Posted by WBHI on Jun 18, 2013 in Think Outside The Box
by Science Codex:
The distribution of white matter brain abnormalities in some patients after mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) closely resembles that found in early Alzheimer’s dementia, according to a new study published online in the journal Radiology.
“Findings of MTBI bear a striking resemblance to those seen in early Alzheimer’s dementia,” said the study’s lead author, Saeed Fakhran, M.D., assistant professor of radiology in the Division of Neuroradiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “Additional research may help further elucidate a link between these two disease processes.”
MTBI, or concussion, affects more than 1.7 million people in the United States annually. Despite the name, these injuries are by no means mild, with approximately 15 percent of concussion patients suffering persistent neurological symptoms.
Posted by WBHI on Jun 15, 2013 in Think Outside The Box
by Health India:
A Tel Aviv University research has developed a new peptide in her lab to protect and restore nerve cell communications.
A structure called ‘the microtubule network’ is a crucial part of our nervous system. It acts as a transportation system within nerve cells, carrying essential proteins and enabling cell-to-cell communications. But in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, ALS, and Parkinson’s, this network breaks down, hindering motor abilities and cognitive function.
Now, the new peptide, called NAP or Davunetide, developed by Prof. Illana Gozes of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine, has the capacity to both protect and restore microtubule function.
Posted by WBHI on Jun 8, 2013 in Think Outside The Box
by Red Orbit:
Spending twenty minutes in one popular form of yoga is better for your brain than participating in vigorous exercise over the same amount of time, researchers at the Exercise Psychology Laboratory (EPL) at the University of Illinois have discovered.
According to Glamour Health Writer Lexi Petronis, the researchers had 30 female participants go through a single 20-minute Hatha yoga session, and then spend 20 minutes working out using a treadmill. After each session, the researchers measured those ladies’ reaction time and accuracy level on different cognitive tasks.
“The yoga intervention involved a 20-minute progression of seated, standing and supine yoga postures that included isometric contraction and relaxation of different muscle groups and regulated breathing. The session concluded with a meditative posture and deep breathing,” UPI reporters explained. “The participants also completed an aerobic exercise session where they walked or jogged on a treadmill for 20 minutes.”
Posted by WBHI on Jun 3, 2013 in Think Outside The Box
by Science Codex:
The width of blood vessels in the retina, located at the back of the eye, may indicate brain health years before the onset of dementia and other deficits, according to a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
Research shows that younger people who score low on intelligence tests, such as IQ, tend to be at higher risk for poorer health and shorter lifespan, but factors like socioeconomic status and health behaviors don’t fully account for the relationship. Psychological scientist Idan Shalev of Duke University and colleagues wondered whether intelligence might serve as a marker indicating the health of the brain, and specifically the health of the system of blood vessels that provides oxygen and nutrients to the brain.
by Medical XPress:
CLA researchers now have the first evidence that bacteria ingested in food can affect brain function in humans. In an early proof-of-concept study of healthy women, they found that women who regularly consumed beneficial bacteria known as probiotics through yogurt showed altered brain function, both while in a resting state and in response to an emotion-recognition task.
The discovery that changing the bacterial environment, or microbiota, in the gut can affect the brain carries significant implications for future research that could point the way toward dietary or drug interventions to improve brain function, the researchers said.
by Alice G. Walton for Forbes:
As more problems arise with pharmaceutical treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, two new studies suggest that compounds in cinnamon and vitamins B12, B6, and folate may offer some protection against the disease that presently affects some 5 million people in the U.S.
Just today a new study in Science suggested that last year’s “breakthrough” pharmaceutical, bexarotene (Targretin) – a cancer drug that had initially received wide publicity for helping break up the plaques in Alzheimer’s – doesn’t seem to do this very well at all, and can have significant adverse side effects for the patient. “Something happened in that initial report – either something technically or otherwise, which we can’t put our hands on at this point in time,” study author Sangram Sisodia told US News & World Report. “Something is seriously wrong.”
There may well exist Alzheimer’s medications that show promise, and this route shouldn’t be discounted. But two new studies also hint that other types of compounds may hold significant potential in delaying the onset of the disease, and perhaps even in slowing its progression in the brain.
Posted by WBHI on May 24, 2013 in Think Outside The Box
by Red Orbit:
Two compounds found in cinnamon could play a role in delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, and could even prevent the neurodegenerative condition, according to new research published online in The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease on Thursday.
The study authors, Roshni George and Donald Graves of the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), explained that the compounds cinnamaldehyde and epicatechin have shown promise in fighting Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia. They said that those substances have been shown to prevent the formation of the development of the filamentous “tangles” found in the brain cells that characterize the disease.
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 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 5, 2013 in Think Outside The Box
by Victoria Ward for The Telegraph:
Researchers found that three glasses of bubbly a day could help ward off brain disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
They discovered that a compound found in the black grapes, Pinot noir and Pinot meunier, both of which are used for champagne, helps stave off forgetfulness. Jeremy Spencer, a biochemistry professor at Reading University, said: “Dementia probably starts in the 40s and goes on to the 80s. It is a gradual decline and so the earlier people take these beneficial compounds in champagne, the better.”
It is not the first time scientists have identified health benefits in champagne. In 2009, the same team found that it was as good for the heart as cocoa or red wine polyphenol antioxidants, which are believed to reduce the effects of cell-damaging free radicals in the body.