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.

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Daytime Naps Could Increase Alzheimer’s Risk

By Lynn Allison – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

New research shows that taking naps during the day could lead to increased plaque development associated with Alzheimer’s disease. According to Interesting Engineering, most experts recommend getting a solid eight hours of sleep each night as the magical number to allow the body to recover, encourage mental clarity and boost the immune system.

However, new data shows that trying to make up for a bad night’s sleep by taking naps could be harmful to your mental health.

Elephants’ Biology May Hold Key to Understanding Alzheimer’s

By Lynn Allison – Re-Blogged From Newsmax Helth

We all know the saying that “elephants never forget.” Well there could be a very good reason why they maintain magnificent memories.

According to an article in Fortune magazine, elephants may hold the key to unlocking the secret cause of Alzheimer’s disease.

Currently, the research varies. Some experts believe that it’s the beta-amyloid proteins that drive the disease by sticking to and eventually killing neurons. Others point to the neurofibrillary tangles, or twisted tau proteins, that accumulate between the neurons in the brain. And many says that both these factors come into play to cause this devastating disease that’s the sixth leading cause of death in America.

New Drug Offers Hope of Alzheimer’s Breakthrough

By HealthDay – Re-Blogged From Newsmax Health

There have been many setbacks on the long road to finding a treatment that might slow or stop Alzheimer’s disease, but a new trial offers a glimmer of hope.

Researchers report that an experimental drug called BAN2401 slowed mental decline by as much as 30 percent in Alzheimer’s patients. It also appeared to clear away the amyloid protein plaques in the brain that have long been linked to the devastating illness.

Continue reading

Yale Alzheimer’s Test Directly Measures Synaptic Loss

By Zoe Papadakis – Re-Blogged From Newsmax Health

Yale researchers have developed a test that can directly measure synaptic loss in people with Alzheimer’s disease, EurekaAlert! posted, and it’s being called “a groundbreaking effort.”

By using PET imaging technology to scan for a specific protein in the brain that is linked to the synapses, scientists may have just paved the way for new and ground-breaking treatments for the disease, Yale University announced.

Image: Yale Alzheimer's Test Directly Measures Synaptic Loss

Continue reading

1 in 9 US Adults Over 45 Reports Memory Problems

By Health Day – Re-Blogged From Newsmax Health

 If you’re middle-aged and you think you’re losing your memory, you’re not alone, a new U.S. government report shows.

In fact, one in nine Americans aged 45 and older say they are experiencing thinking declines. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, noticing a decline in your mental abilities (“cognitive decline”) is one of the earliest signs of impending Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

Continue reading

Diabetes Drugs May Help Treat Alzheimer’s

By Lynn Allison – Re-Blogged From Newsmax Health

We may be taking the wrong path to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, several experts say. For many years, scientists believed it was the accumulation of amyloid plaque and protein tangles in the brain cells that caused the dreaded disease.

But according to CNN, even the German physician Alois Alzheimer, who identified the brain changes in his deceased patients, cautioned that scientists should not to jump to the conclusion that these proteins actually caused the disease.

Continue reading

New Evidence That Viruses May Play a Role in Alzheimer’s

By Associated Press – Re-Blogged From Newsmax Health

Viruses that sneak into the brain just might play a role in Alzheimer’s, scientists reported Thursday in a provocative study that promises to re-ignite some long-debated theories about what triggers the mind-robbing disease.

The findings don’t prove viruses cause Alzheimer’s, nor do they suggest it’s contagious.

Image: New Evidence That Viruses May Play a Role in Alzheimer's

Continue reading

Physical Fitness Linked to Slower Brain Aging

By Sylvia Booth Hubbard – Re-Blogged From Newsmax Health

Keeping physically fit and having more flexible arteries may be keys to slower brain aging, says a study from Australia’s Swinburne’s Center for Human Psychopharmacology.

“Exactly why this occurs is unclear, but research indicates that exercise and physical fitness are protective,” said lead author Greg Kennedy. “A healthier, more elastic aorta is also theorized to protect cognitive function, by reducing the negative effects of excessive blood pressure on the brain.”

Kennedy says that from early adulthood, memory and other features of cognition slowly decline, and the risk of dementia rises with age.

New Blood Test Detects Alzheimer’s Risk

By Sylvia Booth Hubbard – Re-Blogged From Newsmax Health

Alzheimer’s disease has no cure, and drug treatments offer minimal help. Many experts believe that progress in drug research is hindered by the fact that although the disease is thought to begin long before symptoms become obvious, it can’t be diagnosed until the disease has progressed. An earlier diagnosis might provide time for an effective intervention.

German scientists have developed a blood test for Alzheimer’s long before symptoms, like memory loss, appear. Continue reading

Promising New Alzheimer’s Research Suggests Dementia Can Be Reversed

Re-Blogged From Newsmax Health

After decades of disappointing findings in new Alzheimer’s disease research, scientists have hit on what many experts believe is a promising new way to reverse the condition that could be a game changer in treating the memory-robbing disorder.

A new Cleveland Clinic study found that amyloid protein plaques that accumulate in the brain, which are hallmarks of Alzheimer’s, were eliminated when a researchers removed a naturally occurring enzyme — called BACE1 — from the brains of mice genetically engineered to have a rodent form of the disease.

Continue reading

Eyes May Predict Future Memory Loss

Re-Blogged From Newsmax Health

By looking deeply into your eyes, doctors might be able to predict your future risk for dementia and memory loss.

Unhealthy changes to the blood vessels of the retina could mirror changes taking place in the brain’s blood vessels, and that could contribute to a decline in mental ability, a new study suggests.

People with moderate to severe retinal damage are more likely to have bigger declines in memory and thinking over two decades than those with healthy eyes, researchers discovered.

Image: Eyes May Predict Future Memory Loss
(Copyright iStock)

New Research Suggests Memory Loss in Alzheimer’s Patients May be Reversible

By Karla Lant – Re-Blogged From Futurism

New research from a team at MIT indicates symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) affecting patient’s memories may be reversible. AD causes memory loss by setting up genetic “blockades” formed when the enzyme HCAC2 condenses the genes of the brain responsible for memory. Eventually, those genes become useless; unexpressed, the genes are unable to cause the formation of new memories or retrieval of existing ones.

Clearly, blocking HCAC2 in the brain is an obvious fix; however, it has to date been impossible, in that all prior attempts have negatively affected the internal organs which require other enzymes in the histone deacetylase (HDAC) family for normal function. Researchers at MIT have now found something they hope might be the answer: LED lights which they use to prevent HCAC2 alone from binding with Sp3, its genetic blockade formation partner in crime (and Alzheimer’s).

Image Credit: jarmoluk/Pixabay

Continue reading