Category Archives: Dementia

Benefits Of Strength Training For Seniors

New research in the Archives of Internal Medicine finds that elderly women who are experiencing the beginnings of memory decline may ward off full-blown dementia by doing some regular strength training. One of the benefits of strength training for seniors appears to be the boosting of mental functioning in those who had some memory loss, while aerobics-based exercises didn’t give the same benefits to the brain.

For elderly people, mild cognitive impairment is considered to be an indicator of a future dementia risk. Everyone agrees that dementia is a major public health concern for an aging population, as well as a devastating illness that carries this astonishing statistic. A new case of dementia is diagnosed someplace around the world every 7 seconds.

Earlier work on the brain and exercise has examined aerobic exercises; this research was the first to compare both aerobic and strength training workouts.

Teresa Liu-Ambrose, an assistant professor in the department of physical therapy at the University of British Columbia who led the study said the results show that strength training, not aerobics, has benefits for thinking. She and her team focused on 86 female subjects who were 70 to 80 years old, who had mentioned memory problems and were thought to have probable mild cognitive impairment.

For the six months of study the subjects participated in one-hour classes two times per week. One third of them were assigned to a strength-training program, one third walked outside as part of an aerobics program and one third took basic balance and toning classes.

The program also called for the participants (77 completed the study) to take standard visual and verbal memory tests, as well as an evaluation of decision making and problem solving activities. About a third of the study subjects also submitted to functional MRI scans at both the start and end of the study in an effort to look for activity changes in the brain.

The strength-training subjects had significant cognitive improvement compared to those who did the balance/tone workouts. The strength trainers also experienced activity changes in three parts of the brain’s cortex that are associated with thinking. These changes were not found in the balance/tone group. As for the aerobic group, while there were big physical improvements compared to the balance/tone group, these exercisers didn’t get the same mental benefit, as did the strength trainers.

But why would strength training work over aerobics?

Continues below…


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Strength Training Might Help Strengthen Seniors’ Brains… Continued…

For now researchers can only speculate that resistance training calls for more learning and monitoring – you have to keep track of weights, the reps, adjust the seats of different machines. Walking, the aerobic activity, is more natural, requires less thought and attention.

The researchers on this work have made a YouTube video to help both seniors get started with some simple things you can do at home or at the gym. Those new to exercise should use a trainer to be sure they’re doing things properly and build slowly.

The research did involve small numbers, and will need to be repeated in larger groups to see if the benefits of strength training hold out. Should the study findings hold, strength training might become an intervention for those suffering mild cognitive impairment that brings down their risk of dementia later on.

Benefits Of The Mediterranean Diet Plan

You’ve heard nothing but good things about the Mediterranean diet plan- how it has been shown to bring a lower risk of metabolic syndrome, stroke, heart disease, even dementia. Now here’s another one. Eating this way may well reduce small blood vessel damage in the brain.

There’s some new research from the Northern Manhattan Study appearing in the Archives of Neurology that finds those who follow the acclaimed eating plan have less damage to small blood vessels of the brain than those who do not eat this way.

The research team believes that there has been no work done to look at whether the diet has a link to white matter hyperintensity volume (WMHV) in the brain.

Typical in most people as they age, there has been research to show higher levels of WMHV are predictive of stroke or dementia. WMHV is an indication of small blood vessel damage and is typically identified during an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan.

In fact, as part of the study, the team compared brain scans and diets of 966 adults who had an average age of 72. The diets were rated based on how closely they stuck to the Mediterranean style of eating. A linear regression was performed on the data to see if there was an association between the Mediterranean diet score and the white matter hyperintensity volume. They saw that subjects who most closely followed this eating plan had a lower WMHV than those who didn’t eat this way. Each 1-point increase in the Mediterranean diet score brought a corresponding decrease in the WMHV score.

What’s more, the benefit remained even after adjusting for other risk factors involved in small blood vessel damage in the brain. These are things like smoking, having diabetes, having high blood pressure or abnormal cholesterol levels.

Continues below…


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Yet Another Benefit Of Following A Mediterranean Diet… Continued…

The thing about the Mediterranean eating plan that mattered the most appears to be the levels of monounsaturated fat to saturated fat. Natural sources of monounsaturated fats are vegetable oils such as olive, canola, peanut, sunflower and sesame, avocados, peanut butter and a variety of nuts and seeds. Saturated fats come from meat and dairy, as well as processed foods.

It’s true that the Mediterranean diet is named because it is a way of eating (and living) that is based on the diets of the people living on the Mediterranean Sea. Places like Italy and Greece.

This way of eating includes lots of fresh fruits and veggies, fish, whole grains, legumes, monounsaturated fats and moderate intake of alcohol. There’s not a lot of red meat eating; saturated fats and refined grains are limited… as is sugar.

Research Hannah Gardener, ScD, from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine reminds us that the results suggest it’s the overall pattern of the diet, rather than any one thing, that is more important in explaining the benefits of the Mediterranean diet plan to our body. There is mounting evidence that what we eat on a regular basis can be either incredibly helpful or rather harmful to our bodies, and our brains.

Problems With Sleep Linked to Alzheimers Disease

Try to sleep after reading this… you’re more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease if your sleep is poor… the idea really helps you drift off, doesn’t it? New research, while preliminary, has found that problems with sleep like waking all through the night, more than five times in an hour, may be a signal of preclinical Alzheimer’s disease. Preclinical Alzheimer’s is the term medical personnel use for those who have normal mental skills but also show the brain changes that are linked to this dreadful disease.

The research on sleep and Alzheimer’s involved 100 subjects, both men and women who were aged between 45 to 80 years. All were dementia free at the start of the study, though half had a family history of Alzheimer’s disease.

For two weeks the subjects wore a device that was able to measure sleep, while also filling out sleep diaries and questionnaires. The subjects slept for about six and a half hours, though they stayed in bed for another hour and a half, for a total of eight hours.

The research team analyzed subjects’ spinal fluid, looked at brain scans for evidence of amyloid plaques – the deposits that are in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s. Today experts think such deposits can be forming from 10 to 15 years before symptoms appear. About a quarter of the subjects had evidence of preclinical Alzheimer’s, and those who woke most often (over 5 times an hour) were more likely than non-waking subjects to show abnormal biomarkers.

Study lead Yo- El Ju, MD, assistant professor of neurology at St. Louis’ Washington University School of Medicine is due to present her findings on Alzheimer’s and sleep in April as part of the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology. Keep in mind that studies presented at conferences are considered preliminary. The findings have yet to undergo the peer review process, where outside experts look at the data before it appears in a medial text.

The researchers also cannot put a number on the increase in risk for those who woke more often. Subjects who spent under 85% of their time in bed sleeping were more likely to have preclinical Alzheimer’s. Waking five times an hour sounds like no sleep at all, and Ju admits that the measuring device might slightly over estimate the number of times subjects woke. Still most of us do wake up, briefly, quite a bit during a normal night of sleep.

Continues below…


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Fact: Poor Sleep Increases The Risk of Death/ Disease

Ever lain awake at night and counted the hours till dawn? Isn’t frustrating to be in bed and be unable to sleep?

With around 18 million prescriptions written every year for expensive sleeping pills…

…it’s clear that there’s a national epidemic.

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Here’s the answer.

Learn how a retired M.D. Laney Chouest from New Orleans broke his 5-year addiction to Ambien, and now sleeps peacefully without medication.

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Could Sleep Disturbances Be Associated With Alzheimer’s Disease..? Continued…

Are changes in the brain driving sleep disturbances, or is it the other way around? Trouble sleeping could well be a reflection of changes happening in the brain. We do know that getting a good night’s sleep is very important for the brain. More examination of the relationship between sleep and Alzheimer’s is needed. Ju is enrolling and evaluating another 100 subjects for further study, and expects to have these results by the time of the meeting presentation.

Interestingly there are animal studies that find sleep changes do drive the accumulation of amyloid. It wouldn’t be surprising for this to be the case in humans as well.

The take home message? If you’ve got problems with sleep then getting a good night’s sleep is key, and we should all try to make getting the right amount of restful, restorative sleep a priority. Just as we do with eating right and exercising, sleep is equally important.

Ways To Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Enjoying a tasty piece of baked or broiled fish just once a week might improve the health of your brain, bringing down the risk of mild cognitive impairment (also known as MCI) and helping to prevent Alzheimer’s disease according to new research just presented at the Radiological Society of North America annual meeting.

The study found that eating fish that was not fried, but rather baked or broiled, helps to preserve brain neurons, making them stronger brain areas that are important for thinking and memory.

To understand the impact of eating fish on brain health, the team from the University of Pittsburgh looked at 260 elderly people (average age 71) who were mentally healthy and had been drawn from the Cardiovascular Health Study that’s sponsored by the U.S. NHLBI.

Ten years later every study subject underwent a 3D MRI scan, so the team could map out the size of the brain, a key to brain health. The subjects had also filled out the U.S. National Cancer Institute Food Frequency Questionnaire so researchers know what they ate, and how often. The team then looked at brain changes against diet.

The food frequency questionnaires showed that 163 of the participants ate fish at least once a week, most saying they ate this food between one and four times a week.

Study author Dr. Cyrus Raji, a department of medicine resident at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, says those who ate either baked or broiled fish were found to have larger brains. They had bigger brain cells in the areas responsible for memory and learning, areas of the brain thought to be at high risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

About five years later, the researchers assessed the study subjects for mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s. They saw that 47% of those who didn’t eat fish at least once a week had mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s; compared to only 28% of the regular fish eaters.

Regardless of age, race, gender, weight, how active they were and what level of education they had achieved, those who ate baked or broiled fish had a larger mass in a very specific, very important areas of the brain. They also displayed better working memory, so that they could more efficiently and effectively handle routine tasks.

Continues below…


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Study: Baked/Broiled Fish May Well Fight Alzheimer’s… Continued…

Raji was most amazed at the amount of fish that brought a benefit – eating it baked or broiled one to four times a week was enough. Just a half serving a day… a small change in what you eat could well have an incredible impact on your brain health today and down the line. No benefit to the brain was seen for those who ate fried fish.

For those who had larger brain volume, the risk of MCI and Alzheimer’s went down fivefold within five years after the brain scans conducted as part of the research.

Today over 5 million Americans are living with the horror and heartbreak that is Alzheimer’s disease… a slow destruction of memory and thinking and language that has no cure. Often those diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment go on to develop Alzheimer’s in the future.

The team cautions that though eating baked and broiled fish may have some benefits to the brain, there might be other lifestyle and socioeconomic factors that also play a part in helping to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. There could well be other protective factors linked to fish eating that the researchers didn’t measure – how many fruits/veggies were they also eating; were they more active or eating a lower number of calories each day. The connection between fish and brain health should be considered an association, not cause-and-effect, though it certainly can’t hurt to give the baked or broiled versions of your favorite seafoods a try – you’ll be surprised how absolutely delicious they are.

Link Between Dementia And Depression

Diabetes patients who are worried by dementia and depression take note. Odds for dementia go up markedly for those who have both type 2 diabetes and struggle with depression. Those with diabetes are two times as likely to develop memory and independence robbing dementia within three to five years after being diagnosed with depression, compared to those who didn’t have depression but did have diabetes.

Doctor’s have known for some time that diabetes is a risk for dementia according to study lead Dr. Wayne Katon, a professor and vice chair of the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences from the School of Public Health at the University of Washington. Having diabetes may just double the risk of dementia, though no one can say just why this is true.

Maybe it’s the stress of day-to-day management of the disease. You might feel alone… apart from family and friends because of all the extra work you need to do – especially in our food-focused culture. And then, coming to an acceptance of what’s happening to your body is a difficult and bumpy road. If you have complications from your disease, nerve damage for example, or are having trouble keeping your blood sugar where it should be, you may feel like you’re losing control. It’s easy to see how depression can get a foothold, and then hang on.

Once you’re depressed, it’s hard to…

- Eat a healthy diet

- Be active

- Keep from smoking

Katon believes that diabetes is often accompanies by depression, pointing out that almost 20% of diabetics have this mood disorder. This combination actually doubles again the already raised risk of dementia that diabetics already have.

To study depression, diabetes and dementia, the team of researchers focused on over 19,000 California adults who had diabetes and were between 30 and 75 years old. Nearly one in five of them were also considered to be experiencing “clinically significant” symptoms of depression.

Monitoring for dementia took place over the next three to five years, and the team saw that just over 2% of those who had both diabetes and depression went on to be diagnosed with one (or more) forms of dementia – including Alzheimer’s disease. Just 1% of patients who had diabetes ended up with dementia during that same time.

Continues below…


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Study: When Diabetes And Depression Meet, Dementia Risk Rises… Continued…

The important thing to focus on is that there are treatments for depression that work very well. If you’re a diabetic who is dealing with depression, don’t wait – do something about it now, just as you are doing with your diabetes.

There are things you can do to help yourself battle both. Working to keep your weight under control is key – so eating a low fat diet and staying active on a regular basis are best bets.

You should know that the absolute risk of dementia for any person who has both depression and diabetes still remains small – one in 50 people. The study authors also note that diabetes and depression are among the most common health issues older Americans face, but that both conditions are treatable and manageable – you can feel better.

Causes Of Alzheimer’s Include Sleep Deprivation

There’s a fascinating new study on the causes of alzheimer’s that finds levels of amyloid beta, a well known marker for Alzheimer’s disease, rise during the day and go down at night in a pattern that appears to echo our natural sleep/wake cycle.

Though it’s early days yet, this finding suggests a link between sleep deprivation and the risk of developing this most dreaded of brain destroying diseases, Alzheimer’s.

The study split participants into three groups:

1) age 60 and older who tested positive for amyloid beta plaques in the brain;
2) age 60 and older who didn’t have amyloid beta plaques; and
3) healthy subjects aged 18 to 60 years old.

In the first group, the levels of amyloid beta remained just about constant, while in the other two groups; the levels rose and fell in waves. In healthy adults levels of amyloid beta reached their lowest point about 6 hours after sleep, and their highest point six hours after maximum wakefulness.

Peaks in sleep and wakefulness consistently happened just before the same move in levels of amyloid beta, while normal daily activities had no impact on the changes. This pattern was most prevalent in young, healthy subjects, and not so much in older people who naturally sleep less and experience fewer periods of deep sleep. Understand too that disruptions to our normal sleep/wake cycles typically get more pronounced as we age.

The risk of Alzheimer’s also goes up as we add more candles to the birthday cake.

The researchers believe the protection of enough quality, restful sleep comes from the brain’s reduced activity during this time, allowing the body to flush amyloid beta proteins through the spinal fluid.

Interesting that levels of amyloid beta in older subjects who have Alzheimer’s are nearly constant, suggesting a potential link between lack of good, restorative sleep and risk of getting Alzheimer’s.

Continues below…


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Fact: Poor Sleep Increases The Risk of Death/ Disease

Ever lain awake at night and counted the hours till dawn? Isn’t frustrating to be in bed and be unable to sleep?

With around 18 million prescriptions written every year for expensive sleeping pills…

…it’s clear that there’s a national epidemic.

So, what do doctors do when they can’t sleep?

Here’s the answer.

Learn how a retired M.D. Laney Chouest from New Orleans broke his 5-year addiction to Ambien, and now sleeps peacefully without medication.

Also, discover how a Licensed Psychologist, Sharon Stein McNamara, Ed.D.fromMinnesota broke her insomnia cycle.

Click through today to discover the 7 mistakes that are killing your sleep, and how overcome them…
*Disclosure: compensated affiliate*


Link Established Between Lack of Sleep And Alzheimer’s Disease… Continued…

It’s long been accepted that significant sleep deprivation hurts brain functioning, just as much as alcohol intoxication according to professor of neurology and director of Washington University’s Sleep Medicine Center, Dr. Stephen Duntley. It’s only recently been discovered that prolonged disruption/deprivation of sleep can play a rather important role in the pathological processes involved in disease. The connection between sleep and Alzheimer’s hasn’t been confirmed in people yet, but the finding could still be rather important to our overall understanding of the disease.

Today there are no medications that can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s, but there are 4 FDA approved drugs to treat the symptoms. They help patients hold onto thinking, memory and speaking skills and might also help with some of the behavior and personality changes that come with this condition. At best they are effective for a few months to perhaps several years.

The researchers on this project admit that far more work is needed in order to understand how interrupted sleeping patterns might disrupt the normal ebb and flow of amyloid beta in the spine. While we’re still speculating, it’s intriguing to think that better sleep might help in reducing Alzheimer’s risk and that getting it is an easy way to eliminate one of the possible causes of alzheimer’s.

Could Symptoms Of Alzheimers Be Reduced With Nasal Spray?

Encouraging news on Alzheimer’s. There’s a new study, small yet convincing, led by a Department of Veterans Affairs team that suggests a nasal insulin spray might be able to help those with mild memory problems improve their symptoms of alzheimer’s.

However, even the study authors believe much more research is needed before doctors will be able to say for sure that such a product would help patients. But we do know that insulin in the brain works differently than it does in the rest of the body, so there may be more to the connection than insulin’s role in glucose uptake.

We also know that there is currently no way to delay or prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Earlier research has suggested an association between Alzheimer’s disease and conditions like obesity and type 2 diabetes. This latest work supports the links between troubles with insulin signaling in the brain and cognitive decline according to researcher Dr. James E. Galvin, a professor of neurology/psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center.

For the current study, Seattle researchers recruited 104 adults who had mild memory problems from either Alzheimer’s disease of another condition known as amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI).

The participants were divided into three groups, 36 subjects who got 40 IU (international units) of insulin per day, another 38 subjects who got 20 IUs of insulin daily and the final 30 participants who took a saline filled placebo. The insulin was delivered through a nasal spray.

The team looked at insulin effects on thinking, everyday functioning and glucose metabolism in the brain. At the end of the study, those who took 20 IUs a day showed improved ability to recall a story, better ability to remember details right afterward and again after a brief lapse in time. Those taking the higher dose, and those taking the placebo showed no improvement in story recall.

Also, those were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and received either of the two doses of insulin had preserved mental function compared with Alzheimer’s patients who were taking the placebo. The placebo takers showed some small declines overall.

Continues below…


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I’ve read the whole thing (all 150 pages) and there’s some great information in there about how to naturally and permanently eliminate your yeast infection without drugs, creams or any kind of gimmicks. I highly recommend it – it’s very honest and straightforward without all the hype and b.s. you see all over the net these days.

Click Through Now and Discover How to Get Rid of Yeast Infections Once and For All…
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Could This Spray Improve Alzheimer’s Symptoms..? Continued…

And then, there’s this. The results of a standard dementia test the subjects took before and after the study showed no decline for either insulin group compared to those taking the placebo.

In the initial stages, Alzheimer’s disease brings trouble thinking, with memory loss and language difficulties. Insulin problems are thought to play a part in these symptoms. And while the biggest risk of Alzheimer’s is getting older, this is not a disease of old age. Patients generally live an average of 8 years after their symptoms have been noticed by those around them, but can live as long as 20 years, depending on age and other health conditions.

While much more research into the symptoms of alzheimer’s is needed, the findings are promising and may lead to new ways to treat all forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s. While medical science can’t stop these diseases from progressing, there are treatments that can temporarily slow down symptoms and improve the quality of life for patients and their families.

Diabetes And Dementia Link Discovered

As if diabetes weren’t challenge enough… new research that supports earlier work on diabetes and dementia and the long-held suspicion of medicine, finds those who have this life altering, potentially dangerous condition are at significantly higher risk of developing all types of dementia (that includes Alzheimer’s disease) than those without diabetes.

This work, unlike studies of the past, uses a large sample size and is of significant enough duration to be convincing, and appears in the journal Neurology.

The researchers want everyone to understand that you need to be aware of the potential problems diabetes can bring… and treat it aggressively and consistently in order to keep trouble from starting.

To stay in control when it comes to diabetes, patients need to be careful about what they eat, how active they are, and may also need insulin or other drugs to keep blood sugar levels properly managed. When left untreated, this disease can cause blindness, kidney and heart disease and even death.

The study, conducted by a team at Kyushu University in Japan, included just over 1,000 Japanese men and women, over 60 years old, who took a glucose test to see if they were diabetic or pre-diabetic. They were then followed for an average of 11 years.

At the end of the study period, 232 of the subjects were diagnosed with dementia. This could be either Alzheimer’s, all cause dementia, vascular dementia or another form of the disease.

Of the 150 study participants who had diabetes, 41 (27%) were diagnosed with dementia as well, while 115 (20%) of the 559 who didn’t have diabetes were also diagnosed with the memory robbing, independence stealing condition.

Among the 308 who had pre-diabetes, 76 (or 25%) also were found to have developed dementia. Even having higher than normal levels of blood sugar during the testing was associated with higher dementia risk.

While we are more convinced than ever that diabetes and dementia are linked, experts still can’t say exactly why having diabetes increases the risk of dementia.

Continues below…


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Yet More Evidence Linking Dementia With This Common Condition… Continued…

It may be that diabetes contributes to vascular disease, and doctors know this condition disrupts the flow of oxygen to the brain and other parts of the body. Such disruption might be enough to cause memory problems and other issues.

Diabetes today affects almost 26 million adults and children in the United States alone, with an estimated 7 million undiagnosed, and unaware of the risks, according to figures from the American Diabetes Association. This adds up to $174 billion in costs for health care. There are another 79 million with pre-diabetes.

Considering the incredible increases in type 2 diabetes being seen around the world, along with spiraling obesity rates, experts believe that controlling this illness, and hopefully limiting its consequences, is more important than ever.

The next step for researchers is to find out if treating early dementia with insulin might be of benefit to patients, and this work is to be funded by the Alzheimer’s Association.

Going forward, the findings confirm the notion that diabetes and dementia may be linked. As such, this should change the way doctors manage diabetes, especially if a patient shows signs of failing memory or having other cognitive problems associated with dementia.

Effects Of Smoking To Health Include Shrinking Brain

Important news on lifestyle factors and brain health. A new study in the journal Neurology, suggests that allowing your weight to be out of control in middle age and the effects of smoking to health may actually shrink your brain… bringing on mental decline a mere ten years later.

Researchers have always hypothesized such risk factors could impact brain health, but to have a study that proves it adds more weight to recommendations to live a healthy lifestyle all through life.

And while there’s no stopping the aging process, by doing what you can to keep your body healthy during midlife plays an important part in holding onto a healthy mind as the years pass.

The researchers out of the University of California Davis examined data on 1,352 subjects who were taking part in the Framingham Offspring Study… a generally health conscious lot.

Participants were 54 years old, on average, and were given tests of blood pressure, cholesterol and for diabetes, as well as measuring body mass index and waist circumference. MRI brain scans were taken over the course of ten years, the first about 7 years after the initial risk factor assessment.

Anyone with stroke or dementia was excluded at the start of the study, and during the time of the first and last MRIs, 19 of the participants had a stroke, two developed dementia.

The team saw that factors like smoking, high blood pressure, having diabetes and being too heavy were each associated with dangerous vascular changes in the brain.

- Those who had high blood pressure saw a faster drop in test scores on planning and decision-making, and this corresponds to a faster rate of growth of tiny areas of vascular brain damage, than those who had normal blood pressure readings.

- Participants who had diabetes at midlife saw a loss in brain size in a part of the brain called the hippocampus that was faster than those who didn’t have diabetes.

Continues below…


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Announcing: Doctor Approved Store Cupboard Remedies that Really Work…

Do you buy over the counter drugs?

Stop right now and don’t waste any more money.

Did you know that you can easily treat illness without side effects, using only natural herbs, vitamins and nutrients?

Charles Silverman N.D. Certified Naturopathic and Herbalist Doctor has taken his 18 years research and experience and condensed it into a home remedy encyclopeida of the most powerful, and more importantly proven, home remedies.

You can eliminate the Flu virus, boost your immune system, and recover faster from colds using these doctor-approved home remedies…

As well as sleep better, look younger and treat any skin problem with your own skin care home remedies and recipes.

Click through now to discover the “hidden” kitchen cupboard cures – proven by clinical trials.
*Disclosure: compensated affiliate*


Warning: 3 Things That Can Shrink Your Brain… Continued…

- Smokers lost brain volume in the hippocampus, as well as showing an overall decrease in size, with a faster increase in those areas of vascular brain damage than those who did not smoke.

- Subjects who were at obese at midlife were more likely to be in the top 25% of those who showed faster declines in tests on executive function. Having a high waist to hip ratio also made subjects more likely to be part of the 25% who had a faster drop in brain volume.

The effects of the risk factors studied are likely to be more compelling in the larger population, since the study subjects were mostly healthy people who had normal blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as having a lower risk of diabetes. The group of subjects certainly aren’t a good representation of the general population considering the growing obesity epidemic in this country, as well as the numbers of those with high blood pressure/cholesterol readings.

So now we have solid data that shows there are things you can do… stopping smoking to reduce the effects of smoking to health, watching your blood pressure and cholesterol numbers as well as eating right and exercising in an effort to avoid diabetes… in order to keep both body and mind sound as the years pass. All this boils down to keeping your weight under control, which is no easy task to be sure, but one certainly worth the effort considering what it can do for your brain health over the long term.

Mental Benefits Of Exercise Confirmed By Study

Yet more evidence that we can do something to help our brains stay healthy as the years pass. Not one, but two brand new reports suggest that older adults who stay physically active are cutting the odds they’ll lose their mental abilities as they get older through the mental benefits of exercise.

Both works appear online in the Archives of Internal Medicine and coincide with presentations at the International Conference on Alzheimer’s disease held in Paris this year.

While earlier research used self-reported information on activity levels, the first study, led by Laura E. Middleton of Toronto’s Heart and Stroke Foundation Center relied instead on a far more objective measure of activity. The subjects in this research were 197 adults, average age 74 who were free of cognitive difficulties and were taking part in the larger, ongoing Health, Aging and Body Composition study.

To measure how active the participants were, the team kept track of the total amount of energy the subjects used by a method known as “double labeled water”. This shows just how much water you lose and is a widely accepted measure of metabolic activity.

Using this objective measurement, the team saw that those who were most active had an amazing 90% lower risk of having symptoms of significant mental decline compared to those who were the least active.

The method the researchers used was able to capture all kinds of activity, and suggests that low intensity movement may be more important than anyone had thought.

Simple things like moving around the house, walking out to get the mail or doing routine housework may in fact go a long way toward keeping the aging brain healthy.

The results were confirmed by having the participants complete the Modified Mini-Mental State Examination at the start and end of the study period.

In the second of the studies presented, a team led by Marie-Noel Vercambre of the Foundation of Public Health in Paris examined the impact of physical activity on women who were taking part in the Women’s Antioxidant Cardiovascular Study. Some subjects had vascular disease, or at least three risk factors for dangerous heart disease.

The team determined the amount of physical activity for the 2,809 female subjects when the study began and in two-year increments thereafter. They also did phone interviews with the participants that included testing memory and mental abilities – at the start of the study and then three (or more) times over the 5.4-year follow up period.

Here too, the French researchers saw that the women who were the most active had the lowest rate of cognitive decline. Those who took a brisk, half hour walk daily (or its equal) had the lowest risk of losing mental abilities.

Continues below…


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New Study Confirms Exercise Good For Keeping Brain Sharp… Continued…

In an editorial that was published along with the studies, Dr. Eric B. Larson of the Group Health Research Institute believes the link between being active and staying mentally sharp is likely related to overall good vascular health. It may be that as we get older our brains just can’t handle stress as well, but being active helps improve our vascular health and our brain health as part of the bargain.

The take home message – there is growing evidence of an association between being active and your mental abilities as you get older. Doctors need to go beyond urging their older patients to be active; pointing out the dangers to mind and body of being sedentary and encouraging routine, low intensity movement as well as more robust activity.

The good news is that even if you start later in life, you can still get the mental benefits of exercise according to Larson. Even those who have lost some mental capacity can benefit from getting out and walking, with a caregiver, a few times a week. So now there’s even more of an incentive for you to get up, and get moving!