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Degeneration of brain structure could predict cognitive declineWEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2013 10:32 AM

Degeneration of brain structure could predict cognitive decline It is no secret that cognitive decline is a problem for many people as they get older. Those who are concerned about the quality of their cognitive abilities over time may take an IQ test every few years in the hopes they may spot the early signs of negative brain activity.

Based on the results of a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Davis Alzheimer's Disease Center, damage to a part of the brain known as the fornix holds clues to cognitive decline that could be many years away. The fornix, which is located deep inside the brain, carries messages to and from the hippocampus. Its degeneration was found to be related to cognitive decline among healthy individuals later in life.

"Our results suggest that fornix variables are measurable brain factors that precede the earliest clinically relevant deterioration of cognitive function among cognitively normal elderly individuals," said Evan Fletcher, a project scientist with UC Davis and the study's lead author.

It also helps for individuals to be aware of the other signs of cognitive problems to come. According to the Mayo Clinic, forgetting things, like keys and important dates, and displaying poor judgment are symptoms of mild cognitive impairment.


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