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What is generalized cerebral volume loss?

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Generalized cerebral volume loss refers to a loss of brain cells affecting the whole brain, states the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Symptoms of cerebral atrophy, notes NINDS, may include dementia, seizures and aphasia.

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Dementia affects 10 to 16 percent of individuals over the age of 75 and half of the 85-and-older population, according to Oregon Health and Science University, and early diagnosis is critical to identify treatable causes, to assist in the management of dementia and related illnesses, and to offer support services to patients and families. Cerebral volume loss, according to NINDS, may be caused by diseases, disorders and brain injuries, and can also result from normal aging, notes the National Institutes of Health.

However, while normal aging causes cerebral atrophy and age-related memory loss, researchers at OHSU have identified differences in rates of total brain volume loss that could help to identify individuals at risk of developing dementia. Strategies for the prevention of dementia currently being studied by OHSU researchers include the use of prescription drugs, supplements such as vitamin E and ginkgo biloba, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents and cholesterol-lowering 'statin' drugs. OHSU researchers further state that nutritional interventions, physical exercise and mental exercise may also be studied in the future.

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