Recently, findings were published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease that may help explain why people who are susceptible to stress are at more risk of developing Alzheimer’s and why — increasingly — we are finding evidence that physical activity, which reduces stress levels, may reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer’s. It is widely believed that the stress hormone corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) may have a protective effect on the brain, including the memory changes brought on by Alzheimer’s. CRF is associated [...]
I recently attended a salon event hosted by The Judy Fund, an Alzheimer’s Association donor sponsored effort created by Marshall Gelfand and his family now lead by daughter Elizabeth Gelfand-Stearns who lost both her grandmother and her mother, Judy (the fund’s namesake), to Alzheimer’s disease. Elizabeth’s heartfelt passion is finding a cure for the disease that took her loved ones. To date, the family has raised almost $5 million to fund research and advocacy efforts [...]
One year closes and another begins. Here are the 2012 Alzheimer’s disease research highlights, as well as new directions that we will likely be heading during 2013. Genetic Insights: Among the important discoveries of 2012 was the identification of a genetic mutation that protects people from developing Alzheimer’s disease. The mutation in Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP) significantly decreases the amount of beta-amyloid a person makes (about 40 percent), conferring a resistance to developing Alzheimer’s. Just to review, all neurons secrete APP, and [...]
This post originally appeared on the ChicagoNow blog, “Ask Dr. Chill: Practical Answers to the Toughest Caregiving Questions.” It is being reposted here with the author’s permission. Alas, I was not able to attend the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Vancouver this month, but I did follow it closely on the organization’s website. The event attracted over 4,300 scientists, physicians and other professionals in the Alzheimer’s community who gathered to discuss findings from their most recent batches [...]
Berries, they’re not just for breakfast anymore. In a study published last month in the Annals of Neurology, researchers reported that consumption of berries and flavonoids showed a slower rate of cognitive decline in women aged 70 and older.* Using data from the long-running Nurses’ Health Study of 122,000 registered nurses, the researchers conducted assessments on 16,010 women. The Nurses Health Study began in 1976. Every four years they were questioned on their eating habits. [...]
New guidelines have been developed for the field of Alzheimer’s disease. They were published in the June edition of Genetics in Medicine, and jointly issued by the American College of Medical Genetics and the National Society of Genetic Counselors. The guidelines distinguish between genetic testing for dominantly inherited AD genes and that for the Alzheimer’s susceptibility gene, ApoE . The three early-onset familial AD genes — presenilin-1 (PS1), presenilin-2 (PS2) and amyloid precursor protein (APP) [...]
According to researchers at Columbia University, people with high levels of HDL cholesterol (the “good” form) are 60 percent less likely to develop AD. The researchers followed 1,130 seniors with no history of memory loss or dementia and measured their cholesterol levels every 18 months for four years. When the researchers compared the cholesterol levels of study participants with and without Alzheimer’s, they found that those with the highest HDL counts, greater than 55 mg/dL, [...]
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh analyzed the relationship between walking and brain structure in 426 people: 299 cognitively healthy adults, 83 people with MCI, and 44 people with Alzheimer’s dementia. The researchers monitored how far each of the patients walked in a week. After 10 years, all patients underwent 3-D MRI exams to identify changes in brain volume. When they entered the study in 1989-1990, participants were asked how many city blocks they walked [...]
Dear Readers, Whenever I give a presentation about the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and discuss the known risk factors for the disease, I am asked this question . . . ( 90% of the time by the women audience members) . . . “Dr. A, is stress a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease?” Well, based on research findings from a variety of studies, the short answer is “Yes.” Let’s consider the latest finding [...]
Many of our patients and their physicians are aware that physical inactivity and obesity are at epidemic proportions in the United States, which has resulted in an increased prevalence of chronic diseases. Relatively few, however, realize that both these conditions may be associated with poor memory function.
Let’s consider the issue of obesity. Over the years, obesity has truly become a woman’s issue. Sixty five million of the 72 million American adults who are considered obese or overweight are women. In addition African American and Hispanic women are much more likely to be obese than white women.