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Elder Law and Estate Planning Blog - Lancaster, PA

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Concussions and Alzheimer's

Today's topic will take a break from estate planning and instead focus on new Alzheimer's research.
According to a recent study, damage from concussions and the deterioration due to Alzheimer’s look similar on brain scans and produce similar symptoms.  Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh looked at 64 patients who experienced concussions and compared their MRI scans after the injury to the scans of 15 healthy patients over the same time period.  The images picked up damage to the white matter, which facilitates connections between different regions of the brain and is responsible for functions such as memory, planning and reasoning.  The damage revealed in concussion patients was similar to that of Alzheimer’s patients.  The study also showed that the sleep disturbances Alzheimer’s patients suffer from also are present in concussion patients, making cognitive issues worse in both groups.
The connection between these two could lead to a better understanding of concussions, but also of Alzheimer’s.  Only time will tell how future researchers will use this information.
To read the full article, published by Time on June 19, 2013, click here.

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