Jim McVeigh (@m075841)
Activity by Jim McVeigh
PHOENIX — A smell test could someday be one of the tools to screen for people at risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, according to a new Mayo Clinic study.
Parkinson's disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. It develops gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. But while tremor may be the best-known sign of Parkinson's, the disorder also commonly causes stiffness and slowing of movement. Additionally, there are many non-movement problems, including constipation, loss of the sense of smell, sleep problems, lightheadedness, urinary difficulties, depression and anxiety. The non-movement symptoms can develop many years before movement disorders.
Although Parkinson's disease can't be cured, medications may markedly improve symptoms. Currently, there is no accurate diagnostic test for the disease; diagnosis is based on medical history, a review of signs and symptoms, a neurological and physical examination and by ruling out other conditions. Confirmation of the disease can only be made by performing an autopsy. [...]
PHOENIX — Researchers from Mayo Clinic in Arizona and Banner Sun Health Research Institute have determined that many people with an early diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease are not correctly diagnosed according to a study just published in the journal Neurology.
Parkinson's disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. It develops gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. But while tremor may be the best-known sign of Parkinson's, the disorder also commonly causes stiffness and slowing of movement. Additionally there are many non-movement problems including constipation, loss of the sense of smell, sleep problems, lightheadedness, urinary difficulties, depression and anxiety. Although Parkinson's disease can't be cured, medications may markedly improve symptoms. Currently, there is no accurate diagnostic test for the disease; diagnosis is made based on medical history, a review of signs and symptoms, a neurological and physical examination and by ruling out other conditions. Confirmation of the disease can only be made by performing an autopsy.
PHOENIX, Arizona – The National Institutes of Health (NIH) renewed funding for the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute (BAI) and Mayo Clinic, Phoenix, longitudinal study of the earliest changes associated with the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease at older ages. The award, an estimated $8.3 million over the next five years, continues NIH’s long-term support of the investigation.
The study, which began two decades ago, has been examining the subtle brain imaging, memory and thinking changes that occur in healthy late-middle-aged and older adults who have inherited from their parents either one, two or no copies of the apolipoprotein E (APOE4) gene, the major genetic risk factor for developing late-onset Alzheimer’s. Each additional copy of the gene significantly increases a person’s chance of developing the disease.
“We are extremely grateful to the NIH and our wonderful research volunteers for their support,” said Dr. Eric M. Reiman, BAI Executive Director and one of the study’s principal investigators. “From the beginning, this study has been driven by our interest in finding treatments to prevent or end Alzheimer’s as quickly as possible, and to provide the information and tools needed to do just that.” [...]
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The use of small, portable eye-tracking devices in cockpits could be a future additional safeguard for pilots and other safety critical operators, according to a Mayo Clinic study published in the July issue of Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine.
Eye movement metrics have been recognized as promising indicators of altered cognitive performance caused by hypoxia at high altitudes. Hypoxia is a lower than normal level of oxygen in your blood. To function properly, your body needs a certain level of oxygen circulating in the blood to cells and tissues. When this level of oxygen falls below a certain amount, hypoxia can cause a variety of symptoms including shortness of breath, impaired speech, slowed reaction time and passing out which can be a safety threat at high altitudes.
PHOENIX — A new Mayo Clinic study suggests that the care and support family members give to elderly widows following the death of their spouse may be a factor in delaying dementia.
The study presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark last week was designed to evaluate the effects of widowhood in people with mild cognitive impairment - a precursor of dementia. The thinking had been that widowhood would accelerate the development of dementia in people with MCI but the study showed the opposite.
Mayo Clinic researchers used data on more than 3,500 people from the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center database, which compiles information collected at various Alzheimer’s disease Centers in the U.S. The researchers found that of the 1,078 subjects who developed dementia, people who remained married developed dementia at a younger age than those who were widowed (83 years old versus 92 years).
Mayo Clinic also earned the No. 1 overall spot on the “Best Hospitals” list
PHOENIX — Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix is ranked No. 1 in Arizona and the Phoenix metro area in the 25th U.S. News & World Report annual America’s Best Hospital List released today.
Hospitals included in the U.S. News Report such as the Mayo Clinic, are part of an elite group recognized for “breadth of excellence,” according to the magazine. Mayo Clinic in Arizona ranked nationally in 10 specialties including cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, ear, nose & throat, gastroenterology & GI surgery, geriatrics, gynecology, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics and urology. In addition, Mayo Clinic in Arizona is recognized as high performing in diabetes and endocrinology.
Eye movement test detects concussions and possible 'silent' concussions
PHOENIX — A rapid, easy-to-administer eye movement test is showing great promise as a sideline concussion test for youth sports, a Mayo Clinic study finds.
In the study, Mayo Clinic researchers assessed high school hockey players using the King-Devick test. The test requires an athlete to read single-digit numbers displayed on cards. After suspected head trauma, the athlete is given the test, which takes about two minutes, and the results are compared to a baseline test administered previously. If the time needed to complete the test takes longer than the baseline test time, the athlete should be removed from play until evaluated by a medical professional.
About 150 high school hockey players received preseason testing to establish a baseline time in the study. During the subsequent season, 20 athletes had a suspected concussion. All 20 had a prolonged King-Devick test, and all were later clinically diagnosed with a concussion.
“Youth athletes are at a higher risk for concussion and a longer recovery time than adults,” says Amaal Starling, M.D., Mayo Clinic neurologist and a co-author of the study. “While the test has already been clinically validated for detecting concussion in collegiate and professional athletes, we wanted to ensure it was also validated in adolescents.” [...]
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Apathy and agitation among otherwise healthy senior citizens may be an early sign of a condition leading to dementia, according to a study from Mayo Clinic published this month in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
Mayo researchers conducted a five-year prospective study to estimate the effect of initial neuropsychiatric symptoms to develop mild cognitive impairment. MCI is the intermediate stage between normal aging and dementia. People with MCI can develop dementia at a rate of 10 to 15 percent per year compared with 1 to 2 percent in the general population.
Researchers looked at data from the Mayo Clinic Study on Aging conducted in the early 2000s to compare behavioral symptoms to physiology from more than 10,000 people age 70 and above. Researchers studied psychiatric symptoms — agitation, apathy, anxiety, irritability and depression — at the baseline of the study and then again after five years to see if there were signs of MCI. It was determined that these baseline psychiatric symptoms are better predictors of increasing the risk of incident mild cognitive impairment than even physiological biomarkers, says study author Yonas Geda, M.D., a professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at Mayo Clinic in Arizona.
Journalists: Soundbites of Dr. Geda discussing the research are available in the downloads.