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Brain areas decoded

Many brain areas may be affected by dementia - this blog post takes a look at the most common of these.

Dementia terminology decoded

Scientific literature is full of complicated terminology that can make it difficult for those outside the field to engage with the subject – and dementia research is no exception.

Is there a genetic link to dementia?

Most cases of dementia are not directly caused by genetics and instead result from a combination of risk factors, but there are some forms where genetics play a key role.

What is cognition?

The words 'cognition' and 'cognitive' crop up a lot in the field of dementia – but what do they really mean?

Amyloid and tau: the proteins involved in dementia

There are two main proteins thought to interfere with the communication between brain cells in certain dementias – tau and amyloid.

Diet and dementia

We've looked at the evidence surrounding the reported benefits of different foods for preventing and delaying dementia.

Dementia's relationship with Parkinson's

There are two types of dementia closely related to Parkinson's disease: dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson's dementia.

Great Minds newsletter: April 2021

The inaugural (April 2021) edition of the Great Minds members' newsletter.

Frontotemporal dementia: a common form of young-onset dementia

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is the second most common form of young-onset dementia, with several different subtypes involving changes in behaviour, personality and language skills.

Sundowning: the condition with symptoms that appear at sunset

Usually seen in people with mid-to-late-stage dementia, sundown syndrome is the appearance of regular behavioural changes such as agitation and confusion around sunset.

Could oestrogen explain why women are more at risk of dementia?

Women are at greater risk of developing dementia than men, and the hormone oestrogen could be a reason why.

Posterior cortical atrophy: a dementia that affects the vision

Posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) is a type of young-onset dementia affecting vision that is caused not by problems with the eyes, but by damage to the back of the brain.

Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome: a treatable memory disorder

We most often associate the symptoms of dementia with high-profile conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s. But dementia comes in many forms, and has many causes.

New podcast: DPUK's Professor John Gallacher on the future of dementia research

We caught up with Professor John Gallacher, Director of Dementias Platform UK and Professor of Cognitive Health at Oxford University, to get his thoughts on the current state of play in dementia research – and what the future might hold.

Coronavirus care: supporting loved ones with dementia

Supporting a family member through dementia is not easy, and the extra challenges introduced by the coronavirus lockdown can make matters even more challenging. Guest blogger Ruby Clarkson summarises the best advice and the help that's available.

World Diabetes Day: Chemical changes in blood affect risk of developing other diseases

Luke Whiley won a DPUK grant to investigate gut-brain interactions. On World Diabetes Day, he writes about the links between bacteria, diabetes and dementia.

Keeping our brains healthy to reduce dementia risk

Research shows that our lifestyles can affect the health of our brains, and that making a few positive changes can help protect us as we get older. Dr Ivan Koychev is a clinician-scientist at Dementias Platform UK and a senior clinical researcher in Oxford University’s Department of Psychiatry.

What it takes to launch a world-scale Alzheimer’s study

There are 100+ researchers, 19 different organisations, 8 different sites and a fearless team conducting it all. Alzheimer’s research today has got so much bigger in its detail and scope. In this blog, Tony, Trial Coordinator of the Deep and Frequent Phenotyping study, gives the inside track on what it’s like to be part of such ambitious research.

What is cognition and why am I asked to complete cognitive tasks?

To better understand and treat the diseases that cause dementia, researchers rely on data provided by health study volunteers who, year on year, undergo a variety of tests. As part of joining Great Minds our members, who come from previous health studies, are asked to complete online- or smartphone-based cognitive tasks. In her blog, Leona Wolters – Research Assistant on Great Minds – describes what cognition is and how cognitive assessments help researchers find the right people for the right trials.

Changes in lifestyle can offset our genetic ‘destiny’

Catherine Calvin, an analyst at Dementias Platform UK (DPUK), investigates population study data of adults in midlife and older, to understand factors that relate to the risk of developing dementia in later life. In a recent paper published in Nature’s Scientific Reports, Catherine demonstrates that genetic susceptibility to developing obesity – a contributing risk factor for dementia – may be modified by lifestyle habits.

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