Research Briefs 210907

Early Alzheimer's diagnosis
Alzheimer's disease could be detected and treated at an early stage using diagnostic criteria developed by an international team of experts. The criteria are a significant shift from those currently in use, which were developed in 1984. The latest measures include memory problems as well as biological markers, such as atrophy of the temporal lobe on magnetic resonance imaging (Lancet Neurol Online 2007).

Pollution link to clotting risk
The increased risk of heart attack associated with pollution could be linked to clotting risk, suggest US research findings. Studies in mice showed that exposure to particulate matter led to decreased bleeding times, accelerated clotting and accelerated formation of arterial thrombus. But this effect was not seen in mice lacking interleukin-6 (IL-6), indicating that the cytokine mediates the interaction. Targeting and decreasing IL-6 might therefore reduce the risk of heart problems (J Clin Invest Online 2007).

Exercise can help type-2 diabetics
Both aerobic and resistance exercise can improve glycaemic control in patients with type-2 diabetes, suggest study findings. It included 251 adults, aged 39 to 70, who had type-2 diabetes and were not exercising regularly. Participants were randomly assigned to no exercise, or three 45-minute sessions a week incorporating aerobic exercise, resistance training or both. After 26 weeks, blood sugar control improved in the aerobic and resistance groups. The benefit was double in those assigned both types of exercise (Ann Intern Med Online 2007).

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