Brain may resist early Alzheimer's
New research has found that the human brain may be capable of protecting itself from signs of early Alzheimer's disease.
Scientists at the University of California recruited 71 adults who showed no signs of mental decline. The researchers first conducted brain scans and found that 16 of the adults had amyloid plaques--tangles of protein that are a known marker for Alzheimer's disease.
For the study, all participants were asked to memorize a series of pictures, while the researchers used scanners to track brain activity. After some time had passed, the participants were asked to recall the pictures in detail.
The resaerchers found that while all of the participants performed equally well, those with the amyloid plaques showed more brain activity during the study, when compared with those with no signs of early Alzheimer's.
The findings, published in Nature Neuroscience, suggest that the brains of people with early Alzheimer's may have the ability to adapt and compensate for early damage, researchers said. They added that longer tern studies are needed to confirm and better understand the findings.