Larger Head Size Tied to Less Decline in Alzheimer’s PatientsLast Updated: July 12, 2010. Greater head circumference appears to be protective against cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer's disease, according to research published in the July 13 issue of Neurology.
MONDAY, July 12 (HealthDay News) -- Greater head circumference appears to be protective against cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer's disease, according to research published in the July 13 issue of Neurology.
Robert Perneczky, M.D., of the Technische Universität München in Germany, and colleagues analyzed the results of cognitive testing, APOE genotyping, and brain magnetic resonance imaging on 270 patients with Alzheimer's disease to determine whether there is a correlation between head circumference and cognitive performance in people with the same level of brain pathology.
The researchers found a significant decrease in cognitive function with brain atrophy, and also a significant interaction between head circumference and atrophy. In patients with higher levels of atrophy, those with a greater head circumference had higher levels of cognition.
"This study suggests that larger head circumference is associated with less cognitive impairment in the face of cerebral atrophy. This finding supports the notion that head circumference (and presumably brain size) offers protection against Alzheimer's disease symptoms through enhanced brain reserve," the authors conclude.
Four authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.
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