Study: Alzheimer’s risk spikes 157% with heavy smoking

If you needed another reason to quite smoking, well, here you go…-SP

By Mary Brophy Marcus, USA TODAY
Heavy smoking in midlife more than doubles your odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease, a Kaiser Permanente study said Monday.
The study is the first to examine the long-term consequences of heavy smoking on Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia, says the study’s principal investigator, Rachel Whitmer, a research scientist with Kaiser Permanente in Oakland.

From 1994 to 2008, researchers evaluated the records of 21,123 men and women in midlife and continued following them, on average, for 23 years. Compared with non-smokers, those who had smoked two packs of cigarettes a day increased their risk of developing Alzheimer’s by more than 157% and had a 172% higher risk of developing vascular dementia — the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer’s. The research is published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Read the full article at USA Today’s website.

Combination of two tests shows improved accuracy when distinguishing between Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia

When researchers reviewed 81 previously published studies comparing cognitive testing for Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, they found that only two of 118 tests could accurately distinguish between the two conditions, reports the American Psychological Association. Those with Alzheimer’s disease performed better on the Emotional Recognition Task, which evaluates an individual’s ability to identify facial expressions in photographs and match emotional expressions to situations. Those with vascular dementia performed better on the Delayed Story Recall test. According to the authors, while these two tests proved to be the most reliable at distinguishing between the diseases, screeners should exercise caution and use cognitive tests only in conjunction with other information such as imaging and medical history in determining the most accurate diagnosis.

Read more here: Health News Digest