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Japanese Gardens

The history of Japanese gardens dates back to the eleventh century in which distinct and strict rules were established for garden design. Documented writings describe forms of waterfalls, materials to be used, relationships of materials, and placement of the different elements. Also noted are historical references of garden design and arrangement and actual categories or styles that included Artificial Hill Gardens (Tsuki-yama), Level Gardens (Hira-niwa), and Tea Gardens (Chaseki).

The Japanese term mie gakure, which translates as “hide and reveal,” is a central design concept in some forms of Japanese-style gardens. In contrast to Western European gardens whose paths and approaches tend to involve straight, direct lines leading towards a visible goal, the paths in Japanese stroll gardens characteristically curve, and elements are arranged such that new, unexpected views and features are revealed at different turns.

Much of the cultural influence came from the Chinese. Their traditions and Buddhism religion was imported around the sixth century A.D. which had an enormous influence on the Japanese way of life and also included gardening as well. The influence could be seen for more than a thousand years.

The native religion of Japan, Shintoism, emphasized that all of nature, plants, trees, and rocks were sacred, and many gardens were considered a sacred place of worship that the Gods would visit. These areas would actually receive offerings and symbolized not only a place to worship nature and all of its creatures, but to worship their creator as well.

The Japanese garden has evolved over the centuries in that it is much more than just an accumulation of rocks, trees, and other physical elements. It is a symbolism of belief in a spirit of unique gardens representing people and their cultures.

The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach, Florida, devoted to the showcasing of Japanese arts and culture, constitutes an oasis of tranquillity in the midst of suburban sprawl. Established in 1977, the museum—bearing the name of the Japanese-American benefactor who donated land for its site shortly before his death in 1976—features one of North America’s premier Japanese gardens.

In This Issue

  • Inherited Alzheimer's Damage Greater Decades Before Symptons Appear
  • New Drug Could Reverse Age-Related Cognitive Decline
  • IPods Awaken Memories Through Music For Those With Alzheimers
  • Poor Fitness In Middle Age Linked To Risk Of Dementia
  • Alzheimer's Store Featured Product
  • Recipe Of The Week
  • Newsletter Promotions
  • Events Calendar
  • Trivia Questions

Editorial Note: Healthcare Products LLC reviews the news wires looking for press releases and current articles relating to Alzheimer's and dementia. We write a brief description of each article and by clicking on its heading will bring you to the originally written story ...hope you enjoy The Alzheimer's News...

Inherited Alzheimer's Damage Greater Decades Before Symptoms Appear

(Source: Science Daily) - The progression of Alzheimer's may slow once symptoms appear and do significant damage , according to a study investigating an inherited form of the disease.

In a paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, Professor Colin Masters from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health and University of Melbourne -- and colleagues in the UK and US -- have found rapid neuronal damage begins 10 to 20 years before symptoms appear.

"As part of this research we have observed other changes in the brain that occur when symptoms begin to appear. There is actually a slowing of the neurodegeneration," said Professor Masters. Autosomal-dominant Alzheimer's affects families with a genetic mutation, predisposing them to the crippling disease. These families provide crucial insight into the development of Alzheimer's because they can be identified years before symptoms develop. The information gleaned from this group will also influence treatment offered to those living with the more common age-related version. Only about one per cent of those with Alzheimer's have the genetic type of the disease.

IPods Awaken Memories Through Music For Those With Alzheimers

(Source: ABC News) - Jean Paese says an iPod playlist of barber shop music helps her see glimpses of the Bill Paese she married 53 years ago.

Bill Paese, 82 and suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, sang in a quartet most of his life – so his customized playlist is a bridge to good memories for both of them.

“He’s in there and sometimes we get to see him,” said Jean Paese, who visits her husband daily at the Rocky Knoll Health Care Center in Plymouth, Wis.

Alzheimer’s Disease: Music Brings Patients ‘Back to Life’

Dan Cohen, a social worker in New York, came up with the idea in 2006 to take unused iPods and make them available to those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia. He started by creating playlists for residents at a local nursing home.

In 2010, Music & Memory was created and iPod donations by the thousands poured into Cohen’s organization.

More than 5 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
The customized playlists somehow link senior citizens with their pasts. Researchers think the music touches so many areas of the brain, making connections, that it may have the power to awaken memories and feelings that would otherwise be lost.

New Drug Could Reverse Age-Related Cognitive Decline

(Source: Medical News Today) - As we age, many of us may struggle to remember simple things, such as directions or what film we watched last night. But researchers from the University of Florida say they have discovered a drug that has the potential to reverse mild cognitive decline among older adults.

This is according to a study recently published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

The research team, including Prof. Jennifer Bizon of the university's Department of Neuroscience, explains that the type of memory responsible for the recall of day-to-day items is known as the "working memory."

We use this memory for everyday activities, such as calculating the final bill after dining in a restaurant.

Prof. Bizon explains that in order to work out a 15% tip, for example, our brains must hold multiple pieces of information in mind for short periods, such as remembering the cost of dinner while calculating the amount of money needed for a tip. This process is central to working memory among other "higher" cognitive processes, according to Prof. Bizon.

Poor Fitness In Middle Age Linked To Risk In Dementia

(Source: Health Day News) - How middle-aged people rate their own physical fitness could provide clues about their risk for future dementia, Finnish researchers report.

Among people aged about 50, those who self-rate their level of fitness as poor are four times more likely to develop dementia within 30 years than those who say they have a good level of fitness, the study suggests.

"Previous research has shown that self-rated health is a strong indicator of adverse health events," study author Jenni Kulmala, a postdoctoral researcher from the Gerontology Research Center at the University of Jyvaskyla, said in an Academy of Finland news release.

The new study, which followed more than 3,500 adults, "is the first large population-based study investigating associations between self-rated physical fitness during the three decades from midlife to later life and dementia risk," she said.

The link between poor self-assessment of physical fitness and dementia was strongest among people with chronic illnesses and those who did not carry a specific gene known as "APOE-4," the researchers found. (This gene version is associated with a strong susceptibility for dementia.)

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Recipe Of The Week
Coconut rice is popular throughout Southeast Asia. Sambal means "sauce" in Malay, and this spicy tomato condiment is great with rich, sweet rice. If you can find pandan (screwpine) leaves (also known as pandanus or daun pandan), use two of them tied together in place of the bay leaves; they lend distinctive woody and floral undertones to the rice. Garnish with lime wedges and cilantro sprigs.
-Recipe From Cooking Light
Coconut Rice With Spicy Tomato Sauce


3 cups light coconut milk
2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 red Thai chiles
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 cup peeled and quartered shallots (about 4 large)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 (14.5-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes, undrained, seeded, and chopped
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1. To prepare the rice, combine coconut milk, rice, and bay leaves in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Let stand 5 minutes; discard bay leaves. Fluff rice with a fork. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt.

2. To prepare sambal, seed 7 chiles; leave seeds in 1 chile. Mince chiles. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Add chiles and sugar to pan; sauté 1 minute or until fragrant. Add rind, juice, and tomatoes to pan; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until thickened. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt. Serve sambal over rice.

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Events Calendar: (if you would like to list your upcoming event, email us at contact@alzstore.com)

Mar 10th - 9:00 am-11 am - Caregiver Support Group / Alhambra, CA

Mar 11th - 1:00 pm - Caregiver Support Group / North Branch, MN

Mar 12th -8:30 am-3:15 pm - Annual Education Conference / Tucson, AZ

Mar 13th & 14th- 8:30 am -5:00 pm - Alzheimer's Community Care Education Conference / W Palm Beach, FL

Mar 7th - 8:00 am - 4:00 pm - Alzheimer's & Dementia Training Series / Columbia, SC

Mar 15th - 8:30 am -12:00 pm - Responding To The Needs Of the Person With AD / Ridgewood, NJ

Mar 17th - TBA - First Annual Great Minds Gala/ Washington, DC **an event not to be missed!


Take a guess at these trivia questions ..answers will be posted in next week's newsletter

1. Name three characteristics of a Japanese garden?

2. What is the Japanese name for the Japanese Garden?

3. What are the four different writing systems in Japan?

**email your answers to contact@alzstore.com & include your name & address to be in the running for a free gift! Winner will be chosen at random at the beginning of each month... Thank you for participating in our trivia challenge!!

Answers to last week's trivia; Hippotigris (horse-tiger / Samburu (the local language of north central Kenya / Jules Grevy (President of the Tird Republic Regime of France)

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