Depression May Speed Brain Aging

By Associated Press – Re-Blogged From Newsmax Health

Memory and thinking skills naturally slow with age but now scientists are peeking inside living brains to tell if depression might worsen that decline — and finding some worrisome clues.

Depression has long been linked to certain cognitive problems, and depression late in life even may be a risk factor for the development of Alzheimer’s. Yet how depression might harm cognition isn’t clear.

One possibility: Brain cells communicate by firing messages across connections called synapses. Generally, good cognition is linked to more and stronger synapses. With cognitive impairment, those junctions gradually shrink and die off. But until recently, scientists could count synapses only in brain tissue collected after death.

Yale Alzheimer’s Test Directly Measures Synaptic Loss

By Zoe Papadakis – Re-Blogged From Newsmax Health

Yale researchers have developed a test that can directly measure synaptic loss in people with Alzheimer’s disease, EurekaAlert! posted, and it’s being called “a groundbreaking effort.”

By using PET imaging technology to scan for a specific protein in the brain that is linked to the synapses, scientists may have just paved the way for new and ground-breaking treatments for the disease, Yale University announced.

Image: Yale Alzheimer's Test Directly Measures Synaptic Loss

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