Can poor oral health accelerate cognitive decline?

A new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reviews studies focused on oral health and cognition. It is possible that better oral hygiene and regular dental visits may play a role in slowing cognitive decline as one ages. Researchers have questioned whether there is an association between oral health and cognition for older adults. Evidence suggests that the frequency of oral health problems increases in those that are cognitively impaired. Furthermore, factors associated with poor oral health like poor nutrition and systemic diseases are also associated with poor cognition. Researchers analyzed relevant cross-sectional (data collected at one specific point in time) and longitudinal (data collected over an extended period of time) studies published between 1993 and 2013. Some studies found that oral health measures such as the number of teeth, the number of cavities, and the presence of periodontal disease (gum … Read more

Are Migraine Related Changes Related to Impaired Cognition?

A recent study titled “Structural Brain Changes in Migraine,” appears in The Journal of the American Medical Association, November 14, 2012, vol. 308, no. 13, pp. 1189-1897, by Inge H. Palm-Meinders et al. The study set out to follow-up the 2000 Cerebral Abnormalities in Migraine, an Epidemiological Risk Analysis cohort (CAMERA-1), a prospective population based observational study of Dutch participants with migraine and an age and sex matched control group. This study showed that women with migraines were more likely to have scattered areas of white mater changes on MRI scans. The current study is known as CAMERA-2 and the researchers wanted to determine  whether women or men with migraine have a higher incidence of brain lesions 9 years after initial MRI, whether migraine frequency was associated with progression of brain lesions, and whether progression of brain lesions was associated … Read more

Do Migraines Lead to Cognitive Decline?

While many experience migraines, there are many unanswered questions. One such question researchers are interested is whether or not those who experience migraine headaches are also more likely to experience cognitive decline when compare to those who don’t suffer. Previous studies have shown that migraines lead to increased risk of stroke and structural brain lesions. A study that appeared in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) on August 8, 2012 says “Previous studies on migraines and cognitive decline were small and unable to identify a link between… [migraines and cognitive decline]. Our study was large enough to draw the conclusion that migraines, while painful, are not strongly linked to cognitive decline.” The researchers looked at data from the Women’s Health Study, a cohort of nearly 40,000 women, 45 years and older. In this study, researchers analyzed data from 6,349 women who … Read more