Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Mild cognitive impairment


A systematic review to examine the efficacy of computer-based cognitive interventions for cognitively healthy older adults was conducted. Studies were included if they met the following criteria: average sample age of at least 55 years at time of training; participants did not have Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment; and the study measured cognitive outcomes as a result of training. Theoretical articles, review articles, and book chapters that did not include original data were excluded. We identified 151 studies published between 1984 and 2011, of which 38 met inclusion criteria and were further classified into three groups by the type of computerized program used: classic cognitive training tasks, neuropsychological software, and video games. Reported pre-post training effect sizes for intervention groups ranged from 0.06 to 6.32 for classic cognitive training interventions, 0.19 to 7.14 for neuropsychological software interventions, and 0.09 to 1.70 for video game interventions. Most studies reported older adults did not need to be technologically savvy in order to successfully complete or benefit from training. Overall, findings are comparable or better than those from reviews of more traditional, paper-and-pencil cognitive training approaches suggesting that computerized training is an effective, less labor intensive alternative.

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Effectiveness, Cognitive psychology, Cognitive neuroscience, Efficacy, Meta-analysis, Video game, Mild cognitive impairment


BACKGROUND: Several studies have been focused on design and synthesis of multi-target anti Alzheimer compounds. Utilizing of the dual Acetylcholinesterase/Butyrylcholinesterase inhibitors has gained more interest to treat the Alzheimer’s disease. As a part of a research program to find a novel drug for treating Alzheimer disease, we have previously reported 6-alkoxybenzofuranone derivatives as potent acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. In continuation of our work, we would like to report the synthesis of 5,6-dimethoxy benzofuranone derivatives bearing a benzyl pyridinium moiety as dual Acetylcholinesterase/Butyrylcholinesterase inhibitors. METHODS: The synthesis of target compounds was carried out using a conventional method. Bayer-Villiger oxidation of 3,4-dimethoxybenzaldehyde furnished 3,4-dimethoxyphenol. The reaction of 3,4-dimethoxyphenol with chloroacetonitrile followed by treatment with HCl solution and then ring closure yielded the 5,6-dimethoxy benzofuranone. Condensation of the later compound with pyridine-4-carboxaldehyde and subsequent reaction with different benzyl halides afforded target compounds. The biological activity was measured using standard Ellman’s method. Docking studies were performed to get better insight into interaction of compounds with receptor. RESULTS: The in vitro anti acetylcholinesterase/butyrylcholinesterase activity of compounds revealed that, all of the target compounds have good inhibitory activity against both Acetylcholinesterase/Butyrylcholinesterase enzymes in which compound 5b (IC50 = 52 +/- 6.38nM) was the most active compound against acetylcholinesterase. The same binding mode and interactions were observed for the reference drug donepezil and compound 5b in docking study. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we presented a new series of benzofuranone-based derivatives having pyridinium moiety as potent dual acting Acetylcholinesterase/Butyrylcholinesterase inhibitors.

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Acetylcholine, Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, Memantine, Donepezil, Mild cognitive impairment


Progressive memory impairment such as that associated with depression, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) can interfere with daily life. In particular, AD, which is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, prominently features a memory and learning impairment that is related to changes in acetylcholine and abnormal β-amyloid (Aβ) deposition in the brain. In the present study, we investigated the effects of dehydroevodiamine·HCl (DHED) on cognitive improvement and the related mechanism in memory-impaired rat models, namely, a scopolamine-induced amnesia model and a Aβ1-42-infused model. The cognitive effects of DHED were measured using a water maze test and a passive avoidance test in the memory-impaired rat models. The results demonstrate that DHED (10 mg/kg, p.o.) and Donepezil (1 mg/kg, p.o.) ameliorated the spatial memory impairment in the scopolamine-induced amnestic rats. Moreover, DHED significantly improved learning and memory in the Aβ1-42-infused rat model. Furthermore, the mechanism of these behavioral effects of DHED was investigated using a cell viability assay, reactive oxygen species (ROS) measurement, and intracellular calcium measurement in primary cortical neurons. DHED reduced neurotoxicity and the production of Aβ-induced ROS in primary cortical neurons. In addition, similar to the effect of MK801, DHED decreased intracellular calcium levels in primary cortical neurons. Our results suggest that DHED has strong protective effects against cognitive impairments through its antioxidant activity and inhibition of neurotoxicity and intracellular calcium. Thus, DHED may be an important therapeutic agent for memory-impaired symptoms.

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Psychology, Brain, Antioxidant, Reactive oxygen species, Memory, Acetylcholine, Mild cognitive impairment


To predict the risk of probable dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) competing with Alzheimer disease (AD) dementia by hippocampal volume (HV) in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) with impairments in amnestic or nonamnestic cognitive domains.

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Memory, Parkinson's disease, Hippocampus, Dementia, Lewy body, Dementia with Lewy bodies, Mild cognitive impairment


Only a subset of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) patients progress to develop a form of dementia. A prominent feature of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive decline in language. We investigated if subtle anomalies in EEG activity of MCI patients during a word comprehension task could provide insight into the likelihood of conversion to AD. We studied 25 amnestic MCI patients, a subset of whom developed AD within 3-years, and 11 elderly controls. In the task, auditory category descriptions (e.g., ‘a type of wood’) were followed by a single visual target word either semantically congruent (i.e., oak) or incongruent with the preceding category. We found that the MCI convertors group (i.e. patients that would go on to convert to AD in 3-years) had a diminished early posterior-parietal theta (3-5 Hz) activity induced by first presentation of the target word (i.e., access to lexico-syntactic properties of the word), compared to MCI non-convertors and controls. Moreover, MCI convertors exhibited oscillatory signatures for processing the semantically congruent words that were different from non-convertors and controls. MCI convertors thus showed basic anomalies for lexical and meaning processing. In addition, both MCI groups showed anomalous oscillatory signatures for the verbal learning/memory of repeated words: later alpha suppression (9-11 Hz), which followed first presentation of the target word, was attenuated for the second and third repetition in controls, but not in either MCI group. Our findings suggest that a subtle breakdown in the brain network subserving language comprehension can be foretelling of conversion to AD.

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Brain, Neurology, Electroencephalography, Dementia, Language, Microsoft Word, Mild cognitive impairment


To facilitate clinical trials of disease-modifying therapies for Alzheimer’s disease, which are expected to be most efficacious at the earliest and mildest stages of the disease, supportive biomarker information is necessary. The only validated methods for identifying amyloid-β deposition in the brain-the earliest pathological signature of Alzheimer’s disease-are amyloid-β positron-emission tomography (PET) imaging or measurement of amyloid-β in cerebrospinal fluid. Therefore, a minimally invasive, cost-effective blood-based biomarker is desirable. Despite much effort, to our knowledge, no study has validated the clinical utility of blood-based amyloid-β markers. Here we demonstrate the measurement of high-performance plasma amyloid-β biomarkers by immunoprecipitation coupled with mass spectrometry. The ability of amyloid-β precursor protein (APP)669-711/amyloid-β (Aβ)1-42 and Aβ1-40/Aβ1-42 ratios, and their composites, to predict individual brain amyloid-β-positive or -negative status was determined by amyloid-β-PET imaging and tested using two independent data sets: a discovery data set (Japan, n = 121) and a validation data set (Australia, n = 252 including 111 individuals diagnosed using 11C-labelled Pittsburgh compound-B (PIB)-PET and 141 using other ligands). Both data sets included cognitively normal individuals, individuals with mild cognitive impairment and individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. All test biomarkers showed high performance when predicting brain amyloid-β burden. In particular, the composite biomarker showed very high areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves (AUCs) in both data sets (discovery, 96.7%, n = 121 and validation, 94.1%, n = 111) with an accuracy approximately equal to 90% when using PIB-PET as a standard of truth. Furthermore, test biomarkers were correlated with amyloid-β-PET burden and levels of Aβ1-42 in cerebrospinal fluid. These results demonstrate the potential clinical utility of plasma biomarkers in predicting brain amyloid-β burden at an individual level. These plasma biomarkers also have cost-benefit and scalability advantages over current techniques, potentially enabling broader clinical access and efficient population screening.

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Clinical trial, Positron emission tomography, Neuroimaging, Cerebrospinal fluid, Approximation, Receiver operating characteristic, Mild cognitive impairment


Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most significant healthcare problems nationally and globally. Recently, the first description of the reversal of cognitive decline in patients with early Alzheimer’s disease or its precursors, MCI (mild cognitive impairment) and SCI (subjective cognitive impairment), was published [1]. The therapeutic approach used was programmatic and personalized rather than monotherapeutic and invariant, and was dubbed metabolic enhancement for neurodegeneration (MEND). Patients who had had to discontinue work were able to return to work, and those struggling at work were able to improve their performance. The patients, their spouses, and their co-workers all reported clear improvements. Here we report the results from quantitative MRI and neuropsychological testing in ten patients with cognitive decline, nine ApoE4+ (five homozygous and four heterozygous) and one ApoE4-, who were treated with the MEND protocol for 5-24 months. The magnitude of the improvement is unprecedented, providing additional objective evidence that this programmatic approach to cognitive decline is highly effective. These results have far-reaching implications for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, MCI, and SCI; for personalized programs that may enhance pharmaceutical efficacy; and for personal identification of ApoE genotype.

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Better, Medicine, Improve, Neurocognitive, Apolipoprotein E, Zygosity, Mild cognitive impairment


Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a pre-dementia state; 5-10% of cases per year will evolve into dementia. MCI can be amnestic (AMCI) or non-amnestic. AMCI is associated with a higher risk of progression. In recent years, interest in acupuncture as a potential treatment for AMCI has grown. The aim of this meta-analysis was to estimate the clinical effectiveness and safety of acupuncture for AMCI.

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Epidemiology, Clinical trial, Medical statistics, Randomized controlled trial, Effectiveness,, Mild cognitive impairment


Alzheimer’s disease causes a progressive dementia that currently affects over 35 million individuals worldwide and is expected to affect 115 million by 2050 (ref. 1). There are no cures or disease-modifying therapies, and this may be due to our inability to detect the disease before it has progressed to produce evident memory loss and functional decline. Biomarkers of preclinical disease will be critical to the development of disease-modifying or even preventative therapies. Unfortunately, current biomarkers for early disease, including cerebrospinal fluid tau and amyloid-β levels, structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging and the recent use of brain amyloid imaging or inflammaging, are limited because they are either invasive, time-consuming or expensive. Blood-based biomarkers may be a more attractive option, but none can currently detect preclinical Alzheimer’s disease with the required sensitivity and specificity. Herein, we describe our lipidomic approach to detecting preclinical Alzheimer’s disease in a group of cognitively normal older adults. We discovered and validated a set of ten lipids from peripheral blood that predicted phenoconversion to either amnestic mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease within a 2-3 year timeframe with over 90% accuracy. This biomarker panel, reflecting cell membrane integrity, may be sensitive to early neurodegeneration of preclinical Alzheimer’s disease.

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Brain, Positive predictive value, Type I and type II errors, Sensitivity and specificity, Magnetic resonance imaging, Dementia, Mild cognitive impairment


Cross-sectional associations between engagement in mentally stimulating activities and decreased odds of having mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or Alzheimer disease have been reported. However, little is known about the longitudinal outcome of incident MCI as predicted by late-life (aged ≥70 years) mentally stimulating activities.

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Scientific method, Death, Memory, Apolipoprotein E, The Association, Donepezil, Mild cognitive impairment