by Alice G. Walton for Forbes:
As more problems arise with pharmaceutical treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, two new studies suggest that compounds in cinnamon and vitamins B12, B6, and folate may offer some protection against the disease that presently affects some 5 million people in the U.S.
Just today a new study in Science suggested that last year’s “breakthrough” pharmaceutical, bexarotene (Targretin) – a cancer drug that had initially received wide publicity for helping break up the plaques in Alzheimer’s – doesn’t seem to do this very well at all, and can have significant adverse side effects for the patient. “Something happened in that initial report – either something technically or otherwise, which we can’t put our hands on at this point in time,” study author Sangram Sisodia told US News & World Report. “Something is seriously wrong.”
There may well exist Alzheimer’s medications that show promise, and this route shouldn’t be discounted. But two new studies also hint that other types of compounds may hold significant potential in delaying the onset of the disease, and perhaps even in slowing its progression in the brain.
Posted by WBHI on May 24, 2013 in Think Outside The Box
by Red Orbit:
Two compounds found in cinnamon could play a role in delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, and could even prevent the neurodegenerative condition, according to new research published online in The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease on Thursday.
The study authors, Roshni George and Donald Graves of the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), explained that the compounds cinnamaldehyde and epicatechin have shown promise in fighting Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia. They said that those substances have been shown to prevent the formation of the development of the filamentous “tangles” found in the brain cells that characterize the disease.
Posted by WBHI on May 23, 2013 in Helpful Thinking
by Marie Marley for Huffington Post:
Being an Alzheimer’s caregiver is hard work that requires a lot of knowledge and many skills for getting along and for connecting with the person. Here are some tips to help you out on your caregiving journey:
1. Don’t Be in Denial: It’s only natural to be in denial when a loved one begins to show signs of dementia, but that only prevents the person from getting a diagnosis, starting treatment and planning for the future.
2. Don’t Ask, “Do You Remember?” Of course they can’t remember. If they could remember, they wouldn’t be diagnosed with dementia. Asking if they remember some person or event could make them frustrated.
Posted by WBHI on May 23, 2013 in Wishful Thinking
by Helen Shen for Scientific American:
Four labs can’t replicate finding that showed large-scale clearance of disease-related plaques. but some hope remains for improving memory.
Bexarotene, a cancer drug touted as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, may not be the blockbuster remedy scientists were hoping for, according to several analyses published in Science on 24 May. Four independent research groups report that they failed to fully replicate striking results published in the journal last year by Gary Landreth, a neuroscientist at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, and his colleagues.
Landreth’s team reported that the drug bexarotene could lower brain concentrations of the β-amyloid protein that has long been suspected as a key contributor to Alzheimer’s disease, and could even reverse cognitive impairments in diseased mice. But the study garnered particular attention for its claim that the drug could clear 50% of amyloid plaques — sticky clumps of the protein thought to interfere with brain function — in as little as 72 hours.
Posted by WBHI on May 23, 2013 in Think About It
by Datis Kharrazian, DC, DHSc, MS, MNeuroSci:
Menopause and diet can affect brain health.
Lucy, 44, suffered from poor memory, poor mental endurance, and episodes of vertigo. She could no longer remember basic phone numbers and was having difficulty remembering people’s names.
She began changing her daily routine to compensate for her lack of brain function and carried a notepad every place she went so she could write down the things she could no longer remember. She also had episodes of vertigo that would last several minutes and made it feel like the world was twirling around her. She saw many different physicians and was prescribed seasickness medication for her vertigo and told her memory loss was due to getting older.
Posted by WBHI on May 22, 2013 in Think Twice
by Ansa Varughese for Medical Daily:
A woman’s stress is anything but easy, from juggling work to taking care of family to upholding her appearance. A new book reveals that it can take a true psychological toll on her health.
The Stressed Sex: Uncovering The Truth About Men, Women and Mental Health, written by Jason Freeman, a professor of clinical psychology and senior clinical fellow of the Medical Research Council at the University of Oxford, was published on Thursday.
Freeman’s investigation found that psychological disorders are 20 to 40 percent higher in women than men.
Women suffer from higher rates of depression, panic disorders, phobias, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and eating disorders.
Posted by WBHI on May 21, 2013 in Think About It
by The Japan Times:
The devastating effect of Alzheimer’s disease on bilingual people has been thrown into focus in Canada, where the sudden loss of a second language can leave sufferers feeling like strangers in their own country.
Despite increasing evidence that bilingualism can actually delay the onset of dementia, those grappling with the ravages of the disease often find themselves isolated by the lack of essential services in their language of choice.
When Alzheimer’s strikes, a person’s people’s ability to communicate in their second language often erodes rapidly.
Posted by WBHI on May 21, 2013 in Sooner Than You Think
by Brian Krans for HealthLine:
Of all the reasons to rethink how much you’re eating, a healthy, functioning brain in your golden years might be the best motivation.
New research published in The Journal of Neuroscience says that calorie restriction activates an enzyme that delays the loss of neurons and protects brain function.
While testing has only been done in mice, for now, researchers are working on an experimental new drug that may prevent the human brain from aging.
SIRT1: The Body’s Fountain of Youth?
The secret is the enzyme Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1), which prior research suggests can protect cells from the harmful effects of aging, including mental decline.
Posted by WBHI on May 20, 2013 in Think About It
by Andrea Gerlin for Newsweek:
A cheap regimen of vitamins in use for decades is seen by scientists as a way to delay the start of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, a goal that prescription drugs have failed to achieve.
Drugmakers including Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Pfizer Inc. (PFE) and Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) have spent billions of dollars on ineffective therapies in a so-far fruitless effort to come up with a treatment for dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Now, in the latest of a steady drumbeat of research that suggests diet, exercise and socializing remain patients’ best hope, a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that vitamins B6 and B12 combined with folic acid slowed atrophy of gray matter in brain areas affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
“You don’t have any other options for these patients, so why not try giving them this cocktail of B vitamins?” says Johan Lokk, a professor and head physician in the geriatric department at Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge in Sweden, who wasn’t involved in the study.
Posted by WBHI on May 20, 2013 in Think About It
by Alvaro Fernandez for Huffington Post:
These days, we all live under tremendous stress — economic challenges, job demands, family tension, always-on technology and the 24-hour news cycle all contribute to ceaseless worry, many times over things that are completely beyond our personal control. While many have learned to simply “live with it,” this ongoing stress can have a serious negative impact on our ability to think clearly and make good decisions.
Studies show that chronic stress can also be a significant contributing factor to depression, and a recent German study published in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews also linked stress-related depression to a higher risk of cognitive decline and the development of Alzheimer’s disease.