Posted by WBHI on Dec 30, 2011 in Sooner Than You Think
by Joe Rojas-Burke for Oregon Live
Harmful proteins that accumulate in the brain are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. But researchers are starting to pay a lot of attention to another likely factor: subtle damage to blood vessels.
A study out this week, for instance, found evidence that memory loss may be caused by “silent” strokes that go unnoticed but can be detected by high-resolution brain scans. As WebMD reported:
Previously, experts thought that memory loss among older adults was caused by deterioration in the hippocampus, the part of the brain involved in memory and other functions. Although that is still true, study researcher Adam Brickman, PhD, says his new research adds another possible cause to the list.
Posted by WBHI on Dec 28, 2011 in Think About It
Early diagnosis benefits patients and their families, experts say
by U.S. News
Knowing the warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease is important because it may lead to an early diagnosis, experts say.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, early diagnosis enables patients to:
- Plan ahead for the future.
- Potentially take part in a clinical drug trial.
- Start treatments that may help maintain independence for a longer time and possibly improve symptoms.
- Be involved in decisions about their care, living options, financial and legal matters.
- Cultivate relationships with doctors and care partners.
- Take advantage of care and support services that make it easier for patients and families to manage the disease.
Posted by WBHI on Dec 27, 2011 in Think Ahead
by Laura Paull for Huffington Post
They’re back: Estrogen supplements and hormone replacement therapies that women rejected en masse a decade ago when a major study reported significant health risks among subjects given estrogen, are returning to the arsenals of health professionals.
And the attitude shift is, to some extent, gender neutral. Testosterone replacement is also gaining acceptance as a useful therapy when natural levels of this hormone decline, producing symptoms that used to be synonymous with aging.
Posted by WBHI on Dec 23, 2011 in Think About It
by Click For Fitness:
The evidence linking the most common form of diabetes and the risk for Alzheimer’s disease has been growing for years. New research recently released in the journal Neurology makes the case even stronger.
For the study, Japanese doctors recruited volunteers, ages 60 and older, and followed them for 11 years. In addition to checking the participants’ medical history, the scientists gave them mental exams to determine whether they had symptoms of dementia and a glucose tolerance test to measure whether they had Type 2 diabetes.
Of 150 people with confirmed Type 2 diabetes at the beginning, 41 developed , compared to 115 who developed dementia out of 559 non-diabetics. That adds up to 27 percent rate of Alzheimer’s for diabetics, compared to a 20 percent rate for non-diabetics — or a 35 percent increased risk. Those with the most severe diabetes at the beginning had a more than threefold increase in the rate of dementia.
Posted by WBHI on Dec 21, 2011 in Think About It
by Catherine Pearson for Huffington Post
Measuring the thickness of certain spots in the brain may help researchers determine which symptom-free adults are at greater risk of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. The need for improved early detection is pressing: Alzheimer’s affects more than 5 million Americans and is the sixth leading cause of death among adults in the U.S.
In a new study published Wednesday in the journal Neurology, researchers used brain scans to assess the thickness of nine regions in the cerebral cortex — the so-called “gray matter” of the brain where most information processing occurs. Earlier research has suggested that those nine spots shrink in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
by Rajan for The Health Age
An Italian study claims that eating less could help you to remember more. The study says that missing dessert and taking after-dinner coffee instead could also be good for your brain plus waistline. The idea of near-starvation food improves health and extends life.
The phenomenon of near-starvation has long been known, but researchers have struggled to find what exactly is about cutting calories. A team led by Dr Giovambattista Pani from the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome, decided to focus on aprotein known as CREB1 that is known to be significant to memoryand learning. They carried out an experiment on mice.
Posted by WBHI on Dec 16, 2011 in Think Twice
A new study underscores that the physical consequences of alcoholism appear faster and are more severe for women than for men.
by Dirk Hanson for Scientic American
Alcohol abuse does its neurological damage more quickly in women than in men, new research suggests. The finding adds to a growing body of evidence that is prompting researchers to consider whether the time is ripe for single-gender treatment programs for alcohol-dependent women and men.
Over the past few decades scientists have observed a narrowing of the gender gap in alcohol dependence. In the 1980s the ratio of male to female alcohol dependence stood at roughly five males for every female, according to figures compiled by Shelly Greenfield, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. By 2002 the “dependence difference” had dropped to about 2.5 men for every woman. But although the gender gap in dependence may be closing, differences in the ways men and women respond to alcohol are emerging.
Posted by WBHI on Dec 13, 2011 in Think Twice
Timing of daily physical activity was also linked to odds for mental decline, study found
by U.S. News
An older woman’s sleep/wake cycle and levels of physical activity may affect her risk of developing dementia, a new study suggests.
It found that the risk of dementia or “mild cognitive impairment” (a state that sometimes precedes dementia) was higher in older women with weaker circadian rhythms who are either less physically active or more active later in the day, compared to those who have a stronger circadian rhythm and are more active earlier in the day.
Posted by WBHI on Dec 13, 2011 in Think About It
by Beth Gilbert for Everyday Health
Many people think of Alzheimer’s disease as a condition associated with memory loss and other cognitive decline. However, it’s considerably more complicated and serious than that. In fact, Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and, despite research efforts, it’s also among the top 10 diseases in the nation that cannot be prevented, reversed, or cured.
Death rates for many major diseases — including stroke, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and heart disease — actually declined between 2000 and 2008. But deaths from Alzheimer’s disease increased 66 percent during that period.
When Forgetfulness Turns Fatal
“Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease, which is not reversible,” says Muralidhar Reddy Moola, PhD, of the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Fla. “As the disease progresses, an individual loses his memory as well as mental and physical function — it is this function loss that leads ultimately to death. Once the disease starts, we are able to slow the progression with currently available medications — but we can’t stop it or reverse it.”
Though the disease process itself is not considered deadly, the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and, ultimately, the consequences of the disease are what make it lethal.
Posted by WBHI on Dec 13, 2011 in Think Ahead
by Kristina Fiore for Everyday Health
There’s little that individual vitamins and nutrients can do to prevent stroke, but overall healthier diets may lower the risk, an Australian researcher found.
In a review, neither antioxidant vitamins nor B-vitamins were associated with stroke prevention, but a healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, did appear to diminish risk, Graeme Hankey, MD, of Royal Perth Hospital in Australia, reported in The Lancet.
“The overall quality of an individual’s diet and balance between energy intake and expenditure seem to be more important determinants of stroke risk than individual nutrients and foods,” he wrote.
Hankey reviewed the literature on individual vitamins, nutrients, foods, and overall diets and their effects on stroke risk.
Vitamins & Minerals
Trials have shown that vitamin A won’t prevent stroke; in fact, it appears to up the risk of all-cause and cardiovascular death.
Similarly, trials have shown that vitamins C and E won’t prevent stroke, either, Hankey reported, adding that vitamin E may even increase the risk of death.