Posted by WBHI on May 31, 2011 in Think About It
by Dr. Oz:
Memory loss becomes more common as we get older, but it can also be a warning sign of one of the cruelest diseases: Alzheimer’s. Use this simple test to evaluate your memory and learn if you are at risk.
Storing a memory is a standard process for your brain. Healthy cells communicate to each other and pass the memory to the hippocampus, the area of your brain used for storage. When you need that memory, the process works in reverse and you can recall it.
As you age, you have fewer brain cells, and it takes longer for your cells to communicate – thus making it harder to remember your memories. In someone suffering with Alzheimer’s disease, plaque destroys the connection to the hippocampus and they access to the stored memories is lost.
Posted by WBHI on May 18, 2011 in Think About It
by Health Day News
A gene allele that increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease starts to damage the brain 50 years before symptoms of the disease appear, a new study suggests.
An allele is one of two or more forms of a gene.
In 2009, scientists concluded that the clusterin (CLU) gene boosts the chances of Alzheimer’s disease by 16 percent, but it wasn’t clear how it increased risk.
This new study concluded that the C-allele of the CLU gene impairs development of myelin, the protective covering around the axons of neurons in the brain. This impairs brain wiring and can make a person more vulnerable to the onset of Alzheimer’s later in life.
About 88 percent of whites have the CLU C-allele, according to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers.
For this study, they used a newer type of MRI to map the connections in the brains of nearly 400 healthy adults aged 20 to 30. The scans revealed that participants with the CLU C-allele had lower white matter integrity than those with a different variant called the CLU T-allele.
Posted by WBHI on May 14, 2011 in Helpful Thinking
by Fiona Macrae for The Daily Mail
An early warning test for Alzheimer’s that can be taken online in 15 minutes has been developed by British scientists. It can spot signs of the debilitating brain disease in people as young as 50.
The computer-based interactive quiz provides an instant result and could help delay or prevent the condition by advising simple diet and lifestyle changes.
Experts say that delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s by five years could halve the number who die with the condition, currently a third of over-65s. This has led scientists around the world to try to create blood and other tests that spot the disease early.
But most are still in the early stages of development and none, other than the new Cognitive Function Test, which has been devised by Oxford University scientists, can be taken online in the comfort of a person’s own home.
This is likely to make it popular with those who fear their memory is failing but are too embarrassed to discuss their worries with their doctor. The test, which is free to take, follows a landmark Oxford University study published last year which credits a simple vitamin pill with cutting brain shrinkage linked to Alzheimer’s by up to 500 per cent.
Studies show that vacation time can go a long way in reducing stress and bringing our brains back to a more even keel.
by Karen Raven for Los Angeles Times
If you answered no, hooray for you! (And, by the way, what planet are you from?)
But if you answered yes (like any normal member of the human race), you’re likely heartened by the arrival of vacation season. Just the ticket for a little stress-reduction. And that can have some big payoffs. It can lower your blood pressure, boost your immune system and help you live longer. It may even make you smarter.
Posted by WBHI on May 6, 2011 in Think It Over
by John Phillip for Natural News
Researchers from the American Academy of Neurology publishing in the journalNeurologyhave released the result of a study showing that being overweight or obese in midlife significantly increases the risk of developing certain forms of dementia, including Alzheimer`s disease, as we age. Worldwide this places 1.6 billion people at risk, including more than half of the US adult population.
Similar research reported in theJournal of the American College of Cardiologyfound that even small increases in body weight during midlife significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Both studies conclude you can dramatically lower your risk of heart disease and many forms of dementia by controlling excess weight and participating in regular exercise.
Researchers examined more than 8,500 twins listed in the Swedish Twins Registry and monitored participants’ height and body weight over a period of 30 years. The twins were placed into groups based on their BMI (Body Mass Index) recorded during midlife. This information was compared with a diagnosis of dementia after reaching the age of 65.
The study determined that participants classified as overweight (BMI range of 25 to 30) and obese (BMI above 30) at midlife had an 80% increased risk of developing dementia, Alzheimer`s disease or vascular dementia (typically caused by mini strokes) compared to those with normal BMI. The researchers found that the study results confirm the growing body of evidence that controlling or reducing body weight in midlife can significantly reduce risk of dementia.
Posted by WBHI on May 3, 2011 in Think It Over
by Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation
Scientists have long been studying beta-amyloid, the sticky protein that builds up in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s disease. Everyone makes beta-amyloid, but in those with Alzheimer’s disease, the protein accumulates to toxic levels, eventually forming clumps in the brain called plaque that may play a part in damaging brain cells critical for thinking and memory.
But does this buildup of plaque occur in Alzheimer’s patients because they make too much beta-amyloid? Or are they unable to clear the sticky protein that naturally forms, the way healthy people do?
Researchers now have a better answer to these questions. It appears that those with Alzheimer’s make perfectly normal amounts of beta-amyloid. The problem is that they are unable to clear it from their brains.