Rate of Deaths From Dementia Has Doubled

By Health Day – Re-Blogged From Newsmax Helth

Dementia is now one of the leading killers in the United States, with the rate of deaths linked to the disease more than doubling over the past two decades.

“Overall, age-adjusted death rates for dementia increased from 30.5 deaths per 100,000 in 2000 to 66.7 in 2017,” say a team of researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In sheer numbers, the new analysis of death certificate data shows that dementia was noted as the primary cause for nearly 262,000 deaths in 2017, with 46 percent of those deaths due to Alzheimer’s disease.

That’s up from about 84,000 deaths attributed to dementia in 2000.

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Depression May Speed Brain Aging

By Associated Press – Re-Blogged From Newsmax Health

Memory and thinking skills naturally slow with age but now scientists are peeking inside living brains to tell if depression might worsen that decline — and finding some worrisome clues.

Depression has long been linked to certain cognitive problems, and depression late in life even may be a risk factor for the development of Alzheimer’s. Yet how depression might harm cognition isn’t clear.

One possibility: Brain cells communicate by firing messages across connections called synapses. Generally, good cognition is linked to more and stronger synapses. With cognitive impairment, those junctions gradually shrink and die off. But until recently, scientists could count synapses only in brain tissue collected after death.

Control Your Blood Pressure to Reduce Memory Loss

By Health Day – Re-Blogged From Newsmax Health

Tight control of your blood pressure won’t necessarily spare you from full-blown dementia, a new trial concludes. But it might lower the risk of slight declines in thinking and memory, a condition known as mild cognitive impairment (MCI), the researchers added.

The clinical trial is the “first study in history to show that any intervention can reduce your risk of developing mild cognitive impairment, an early form of dementia,” said lead researcher Dr. Jeff Williamson, professor of gerontology and geriatric medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

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8 Health Hazards Caused by Lack of Vitamin D

By Lynn Allison – Re-Blogged From Newsmax Health

Our bodies need vitamin D for many health benefits but in the cold winter months it may be hard to get enough of this hormone that’s created when your skin is exposed to sunlight.

Without sufficient amounts of vitamin D, you could develop serious heart conditions and weakened bones. Children who have a vitamin D deficiency are at higher risk for developing rickets, a condition where their bones become soft and weak.

The Mayo Clinic recommends 400 international units or I.U.’s daily for children up to one year old, 600 I.U’s for those from one to 70 years of age and 800 I.U’s for folks over 70.

Tests May Help Diagnose Alzheimer’s Earlier

By Health Day – Tr-Blogged From Newsmax Health

Leaky blood vessels in the brain may be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease, researchers say.

They followed 161 older adults for five years and found that those with the most severe memory declines had the greatest leakage in their brain’s blood vessels, regardless of whether the Alzheimer’s-related proteins amyloid and tau were present.

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Just 6 Months of Walking May Boost Aging Brains

By Health Day – Re-Blogged From Newsmax Health

Walking and other types of moderate exercise might help turn back the clock for older adults who are losing their mental sharpness, a new clinical trial finds.

The study focused on older adults who had milder problems with memory and thinking skills. The researchers found that six months of moderate exercise – walking or pedaling a stationary bike – turned some of those issues around.

Specifically, exercisers saw improvements in their executive function – the brain’s ability to pay attention, regulate behavior, get organized and achieve goals. And those who also made some healthy diet changes, including eating more fruits and vegetables, showed somewhat bigger gains.

The effect was equivalent to shaving about nine years from their brain age, said lead researcher James Blumenthal, a professor at Duke University School of Medicine, in Durham, N.C.

The Truth About Alzheimer’s Vaccine

By Newsmax Health – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

Alzheimer’s disease is expected to affect 14 million Americans by the year 2050, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. While deaths from heart disease have plummeted 11 percent from 2000 to 2015, deaths from Alzheimer’s increased 123 percent during that same time period. According to the Association, 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s.

The dreaded, incurable disease kills people more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.  That’s why experts were excited when researchers recently announced a potentially effective vaccine for Alzheimer’s. It was developed by a team at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and touted to be able to slash the number of people who are affected by the disease by half.