Posted by WBHI on May 11, 2012 in Think About It
by Dementia Today
GENETIC RISK FACTORS
Scientists who study the genetics of Alzheimer’s distinguish between “familial Alzheimer’s disease,” which runs in families, and “sporadic Alzheimer’s disease”, where no obvious inheritance pattern is seen. True familial Alzheimer’s disease accounts for less than 5% of Alzheimer’s cases. Sporadic Alzheimer’s is much more common.
Familial Alzheimer’s Disease
All Familial Alzheimer’s disease known so far has an early onset, and as many as 50 percent of the cases are now known to be caused by defects in three genes located on three different chromosomes, the structures inside cells that house the genetic code. Some families have mutations in a gene called amyloid precurser protein (APP), which causes an abnormal form of the amyloid protein to be produced. Other families have mutations in a gene called presenilin 1, which causes an abnormal presenilin 1 protein to be produced. Still others have mutations in a very similar gene called presenilin 2, which causes an abnormal presenilin 2 protein to be produced.
Posted by WBHI on May 10, 2012 in Think It Over
Type 2 diabetes and poor blood sugar may accelerate loss of brain size and function
by Travis Hill for RX Daily
As you grow old, your brain starts to get smaller and lose power. Certain diseases can make this decline in brain function even worse. It seems diabetes may be one of these diseases.
Pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes may speed up the decline in brain size and mental function associated with aging.
It is normal to lose brain volume as you age. However, elderly people with high blood sugar – such as those with diabetes and pre-diabetes – appear to lose more brain volume than those without diabetes over a two year period, according to a recent study led by Katherine Samaras, Ph.D., of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, and colleagues.
The frontal lobe is a part of the brain associated with decision-making, long-term memory, and emotional control. When the frontal lobe gets smaller, it can have a heavy effect on a person’s mental function and quality of life.
Dr. Samaras and colleagues found that people with out-of-control blood sugar levels lost nearly two and a half times more brain volume than those with stable blood sugar levels. They concluded that a person’s blood sugar after two years can act as a strong predictor of a loss in brain size. “These findings highlight the importance of prevention of diabetes,” says Dr. Samaras.
Posted by WBHI on May 7, 2012 in Think It Over
by Science Daily
Elderly people with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes suffer from an accelerated decline in brain size and mental capacity in as little as two years according to new research presented at the joint International Congress of Endocrinology/European Congress of Endocrinology in Florence, Italy.
An Australian research team led by Associate Professor Katherine Samaras (Garvan Institute of Medical Research) found that the aging brain is vulnerable to worsening blood sugar levels even before type 2 diabetes is diagnosable.
While some brain volume loss is a normal part of aging, the researchers found that elderly people with blood sugar levels in flux, as well as type 2 diabetes, lost almost two and a half times more brain volume than their peers over two years. The reduction in size of the frontal lobe — associated with higher mental functions like decision-making, emotional control, and long term memory — has a significant impact on cognitive function and quality of life.
Diabetes is a very common disorder caused by high levels of sugar in the bloodstream. It affects 6.4% (285 million) of the worldwide population and is associated with an increased risk of heart attacks, stroke and damage to the eyes, feet and kidneys. In type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 90% of all cases, insulin — a hormone that allows cells to take sugar from the bloodstream and store it as energy — does not work properly. 344 million people also have pre-diabetes, a condition with mildly elevated blood sugar levels that gives them a 50% risk of developing the disease over ten years.
Posted by WBHI on Apr 22, 2012 in Think About It
by Paula Spencer Scott for caring.com
Short-term memory loss is one of the most noticeable signs of Alzheimer’s disease. But the disease process usually begins before symptoms are noticed. To assess someone’s risk of becoming one of the more than 5 million Americans with Alzheimer’s, it’s helpful to understand the risk factors that increase the odds of developing the condition.
What is Alzheimer’s, and who’s at risk?
Although certain basic lifestyle changes can help delay the onset of the disease in some people, the exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease isn’t yet understood. Alzheimer’s is a progressive neurodegenerative brain disorder: Normal brain cell function is gradually destroyed, leading to irreversible declines in memory, cognition, and behavior. But what causes things to go awry remains unknown. It may be that Alzheimer’s has several causes or that the interplay between genetic makeup and certain risk factors determines who’s affected.
Posted by WBHI on Apr 9, 2012 in Think It Over
by Stacey Burling for Philly.com
Several large studies have shown that people with diabetes are at especially high risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
Steven Arnold, director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Memory Center, said diabetics are 50 to 100 percent more likely to get the fatal, memory-destroying disease. This has made researchers increasingly interested in the role that insulin, the hormone that’s out of whack in diabetes, might play in Alzheimer’s.
In the brain, Arnold said, insulin is important for cell growth and releasing neurotransmitters that allow cells to communicate. It enhances learning and memory.
Arnold is the senior author of a new study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation that looked at the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment, often a precursor to dementia. He found insulin resistance in their brains, even though the people did not have diabetes. Arnold said the chemical differences between those who did and did not have memory problems were striking. “I’ve never seen a difference this large,” he said.
Posted by WBHI on Mar 20, 2012 in Think About It
by Newsroom America
An emerging body of research suggests that Alzheimer’s disease may be linked to insulin resistance, constituting a third type of diabetes.
This model is based on several observations including an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease for diabetic patients, and reduced insulin levels in the brain tissue of Alzheimer’s disease patients.
Though intriguing, the existing evidence does not reveal if defective insulin signaling is causative of Alzheimer’s or how insulin resistance impacts cognitive function.
Two back-to-back research articles in the Journal of Clinical Investigation – led by Konrad Talbot, Steve Arnold and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania and by Fernanda De Felice, Sergio Ferreria and colleagues at the University of Rio de Janeiro – address the connection between insulin resistance and Alzheimer’s disease.
The University of Pennsylvania team examined insulin signaling in human brain tissue postmortem, and concluded that the activation state of many insulin signaling molecules were highly related to memory and cognitive function.
They further suggest that insulin resistance is a common and early feature of Alzheimer’s disease.
Posted by WBHI on Mar 13, 2012 in Think Ahead
Dementia Has Many Of Same Causes As Heart Disease
by David S. Martin for CNN
Late-life dementia has a lot in common with heart disease — and many of the same causes, according to an article published Tuesday in Nature Reviews Neurology.
Like heart disease, the cognitive impairment that accompanies aging is usually the result of a combination of lifestyle and other factors, the article says. Diabetes, obesity, untreated hypertension, sedentary lifestyle and stress are all linked to both heart disease and dementia.
Other factors linked to dementia: untreated obstructive sleep apnea, clinical depression, bipolar disorder, vitamin B12 deficiency, post traumatic stress disorder, head trauma, brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen, and the ApoE, or Alzheimer’s, gene.
Lead author Dr. Majd Fotuhi says the latest research shows dementia can be delayed, stopped and sometimes even reversed with lifestyle changes.
Posted by WBHI on Mar 2, 2012 in Think It Over
Cholesterol lowering medications have become the most popular and widely distributed drugs in the world.
by News Day
New health warnings have been added to the statin group such as muscle pain, memory loss and diabetes. These damaging side effects have been known long-term but pharmaceutical companies and healthcare officials have simply turned their backs and ignored this growing concern in the past.
The United States Food and Drug Administration has now linked the use of cholesterol lowering medications with cognitive brain dysfunction.Symptoms of statin induced brain damage include memory loss and mental confusion. The statins that have been identified as the culprits include Lipitor, Crestor, Vytornin and Zocor.
Posted by WBHI on Mar 2, 2012 in Think Ahead
The thought of losing your mind as you grow older is terrifying, made worse that there appeared to be little we could do about it
by Kirsty English for The Mirror
Alzheimer’s strikes fear in all of us. The thought of losing your mind as you grow older is terrifying and made worse by the fact that, before now, there appeared to be little we could do to slow down or avoid Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia.
This week, Mirror columnist Fiona Phillips, 51, talked openly about her experience of Alzheimer’s after losing first her mother Amy and, earlier this month, her father Neville to the disease. She fears that, like her mother who was struck down in her late 50s, she too will start to develop symptoms in the next five years.
Having witnessed Alzheimer’s first hand she knows how sufferers are stripped of self respect, leaving them incapable of performing even the most basic daily tasks.
But according to Jean Carper, 79, an American medical journalist, there could be hope. In her international best selling book, 100 Simple Things You Can Do To Prevent Alzheimer’s, a host of experts reveal scientifically-backed, easy tips about how to head off the disease, ranging from eating vinegar to surfing the net.
Posted by WBHI on Feb 18, 2012 in Think About It
Type 3 Diabetes is a new form of diabetes discovered by Dr Suzanne de la Monte and her research team at the US Brown Medical School. In the research it was found that the brain produces insulin. Yes, the brain really produces insulin. This brain insulin is not affected by the level of glucose in the blood as in type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
However with type3 diabetes the brain produces lower than normal levels of brain insulin. If the brain cells are deprived of insulin they eventually die causing memory loss and other degenerative diseases.
This new type of diabetes also strengthens scientists’ belief that people with diabetes have an increased risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease by up to 65%. Alzheimer is a degenerative brain disorder.