Cognitive impairment and dementia are both risk factors for postoperative delirium, but few studies have looked into whether delirium in cognitively healthy individuals is itself a risk factor for developing dementia. A recent study assessed over 2000 participants over the age of 65, evaluating their cognitive health before surgery and at 15-month intervals after surgery.
A collaborative study from a number of American universities and research institutes shows for the first time that a pathway called ‘necroptosis’ is involved in the Alzheimer’s disease progression. Necroptosis is a result of inflammation, which is common in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Three proteins – RIPK1, RIPK3, and MLKL – initiate necroptosis, a process in which cells “burst from the inside out.” RIPK1 and RIPK3 form a ‘necrosome,’ which activates MLKL, allowing cell death through a pathway involving the mitochondria.
A link has been established between low levels of lutein in older adulthood and cognitive decline; however, the role of lutein in middle age is an understudied area. Lutein is a compound found in “richly coloured fruits and vegetables” such as spinach and kale; the carotenoid cannot be synthesized in the body and therefore it must be obtained through food. It accumulates in the brain as well as the eyes, allowing scientists to examine its levels non-invasively through the retina.
Women are twice as likely as men to devote 20+ hours per week to caregiving; many women are also responsible for caring for their children as well as their aging parents. The Home Instead Senior Care (HISC) network recently conducted a survey in which they found a few discouraging results regarding women’s careers and their roles in their families.
An estimated 25% of people with HIV later develop a neurological disease of some sort. Researchers at the University of Alberta may have found a possible reason as to why this happens. Healthy cells have more peroxisomes, or fat-metabolizing proteins, than cells with HIV. As the brain requires a large amount of lipids to conduct nerve signals, peroxisomes are heavily involved in brain development and cognitive function.