Posted by WBHI on Sep 26, 2011 in Think About It
by Avis Favaro for CTV News
Older people with low levels of vitamin B12 in their blood may be more likely to develop problems with their thinking skills and have more brain shrinkage, a new study suggests.
A growing body of research is drawing a link between low B12 and early cognitive decline, a condition that often leads to dementia. Previous research has found that those people with high levels of vitamin B12 in their blood have lower levels of an amino acid called homocysteine, which some studies have linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss, and stroke.
This new study looked at 121 people over the age of 65 in Chicago. Researchers analyzed their blood for levels of vitamin B12 and B12-related metabolites that can indicate a B12 deficiency.
Posted by WBHI on Sep 15, 2011 in Think About It
by Dementia Guide
Sundowning is an increase or appearance of agitation/confusion and other behavioural symptoms in the late afternoon or early evening when the person is awake. Sundowning should not be confused with sleep disturbances that occur at night, when the person is asleep.
Typically symptoms will appear or increase in the late afternoon or early evening. They can include repetitive behaviours or speech, pacing , restlessness, wandering, disorientation to time and place, and agitation or aggression towards others.
Posted by WBHI on Sep 15, 2011 in Think About It, Think Twice
Getting lost in familiar places, trouble following a group conversation are red flags, study finds.
by Amanda Gardner for HealthDay News
Those “senior moments” that plague so many aging Baby Boomers may or may not be a sign of more serious problems down the line.
New research finds that losing your train of thought or forgetting where you placed your keys may be a fairly benign — albeit annoying — sign of age. But having trouble remembering what happened a few minutes ago, or getting lost in familiar places, may be more serious.
The information, published in the September issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, should help primary care physicians sort out the mundane from the more troublesome when they see elderly patients.
“They should be asking their patients if they have any complaints [about memory or thinking skills],” said study lead author Rebecca Amariglio, a neuropsychologist with Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. “When you’re getting old, it’s common to ignore these complaints.”
Posted by WBHI on Sep 14, 2011 in Think About It
by Always There
According to Reuter’s, about 28 million people out of 36 million have not had their Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosed. Here are the 10 warning signs the Alzheimer’s Association recommends you should be looking for to catch an early diagnoses:
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life.
- Challenges in planning or solving problems.
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, work or leisure.
- Confusion with time or place.
- Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships.
- New problems with words in speaking or writing.
- Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps.
- Decreased or poor judgement.
- Withdrawal from work or social activities.
- Changes in mood or personality.
Posted by WBHI on Sep 13, 2011 in Think About It
by The Alzheimer’s Association
A new report released by Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) shows that there are a variety of beneficial treatments and interventions – including drug and non-drug therapies – for people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, even in the early stages of the disease. In addition, the report’s review of economic models suggests a possible financial benefit to countries and healthcare systems with early diagnosis and treatment/intervention.
As a result, ADI recommends that every country develop a national dementia strategy that promotes early diagnosis and intervention. According to ADI, key pillars should include:
1) Raising awareness of the value of early detection and available interventions.
2) Strengthening the medical and service infrastructure.
3) Funding Alzheimer’s/dementia research – especially randomized controlled trials to test the efficacy of interventions specifically tailored to those with early-stage dementia.
Posted by WBHI on Sep 6, 2011 in Think Outside The Box
by Dan Even for Haaretz
A cinnamon extract inhibits the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD ), Tel Aviv University scientists have discovered.
The scientists, headed by Prof. Michael Ovadia of the zoology department in the life sciences faculty, have isolated a substance from the cinnamon plant, referred to as CEppt, which inhibited the disease in laboratory mice.
In the first stage, the scientists succeeded in showing with an electron microscope that the CEppt extract inhibits the creation of amyloid molecules. Extracting the substance involved creating powder from cinnamon sticks with a coffee grinder and isolating it in a solution in 4 degrees Celsius until use, the study says.
They then mixed the extract with the drinking water of mice and flies and examined the effect. The flies were raised with an Alzheimer’s stimulating gene and the mice were raised with five genetic mutations that cause an aggressive development of Alzheimer’s from the age of two months.
After four months the scientists found the disease’s development had slowed down and the animals’ longevity and activity resembled that of their healthy counterparts.
Posted by WBHI on Sep 1, 2011 in Think Outside The Box
by Dementia Today
University of British Columbia scientists may have uncovered a new explanation for how Alzheimer’s disease destroys the brain — a profusion of blood vessels.
While the death of cells, whether they are in the walls of blood vessels or in brain tissue, has been a major focus of Alzheimer’s disease research, a team led by Wilfred Jefferies, a professor in UBC’s Michael Smith Laboratories, has shown that the neurodegenerative disease might in fact be caused by the propagation of cells in blood vessel walls.
Examining brain tissue from mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease, Jefferies’ team found nearly double the density of capillaries compared to normal mice. They also found a similarly higher density of capillaries in brain samples of people who had died of the disease, compared to samples from people who didn’t have it.
Jefferies, in an article published online August 31 by PLoS One, theorizes that the profusion of blood vessels is stimulated by amyloid beta, a protein fragment that has become a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. The blood vessel growth, or “neo-angiogenesis,” leads to a breakdown of the blood-brain barrier — the tightly interlocked network of cells that allows oxygen-carrying blood to reach brain tissue while blocking harmful substances, such as viruses.