19815 Bay Branch Rd
Andalusia, Alabama 36420
(334) 222-2523
HELPLINE: 1-877-530-0002



Facebook    

 

SCAMHC is an approved Mental Health site for the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment program.  Find out the program details and see if you qualify by visiting: http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/

SCAMHC is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer and maintains a Drug-Free Workplace.

SCAMHC serves all individuals regardless of inability to pay. Discounts for essential services are offered based on family size and income. For more information, contact (334) 222-2523 or our 24/7 Helpline at 1-877-530-0002.

 

 


powered by centersite dot net
Alzheimers Disease and other Cognitive Disorders
Resources
Basic Information
Introduction & Causes of Cognitive DisordersDementiaAlzheimer's DiseaseOther Cognitive DisordersDementia Coping Skills & Behavior ManagementTraumatic Brain Injury (TBI)Conclusion and Resources
More InformationLatest News
Many Blacks, Hispanics Believe They'll Get Worse Care If Dementia StrikesAlzheimer's May Strike Women and Men in Different WaysHistory of Mental Illness Tied to Earlier Onset of Alzheimer's DiseaseAHA News: Black, Hispanic Families Hit Hardest by DementiaWhy Some 'Super Ager' Folks Keep Their Minds Dementia-FreeDementia Seen in Younger Adults Shows Even More Brain Damage Than Alzheimer'sToo Little Sleep Could Raise Your Dementia RiskSpecialist Care for Alzheimer's Is Tough to Find for Poorer, Rural AmericansTony Bennett's Struggle With Alzheimer's RevealedFluid-Filled Spaces in the Brain Linked to Worsening MemoryCOVID Vaccine Advised for Alzheimer's Patients, Their CaregiversAphasia Affects Brain Similar to Alzheimer's, But Without Memory LossCaregivers Feeling the Strain This Tough Holiday SeasonYears Before Diagnosis, People With Alzheimer's Lose Financial AcumenCould Dirty Air Help Speed Alzheimer's?Strong Sleeping Pills Tied to Falls, Fractures in Dementia PatientsAnxiety Might Speed Alzheimer's: StudyPre-Op 'Brain Games' Might Prevent Post-Op DeliriumDoes Hard Work Help Preserve the Brain?Staying Active as You Age Not a Guarantee Against DementiaSmog Tied to Raised Risk for Parkinson's, Alzheimer's DiseasePoor Brain Blood Flow Might Spur 'Tangles' of Alzheimer'sIs Apathy an Early Sign of Dementia?A-Fib Treatment Reduces Patients' Dementia RiskFall Risk Rises Even in Alzheimer's Early StagesPTSD May Be Tied to Greater Dementia RiskNew Research Links Another Gene to Alzheimer's RiskIs Rural Appalachia a Hotspot for Alzheimer's?Why Are Dementia Patients Getting Risky Psychiatric Drugs?Get Dizzy When Standing Up? It Could Be Risk Factor for DementiaCan Seniors Handle Results of Alzheimer's Risk Tests?More Education May Slow Start of Early-Onset Alzheimer'sUnder 50 and Overweight? Your Odds for Dementia Later May RiseBlood Test Heralds New Era in Alzheimer's Diagnosis9/11 First Responders Have Higher Odds for Alzheimer's: StudyCould the Flu Shot Lower Your Risk for Alzheimer's?Will Your Brain Stay Sharp Into Your 90s? Certain Factors Are KeyResearchers Zero in on Alzheimer's Disease Risk FactorsMany Americans With Dementia Live in Homes With GunsBrain's Iron Stores May Be Key to Alzheimer'sHormones May Explain Greater Prevalence of Alzheimer's in WomenMiddle-Age Obesity Linked to Higher Odds for DementiaCould Crohn's, Colitis Raise Dementia Risk?5 Healthy Steps to Lower Your Odds for Alzheimer'sCOVID-19 Brings New Challenges to Alzheimer's CaregivingAlzheimer's Gene Linked to Severe COVID-19 RiskHealthier Heart, Better Brain in Old AgeAHA News: Hearing Loss and the Connection to Alzheimer's Disease, DementiaBrain Plaques Signal Alzheimer's Even Before Other Symptoms Emerge: StudyCertain Gene Might Help Shield At-Risk People From Alzheimer's
Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Aging & Geriatrics
Memory Problems
Elder Care

Fluid-Filled Spaces in the Brain Linked to Worsening Memory

HealthDay News
by By Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Jan 28th 2021

new article illustration

THURSDAY, Jan. 28, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Enlarged spaces in the brain that fill with fluid around small blood vessels may be a harbinger of impending dementia, a new Australian study suggests.

Typically, these so-called perivascular spaces help clear waste and toxins from the brain and might be linked with changes in the aging brain, researchers say.

"Dilated perivascular spaces, which are a common MRI finding, especially in the elderly, are not just an incidental finding," said study author Dr. Matt Paradise, a psychiatrist and research fellow at the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. "Instead, they should be taken seriously, and assessing their severity may be able to help clinicians and researchers better diagnose dementia and help predict the trajectory of people with cognitive decline."

Paradise noted, however, that the study does not prove that enlarged perivascular spaces cause thinking and memory problems, only that there is an association.

"Dilated perivascular spaces may be a marker of the disease process, but not necessarily drive it," he explained. 'The underlying mechanisms for dilated perivascular spaces are complex and need unraveling."

One neurologist agreed that relationship between these enlarged spaces and dementia is complicated.

"We all have perivascular spaces. They are natural, but they're usually very small, so small that when we do pictures of the brain, we don't usually see them," explained Dr. Glen Finney, a neurologist at the Geisinger Specialty Clinic in Wilkes Barre, Pa. "Some people have a few enlarged ones that are probably just normal."

"But when we see a large amount of these extra spaces developing, that is when we start to suspect there's probably something more going on in terms of brain health," added Finney, who is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. "This is not something that happens to everybody."

These spaces can enlarge when brain matter is lost or there is a build-up of materials that are normally cleared in those spaces, he explained.

"What we know is that we can see them more with age," he said. "In some cases, we can see them associated with vascular damage in the brain."

Finney doesn't think that these enlarged spaces will be a diagnostic tool, and instead, "It's really going to be a marker of risk. It's not going to tell you if you have dementia, it's not going to tell you if you're going to get it. It's just going to tell you that you may be at a little higher risk."

Looking for connections

For the study, the researchers tested more than 400 people, average age 80. Participants were given tests of thinking and memory skills and assessed for dementia at the beginning of the study and every two years for eight years.

Also, the participants had MRI brain scans to look for enlarged perivascular spaces in two key areas of the brain at the start of the study and every two years for eight years.

The researchers compared the top 25% of those who had the largest number of enlarged perivascular spaces with those with fewer or no enlarged spaces.

They found that those with the most enlarged perivascular spaces were nearly three times more likely to develop dementia than those with fewer or no enlarged spaces.

In all, 24%, or 97 participants, developed dementia during the study. Of the 31 people with enlarged perivascular spaces in both areas of the brain that the researchers looked at, 39% developed dementia.

The people with severe enlargement of perivascular spaces in both areas of the brain were also more likely to have greater decline four years later on their overall scores of cognition than people with mild or no enlargement of spaces.

The results remain unchanged after the researchers took into account other factors that could affect scores on tests or the development of dementia, such as age, high blood pressure and diabetes.

They also accounted for other signs of disease in the small blood vessels in the brain, which can also be a risk of dementia.

The picture is actually more complex, Paradise said. "There may be differential effects for the two main regions where dilated perivascular spaces were measured, as this effect was not seen in all groups. This might be due to different mechanism of disease in those two areas. But broadly speaking, dilated perivascular spaces are a marker for disease of the microscopic blood vessels of the brain," he said.

The risk for dementia was seen at four and six years, but not at eight years, Paradise said. "This may be because, by then, a lot of the group developed dementia and the impact from perivascular spaces is masked by other factors, such as the participants' age."

An aid to diagnosis?

The researchers noted that their findings could be affected by the fact that the cognitive test data was only available over four years and imaging data might have missed some enlarged perivascular spaces.

Perivascular spaces are also just one marker of small vessel disease, Paradise said. "We are investigating how these perivascular spaces relate to the other neuroimaging markers and hope to construct an index which takes into account the contribution of several markers to produce an estimate of the overall burden from disease of the blood vessels in the brain," he said.

Rebecca Edelmayer, director of scientific engagement at the Alzheimer's Association, thinks that perivascular space might become a way of diagnosing dementia, but more research is needed before that could happen.

Most people are currently diagnosed with Alzheimer's and other dementias through cognitive and functional testing, she said.

"We need to continue to develop biomarker tools and technologies, as well as effective treatment strategies in parallel," Edelmayer said.

Doctors need a toolbox at their fingertips to help in diagnosis because "accurate and early detection is so critical for people living with dementia and their families," she said.

"But much more research is needed to truly understand whether looking at perivascular space is going to be a reliable biomarker across diverse populations," Edelmayer said. "So, I think it's too early to say that this is something that anyone should ask for in their doctor's office."

The report was published online Jan. 27 in the journal Neurology.

More information

For more on Alzheimer's disease, see the Alzheimer's Association.

SOURCES: Matt Paradise, psychiatrist and research fellow, Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia; Glen Finney, MD, neurologist, Geisinger Specialty Clinic, Wilkes Barre, Pa.; Rebecca Edelmayer, PhD, director, scientific engagement, Alzheimer's Association; Neurology, Jan. 27, 2021, online