New Alzheimer’s treatment fully restores memory function

New Alzheimer’s treatment fully restores memory function

Of the mice that received the treatment, 75 percent got their memory function back.

BEC CREW
18 MAR 2015

Australian researchers have come up with a non-invasive ultrasound technology that clears the brain of neurotoxic amyloid plaques – structures that are responsible for memory loss and a decline in cognitive function in Alzheimer’s patients.

If a person has Alzheimer’s disease, it’s usually the result of a build-up of two types of lesions – amyloid plaques, and neurofibrillary tangles. Amyloid plaquessit between the neurons and end up as dense clusters of beta-amyloid molecules, a sticky type of protein that clumps together and forms plaques.

Neurofibrillary tangles are found inside the neurons of the brain, and they’re caused by defective tau proteins that clump up into a thick, insoluble mass. This causes tiny filaments called microtubules to get all twisted, which disrupts the transportation of essential materials such as nutrients and organelles along them, just like when you twist up the vacuum cleaner tube.

As we don’t have any kind of vaccine or preventative measure for Alzheimer’s – a disease that affects 343,000 people in Australia, and 50 million worldwide – it’s been a race to figure out how best to treat it, starting with how to clear the build-up of defective beta-amyloid and tau proteins from a patient’s brain. Now a team from the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) at the University of Queensland have come up with a pretty promising solution for removing the former.

Publishing in Science Translational Medicine, the team describes the technique as using a particular type of ultrasound called a focused therapeutic ultrasound, which non-invasively beams sound waves into the brain tissue. By oscillating super-fast, these sound waves are able to gently open up the blood-brain barrier, which is a layer that protects the brain against bacteria, and stimulate the brain’s microglial cells to activate. Microglila cells are basically waste-removal cells, so they’re able to clear out the toxic beta-amyloid clumps that are responsible for the worst symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

The team reports fully restoring the memory function of 75 percent of the mice they tested it on, with zero damage to the surrounding brain tissue. They found that the treated mice displayed improved performance in three memory tasks – a maze, a test to get them to recognise new objects, and one to get them to remember the places they should avoid.

“We’re extremely excited by this innovation of treating Alzheimer’s without using drug therapeutics,” one of the team, Jürgen Götz, said in a press release. “The word ‘breakthrough’ is often misused, but in this case I think this really does fundamentally change our understanding of how to treat this disease, and I foresee a great future for this approach.”

The team says they’re planning on starting trials with higher animal models, such as sheep, and hope to get their human trials underway in 2017.

You can hear an ABC radio interview with the team here.

Advertisements

The Anti-Alzheimer’s Diet How the ‘MIND Diet’ Could Reduce Your Risk of Dementia

ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE ARTICLES
The Anti-Alzheimer’s Diet
How the ‘MIND Diet’ Could Reduce Your Risk of Dementia
By Diane Wedner, Lifescript Health Writer
Published June 15, 2015
Reviewed by Edward C. Geehr, M.D., Lifescript Chief Medical Officer

What you eat may lower your risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease. We tell you which foods are included in the “MIND diet” and give you 7 recipes you’ll love…

Here’s a simple way to lower your risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease: Eat a “brain-healthy” diet of leafy greens and berries, according to a March 2015 study published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia.

The “MIND diet” is a hybrid of the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet, which was developed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to reduce high blood pressure. (MIND stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.)

It encourages eating plant-based foods, limits high-fat edibles and focuses on ingredients known to protect the brain, such as blueberries, strawberries and leafy green vegetables.

The plan, developed at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, is based on the results from a study of 923 people between ages 58 and 98, from 2004 to 2013.

Those who stuck to the MIND diet had the best result: They were 53% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s, says nutritional epidemiologist Martha Clare Morris, Ph.D., the study’s lead author. Participants who ate 1 to 2 servings of green leafy vegetables daily had less cognitive loss, on average, than those who ate fewer greens, Morris notes.
Even participants who stayed with the MIND diet moderately well saw benefits and were 35% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s, she says.

“It was about the equivalent of being 11 years younger,” she says.

Though diet can help, there are no sure ways to prevent Alzheimer’s, an incurable brain condition affecting more than 3.2 million women and 1.8 million men in the U.S., mostly over age 65, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. It leads to memory and cognitive problems that get progressively worse; it can be fatal.

However, a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise may help protect your brain health over time, according to the National Institute on Aging.

The MIND diet meal plan includes:
Green leafy vegetables: 3 servings daily

Other vegetables: 3 servings every day of 1 salad and 1 other vegetable

Nuts: daily snack

Berries: 1 serving at least twice a week

Beans: 1 serving every other day

Whole grains: 3 daily servings

Fish: at least once a week

Poultry: at least once a week

Olive oil: daily

Wine: limit to 1 glass per day

Foods to avoid:

Red meat

Butter and stick margarine

Cheese

Pastries and sweets

Fried or fast food

Want to add brain-friendly foods to your diet? Start with these 7 easy-to-make recipes:

Wheat Berry Salad with Red Fruit
Serves: 6
Preparation time: 20 minutes

For this sweet and tart salad, wheat berries are blended with cranberries, apples and pecans and tossed in a raspberry vinaigrette – a winning combination. Serve over a bed of peppery arugula for lunch or a light supper.

Ingredients
⅓ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
⅓ cup dried cranberries
3 cups cooked wheat berries (recipe follows)
1 large Fuji apple, unpeeled, diced
½ cup pecan halves, toasted (see Tip) and coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preparation
1. Combine orange juice and cranberries in a small bowl. Let stand for 15 minutes.

2. Combine wheat berries, apple and pecans in a large bowl; stir gently. Drain the cranberries, reserving the juice. Stir the cranberries into the wheat berry mixture.

3. Whisk the reserved orange juice, vinegar and oil in a small bowl until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over the salad and stir gently to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to combine. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Tip:
To toast pecan halves, spread nuts on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F, stirring once, until fragrant, 7 to 9 minutes.

Nutrition Facts
Per serving:
316 calories
14 g fat (2 g saturated)
0 mg cholesterol
42 g carbohydrate
7 g protein
6 g fiber
365 mg sodium
96 mg potassium
Nutrition Bonus: vitamin C (15% Daily Value)

Strawberry, Melon & Avocado Salad
This composed salad makes a cool kickoff for dinner or as a nutrition-packed lunch on its own. Nutty and slightly sweet sherry vinegar is a natural partner for strawberries.

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Pinch of salt
4 cups baby spinach
1 small avocado (4-5 ounces), peeled, pitted and cut into 16 slices
16 thin slices cantaloupe (about ½ small cantaloupe), rind removed
1½ cups hulled strawberries, sliced
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted

Preparation
1. Whisk honey, vinegar, mint, pepper and salt in a small bowl.

2. Divide spinach among 4 salad plates. Arrange alternating slices of avocado and cantaloupe in a fan on top of the spinach. Top each salad with strawberries, drizzle with dressing, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Nutrition Facts
Per serving:
202 calories
8 g fat (1 g saturated, 5 g monosaturated)
0 mg cholesterol
34 g carbohydrate
3 g protein
7 g fiber
90 mg sodium
Nutrition Bonus: vitamin C, vitamin A, folate

Indian-Spiced Chicken Pitas

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Here’s a perfect summer supper meal: spice-rubbed grilled chicken breasts, tucked into whole-wheat pitas stuffed with fresh vegetables and tangy yogurt sauce.

Ingredients
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
1½ teaspoons garam masala, (see Tip), divided
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 cup thinly sliced seeded cucumber
¾ cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, or mint
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 6-inch whole-wheat pitas, warmed
1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
2 small or 1 large tomato, sliced
¼ cup thinly sliced red onion

Preparation
1. Preheat grill to medium-high or position rack in upper third of oven and preheat broiler. If grilling, oil the grill rack (see Tip). If broiling, coat a broiler pan with cooking spray.

2. Sprinkle chicken with 1 teaspoon garam masala and ½ teaspoon salt. Place the chicken on the grill rack or prepared pan and cook until it’s no longer pink in the center and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165°F. This should be 4 to 8 minutes per side, depending on the size of the breast. Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, combine cucumber, yogurt, cilantro (or mint), lemon juice, the remaining ½ teaspoon garam masala and ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper in a small bowl. Thinly slice the chicken. Split open the warm pitas and fill with the chicken, yogurt sauce, lettuce, tomato and onion.

Tips:
Garam masala is a blend of spices used in Indian cooking. It’s available in the spice section of most supermarkets.

To oil a grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.)

Nutrition Facts
Per serving:
333 calories
5 g fat (1 g saturated)
64 mg cholesterol
44 g carbohydrate
32 g protein
6 g fiber
637 mg sodium
485 mg potassium

Nutrition Bonus: vitamin C (35% Daily Value)

Seared Salmon with White Beans & Fennel
You could call this recipe triple-fennel salmon because it uses the fresh fennel bulb, the fronds and fennel seeds. The end result is melt-in-your-mouth, seared salmon fillets with an earthy bean topping. Add a mixed green salad to complete the meal.

Serves: 2
Preparation time: 35 minutes

Ingredients
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 small bulb fennel, halved, cored and thinly sliced, plus 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds
1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
1 medium tomato, diced

¼ cup dry white wine
1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
1 teaspoon fennel seed
8 ounces center-cut salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 2 portions

Preparation
1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add sliced fennel; cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Stir in beans, tomato and wine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomato begins to break down, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; stir in chopped fennel fronds, mustard and 18 teaspoon pepper. Cover to keep warm.

2. Rinse and dry the pan. Combine fennel seed and the remaining 18teaspoon pepper in a small bowl; sprinkle evenly on both sides of salmon. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in the pan over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the salmon, skinned side up; cook until golden brown, 3 to 6 minutes. Turn the salmon over, cover and remove from the heat. Allow the salmon to finish cooking off the heat until just cooked through, 3 to 6 minutes more. Serve the salmon with the bean mixture.

Nutrition Facts
Per serving:
460 calories
21 g fat (4 g saturated, 10 g monosaturated)
67 mg cholesterol
39 g carbohydrate
34 g protein
13 g fiber
610 mg sodium
1589 mg potassium

Nutrition Bonus: vitamin C (50% Daily Value), potassium (45% DV), calcium, iron and vitamin A (20% DV), folate (18% DV)

Potato-Horseradish-Crusted Mahi-Mahi
This dish is dinner-party delicious, but simple enough for weekday meals. To save time, use precooked shredded potatoes, found in the refrigerated section of the produce department or where eggs are displayed.

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 25 minutes

Ingredients
1 cup precooked shredded potatoes
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1¼ pounds mahi-mahi, skin removed, cut into 4 portions

4 teaspoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 lemon, quartered

Preparation
1. Combine potatoes, shallot, horseradish, mustard, garlic salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Spread each portion of fish with 1 teaspoon mayonnaise, then top with ¼ of the potato mixture, pressing the mixture onto the fish.

2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully place the fish in the pan potato-side down and cook until crispy and browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Gently turn the fish over, reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking until the fish flakes easily with a fork, 4 to 5 minutes more. Serve with lemon wedges.

Nutrition Facts
Per serving:
205 calories
6 g fat (1 g saturated, 3 g monosaturated)
105 mg cholesterol
9 g carbohydrate
27 g protein
1 g fiber
311 mg sodium
623 mg potassium

Nutrition Bonus: selenium (74% Daily Value)

Baja-Battered Fish
Fish tacos are fabulous. This recipe is a healthy version of the battered, deep-fried and crispy fish at Rossy’s Tacos in Baja California. The fish is best when served immediately, but it’ll keep, wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to one day.

Serves: 8
Preparation time: 40 minutes

Ingredients
¾ cup beer, preferably lager or pilsner
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1¼ pounds tilapia or other firm white fish, sliced into ½-inch-by-2-inch strips 

3 tablespoons canola oil, divided

Preparation
1. Place beer, all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, salt, oregano, mustard, cayenne and pepper in a blender; blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Transfer the batter to a shallow baking dish. Add fish, turning to coat all sides.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Transfer one-third of the battered fish to the pan, placing each piece into a little oil. Cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer cooked fish to a plate; keep warm. Add 1 tablespoon oil and half the remaining fish to the pan; cook as directed above, reducing the heat if necessary. Cook the remaining fish with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts
Per serving:
120 calories
6 g fat (0 g saturated, 3 g monosaturated)
33 mg cholesterol
4 g carbohydrate
11 g protein
0 g fiber
112 mg sodium
180 mg potassium

Berry-Banana Smoothie
There’s no more classic – or antioxidant-rich – combo than fresh berries and bananas. Here, just a touch of honey shines up their flavors even more.

Serves: 2
Preparation time: 5 minutes

Ingredients
1 ripe banana, sliced
½ cup raspberries
¼ cup blueberries
1½ teaspoons honey
18 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup unsweetened apple juice
½ cup ice

Preparation
1. Place ingredients in the order listed in a blender. Pulse twice to chop the fruit, stir well, then blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts
Per serving:
126 calories
0 g fat
0 mg cholesterol
33 g carbohydrate
1 g protein
5 g fiber
4 mg sodium
338 mg potassium

Nutrition Bonus: vitamin C (25% Daily Value)

Connect with Us
Get more healthy food for thought – check out our posts on Health Bistroand Lifescript TV videos on YouTube. Plus, join the fun and conversation on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Nasal spray shows promise as treatment for Alzheimer’s disease

nasal_spray_wake_forest.jpg

 (Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center)

Researchers say they’ve developed a nasal spray that could potentially improve memory and other mental capabilities for the more than 5 million Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

In a pilot study at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, researchers studied 60 adults between the ages of 55 and 85 diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or mild to moderate Alzheimer’s dementia (AD). Participants were nasally administered doses of man-made insulin called insulin detemir for 21 days.

The insulin detemir is designed to attach to album, a blood protein. Album absorbs the insulin detemir, distributing it throughout the body and allowing it to work. Because the insulin detemir dissolves from the protein slowly, it has a longer period of exposure in the body, lead study author Dr. Suzanne Craft, professor of gerontology and geriatric medicine at Wake Forest Baptist told FoxNews.com.

Participants who received 40 international unit (IU) doses of insulin detemir over the course of the trial showed significant improvement in their short-term ability to retain and process verbal and visual information, compared with those who received 20 IU doses or a placebo. According to Craft, performance on tests of mental manipulation and memory improved by as much as 25 percent.

Even recipients who carried the APOE-e4 gene – which is proven to increase Alzheimer’s risk – showed significantly higher memory scores than those who received the lower dosage or placebo.

“Our team was surprised at the level of improvement for the participants with the gene that raises Alzheimer’s risk, as very few types of therapies have been shown to benefit these patients,” Craft said.

Further research is needed to determine the mechanisms behind insulin detemir’s effect on memory.

The insulin detemir doses did not cause any negative side effects, and Craft said the study’s overall results support further investigation of insulin detemir as a treatment for Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Researchers hope to follow up on the pilot study in a larger group of participants who would receive the insulin detemir for a longer period of time. Additionally, Craft said they would also like to directly compare the insulin detemir to other forms of insulin to see which provides the most therapeutic benefit.

“Alzheimer’s is a devastating illness, for which even small therapeutic gains have the potential to improve quality of life and significantly reduce the overall burden for patients, families and society,” she said. “Future studies are warranted to examine the safety and efficacy of this promising treatment.”

Study results are published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Alzheimer’s Smell Test Uses Peanut Butter To Sniff Out The Disease

Alzheimer’s Smell Test Uses Peanut Butter To Sniff Out The Disease

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 10/09/2013 6:59 pm EDT  |  Updated: 10/10/2013 11:38 am EDT

alzheimers smell test

Detecting Alzheimer’s disease may soon be as easy as testing a patient’s sense of smell.

As part of research into methods for early diagnosis of the degenerative brain disease, researchers in Florida devised anAlzheimer’s smell test capable of confirming an AD diagnosis. The key ingredient? Peanut butter.

Led by Jennifer Stamps, a graduate student at the University of Florida, the team conducted a small pilot study and tested subjects’ smell sensitivity in each nostril while they had their eyes, mouth and opposite nostril closed. Using a ruler, Stamps measured the distance at which patients were able to detect the odor of peanut butter on an exhale. After a 90-second break, the alternate nostril was tested.

At the time of the clinical tests, researchers were unaware of whether subjects had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s — the most common form of dementia — or with another type of mental deterioration. However, once they compared the metric measurements with subjects’ levels of cognitive impairment, the results were striking.

According to the research, recently published in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences, patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s demonstrated a significant difference between their left and right nostrils in their ability to smell the open container of peanut butter. For this group, the sense of smell in the left nostril was severely impaired; in order to smell the peanut butter through their left side, the container had to be an average of 10 centimeters closer to the nose than it was on the right side.

During testing, subjects with other types of cognitive impairment not related to Alzheimer’s either did not show this disparity between nostrils, or their right nostril was the one that was impaired.

In the past, loss of smell has been linked to Alzheimer’s, an incurable disease that currently affects 5.2 million Americans.

While diagnosis of the disease can be difficult — especially in the early stages, when detection is most crucial to prevent memory damage — a growing body of research suggests that a smell test could be used to identify this warning sign.

Stamps came up with the idea to create an Alzheimer’s smell test in an attempt to design an easy and cost-effective method to detect the disorder. Yet, she admits, the peanut butter test in its current form has limitations.

“At the moment, we can use this test to confirm diagnosis,” Stamps said in a statement released by the university. “But we plan to study patients with mild cognitive impairment to see if this test might be used to predict which patients are going to get Alzheimer’s disease.”

Delaying Retirement May Help Stave Off Alzheimer’s

Delaying Retirement May Help Stave Off Alzheimer’s

As Americans increasingly delay retirement, a new French study indicates this scenario may have a silver lining: a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers analyzing health and insurance records of more than 429,000 self-employed workers found a 3% reduction in dementia risk for each extra year at the age of retirement. Workers evaluated had been retired for an average of more than 12 years, and 2.65% of the group had dementia.

“There’s increasing evidence that lifestyle factors such as exercise, mental activities, social engagement, positive outlook and a heart-healthy diet may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia,” said Dr. James Galvin. “Now we can add staying in the workforce to this list of potential protective factors.” Galvin, director of the Pearl Barlow Center for Memory Evaluation and Treatment at the NYU Langone School of Medicine, was not involved with the research.

Working-Longer1

The study, led by Carole Dufouil, director of research in neuroepidemiology at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, was scheduled to be presented at an Alzheimer’s Association conference in Boston. Research presented at scientific conferences typically has not been peer-reviewed or published and results are considered preliminary.

About 5.2 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, which is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Americans are increasingly putting off retirement, especially those in the middle class. According to a 2012 Wells Fargo survey of 1,000 Americans earning less than $100,000 annually, almost one-third said they’d need to work until age 80 to live comfortably in retirement.

But Dufouil’s research, which linked health and pension databases of self-employed workers who were retired as of 2010, puts a positive spin on that choice. In study background materials, she said the data is in line with the “use it or lose it” hypothesis of brain health. The study showed an association between higher retirement age and lower dementia risk, but not a cause-and-effect relationship.

One Alzheimer’s disease expert was not surprised by the new findings. “There seems to be growing evidence that staying cognitively [mentally] active is really important to reducing a person’s risk, and perhaps professional activity may be one of those cognitive activities,” said Heather Snyder, director of medical and scientific operations for the Alzheimer’s Association, based in Chicago. “What we know is that things that promote lifelong learning seem to be beneficial. But that may mean different things for different people…and exactly what that is, we can’t define at this point in time.”Delayed-Retirement-May-Help-Prevent-Alzheimer’s

For his part, Galvin noted several caveats to keep in mind when interpreting the study’s meaning. First, he said, self-employed workers may be inherently different than company-employed workers, with differences in skill sets, work environment, stress and social mobility that might affect the study’s results. Also, the prevalence of dementia was based on a review of either an existing dementia diagnosis or prescription for dementia-related medication, he noted.

“There is no way of knowing about those individuals who did not seek medical attention, did not have access to health care or who were not properly diagnosed,” Galvin added. “Nonetheless, the study supports the concept that keeping oneself mentally, physically and socially active over the span of a lifetime may have important effects on both physical and mental health.”

Delaying_Retirement_May_Lower_Alzheimers_Risk__146029

 WebMD, Inc.

Provided by Rebecca McGonigle, Wellstyles Newsletter, August 2013, Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT).

Exercising Daily Lowers Alzheimer’s Risk, Even If You Start Later In Life


Exercising Daily Lowers Alzheimer’s Risk, Even If You Start Later In Life

The risk of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline could be reduced by engaging in daily physical activity, even in those who are older than 80 years. Leading author, Dr. Aron S. Buchman, an associate professor of neurological sciences at Rush University Medical Center, declared:

“The results of our study indicate that all physical activities including exercise as well as other activities such as cooking, washing the dishes, and cleaning are associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease. These results provide support for efforts to encourage all types of physical activity even in very old adults who might not be able to participate in formal exercise, but can still benefit from a more active lifestyle. This is the first study to use an objective measurement of physical activity in addition to self-reporting. This is important because people may not be able to remember the details correctly.”

exercise1

In order to track the overall amount of daily exercise and non-exercise physical activity, the researchers asked 716 people without dementia, who were on average 82 years old, from the Rush Memory and Aging Project to continuously wear an actigraph on their non-dominant wrist for ten days, which monitors all activity and records all exercise and non-exercise physical activity.

To measure memory and thinking abilities, all participants also underwent annual cognitive testing during the study period, in addition to self-reporting their physical and social activities. The Rush Memory and Aging Project is an ongoing, longitudinal community study of common chronic old age conditions. 71 participants developed Alzheimer’s disease over an average follow-up period of 3.5 years. The findings demonstrated that those who were classed in the bottom 10% of daily physical activity had more than a two-fold (2.3 times) risk of developing Alzheimer’s, as compared  with those who were classed in the top 10% of daily activity. The findings furthermore demonstrated that individuals in the bottom 10% of intense physical activity had a 2.8 times higher risk of developing the disease than those in the top percent of the intensity of physical activity.

exercise2

Buchman explained: “Since the actigraph was attached to the wrist, activities like cooking, washing the dishes, playing cards and even moving a wheelchair with a person’s arms were beneficial. These are low-cost, easily accessible and side-effect free activities people can do at any age, including very old age, to possibly prevent Alzheimer’s.” In view that by 2030, the number of Americans older than 65 years of age will double to 80 million, Buchman concluded, “Our study shows that physical activity, which is an easily modifiable risk factor, is associated with cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. This has important public health consequences.”

exercise3

Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com

Information received from the August 2012 Wellstyles Newsletter by the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) by Rebecca McGonigle

logo vsmg

 

Red Wine Pill Under Development

‘Red wine pill’ like drinking 100 glasses a day, could cure major diseases

Published March 08, 2013

News Corp Australian Papers

  • Red Wine

The good news is red wine can cure cancer. The bad news is you’d need to drink 100 glasses a day.

While David Sinclair doesn’t recommend that, his work has shown red wine can have health benefits after all. And if things according to plan, they’ll be available in a ‘red wine pill.’

The Australian biologist said an international study, published Friday in the journal Science, had settled a controversy over whether resveratrol, a natural compound found in red wine, can fight cancer, Alzheimer’s and type 2 diabetes.

Ten years ago scientists found resveratrol could activate a “sirtuin” protein known to combat age-related diseases. But the claim was disputed because the reaction could only be observed when a fluorescent chemical known as fluorophore was present.

The new study, which also involved American and Portuguese researchers, showed resveratrol could have the desired effect in the absence of the synthetic chemical.

Sinclair, who shares his time between Harvard and the University of NSW, said fluorophore mimicked “greasy” amino acids that exist naturally in the body.

“It’s as we thought – resveratrol really does turn on this anti-aging enzyme,” Sinclair said.

“It’s more elegant and exciting than just mopping up free radicals. It’s activating our body’s genetic defenses against aging and diseases. That’s probably more effective than any anti-oxidant.”

On the downside, red wine only contains low concentrations of the compound. But Sinclair said synthetic drugs that work the same way  but with 100 times the potency  could be available in five years.

About 4,000 varieties of the drug have been developed since 2005, with the more promising versions tested on mice and three progressing to human trials.

“The studies are small so we can’t claim victory yet, but the drugs appear to be safe in humans so far,” Sinclair said.

He was “open to the possibility” that small doses of resveratrol could be beneficial. “But drinking a glass or two won’t cure any major diseases. It’s not potent enough.”

Click for more from The Australian. 

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/03/08/could-red-wine-pill-cure-major-diseases/?intcmp=trending#ixzz2NCaZ1YUB