Posted by WBHI on Jun 4, 2013 in Great Minds Think Alike
by Isaac Eliaz, MD, MS, LAc, integrative medicine for Huffington Post:
We all have those moments–a forgotten appointment, a name we can’t recall, a word that’s on the tip of our tongue. For the most part, these incidents don’t worry us. However, as we age, they seem to increase in significance. We wonder if we’re losing our edge. With Alzheimer’s disease and dementia constantly in the news, we can find ourselves falling prey to a climate of fear that plays on our worst anxieties about losing our cognitive capacities.
Luckily, there are a number of steps we can take to preserve our mental sharpness. Like any other organ, the brain responds to input. Not just mental and emotional input, but diet and exercise, as well. Many of the strategies we adopt to maintain overall health also support the brain. We can keep that mental acuity, and it only takes a few simple brain-friendly habits.
Posted by WBHI on May 23, 2013 in Think About It
by Datis Kharrazian, DC, DHSc, MS, MNeuroSci:
Menopause and diet can affect brain health.
Lucy, 44, suffered from poor memory, poor mental endurance, and episodes of vertigo. She could no longer remember basic phone numbers and was having difficulty remembering people’s names.
She began changing her daily routine to compensate for her lack of brain function and carried a notepad every place she went so she could write down the things she could no longer remember. She also had episodes of vertigo that would last several minutes and made it feel like the world was twirling around her. She saw many different physicians and was prescribed seasickness medication for her vertigo and told her memory loss was due to getting older.
Posted by WBHI on May 21, 2013 in Sooner Than You Think
by Brian Krans for HealthLine:
Of all the reasons to rethink how much you’re eating, a healthy, functioning brain in your golden years might be the best motivation.
New research published in The Journal of Neuroscience says that calorie restriction activates an enzyme that delays the loss of neurons and protects brain function.
While testing has only been done in mice, for now, researchers are working on an experimental new drug that may prevent the human brain from aging.
SIRT1: The Body’s Fountain of Youth?
The secret is the enzyme Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1), which prior research suggests can protect cells from the harmful effects of aging, including mental decline.
Posted by WBHI on Mar 16, 2013 in Great Minds Think Alike
by Jan Johansen for Newswire:
Dementia is a terrible thing. It attacks your loved ones’ cherished memories and cognition and leaves them emotionally and physically wasting away. They can fall into depression and even begin refusing foods they once loved.
If you’ve ever had or cared for a loved one suffering from dementia, you know what a hopeless feeling it can be. But now a recent study out of Taiwan offers some hope on the horizon for dementia suffers and caregivers.
Researchers from the National Yang-Ming University set out to improve quality of life for millions of people currently suffering from dementia. And these researchers noticed the same things we all notice — as many dementia sufferers surrender to depression and cut back on eating and physical activity, their physical condition declines rapidly.
So instead of attacking the problem with some toxic, side-effect-laden prescription pill, the researchers tackled the problem another way — with a fork.
Posted by WBHI on Mar 11, 2013 in Think Ahead
by Anne Eldridge for Courier-Journal:
If you have read this blog before, you know that my mother has dementia. Sadly, her condition is largely self-inflicted, caused by a lifetime of bad habits.
My mother loved all foods fried, white and/or cheesy. She never exercised, drank regularly and smoked fairly heavily until her heart valve replacement. A few years later, she fell, hit her head and had a stroke caused by the blood that pooled in her brain because her blood was too thin. Dementia followed close behind.
I’m sure it never occurred to my mother that her bad habits could lead to dementia—heart attack, lung cancer maybe, but not dementia. I think she might have been more careful if she had realized the likelihood that her death would not be a catastrophic event but a slow nursing home decline.
And, I’ll bet that most parents don’t realize that they can influence their children’s experience of old age. It’s true, according to my colleague at the University of Louisville Department of Pediatrics, Gilbert Liu, M.D., division chief of General Pediatrics. With that in mind, Dr. Liu offers this advice to grandparents, who often are able to guide their children’s parenting and grandchildren’s lifestyle choices.
Posted by WBHI on Feb 23, 2013 in Great Minds Think Alike
Keep Your Brain Healthy
The best thing you can do to keep your brain working the way you want it to: exercise, and eat right. “Nutrition is very, very important to brain health,” says Paul Nussbaum, Ph.D., a clinical neuropsychologist and member of scientific advisory board for the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. “Surprisingly, the brain is made up of 60% fat–it’s the fattest part of our body–and that fat insulates the nerve tracks. Without that fat we slow down mentally,” Dr. Nussbaum says.
The crucial thing to know: The kinds of fats and foods you eat, can have a real impact on the health of your brain. Trans fats and sugar aren’t great for your brain health. What foods are good and can reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s? Consider eating these good-for-your-brain foods:
Posted by WBHI on Feb 21, 2013 in Think About It
by Jaimie Dalessio for Everyday Health:
The protective power of antioxidants against stroke and dementia may have less to do with your total dietary intake of antioxidants and more to do with the specific foods that contribute to your antioxidant level, new research suggests.
Researchers from Harvard Medical School in Boston and Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam in the Netherlands analyzed health and dietary information on 5,395 people aged 55 and older who were part of the long-term Rotterdam Study of medical conditions and other factors in older adults.
Study author Elizabeth E. Devore, ScD, now with Brigham and Women’s and Harvard Medical School, says she and her colleagues at Erasmus came at the Rotterdam research data with a new question: “Is it really about individual nutrients for dementia and stroke, or would it be important to look overall at the total capacity of the diet in terms of antioxidants?”
Posted by WBHI on Feb 14, 2013 in Sooner Than You Think
Cycles of a normal diet and protein restriction improved memory and slowed the advance of the disease.
Mice with many of the pathologies of Alzheimer’s Disease showed fewer signs of the disease when given a protein-restricted diet supplemented with specific amino acids every other week for four months.
Mice at advanced stages of the disease were put on the new diet. They showed improved cognitive abilities over their non-dieting peers when their memory was tested using mazes. In addition, fewer of their neurons contained abnormal levels of a damaged protein, called “tau,” which accumulates in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
Dietary protein is the major dietary regulator of a growth hormone known as IGF-1, which has been associated with aging and diseases in mice and several diseases in older adults.
Upcoming studies by USC Professor Valter Longo, the study’s corresponding author, will attempt to determine whether humans respond similarly – while simultaneously examining the effects of dietary restrictions on cancer, diabetes and cardiac disease.
Posted by WBHI on Feb 1, 2013 in Think Ahead
by Sarah Stevenson for A Place for Mom:
Can a healthy diet prevent dementia or slow age-related memory loss? Research is showing that some nutrients play a key role in reducing dementia risk and slowing early-stage Alzheimer’s.
Omega-3s, vitamin D, zinc—these nutrients and others have been linked to the prevention of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. But how do vitamins and minerals actually work to reduce the risks—and even the symptoms—of dementia? It’s a lot more complex than simply taking a few supplements here and there. Read on to find out what scientists are discovering about these powerhouse nutrients, and the best ways to consume them so that your loved ones derive the most benefit.
Can You Reverse Dementia Symptoms By Changing Your Diet?
In some cases, yes, changing what you eat can reduce dementia symptoms and improve mental clarity. Heather Schwartz, a Registered Dietitian and geriatric nutrition expert for A Place for Mom, says, “I’ve seen this occur in persons with documented anemias (either from iron, B12 or folate) who were given supplements. And of course in people with food allergies and intolerances, I’ve been told many times that once they avoided the food(s) that caused them to react, that their mental abilities skyrocketed.
Posted by WBHI on Dec 20, 2012 in Great Minds Think Alike
by Huffington Post:
There are many great gifts you could get a loved one: a big-screen TV, a trip abroad, a new car… but why settle for a “great” gift when you could buy someone something perhaps even more valuable?
…The gift of a healthy brain.
It is important that we do what we can to prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Fortunately, Dr. Cynthia R. Green, founder and president of Memory Arts, LLC, has developed a list of gifts we can give others (or ourselves!) to keep our brains healthy.
“I’m often asked by folks … what are the ways they can get more brain healthy, so this year we decided to do a list of ideas of different kinds of gifts that would make a brain health difference,” Green said. “People are very interested in brain health … and there’s many different things we can do to improve our everyday memory and long-term brain health.”