Can Changes in the Brain Predict Disability in Older Adults?

Mar 18, 2010
The human brain

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new study shows brain changes may predict problems in walking, thinking, or staying continent.

Research by the Health Center’s Dr. Leslie Wolfson and his team has shown for the first time that certain changes in the brain’s are highly predictive of the development of disability in older adults. The results of the study are published in the current edition of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Wolfson, professor and chair of the Department of Neurology, says mobility is a critical component of independence and quality of life for older persons. Changes involving brain white matter are seen in many MRI brain scans of older adults.

“They are so common that until recently it was assumed they don’t matter and may represent normal aging,” he says. “But our research found that these brain changes are a good indicator of problems in older adults such as difficulty walking, thinking, and remaining continent.”

Wolfson believes that interventions such as aggressive treatment of elevated may help prevent or slow these declines, allowing to remain independent, vigorous, and healthy longer.

Wolfson’s research is funded through a NIH National Institute of Aging grant.

Explore further: Noise-induced hearing loss alters brain responses to speech

More information: www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/117995531/home

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Problems getting around in old age? Blame your brain

Mar 17, 2008

New research shows how well people get around and keep their balance in old age is linked to the severity of changes happening in their brains. The study is published in the March 18, 2008, issue of Neurology. White matter ...

Study: Our brains compensate for aging

Apr 04, 2006

Yale University and University of Illinois scientists say they've determined our brains compensate for aging by becoming less "specialized."

Study evaluates brain lesions of older patients

Jul 09, 2007

Lesions commonly seen on MRI in the brains of older patients may be a sign of potentially more extensive injury to the brain tissue, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at the Duke University Medical Center, ...

Recommended for you

How is depression related to dementia?

16 hours ago

A new study by neuropsychiatric researchers at Rush University Medical Center gives insight into the relationship between depression and dementia. The study is published in the July 30, 2014, online issue of Neurology, the me ...

Brainwaves can predict audience reaction

23 hours ago

Media and marketing experts have long sought a reliable method of forecasting responses from the general population to future products and messages. According to a study conducted at The City College of New ...

User comments : 0