Green Tea May Prevent Alzheimer's Disease
(Source: Forbes) -
Could something as simple as drinking green tea protect you from developing Alzheimer’s? A host of new studies have looked at various aspects of how green tea affects the brain, and concluded yes.
Writing in the University of Michigan’s NeuroHealth blog last week, prominent neurologist Henry L. Paulson, MD describes the powerful properties of EGCG (official name: epigallocatechin-3-gallate), a flavonoid in green tea. EGCG, Paulson says, appears to protect the brain from the accumulation of amyloid plaques that scientists believe cause the brain deterioration associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Paulson describes new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Chinese scientist Mi Hee Lim and her team that shows EGCG binds to beta-amyloid, the protein that forms into amyloid plaques, and changes it to prevent that from happening.
In a closely timed and related study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, A team of British researchers at the University of Leeds added green tea extract and resveratrol, an extract from red wine (See my recent reporting on resveratrol and weight loss here), to balls of amyloid protein and found that the bioflavonoids prevented the plaques from sticking to nerve cells.
The Voices of Alzheimer's
(Source: NY Times Health) - In the latest Patient Voices segment, producer Karen Barrow explores the frightening and confusing world of Alzheimer’s. She captures the voices of both patients and loved ones who are struggling with issues of independence, long-term care and making the most of the time they have left.
One of those patients is Laura Mercer, 50, a journalist from Charlotte, N.C., who developed early-onset Alzheimer’s at age 46. “I woke up one day and didn’t know who I was,” she says. “I know this because my husband told me…. That’s certainly part of Alzheimer’s. You can’t remember what you can’t remember.”
Ms. Mercer says her goal now is to make the most out of every day and to live life as normally as possible.
“At the end of the day I said to myself, ‘I’ve got two choices here. I could mourn this illness, or I could celebrate life,’ ” recalls Ms. Mercer. “I love my husband. I love my family. I love life. I’m going to live life to the fullest.”
Memory Vacation Is Summer Getaway For Those With Alzheimer's And Their Families
(Source: PR Newswire) - Everyone loves a summer break and people with Alzheimer's disease are no different. While taking a trip may not be feasible for many with dementia, another kind of getaway can be very enjoyable and beneficial to the individual and their families, experts say. A "memory vacation" to a favorite destination from the past is brought to the place of residence, whether in their long-time home or at a memory-care community.
"A variety of stimuli can elicit long-term memories for some people with dementia and reminders of beloved vacations of the past may be among them," says Dr. Paul Nussbaum, national director of brain health for Emeritus Senior Living and clinical neuropsychologist and adjunct professor of neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "For example, if a loved one enjoyed summers at the beach in their youth, recreating that setting with familiar sights, sounds and aromas can stimulate memory from those times and bring on a feeling of well being."
A beach chair, raft, cookout, the scent of sunscreen, music and photos of that time period of their life, or simply an audio of lapping waves are stimuli that can bring echoes back from the past, Nussbaum says.
(Source: Y-Net News) - According to a new study conducted by Dr. Inna Slutsky of Tel Aviv University, there may be a missing link in restoring brain protein balance for Alzheimer's patients.
The study suggests that simple everyday activities like reading books may have the power to stave off the mind-deteriorating disease, due to connections it creates in the mind, allowing its internal networks to provide energy to itself.
The study is based on the age-old theory that a build-up of amyloid-beta protein in the brain is what causes Alzheimer's, which today affects 5.4 million people in the United States alone.
Slutsky's research, however, suggests that it is an imbalance of amyloid-beta 40 that is found in Alzheimer's patients, and not just the amount of amyloid, that leads to developing the disease.