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By ruby R. Brougham

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Preservation of cognitive function with antihypertensive medications: A longitudinal analysis of a community-based sample of African Americans. Archives of Internal Medicine, 162, 2090-2096. , Esiri, M. , Hindley, N. , Morris, J. , King, E. , et al. (1998). Accuracy of clinical operational diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer's disease in relation to different pathological diagnostic protocols. Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, 9, 219-26. , and Kragh-Sorensen, P. (1998). Age-associated memory impairment – pathological memory decline or normal aging?

E. (2000). Decrease in cortisol reverses human hippocampal atrophy following treatment of Cushing’s disease. Biological Psychiatry, 46, 1595-1602. Starkman, M. , Gebarski, S. , and Schteingart, D. E. (2003). Improvement in learning associated with increase in hippocampal formation volume. Biological Psychiatry, 53, 233-238. Swan, F. , and La Rue, A. (1998). Systolic blood pressure tracking over 25 to 30 years and cognitive performance in older adults. Stroke, 29, 2334-2340. Swanwick, G. , et al.

At the molecular level, the primary driving mechanisms leading to progressive loss of brain cells involve normal adaptive and protective mechanisms such as free radical activity, inflammation, and apoptosis. In the initiation stage early changes compromise cell function. Over time, increased injury promotes further, accelerated homeostatic responses as well as other mechanisms such as production of intracellular neurofibrillary tangles and beta amyloid-related reduction of BDNF, which contribute to neuron dysfunction (but not death) in the initiation phase.

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