Here's the spring 2018 research news in brief.
Gingko? No go
A study earlier this year showed that a combination of ginkgo biloba plant extract and aspirin helped thinking and memory problems after a stroke. Despite the researchers not testing this treatment in people with dementia, and the fact that the majority of previous research disagrees with them, the researchers guessed that this treatment could also be used to treat Alzheimer’s. Our view remains that – unless there’s better evidence of its effectiveness in future –this is one leaf you don’t need in your salad.
A little help from your friends
Recent studies have reported that marriage could help to reduce the risk of dementia. However, marriage itself may not be responsible. Instead, these studies are believed to be showing the benefits of daily social contact and meaningful friendship. Making friends and keeping a rich social life may help to reduce risk of developing dementia.
Dementia in past populations
We sometimes think of dementia as a condition of modern times. However, a fascinating study from researchers at Bournemouth and Sheffield universities suggests there may have been greater numbers of older people in the past than generally assumed and more people with dementia, going back to prehistoric times. They also explore how people with dementia may have been supported as societies changed.