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Poor sleep tied to Alzheimer's-like brain changes

By Genevra Pittman NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Older adults who don't sleep well have more of the brain plaques that are hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests. The finding doesn't prove that not getting enough shut-eye causes the build-up of beta-amyloid plaques and leads to dementia rather than the other way around. The researchers can't be sure which came first because they asked about sleep problems and took brain images at around the same time.

Health habits tied to heart disease, arthritis risk

By Allison Bond NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Older women who exercise regularly and don't smoke may have a substantially lower risk of late-life disability than their peers with less-healthy habits, say UK researchers. They found that among women in their 60s and 70s, behaviors like smoking, drinking and exercise could account for up to 17 percent of a woman's risk for disabling conditions like heart disease, arthritis and difficulty walking.

Sleep helps brain stay fit by clearing waste

Like a janitor sweeping the halls after the lights go out, major changes occur in the brain during sleep to flush out waste and ward off disease, researchers said Thursday. The research in the journal Science offers new answers to explain why people spend a third of their lives asleep and may help in treating dementia and other neurological disorders. In lab experiments on mice, researchers observed how cellular waste was flushed out via the brain's blood vessels into the body's circulatory system and eventually the liver.

'Profound abnormalities' in American footballers' brains

Scans have revealed "profound abnormalities" in the brain activity of retired American football players, a study into the long-term risks of the combative sport said on Thursday. Unusual activity in the frontal lobe, observed in former National Football League (NFL) players as they carried out a cognitive test, matched records for heavy blows they had received to the head while on the field. "The NFL alumni showed some of the most pronounced abnormalities in brain activity that I have ever seen," said lead author Adam Hampshire, a neuroscientist at Imperial College London.

Scans show retired American football players have brain deficits

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists have found "profound abnormalities" in scans of brain activity in a group of retired American football players, adding to evidence indicating that repeated blows to the head can trigger longer-term aggression and dementia.

Remarriages add complexity to dementia caregiving

By Kathleen Raven NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Negative relations with stepchildren can compound the burdens a wife feels while caring for her husband with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia, a new study suggests.

Exercise rivals drugs for stroke, heart disease treatment

Exercise may be at least as effective as some drugs in reducing the risk of death in stroke patients or people with heart disease, a study published on Wednesday said. Researchers from the London School of Economics, Harvard Medical School and Stanford University School of Medicine compared the findings of several studies into the effectiveness of exercise versus drugs in people with coronary heart disease, stroke patients, people with prediabetes and those with heart failure. They analysed the results of 305 randomised controlled trials involving 339,274 individuals.

Mid-life stress could be linked to Alzheimer's: study

By Kathryn Doyle NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Middle-aged women with lots of stress are more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease down the road, a new study suggests. Why that might be the case is still a mystery, lead author Lena Johansson from the Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology at Gothenburg University in Mölndal, Sweden, said.

Lilly mulls options as Medicare shuns Alzheimer's diagnostic

By Ransdell Pierson (Reuters) - Eli Lilly and Co on Monday said the federal government has unfairly blocked patient access to its Amyvid diagnostic test for Alzheimer's disease by denying reimbursement for such products, and said a requested new study of the test could create additional delay. "We are committed to this space and aren't letting this product go by the wayside," Eric Dozier, senior director of Lilly's Alzheimer's business division, said in an interview.

Marrieds do better than singles after heart procedure

By Miriam Stix NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - More evidence that marriage may benefit overall health comes from findings that in the first year after having blocked blood vessels leading to the heart cleared, married patients fared much better than their unmarried counterparts.
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