Can exercise change the trajectory of Alzheimer’s disease or delay the onset of cognitive decline? According to Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose, Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at UBC, and researcher at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, “the emerging evidence would suggest that regular physical activity can indeed maintain your brain health.”
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A Google search of your symptoms brings you to an online quiz that promises to assess if you have a cognitive impairment, or to determine your risk for dementia. “What’s the harm?” you might think as you click through the questions, which can range from a checklist of symptoms to tests of your memory and questions about your personal risk factors.
Can a concussion cause Alzheimer’s disease? No, but research suggests that repeated concussions from brain trauma can cause damage leading to memory loss and cognitive decline.
“In the past, we didn’t understand the severity of concussions – now we understand that there is damage, and there can be long-term consequences to traumatic brain injury,” says Dr. Cheryl Wellington, a researcher at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health whose lab studies risk factors for dementia including a history of brain injury.
Researchers at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, in collaboration with scientists at the Chongqing Medical University in Chongqing, China, recently discovered a way to slow the deterioration of memory. These findings significantly advance our understanding of the mechanism by which memory in our brain decays, and are the first to establish an opportunity for intervention to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related dementias.
Dr. Adele Diamond speaks to the power of executive function and its impact on student learning in this TEDxWestVancouverEd talk.
Collaborative International Research in Clinical and Longitudinal Experience for NMO Studies
In North America, Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) affects four in 100,000 people, and can cause loss of vision in one or both eyes (optic neuritis) and numbness and weakness in the arms and legs (transverse myelitis). It is an unpredictable and chronic illness that is often confused with Multiple Sclerosis, but NMO is a distinct disease requiring different treatment.
Young athletes who experience concussions may need to wait longer than currently recommended before getting ‘back in the game’ because of the unique brain developmental stage of adolescence, according to new research. The study, published in the Journal of Neurotrauma, shows that current adult-based standards for assessing the effects of concussions and length of time to recovery may be inadequate for adolescents.
Interferon beta (IFN-β) is a disease-modifying drug used to reduce the risk of a future relapse (attacks) in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) by modulating the immune system. And while IFN-β is considered safe, it does hold a small possibility of side effects, including liver injury. While 30 to 60 per cent of individuals with MS treated with IFN-β will experience elevations in their liver enzyme test results, these elevations are often transient and disappear even with continued IFN-β treatment.