Posted by WBHI on Jan 20, 2012 in Think Outside The Box
Will help lead researchers towards new treatments
by Health Canal
A new study challenges conventional thinking about how brain cells die in Alzheimer’s disease. The findings demonstrate a previously unknown mechanism by which the cells die and will help lead researchers in new directions for treating the degenerative brain disease. The study by scientists at the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute is published this week in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Posted by WBHI on Jan 19, 2012 in Think Outside The Box
by Elizabeth Nolan Brown for BlissTree
With Alzheimer’s and dementia increasing and baby boomers aging, it seems everyone from researchers to video game makers are focused on brain health like never before. And a lot of the results are encouraging: Turns out, ‘cognitive decline’ isn’t totally the crapshoot many once thought it was. A nutritious diet, keeping active, hormones and even a college degree can influence your chances of staying sharp while you age and avoiding Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. But new research indicates that genes do not have an impact on how much brain power you’ll lose over your lifetime and to a much higher degree than ever before estimated.
by YouDocs Mehmet Oz and Mike Roizen for The Toronto Star
Fond of your brain? Treasure your memories? If you didn’t hear this the first 99 times, we at You Docs hope the 100th will do it:
1. Take 900 mg of DHA omega-3s a day. Why so much emphasis on these good fats? Your brain is 60 per cent fat — and half of that is DHA. It keeps your brain cells flexible, fluid and communicating well. Your body can’t make DHA, so you have to get it from food or supplements. We get our DHA from algae-based capsules, not fish oil, to limit concerns about toxins in fish.
Good nutrition—and especially good iron levels—in the teen years could be the secret to maintaining healthy brain function as we age.
by Norah Simmons for New Hope 360 Blog
A new study conducted by UCLA researchers and published online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has shed more light on the role and importance of iron on long-term brain function.
In the Science Daily article covering the study, lead researcher and UCLA neurology professor Paul Thompson commented, ”We found that healthy brain wiring in adults depended on having good iron levels in your teenage years. This connection was a lot stronger than we expected, especially as we were looking at people who were young and healthy—none of them would be considered iron-deficient.” Thompson went on to say, “We also found a connection with a gene that explains why this is so. The gene itself seems to affect brain wiring, which was a big surprise,” he said.
Posted by WBHI on Jan 18, 2012 in Think It Over
Elderly people with dementia are more likely to suffer falls if they are given anti-depressants by care home staff, a study claims.
by BBC News Health
Many dementia patients also suffer from depression and drugs known as selective serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are frequently prescribed. But the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology reports that the risk of injuries from falls was tripled.
The Alzheimer’s Society called for more research into alternative treatments.
The risk of falls following treatment with older anti-depressants is well established, as the medication can cause side effects such as dizziness and unsteadiness. It had been hoped that a move to newer SSRI-type drugs would reduce this problems, but the latest research, from the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, appears to show the reverse.
by Laura Shin For SmartPlanet
If you were told that you had a genetic predisposition to develop a disease, you might understandably resign yourself to getting it someday.
But a new study offers hope that, when it comes to our genes, we have more control over our destinies than we think. And all it comes down to is something as simple as a daily jog or walk.
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis’s Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center conducted a study of 201 people, some of whom had family histories of Alzheimer’s and others who didn’t. None of them showed outward signs of the disease at the beginning of the study.
Could the size of your jeans be inversely related to the size of your brain?
by Keith L. Black, MD for Everyday Health
Could the size of your jeans be inversely related to the size of your brain? Possibly. A recent study, published in the medical journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience found that healthy elderly adults with more visceral fat around their middles had smaller brains and performed more poorly on memory tests than those with slimmer waistlines. Low brain volume often indicates a greater risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
We’ve known for awhile that visceral fat — the deep fat between the organs that we can’t see or feel — poses more health risks than subcutaneous fat, which is that extra padding that lies just below the skin that most people associate as body fat. Many studies have linked abdominal visceral fat to an elevated risk of diabetes, heart disease and even certain cancers.
Posted by WBHI on Jan 12, 2012 in Think It Over
by Jeremy Laurance for The Independent
Internet addiction has for the first time been linked with changes in the brain similar to those seen in people addicted to alcohol, cocaine and cannabis. In a groundbreaking study, researchers used MRI scanners to reveal abnormalities in the brains of adolescents who spent many hours on the internet, to the detriment of their social and personal lives. The finding could throw light on other behavioural problems and lead to the development of new approaches to treatment, researchers said.
An estimated 5 to 10 per cent of internet users are thought to be addicted – meaning they are unable to control their use. The majority are games players who become so absorbed in the activity they go without food or drink for long periods and their education, work and relationships suffer.
Posted by WBHI on Nov 10, 2011 in Great Minds Think Alike
by Anna Ferguson Hall for Life Extension Daily News
Like clockwork, the Brunswick resident stops by the library every other week, checking out as many books as she can carry. Last week, she signed out 14.
“I can really only carry about 12 or so in my bag, but I just stuff as many as possible in it anyway,” Connell said. “There is no limit on how many you can check out, so I take advantage of that, you’d say. I read at least six books a week.”
At 71, Connell is an active reader with a sharp mind. She is quick on her feet, clever and vivacious. She loves the TV trivia show “Jeopardy!” and usually knows most of the answers. She can do several tasks at once and has a mind like a steel trap.
Posted by WBHI on Apr 8, 2011 in Great Minds Think Alike
by Carolyn Schatz, Editor for Harvard Women’s Health Watch
When I’m stressed, I listen to a 20-minute mindfulness meditation tape. It always helps me feel calmer and more relaxed. Many meditative practices can do this.
But mindfulness meditation is getting a lot of attention because it seems to help with so many physical and psychological problems—like high blood pressure, chronic pain, psoriasis, sleep trouble, anxiety, and depression. It’s also been shown to boost immune function and stop binge eating. No one knows for sure what’s behind these benefits, but physical changes in the brain probably play a role.