bad enough to interfere with social and work skills.

The Alzheimers Society explains modern brain scan studies have found that an increased rate of brain shrinkage can reliably and predictably diagnose future cognitive decline in patients. The most common types of dementia each start with shrinkage of brain tissue.

What Is Frontotemporal Dementia

Seeing Dementia

Frontotemporal dementia , a common cause of dementia, is a group of disorders that occur when nerve cells in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain are lost. This causes the lobes to shrink. FTD can affect behavior, personality, language, and movement.

These disorders are among the most common dementias that strike at younger ages. Symptoms typically start between the ages of 40 and 65, but FTD can strike young adults and those who are older. FTD affects men and women equally.

The most common types of FTD are:

  • Frontal variant. This form of FTD affects behavior and personality.
  • Primary progressive aphasia. Aphasia means difficulty communicating. This form has two subtypes:
  • Progressive nonfluent aphasia, which affects the ability to speak.
  • Semantic dementia, which affects the ability to use and understand language.

A less common form of FTD affects movement, causing symptoms similar to Parkinson disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis .

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What Are The Symptoms Of Picks Disease

If you have Picks disease, your symptoms will get progressively worse over time. Many of the symptoms can make social interaction difficult. For example, behavioral changes may make it hard to conduct yourself in a socially acceptable manner. Behavior and personality changes are the most significant early symptoms in Picks disease.

You may experience behavioral and emotional symptoms, such as:

  • abrupt mood changes
  • depression-like symptoms, such as disinterest in daily activities
  • withdrawal from social interaction

You may also experience language and neurological changes, such as:

  • reduced writing or reading skills
  • echoing, or repeating whats been said to you
  • inability to speak, difficulty speaking, or trouble understanding speech
  • shrinking vocabulary
  • accelerated memory loss
  • physical weakness

The early onset of personality changes in Picks disease can help your doctor differentiate it from Alzheimers disease. Picks disease can also occur at an earlier age than Alzheimers. Cases have been reported in people as young as 20 years old. More commonly, symptoms begin in people between the ages of 40 and 60. About 60 percent of people with frontotemporal dementia are between 45 and 64 years old.

What Are The Symptoms Of Frontotemporal Dementia

Symptoms of FTD start gradually and progress steadily, and in some cases, rapidly. They vary from person to person, depending on the areas of the brain involved. These are common symptoms:

  • Behavior and/or dramatic personality changes, such as swearing, stealing, increased interest in sex, or a deterioration in personal hygiene habits
  • Socially inappropriate, impulsive, or repetitive behaviors
  • Impaired judgment
  • Agitation
  • Increasing dependence

Some people have physical symptoms, such as tremors, muscle spasms or weakness, rigidity, poor coordination and/or balance, or difficulty swallowing. Psychiatric symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions, also may occur, although these are not as common as behavioral and language changes.

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Causes Of Dementia With Lewy Bodies

Lewy bodies are tiny clumps of a protein called alpha-synuclein that can develop inside brain cells.

These clumps damage the way the cells work and communicate with each other, and the brain cells eventually die.

Dementia with Lewy bodies is closely related to Parkinson’s disease and often has some of the same symptoms, including difficulty with movement and a higher risk of falls.

Read more about dementia with Lewy bodies.

What Research Is Being Done

What is dementia?

The NINDS funds research looking at many of the diseases and disorders that cause cerebral atrophy. Understanding the biological mechanisms that cause neurons to die in the brain will help researchers find ways to prevent, treat, and even cure the diseases that lead to cerebral atrophy.

Information from the National Library of Medicines MedlinePlus

The NINDS funds research looking at many of the diseases and disorders that cause cerebral atrophy. Understanding the biological mechanisms that cause neurons to die in the brain will help researchers find ways to prevent, treat, and even cure the diseases that lead to cerebral atrophy.

Information from the National Library of Medicines MedlinePlus

The NINDS funds research looking at many of the diseases and disorders that cause cerebral atrophy. Understanding the biological mechanisms that cause neurons to die in the brain will help researchers find ways to prevent, treat, and even cure the diseases that lead to cerebral atrophy.

Information from the National Library of Medicines MedlinePlus

Associated Diseases/Disorders: The pattern and rate of progression of cerebral atrophy depends on the disease involved. Diseases that cause cerebral atrophy include:

Symptoms of cerebral atrophy: Many diseases that cause cerebral atrophy are associated with dementia, seizures, and a group of language disorders called the aphasias.

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Nearly 30million People In England Had Dodged Covid

Almost 30million people in England have managed to avoid Covid since the pandemic began, No10’s scientific advisers believe amid warning signs that the outbreak is growing again.

Cambridge University scientists tasked with tracking the pandemic suspect only 51.8 per cent of the population has caught the virus in the last two years.

Experts told MailOnline they were ‘not particularly concerned’ by the fact that half of the country have not been exposed to the virus.

It ‘doesn’t mean the rest are susceptible’, according to Dr Thomas Woolley, a mathematical biologist at Cardiff University.

Officials estimate that 98 per cent of people in England have antibodies against Covid thanks to high vaccination rates and the combination of jabs and natural immunity has shown to provide the strongest protection.

Long Covid is a poorly understood condition that leaves survivors with lingering symptoms more than three months after clearing the initial infection.

It has been linked to a wide range of symptoms, including extreme tiredness, breathing difficulties, a loss of smell, and problems concentrating.

An estimated 1.5million people in the UK or 2.4 per cent of the population are currently suffering from long Covid, according to the Office for National Statistics .

The latest research comes after scientists at the University of Edinburgh uncovered more than a dozen genetic quirks that may explain why some people are more vulnerable to severe Covid than others.

What Are The Complications Of Frontotemporal Dementia

FTD is not life-threatening people may live with it for years. But it can lead to an increased risk for other illnesses that can be more serious. Pneumonia is the most common cause of death, with FTD. People are also at increased risk for infections and fall-related injuries.

As FTD progressively worsens, people may engage in dangerous behaviors or be unable to care for themselves. They may need 24-hour nursing care or to stay in an assisted living facility or nursing home.

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Forms Of Alzheimers Disease

Sporadic Alzheimers disease is the more common form of the disease and accounts for 90 to 95 per cent of all cases. The role of heredity in this form is unclear and is the subject of much research.

Familial Autosomal Dominant Alzheimers disease is a less common form of the disease and accounts for 5 to 10 per cent of known cases. In certain families, this form is passed directly from one generation to another.

Even Mild Covid Can Cause Brain Shrinkage And Affect Mental Function New Study Shows

Biology behind: Dementia.

by Sarah Hellewell, The Conversation

Most of what we know about how COVID can affect the brain has come from studies of severe infection. In people with severe COVID, inflammatory cells from outside the brain can enter brain tissue and spread inflammation. There may be changes to blood vessels. Brain cells can even have changes similar to those seen in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

For the first time, a new study has investigated the effects of mild COVID on the brain. The findings may further explain some of the brain changes contributing to long COVID.

Brain scans and tests show changes

Many people who have had COVID report feelings of “brain fog,” fatigue and problems with concentration and memory long after their initial symptoms resolve. These problems, collectively referred to as “long COVID,” may last for months even after mild infection.

Long COVID is very common, and may affect more than half of the people who catch COVID, even if they have a mild case.

Scientists collected data as part of the massive UK Biobank database. They looked at brain magnetic resonance imaging scans and tests of brain function in 785 volunteers who were assessed before the pandemic. They then compared this to the same data collected three years later, when about half of those participants had mild COVID infection, and the other half had not caught COVID. This allowed the scientists to determine the specific effects of mild COVID infection on brain structure and function.

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Exercise And The Brain

While many of the causes behind brain decline may not be avoidable, there is some evidence that certain lifestyle changes may help protect the brain from age-based declines. Regular exercise is one factor that may help protect the brain from shrinkage as people grow older.

There are plenty of great reasons to stay physically fit. Aside from being good for your physical health, regular exercise has been shown that it can improve cognitive functioning. And, as if you needed one more reason to hit the gym, one study has shown that being fit can help minimize the inevitable brain shrinkage that stems from the aging process.

How Is Cerebral Atrophy Treated

Treatment will likewise depend on whats actually causing the cerebral atrophy. For example:

  • AIDS: AIDS is an autoimmune disorder treated with antiviral medications.
  • Multiple sclerosis: MS is a disease in which the immune systems attacks the bodys own nerve cells. Disease-modifying drugs, such as ocrelizumab, are used to address it.
  • Stroke: Strokes or brain attacks are often the result of blood clots cutting off the flow of oxygenated blood to the brain. These can be dissolved by TPAs tissue plasminogen activator medications.
  • Syphilis: Syphilis treatment typically involves antibiotics.
  • Traumatic brain injury: The treatment of brain injuries often requires some form of surgery.

Alzheimers disease and other forms of dementia remain incurable. There are, however, treatment modalities for managing their symptoms.

Brain degeneration is, of course, potentially life-threatening. Short of death, it can also rob a person of his or her ability to manage daily affairs, resulting in social withdrawal, isolation, and depression. There is currently no cure for cerebral atrophy, but hope remains that medical research will discover a way to more effectively address this condition.

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Does Brain Shrinkage Indicate Alzheimers

In Alzheimers disease, as neurons are injured and die throughout the brain, connections between networks of neurons may break down, and many brain regions begin to shrink. By the final stages of Alzheimers, this processcalled brain atrophyis widespread, causing significant loss of brain volume.

How Is Cerebral Atrophy Diagnosed

Brain Shrinkage? Trans Fats Link to Alzheimer’s –

Medical personnel have several means of diagnosing cerebral atrophy:

  • Medical history and physical exam: Your physician will document your medical history and ask questions about your symptoms. He or she will be interested to know when they started, their frequency and severity, and how theyve persisted or changed over time.
  • Brain-function tests: To ascertain possible cognitive impairment, your doctor may administer certain brain-function tests, such as those for language or memory.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging and CT scans: Imaging scans of the brain can reveal physiological change, such as swelling or evidence of brain shrinkage.

The diagnosis of cerebral atrophy will depend in part on the suspected cause or causes. If, for example, your physician thinks that you may have a neurological disorder, he or she will conduct the tests that medical science has devised for identifying those conditions.

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What Is The Best Exercise For Your Brain

Aerobic exercise, like running and swimming, appears to be best for brain health. Thats because it increases a persons heart rate, which means the body pumps more blood to the brain, says Okonkwo. But strength training, like weight lifting, may also bring benefits to the brain by increasing heart rate.

How Is Frontotemporal Dementia Treated

Currently, no treatments are available to cure or slow the progression of FTD, but healthcare providers may prescribe medicine to treat symptoms. Antidepressants may help treat anxiety and control obsessive-compulsive behaviors and other symptoms. Prescription sleeping aids can help ease insomnia and other sleep disturbances. Antipsychotic medicine may reduce irrational and compulsive behaviors.

Behavior modification may help control unacceptable or risky behaviors.

Speech and language pathologists and physical and occupational therapists can help adjustment to some of the changes caused by FTD.

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Prevention And Prognosis Of Cerebral Atrophy

Cerebral atrophy is not usually preventable, however, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk. These include:

  • Regular exercise: This can be as simple as taking frequent walks every day. By following a regular workout regimen, you can minimize the possibility of cerebral atrophy.
  • Minimizing vitamin deficiencies: Ensuring that you eat a balanced and healthy diet, particularly eating foods rich in vitamins, such as B12, will give you the best chance of preventing cerebral atrophy.
  • Drinking enough water: Dehydration can lead to the increase of stress hormones and acute brain damage. Therefore, it is recommended to drink plenty of water every day to stay hydrated.
  • Consuming fruits and vegetables: It is recommended to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. These may include blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, cherries, strawberries, spinach, raspberries, plums, broccoli, beets, oranges, and red bell peppers. They are not only delicious to eat but are packed with vitamins and minerals as well as being rich in antioxidants.

The level of brain functioning is directly related to the area of the brain affected by cerebral atrophy. In the majority of cases of focal atrophy, fatal outcomes are not particularly common but can still cause impairment of normal functioning. Cerebral atrophy outcomes will generally vary from person to person, with advanced stages often leading to complete dementia.


How To Prevent Your Brain From Shrinking As You Age

Brain Atrophy, how to stop this disease, symptoms and causes

Some amount of brain shrinkage occurs naturally as people age. Other potential causes of brain shrinkage include injury, certain diseases and disorders, infections, and alcohol use. Just as the body ages, so does the brain. But not all brains age the same.

Some of the changes that take place include decreases in brain mass, shrinkage of areas of the brain that contain nerve fibers, fewer connections between neurons, and changes in the neurotransmitter systems that communicate information. All of these factors may play a role in some of the age-related declines in cognitive abilities that are part of the normal aging process.

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