AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 2, 2017

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Elderly Discovered With Superior Memory and Alzheimer's Pathology

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Well-established research suggests extensive plaques and tangles in the brain result in the death of neurons are an indicator of Alzheimer’s dementia. But surprising new Northwestern Medicine research on the brains of individuals 90 years and older who had superior memories until their deaths revealed widespread and dense Alzheimer’s plaques and tangles in some cases, considered full-blown Alzheimer’s pathology. “This is amazing,” said Northwester Medicine investigator Changiz Geula. “We never expected it. It tells us there are some factors that are protecting their brains and memories against the Alzheimer’s pathology of plaques and tangles. Now we have to find out what those are.” The Northwestern findings are the first to indicate that full-blown Alzheimer pathology also can exist in brains of elderly who show superior cognitive performance. Click here to read more.

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