Posted by WBHI on May 18, 2013 in Think Ahead
by DNA India:
Heavy drinkers who smoke have more problems with their memory, ability to think quickly and efficiently, and problem-solving skills, a study has suggested.
The study looks at the interactive effects of smoking status and age on neurocognition in one-month-abstinent alcohol dependent (AD) individuals in treatment.
“Several factors – nutrition, exercise, comorbid medical conditions such as hypertension and diabetes, psychiatric conditions such as depressive disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder, and genetic predispositions – may also influence cognitive functioning during early abstinence,” Timothy C. Durazzo, assistant professor in the department of radiology and biomedical imageing at the University of California San Francisco, and corresponding author for the study, said.
Posted by WBHI on May 16, 2013 in Think Twice
by Todd Neale for MedPage Today:
Depression appears to be a risk factor for stroke among middle-age women, even after accounting for other variables, an Australian study showed.
Among women in their late 40s and early 50s who were followed for up to 12 years, meeting criteria for depression was associated with more than double the likelihood of having a stroke (OR 2.41, 95% CI 1.78-3.27), according to Caroline Jackson, PhD, and Gita Mishra, PhD, of the University of Queensland in Australia.
The relationship was partly explained by age, socioeconomic status, lifestyle, and physiological factors, but remained statistically significant after adjustment for those variables (OR 1.94, 95% CI 1.37- 2.74), they reported online in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.
by Sally Rummel for TC Times:
If you’re making lists to help you remember all that you have to do in a day, the most important list by far is your grocery list.
That’s because the food you buy at the grocery store will actually help you “supercharge” your brain, if you make the right choices. Even as people age chronologically, we can maintain a healthy brain into “old age” by adding these smart foods to our daily diets.
Not surprisingly, women and men require different foods, because there are clear differences between male and female brains.
Posted by WBHI on May 15, 2013 in Think Outside The Box
by Catherine Winters for Huffington Post:
Though it’s smart to take steps to prevent skin cancer, people diagnosed with the non-melanoma types of the disease may have a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, a new study finds.
Study participants who had been diagnosed with either basel cell or squamous cell skin cancer were nearly 80 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s, according to researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.
The researchers followed 1,102 people age 70 and older, for an average of 3.7 years, checking them annually for Alzheimer’s and skin cancer. All participants were enrolled in an ongoing study of aging in New York City.
Posted by WBHI on May 14, 2013 in Sooner Than You Think
by Huffington Post:
Researchers have figured out new ways to identify who is at risk of developing Alzheimer’s, an incurable brain disease that affects 5.4 million Americans.
By studying spinal fluid samples and health data from 201 research participants at the Charles F. and Joanne Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown various biomarkers are reliable predictors of Alzheimer’s even years before symptoms become evident.
The findings, researchers say, provide more proof that scientists can detect Alzheimer’s well before the onset of memory loss and cognitive decline.
Posted by WBHI on May 14, 2013 in Think Outside The Box
by John Farrell for Forbes:
A Team of Researchers in Japan have been reprogramming cells from patients with Alzheimer’s into neurons to model the progress of the disease and develop potential therapies that can aid at least a subset of patients suffering from it.
As I’ve written before, many researchers expect that the biggest breakthroughs with stem cells are in the short term more likely to be in the realm of drug discovery rather than tissue or organ regeneration. (Not to take away from the crucial progress being made there.)
A major cause of Alzheimer’s is a protein called amyloid-β (beta) peptide, which builds up in the brain as a form of plaque.
In certain Alzheimer’s patients with a familial mutation in amyloid proteins, the build up of Aβ molecules, or oligomers, in neurons and astrocytes causes stress on a particular organelle of the cell called the endoplasmic reticulum.
Posted by WBHI on May 14, 2013 in Great Minds Think Alike
by Sumathi Reddy for The Wall Street Journal:
A new study reveals that adults who played a video game helped their mental agility more than adults who did crossword puzzles.
Cognitive-training games like Double Decision, are designed to improve brain functions and are at the center of a growing body of research looking at their effectiveness as scientists strive to find ways to ward off the cognitive declines that usually come with age.
A government-funded study published this month found that playing Double Decision can slow and even reverse declines in brain function associated with aging, while playing crossword puzzles cannot. The study builds on an earlier large trial which found that older people who played various cognitive games had better health-related outcomes, driving records and performed better at everyday tasks such as preparing a meal.
Posted by WBHI on May 13, 2013 in Think Ahead
by Jeff Hansel for Post Bulletin:
Researchers at Mayo Clinic continue to unravel dementia-related puzzles, taking steps toward one day effectively treating Alzheimer’s and other memory diseases.
The key, say scientists at Mayo in Rochester, seems to lie in a “treatment window” of more than a decade, from the time the disease takes root in the brain until the moment a person first shows outward symptoms.
“Our study suggests that plaques in the brain that are linked to a decline in memory and thinking abilities, called beta amyloid, take about 15 years to build up and then plateau,” Mayo radiologist Dr. Clifford Jack was quoted as saying in February, when the “treatment window” first was announced.
The study reviewed brain scans of plaque buildup in 260 people, age 70 to 92. Treatment of plaque buildup after it plateaus might not be effective, Jack said in an interview earlier this year. But earlier than that, during the treatment window, it could be. That means early diagnosis will provide more time to treat the disease once an effective treatment is found.
Posted by WBHI on May 10, 2013 in Better Thinking, Think Twice
by Kim Zarzour for York Region:
The human brain is intricate, complex and beautiful. So, too, is a new jewelry design by Richmond Hill jeweler, Mark Lash.
There’s a reason for the similarity.
Mr. Lash, who has created designs for celebrities from Celine Dion and Joan Rivers to Martin Sheen, has taken a very personal interest in his latest design. He wants to use his talents to help save our brains — in particular, the female brain.
That’s because 70 per cent of new Alzheimer’s sufferers are women, and women suffer from stroke, depression and dementia twice as much as men — and yet, most research still focuses on the male brain.
Watching his beloved grandmother succumb to the disease convinced Mr. Lash that this was wrong.
Posted by WBHI on May 8, 2013 in Think It Over
Elevated blood sugar levels may increase a person’s risk for Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study.
Previous research has suggested that diabetes may be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s, but University of Arizona researchers wanted to examine if high blood sugar levels in people without diabetes may also increase the chances of developing Alzheimer’s.
The study included 124 people, aged 47 to 68, who were diabetes-free and had normal brain function, but did have a family history of Alzheimer’s. The participants underwent scans that revealed metabolic activity in the brain.