Memory tests predict dementia

If they have to remember words, elderly persons in an early stage of dementia do not benefit from the relationship in meaning between these words. This was revealed in doctoral research by the neuropsychologist Pauline Spaan from the University of Amsterdam. It is now possible to develop memory tests which can predict dementia. One of the things revealed in Spaan’s research was that elderly persons who were found to have dementia two years later, were scarcely better at remembering word pairs clearly linked in meaning (for example, pipe – cigar) than word pairs without such a link (for example nail – butter). However, elderly persons who did not have dementia two years later normally benefited from such a link in meaning when remembering word pairs.

NASA observatory reveals pileup on cosmic speedway

Lobes of unexpectedly hot gas speeding away from a black hole in our galaxy have been discovered with NASA ‘s Chandra X-ray Observatory. The high temperature and the distance of the lobes from the black hole indicate that violent collisions are occurring between clumps of gas expelled from the vicinity of the black hole. A key finding was evidence indicating rapidly moving hot iron atoms. “Just like a super-highway, it’s a dangerous world out there,” said Simone Migliari on the University of Amsterdam, lead author on a paper from a September 6, 2002 issue of Science magazine. “Blobs of gas are getting rear-ended at speeds in excess of a hundred million miles per hours!”