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Eye and smell tests may reveal early dementia signs

Simple eye and smell tests could be used to spot dementia years before people experience memory symptoms, research suggests.

Researchers at Moorfields eye hospital and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology found a link between poor cognitive ability – a “clear warning sign” of the early stages of Alzheimer’s – and the thickness of people’s retinal nerves.

In a trial of more than 33,000 participants who were tested on memory, reaction time and reasoning, eye scans showed the nerve fibre layer was significantly thinner among those who performed poorly on cognitive tests.

Exercise can change brain structure and reduce dementia risk

Getting regular exercise can lower the risk of cognitive decline and can even change our brain structure and improve its functioning, according to a new consensus statement issued today by the Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH).

Brisk walking, cycling, strength training, and group exercise classes can provide brain health benefits, as well as overall health benefits.

Read more on the University of Exeter website.

Well-designed gardens can help people living with dementia

Over the summer months, when we are all spending more time in our gardens, it is worth remembering that outside areas can offer a lot to people with dementia.

But their design makes a big difference as to how they can be enjoyed in a safe, engaging way.

Read more on the Bournemouth Echo website.

Abbeyfield’s Golden Gallery: Art & Soul exhibition

Dates: 16 Jun - 14 Oct 2016
Venue: Birmingham Museums and Art Galleries

Then touring to Nottingham City Arts, St Albans, Belfast

A pioneering new exhibition highlighting the therapeutic benefits art brings to older people - particularly those living with dementia and other medical conditions. National charity, The Abbeyfield Society, has been working with residents living at its houses and homes across the UK to create this stunning showcase of paintings, sculptures and textiles.

Dementia cannot be caught through blood transfusions, say scientists

Dementia cannot be caught through blood transfusions, a new study has shown. 

Last year researchers at University College London warned that some patients who had contracted Creuzfeldt Jakob Disease (CJD) through medical accidents also had Alzheimer’s disease, suggesting that the diseases were transmitted at the same time.  They warned that ‘theoretically’ the seeds of dementia could be accidentally passed on through a blood transfusion.

But now a large study by the Karolinska Institute in Sweden has found that there is no risk of transference.