Neurodegenerative disease

Pure Pedantry

Category archives for Neurodegenerative disease

Reversible Dementia in the Elderly

The New Old Age blog at the NYTimes — hadn’t read it before, but I like it — has a post about reversible causes of cognitive decline in the elderly. I think they make a really good point: there are reversible causes to senility. Not all mental decline in the elderly is “normal” and certainly…

FTD patients cannot detect sarcasm

I really love coming to visit you, Grandpa. Researchers at the University of New South Wales are using sarcasm to determine whether patients have frontotemporal dementia (FTD), otherwise known as Pick’s disease: Researchers at the University of New South Wales found that patients under the age of 65 suffering from frontotemporal dementia (FTD), the second…

This is the question that I get all the time in family gatherings. Well, maybe not in those words. Usually it is phrased as “How can I not get Alzheimer’s? Because that would be a bummer…for me…” People are concerned about the issue of cognitive decline with aging — both with pathological decline such as…

Trushina et al from the Mayo Clinic have made a big advance in understanding the etiology of Huntington’s disease. Huntington’s disease is a progressive and ultimately fatal disease that is characterized by uncontrollable limb movements and progressive dementia and psychosis. It is 100% penetrant and shows autosomal dominant inheritance in the causative gene called Huntingtin.…

History of Alois Alzheimer

I meant to post this early, but the Neurophilosopher has an excellent history of Alois Alzheimer, for whom the disease is named: On November 25th, 1901, a 51-year-old woman named Auguste Deter (below right) was admitted to the hospital, and was examined by Alzheimer. Deter at first presented with impaired memory, aphasia, disorientation and psychosocial…

Neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s, were for many years regarded as exclusively diseases of molecular crud. You would look at brains of patients with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients and notice that there were all these aggregates of protein crud forming in specific locations. This led scientists to conclude that the crud must be causing the neurons…