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Cherry Blossoms

The blossoming cherry trees symbolize the arrival of spring and brighten the area surrounding the Jefferson Memorial on the Tidal Basin with their vibrant pale pink and white flowers.

Cherry blossoms -- also known as sakura -- are Japan's symbolic flower of spring. Their blossoms usher in the new season and are a colorful reminder that winter is over.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival commemorates the gift of over 3,000 cherry trees from Japan in 1912. The cherry trees and annual National Cherry Blossom Festival honor the friendship between the U.S. and Japan.

Through the coordination of many people, the cherry trees arrived safely in Washington, D.C. where they have thrived for over a century. The National Park Service summarized this amazing journey, and how the nation came to celebrate the cherry trees.

Eliza Scidmore, a travel writer and photographer, formed the idea of planting cherry trees in Washington, D.C. after her return from Japan in 1885. Her request was unsuccessful until 1909 when she decided to raise the money to purchase the cherry trees. Ms. Scidmore wrote to First Lady Helen Herron Taft about the plan to purchase and donate the cherry trees to the city. The first lady was enthusiastic about the idea and decided to take up the matter. Once the Japanese consul in New York was informed of the first lady's plan, he suggested that his government gift 2,000 cherry trees to the U.S. government.

On January 6, 1910, around 2,000 cherry trees arrived in Washington, D.C. About two weeks later, the Department of Agriculture discovered that the trees were diseased and unfit for planting. The department concluded that the trees must be destroyed. Undeterred by this setback, Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki, with the approval of Toyko City Council authorized a second donation of cherry trees be made. On Valentine’s Day, 3,020 cherry trees from 12 varieties were shipped from Yokohama, bound for Seattle, WA. Upon arrival, the cherry trees were transferred to insulated freight cars for the shipment to Washington D.C. The cherry trees arrived in Washington, D.C. in March of 1912.

First Lady Helen Herron Taft and the Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese Ambassador, planted two Yoshino cherry trees on the northern bank of the Tidal Basin in a simple ceremony in March 1912. These two original trees still stand several hundred yards west of the John Paul Jones Memorial, located at the end of 17th Street, SW. Situated near the bases of the trees is a large bronze plaque which commemorates the ceremony.

In 1935, many civic groups jointly sponsored the first official “Cherry Blossom Festival.” It became an annual event, which grew in length to include several diverse activities in subsequent years. In 2011, approximately 120 specimens from the surviving 1912 cherry trees around the Tidal Basin were collected by the National Park Services’ Horticulturists and sent back to Japan to the Japan Cherry Blossom Association to retain the genetic lineage. Through this cycle of giving, the cherry trees continue to fulfill their role as a symbol and agent of friendship between the U.S. and Japan.

Today’s National Cherry Blossom Festival has grown from its humble beginnings in 1935 to a national springtime celebration -- where millions gather each year to gaze at the blooming cherry trees and take part in the festival activities.

In This Issue

  • Work With Small Peptide Chains May Revolutionize Study Of Enzymes, Diseases
  • 'Sewing Machine' Idea Gives Insight Into Origins Of Alzheimer's
  • Vegan Versus Paleo Diets On Topic Of Type 3 Diabetes, Spices And Alzheimer's
  • Fisher To Attend Alzheimer's Association Advocacy Forum
  • Alzheimer's Store Featured Product
  • Recipe Of The Week
  • Newsletter Promotions
  • Events Calendar
  • Trivia Questions
  • Information On Clinical Studies

In Your Absence
by: Poet Judith Harris

Not yet summer,
but unseasonable heat
pries open the cherry tree.

It stands there stupefied,
in its sham, pink frills,
dense with early blooming.

Then, as afternoon cools
into more furtive winds,
I look up to see
a blizzard of petals
rushing the sky.

It is only April.
I can't stop my own life
from hurrying by.
The moon, already pacing.

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...

Work With Small Peptide Chains May Revolutionize Study Of Enzymes, Diseases

(Source: Science Daily) - Chemists in The College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University have, for the first time, created enzyme-like activity using peptides that are only seven amino acids long.

A rendering of a catalytic amyloid-forming peptide, with zinc ions shown as gray spheres

Their breakthrough, which is the subject of a recent article in Nature Chemistry magazine (Macmillan Publishers, 2014), may revolutionize the study of modern-day enzymes, whose chains of amino acids usually number in the hundreds, and of neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer's, which are usually characterized by small clumps of misshapen proteins called amyloids.

Their finding also supports the theory that amyloid fibrils -- strong, highly organized fibers, formed by proteins and peptides -- may have predated enzymes and triggered reactions that led to some of the earliest forms of life.

"Enzymes fold into unique three-dimensional structures, which underlie their remarkable catalytic properties and contribute to their large size," says Ivan V. Korendovych, assistant professor of chemistry, who co-led the study with William DeGrado, SU professor of pharmaceutical chemistry at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). "Our goal was to prove that much shorter peptides can also achieve well-defined conformations through the formation of amyloid fibrils."

Vegan Versus Paleo Diets On Topic Of Type 3 Diabetes, Spices And Alzheimer's

(Source: Examiner.Com) - According to the September 26, 2007 news release, "Discovery supports theory of Alzheimer's disease as form of diabetes," researchers found that insulin, it turns out, may be as important for the mind as it is for the body. Research in the last few years has raised the possibility that Alzheimer’s memory loss could be due to a novel third form of diabetes.

In 2007 scientists at Northwestern University discovered why brain insulin signaling -- crucial for memory formation -- would stop working in Alzheimer’s disease. They have shown that a toxic protein found in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer’s removes insulin receptors from nerve cells, rendering those neurons insulin resistant. (The protein, known to attack memory-forming synapses, is called an ADDL for “amyloid ß-derived diffusible ligand.”)

With other research showing that levels of brain insulin and its related receptors are lower in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, the Northwestern study sheds light on the emerging idea of Alzheimer’s being a “type 3” diabetes

The findings, published online in 2007 by the FASEB Journal, could help researchers determine which aspects of existing drugs now used to treat diabetic patients may protect neurons from ADDLs and improve insulin signaling in individuals with Alzheimer’s. (The FASEB Journal is a publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.)

In the brain, insulin and insulin receptors are vital to learning and memory. When insulin binds to a receptor at a synapse, it turns on a mechanism necessary for nerve cells to survive and memories to form. That Alzheimer’s disease may in part be caused by insulin resistance in the brain has scientists asking how that process gets initiated.

'Sewing Machine' Idea Gives Insight Into Origins Of Alzheimer's

(Source: Medical News Today) - Researchers at Lancaster University have invented a new imaging tool inspired by the humble sewing machine which is providing fresh insight into the origins of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

These diseases are caused by tiny toxic proteins too small to be studied with traditional optical microscopy.
Previously it was thought that Alzheimer's was caused by the accumulation of long 'amyloid' fibres at the centre of senile plaques in the brain, due to improper folding of a protein called amyloid-β.

But new research suggests that these fibres and plaques are actually the body's protective response to the presence of even smaller, more toxic structures made from amyloid-β called 'oligomers'.

Existing techniques are not sufficient to get a good look at these proteins; optical microscopy does not provide enough resolution at this scale, and electron microscopy gives the resolution but not the contrast.

To solve the problem, Physicist Dr Oleg Kolosov and his team at Lancaster have developed a new imaging technique - Ultrasonic Force Microscopy (UFM) - inspired by the motion of a sewing machine. Their work has been published in Scientific Reports.

Dr Kolosov said: "By using a vibrating scanner, which moves quickly up and down like the foot of a sewing machine needle, the friction between the sample and the scanner was reduced - resulting in a better quality, and high contrast nanometre scale resolution image."

Fisher To Attend Alzheimer's Association Advocacy Forum

(Source: Sedalia Weekly Observer) - Linda Fisher of Sedalia will participate in the 26th annual Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum in Washington, D.C., April 7-9. Fisher will join more than 800 fellow advocates, people living with the disease and caregivers from across the nation to appeal to their members of Congress for action on Alzheimer’s disease. While on Capitol Hill, advocates will request that adequate research funding be allocated for Alzheimer’s disease.

As a member of the Greater Missouri Chapter delegation, Fisher has a personal story to share—her husband lost his battle to Alzheimer’s disease in 2005. Over the past fifteen years, she has served as a caregiver, support group leader, Walk chair and has advocated at the state and national level. She currently serves as a Greater Missouri Chapter ambassador and a member of the Chapter’s board of directors. “I have a passion to increase funding for research,” she said. “It’s time to end Alzheimer’s.”

This year’s Advocacy Forum comes on the heels of an unprecedented $122 million in additional Alzheimer’s funding, the largest-ever increase for Alzheimer’s research and care programs, in the FY14 budget. The Alzheimer’s Association and its advocates look forward to working with Congress again this year to ensure Alzheimer’s funding continues to build toward the necessary levels to achieve the goal of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease – preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association 2014 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease and that number is poised to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050. In 2013, 15.5 million friends and family members endured the significant emotional, physical and financial challenges of caregiving for their loved ones with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.

The Alzheimer's Store Featured Product!

Item #2120 Music For Alzheimer's

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Recipe Of The Week
Tasty and nutritious, this slow cooker recipe will be a family favorite. - Recipe From Spark Recipes
Number of Servings: 6
Easy Slow Cooker Lemony Garlic Chicken Breast

1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (six halves)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup water
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp chicken bouillon granules
1 tsp parsley


Mix oregano and pepper and sprinkle evenly over chicken pieces.
In a large non-stick skillet, using medium heat, brown chicken evenly on both sides in olive oil.
Mix remaining ingredients and pour over chicken, bringing mixture to a gentle boil.
Pour skillet contents into slow cooker, cover, and cook on low for 6 hours (3 hours on high).
Chicken is very tasty served on a bed of brown rice with steamed carrots!

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

Apr 7th - 5:30 pm - Practical Ideas For Dealing With Memory Loss / Benson, MN

Apr 8th - 5:30-7:00 pm- The Basics: Memory Loss, Dementia & Alzheimer's Disease / Hanson, MA

Apr 9th & 10th - 8:30 am-3:00 pm - Alzheimer's Caregiver Conference / Jackson, TN

Apr 11th - 12:30-5:00 pm - Caregiver Seminar / Abilene, TX

Apr 12th - 6:00-9:00 pm - Violin, Wine & Art For Dementia Diary / New York, NY


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

1. Cherry trees have a life expectancy of how many years?

2. In 1965, which first lady accepted 3,800 Yoshino trees and planted them on the northern bank of the Tidal Basin?

3. Which Washington DC building peeks through the cherry blossoms?

**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; Jack Nicklaus / 5 minutes / Woods


* The A4 Study is a clinical study for older individuals (ages 65-85) who have normal thinking and memory function but who may be at risk for developing Alzheimer's disease (AD) memory loss sometime in the future. The A4 study is for people without any outward signs of Alzheimer's disease, and is designed to evaluate the effectiveness, safety and tolerability of an investigational drug for AD. The purpose of the Anti-Amyloid Treatment in Asymptomatic Alzheimer’s study (the”A4 study” for short) is to test whether a new investigational treatment can slow the memory loss caused by Alzheimer’s disease. The overall goal of the A4 study is to test whether decreasing amyloid with antibody investigational treatment can help slow the memory loss associated with amyloid buildup in some people. The A4 Study lasts for three years, and participants will be assigned at random to receive either the investigational drug or a placebo and will be monitored over that period. / Learn more...

* NOBLE is a clinical study to evaluate an investigational drug for patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. Participants will receive the study drug or a placebo. During this study, if you are already taking Aricept or Namenda, you will probably continue to take it along with the study drug or placebo. Studies already done have shown that this investigational drug appears safe. It may work by protecting brain cells which would result in improved memory. But, this has not been proven yet. / Learn more...

* SNIFF - The purpose of the SNIFF study is to find out whether a type of insulin, when administered as a nasal spray, improves memory in adults with a mild memory impairment or Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The rationale behind the study is growing evidence that insulin carries out multiple functions in the brain and that poor regulation of insulin may contribute to the development of AD. Insulin resistance, reduced cerebrospinal fluid insulin levels, and reduced brain insulin signals have been found in AD patients, suggesting that a therapy aimed at correcting these deficiencies may be beneficial. Learn more...

* Trial Match / Learn more...

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