Posts Tagged “Alzheimer’s Disease”

Share

Here I am working on a patient and challenging my brain!

Apparently so, according to a new study.

People who challenge their brains throughout their lifetimes — through reading, writing and playing games — are less likely to develop protein deposits in the brain linked with Alzheimer’s, researchers said on Monday.

Prior studies have suggested that people who are well educated and stay mentally active build up brain reserves that allow them to stay sharp even if deposits of the destructive protein called beta amyloid form in the brain.

But the latest study, based on brain-imaging research, suggests that people who stay mentally engaged beginning in childhood and remain so throughout their lives actually develop fewer amyloid plaques.

“We’re not talking about the brain’s response to amyloid. We’re talking about the actual accumulation of amyloid,” Dr. William Jagust of the University of California, Berkeley, whose study appears in the Archives of Neurology, said in an interview. “It’s a brand new finding.”

And, throw in some exercise.

Of course, there will be more research.

Currently, there are no drugs available to successfully prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Share
Tags: , ,

Comments 1 Comment »

Share

Here I am running down the Santa Monica Pier

This study is literally running from the reaper – well, sort of.

Alzheimer’s disease, with its inexorable loss of memory and self, understandably alarms most of us. This is especially so since, at the moment, there are no cures for the condition and few promising drug treatments. But a cautiously encouraging new study from The Archives of Neurology suggests that for some people, a daily walk or jog could alter the risk of developing Alzheimer’s or change the course of the disease if it begins.

For the experiment, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis recruited 201 adults, ages 45 to 88, who were part of a continuing study at the university’s Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Some of the participants had a family history of Alzheimer’s, but none, as the study began, showed clinical symptoms of the disease. They performed well on tests of memory and thinking. “They were, as far as we could determine, cognitively normal,” says Denise Head, an associate professor of psychology at Washington University who led the study.

Read all of the post.

All of those “LONG” runs, don’t see as arduous now!

In any case, there are many benefits of exercise and this may be just one of them.

Share
Tags: , ,

Comments 2 Comments »

Share


The Alzheimer’s Brain

A worthy goal, especially since I am of the age where I might require it.

The government is setting what it calls an ambitious goal for Alzheimer’s disease: Development of effective ways to treat and prevent the mind-destroying illness by 2025.

The Obama administration is developing the first National Alzheimer’s Plan to find better treatments for the disease and offer better day-to-day care for those afflicted.

A newly released draft of the overall goals sets the 2025 deadline, but doesn’t provide details of how to fund the necessary research to meet that target date. Today’s treatments only temporarily ease some dementia symptoms, and work to find better ones has been frustratingly slow.

A committee of Alzheimer’s experts begins a two-day meeting Tuesday to help advise the government on how to finalize the plan.

An estimated 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s or similar dementias. It’s the sixth-leading killer, and is steadily growing as the population rapidly ages. By 2050, 13 million to 16 million Americans are projected to have Alzheimer’s, costing $1 trillion in medical and nursing home expenditures.

I hope not.

But, seriously, the disease is horrible and the research goal is much welcomed.

Share
Tags: , ,

Comments Comments Off

Share

Yes, and other forms of dementia as well.
People with diabetes are at increased risk of having a heart attack or stroke at an early age, but that’s not the only worry. Diabetes appears to dramatically increase a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia later in life, according to a new study conducted in Japan.

In the study, which included more than 1,000 men and women over age 60, researchers found that people with diabetes were twice as likely as the other study participants to develop Alzheimer’s disease within 15 years. They were also 1.75 times more likely to develop dementia of any kind.

“It’s really important for the [public's] health to understand that diabetes is a significant risk factor for all of these types of dementia,” says Rachel Whitmer, Ph.D., an epidemiologist in the research division of Kaiser Permanente Northern California, a nonprofit health-care organization based in Oakland, California.

Whitmer, who studies risk factors for Alzheimer’s but wasn’t involved in the new research, stresses that many questions remain about the link between diabetes and dementia. The new study was “well done” and provides “really good evidence that people with diabetes are at greater risk,” she says, “but we really need to look at other studies to find out why.”

More studies are needed and it makes sense that the longer you live, the more of a chance you will develop some sort of dementia. But, it also makes sense that via diet and exercise, you should avoid diabetes in the first place.

Diabetes could contribute to dementia in several ways, which researchers are still sorting out. Insulin resistance, which causes high blood sugar and in some cases leads to type 2 diabetes, may interfere with the body’s ability to break down a protein (amyloid) that forms brain plaques that have been linked to Alzheimer’s. High blood sugar (glucose) also produces certain oxygen-containing molecules that can damage cells, in a process known as oxidative stress.

In addition, high blood sugar — along with high cholesterol — plays a role in the hardening and narrowing of arteries in the brain. This condition, known as atherosclerosis, can bring about vascular dementia, which occurs when artery blockages (including strokes) kill brain tissue.

“Having high glucose is a stressor to the nervous system and to the blood vessels,” says David Geldmacher, M.D., a professor of neurology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “The emerging information on Alzheimer’s disease and glucose shows us that we do need to remain vigilant on blood sugar levels as we get older.”

Share
Tags: , , ,

Comments 1 Comment »

©Gregory Flap Cole All Rights Reserved