Research news in brief Autumn 2017

From our autumn 2017 issue of Care and Cure magazine, here's the research news in brief.

Atomic precision

Researchers at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology have revealed the atomic structure of tau for the first time. Tau is one of the characteristic proteins that build up in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. The incredibly detailed new picture of this protein could help scientists to design more precise drugs to act on it and stop damage to the brain.

Effects of stress

Stress in early life could influence thinking abilities later on, according to research presented at a conference in London. However, whether these stressful life events lead to an increased risk of dementia remains to be established. Research carried out over a longer timescale is needed to unravel these links.

Crossword clues

People who do more crosswords or other word puzzles tend to have slightly better memory and thinking skills, according to research from the University of Exeter. We don’t know whether regular ‘puzzling’ improves these skills, or whether other differences between people who do the puzzles and people who don’t might explain the link.

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