Showing posts from September, 2018

How Flickering Lights or Electrical Stimulation Might Banish Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

Alzheimer’s Disease, along with anxiety disorders, Parkinson’s, clinical depression, and other neurological diseases are notoriously difficult conditions to find treatment for. Because the diseases are not well understood, and therefore hard to target directly, many pharmaceutical options fail
But a relatively new field of neurological treatment is opening in the form of things like TACS (transcranial alternating current stimulation) and other non-invasive, non-drug methods.
The experiment baffled Tsai; and even after checking the results multiple times. The strobe light within the little rodent dance party, which was tuned to 40 hertz, was designed to help manipulate the rodents’ brain waves and produce many biological benefits, including the elimination of the amyloid-β forming proteins – and it worked.
“The result was so mind-boggling and so robust, it took a while for the idea to sink in, but we knew we needed to work out a way of trying out the same thing in humans,” Tsai told Na…

Healthy habits to beat dementia

Seven rules for healthy living can reduce the risk of dementia by 70 per cent even after retirement, scientists have found. Each lifestyle improvement was found to cut the risk of dementia by an extra 10 per cent.

Experts recommend people should follow as many as possible to protect their brain as they age. The study examined possible links between cardiovascular health and the risk of dementia.
There is much evidence that lifestyle factors have a significant impact on heart and circulatory health and staying slim and exercising from middle age can preserve cognitive skills.
The researchers selected 6,600 people aged 65 and over and applied the “Simple 7” rules, developed by the American Heart Association. These are not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a diet rich in fruit, vegetables and fish, exercising, and keeping control of blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.
7 healthy habits to help beat dementia Don't SmokeEat a healthy dietMaintain a healthy weightExerc…

New Study Explores the Role Cannabis Plays in Treating Parkinson's, Alzheimer's

Michigan State University researcher Norbert Kaminski has begun a yearlong, preclinical study exploring cannabis compounds and their ability to slow the progress of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other diseases of the brain.

Kaminski, who was recently named interim director of the MSU Centre for Research on Ingredient Safety, will study the safety and effectiveness of these compounds by testing human white blood cells and evaluating the effects the compounds have on the immune system.
“These compounds have the potential to decrease the inflammatory response that occurs in brain tissue that’s associated with diseases like Parkinson’s,” said Kaminski, who is the director of the MSU Institute for Integrative Toxicology and a professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. “By inhibiting the inflammatory process and slowing the migration of white blood cells across the blood-brain barrier, we hope to slow the neurodegenerative processes of these diseases.”
With more than 25 years o…

Agitation in dementia: Are drugs the best treatment?

A common symptom among people with dementia is agitation, which can affect their and their carers' well-being. Dementia experts conducted a new study and found the most effective means of addressing agitation.

Person-cantered care to be prioritized
In the new study, the first four treatments that the researchers advise healthcare professionals and other caregivers to prioritize are all non-pharmacological, focusing on behavioral approaches instead.
Only one anti psychotic is effective
When it comes specifically to managing psychosis including hallucinations and delusions in people with a form of dementia, the specialists strongly advise that healthcare professionals first thoroughly assess patients for underlying causes and aim to manage these.
"Symptoms such as psychosis and agitation can be particularly distressing and challenging for people with dementia, their careers, and their families.
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Dementia symptoms: What are the signs of frontotemporal dementia and are you at risk?

Dementia is a term used to describe symptoms that arise from damage to the brain caused by different diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease. One of the types is frontotemporal dementia - but what is this, and are you at risk of it developing?

Problems with mental abilities can also occur - getting distracted easily, struggling with planning and organisation.
Another sign of frontotemporal dementia is memory problems - these only tend to occur later on, unlike more common forms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease.
The health body adds: “There may also be physical problems, such as slow or stiff movements, loss of bladder or bowel control (usually not until later on), muscle weakness or difficulty swallowing.” There’s currently no cure for frontotemporal dementia or treatment to slow down the disease, but there are options for helping control some of the symptoms.
These include medicine to control some of the behavioural problems and therapies such as physiotherapy, occupational ther…

Lest we forget: dementia is a woman's burden

Nothing made the oft-repeated Women's Day messaging around preparing for retirement more real for me than my recent frequent visits to a home for the frail.

In it the women outnumber men six to one. And the percentage of the women suffering from cognitive impairments that come with Alzheimer's disease or some other kind of dementia is around 60%.Already there are 50 million people worldwide living with dementia, which is not a normal part of ageing but a chronic illness that affects memory and the brain's processing ability, robbing you eventually of the ability to perform basic things like talking, eating, swallowing and walking.
The World Health Organisation expects over the next 12 years that the number will grow to 82 million, and by 2050 some 152 million will be living with dementia.
Dementia is not only a women's problem, but it does affect women more severely than men as women make up the majority of those living with dementia. Australian and US statistics show …

Vascular dementia warning - the one toilet sign that could reveal whether you’re at risk

Vascular dementia symptoms include memory loss, difficulty concentrating, or having slow thoughts. But you could also be at risk of the brain condition if you have this toilet sign. “People with dementia can experience difficulties with using the toilet,” said the Alzheimer’s Society.

“A person with dementia is more likely to have accidents, problems with the toilet or incontinence than a person of the same age who doesn’t have dementia.
“The reasons for this can include failing to get to the toilet in time for example, because of mobility problems
There are several different types of urinary incontinence. Probably the most common form in people with dementia is an overactive bladder.
“This gives the feeling of a sudden and intense need to go, and frequent urination.”
Women are also more likely to have urinary incontinence as they get older, it said.
They’re at risk of stress incontinence - when a cough, sneeze or laugh causes a small leak of urine.

World Alzheimer’s Day 2018: 5 ways to cut down risk of this disease

#Alzheimer’s is a progressive, degenerative brain ailment which affects memory, behaviour and thinking. Over time, the person may need assistance even for his/her day-to-day activities. Early-onset #Alzheimer’s can affect even those in their 40s. One of the reasons for the onset of this condition is not giving enough exercise to the #brain.

Among the many reasons for the onset of this condition, genetic cause is an important one, with #environmental and lifestyle factors beings’ others. There could be a relationship between #cognitive decline and vascular conditions such as heart disease, #stroke, and high blood pressure, as well as metabolic conditions such as diabetes and obesity.
There are some ways in which one can reduce the risk of acquiring #Alzheimer’s disease and helping people stay healthy as they age.

Here are few ways of cutting down on the risk: Mental stimulation: “Engage in #mentally stimulating activities which can help in keeping your brain cells active. This is partic…

Could different cultures teach us something about dementia?

Picture two different families, each dealing with a diagnosis of dementia in one of its members. In one case, the patient is a retired executive, whose family tries as long as possible to keep the diagnosis secret, relying primarily on professional caregivers and eventually a nursing home. In another case, the patient is a grandmother. As soon as the diagnosis is suspected, her family pulls together, bringing her into their home and surrounding her with affection.

These two approaches to dementia reflect very different attitudes toward the disease. One regards it as an irreversible neurologic condition associated with considerable stigma, a problem best left to health professionals and kept out of public view. While not denying that dementia is a medical condition, the other seizes on it as an opportunity to draw together around a loved one in need, giving family members not a secret to keep but an opportunity to care.

If we tend not only to our neurons but also our intellects, charac…

Vascular dementia: Six symptoms to look out for to detect the disease early

VASCULAR dementia is a cruel disease estimated to affect around 150,000 people in the UK. Symptoms can often be confused with the usual effects of old age, but there are signs to look out for which could help you to detect the disease early. Here are six of them.
Vascular dementia is a common type of dementia caused by reduced blood flow to the brain, which damages and eventually kills the brain cells.
The symptoms can come on suddenly or gradually, and tend to get worse over time, but it is sometimes possible to slow this down though treatment.
According to the NHS, there are six mild early signs of vascular dementia.  These are: Significant slowness of thoughtFeeling disorientated and confusedMemory loss and difficulty concentratingDifficulty finding the right wordsSevere personality changes, such as becoming aggressiveDepression, mood swings and lack of interest or enthusiasmFinding it difficult to walk and keep balance, with frequent fallsLoss of bladder control (incontinence)Incre…

Dementia and driving: when is it time to give up the keys?

Things to look for outside vehicle
The individual becomes disorientated or lost in familiar surroundingsNeeds reminding about personal careDecreased co-ordinationMood swings, irritabilityDifficulty in multi-taskingDifficulty judging space and/or distanceDifficulty with decision-makingThings to look for inside vehicle while driving Driving too slowlyLack of distance judgmentStops for no reasonLost on a familiar routeDrifts into wrong or different lanePoor parkingFails to signal, or does so incorrectlyForgets rules of the road

The power of music provides comfort to those with dementia

People living with #dementia often suffer from isolation. But a nursing professor from the University of Victoria has been working to change that.

Dr. Debra Sheets is the lead researcher for a Victoria choir that began in January called Voices in Motion. It is for people with dementia and their family caregivers. High school students from St. Andrew's Regional High School and Pacific Christian School in Victoria also participate. Doctors exploring how music benefits health.
Sheets found that choir participants with #dementia as well as their caregiversshowed some improvement in their ability to recall words from a list.
"The neat thing about music is it taps into a part of your #brain that's often not touched as much by dementia,"
For the study, both caregivers and participants with dementia agree to monthly tests administered by the researchers. These tests aim to detect changes in mood, mental functioning and psychological measures such as grip strength and respi…

Five dementia myths and the truth behind them

Dementia is the 21st century’s biggest killer, with someone developing it every three minutes.

Public understanding and action have certainly improved in recent years, but there is still a long way to go.
1. Dementia is not a natural part of ageing Dementia doesn’t care how old you are. It’s caused by diseases of the brain so it’s not an inevitable part of ageing. More than 40,000 people with dementia in the UK are under 65.
2. Alzheimer’s disease isn’t the only type of dementia Diseases such as Alzheimer’s cause nerve cells to die, damaging the structure and chemistry of the brain. There are lots of other causes and no two types of dementia are the same. In different types of dementia there is damage to different parts of the brain.
3. It's not just about losing your memory When most people hear the word dementia, they think of memory loss.
4. People can still live well with dementia Although there is no cure for dementia, scientists and researchers are working hard to find one. The A…

Younger people don't worry about Alzheimer's. Here's why they should

When it comes to Alzheimer's disease, there's good news and there's bad news.

The good news is that if you're in your 70s, your risk of developing Alzheimer's is actually lower than it was a decade or two ago. But here's the bad news. For younger people, the unhealthy habits they're indulging in today could give them a greater risk for dementia down the road than their grandparents face today.
Brain health, after all, is a lifelong pursuit.
"Good brain health begins in the earliest stage of childhood and has to be addressed throughout our entire lifespan," says Dr. William Reichman, president and CEO of Baycrest Health Sciences. Unfortunately, most people come late to that message -- sometimes, too late. An estimated 5.7 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease. And even those who don't have it live in dread of it. Opinion polls show that dementia has emerged as the No. 1 concern among older adults.
"Most of the people who are inter…

Chanting could reduce risk of Alzheimer’s

Recently scientists at MIT, USA have discovered that exposing mice to 40 hertz light signals and sound waves remove the plaques in their brain. These plaques are the cause of Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases that reduce our memories.

When the brain is under deep meditation or concentration, gamma waves are produced. These waves range anywhere from 25-100 hertz but have an average frequency of 40 hertz. A large number of studies on meditating yogis’ brains have revealed that these waves are produced under deep meditation and concentration. On the other hand, deep sleep produces delta and alpha waves that vary from 4-12 hertz.
Neurons and Memory
Alzheimer’s disease is a disease of brain where clumps of misfolded protein fragments called amyloid-beta produce plaques around synapses – the connecting point between neurons. These plaques stop neurons from communicating, thus destroying memory. Nobody knows how these plaques are formed and world over research is being conducted on how to r…

Do Brain Changes at Menopause Make Women More Prone to Alzheimer’s?

More women have Alzheimer’s than men—but why? that it is not simply because women live longer, but indeed reflects a biological vulnerability. Recent epidemiological data found that women succumb to the disease at younger ages than men do, with higher risk in their late 50s and 60s, but no difference in lifetime AD risk. 

Scientists reported that women carry a higher tangle burden than do men with the same amyloid load, suggesting that one potential reason for their early onset might lie in a greater vulnerability to tau pathology. This association was primarily driven by APOE4 carriers. Other researchers blamed changes at menopause, when the brain’s glucose use drops. One provocative talk claimed that female brains begin to cannibalize their own myelin for energy during this time. APOE4 carriers appear most vulnerable to this disruption, perhaps leaving their brains marked for future degeneration.
If that sounds disturbing, women can take solace in a bit of good news: New studies of …

We Can Control One of The Likely Causes of Alzheimer's Disease

Most people fear developing Alzheimer's disease as we age. What is very clear is that the risk of Alzheimer's rises with age. By the time a person reaches age 85, the chances of having this brain-destroying disease are at least one in three. Not good odds for our aging parents nor for us, the adult children. If we have pretty good evidence that exposure to these heavy metals makes the risk worse, wouldn't we want to stop or limit our exposure to heavy metals?

The average person certainly doesn't know when or how we get exposed in the first place. At least we do know what a team of Chinese and American researchers found after reviewing a vast amount of scientific research into heavy metal exposure and the risk of Alzheimer's.

As reported by David Perlmutter, M.D., a neurologist focused on prevention, this research team did a comprehensive meta-analysis of heavy metal exposure, focused particularly on aluminium, mercury, cadmium, and lead. They concluded that there w…

Simple eye exam may detect Alzheimer’s disease early

It may be possible in the future to screen patients for Alzheimer’s disease using a simple eye exam, according to new research.
Using technology similar to what is found in eye doctors’ offices, researchers have detected evidence indicating Alzheimer’s disease in older patients who had no symptoms.
“This technique has great potential to become a screening tool that helps decide who should undergo more expensive and invasive testing for Alzheimer’s disease prior to the appearance of clinical symptoms,” says first author Bliss E. O’Bryhim, a resident physician in the ophthalmology & visual sciences department at Washington University in St. Louis.
“Our hope is to use this technique to understand who is accumulating abnormal proteins in the brain that may lead them to develop Alzheimer’s.”
Significant brain damage from Alzheimer’s disease can occur years before any symptoms such as memory loss and cognitive decline appear. Scientists estimate that Alzheimer’s-related plaques can bui…

Side effects of painkillers are worse in Alzheimer's

Dementia is a large and growing concern. Because it cannot be reversed, understanding the best way to care for people with advanced dementia is increasingly important.
Roughly 50 percent of people with dementia who are living in nursing homes experience substantial pain. According to earlier studies, this pain often goes unnoticed by clinicians and is therefore poorly managed.
Although paracetamol is generally the first line of treatment for pain, opioids are used when paracetamol is not effective. In fact, around 40 percent of people with dementia living in nursing homes are prescribed opioids
Recently, researchers from three institutions investigated the impact of opioids on this population. The scientists hailed from the University of Exeter and King's College London, both in the United Kingdom, and the University of Bergen in Norway.
For their analysis, they included data from 162 Norwegian adults with advanced dementia and depression from 47 nursing homes.