Some Updates on Alzheimer’s Research

Some Updates on Alzheimer’s Research

Some Updates on Alzheimer’s Research

TrialMatch offers many different research studies to work to better understand Alzheimer’s disease as well as to discover ways to prevent and possibly reverse it. One recent study focused on nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. Looking at omega 3, phospholipids, choline, Vitamins B, E, and C as well as selenium and monophosphate, the LipiDiDiet took place in Europe with 311 participants between ages 55 and 85. Each participant showed signs of early cognitive impairment. The study lasted 24 months and sadly indicated that there was no significant difference between the active and control groups. A nutrient combination did not prove to be effective in preventing or slowing cognitive decline in people with potential Alzheimer’s indicators. However, the study did have positive outcomes involving function in activities of daily living and brain size. Of course, further studies are essential.

While the study did not show a clear benefit from a focus on certain nutrients, we know that good nutrition helps decrease cognitive decline and assists in strengthening our brains. We also know that regular cardiovascular exercise elevates the heart rate and increases blood flow to the brain. Add to that some formal education challenges such as taking a class to learn a new skill. GBC offers tremendous opportunities along with several online choices. Even doing crossword puzzles is helpful – anything to keep that brain finely tuned.

If you are a smoker, stop now. Decreased blood flow throughout the body is detrimental to good health. It breaks my heart to see teens lighting up to begin what can become a painful, harmful lifetime habit. Taking care of the heart is also important to good cognitive development. Risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke include obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes. I know you realize how this all links back to a healthy diet.

It is also valuable to take care of your brain from the outside – like always wearing a seatbelt and donning a helmet for contact sports or riding a bike. The NFL and the military are admitting some of the neurological problems that arise from constant hits to the brain. We should all take heed and guard the safety of this vital reasoning and intellect center.

Remaining social is excellent for maintaining brain function. As one drifts into Alzheimer’s some friends and family are afraid to visit, frightened at the declined and of not being recognized. Even through the haze, however, an individual is hidden beneath this foggy disease. I truly believe that any act of kindness – a touch, a kiss, a kind word, or quiet companionship, make a positive and uplifting difference.

Eating right, stimulating activities, cessation of unhealthy habits, and interacting with others also produce encouraging social-emotional benefits. Many studies link cognitive decline to depression, anxiety, and mental stress. Good habits coupled with good friends alleviate some of these troubling conditions.

Now perhaps you are stressed and ready to overeat, stop exercising, and shut yourself up alone in a cozy bed due to my constant harping on good habits for a good brain. Please don’t! Do get plenty of rest, however. Exhaustion, inadequate rest caused by sleep apnea, and other deep sleep interrupters are simply not good for you.

In an upbeat mode, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged 100 million dollars to Alzheimer’s research (imagine if all the big monies of the world joined forces in such an affirmative effort??). First steps on the agenda appear to be finding an early detection method for Alzheimer’s. This will help future research as individuals are identified at a young age and then traced through later life to better understand Alzheimer’s progression and possibilities for arresting and/or preventing the disease. It will also help those who are recognized as strong potentials for facing the full force of the disease to better plan for the future, letting family members know their wishes, their visions, their desires for life down the road.

Thanks to everyone for the magnificent participation at the 4th annual Alzheimer’s Awareness Turkey Trot. A fantastic turn-out produced respite funding for those in need for another year. A special hurray goes to wrestlers, cheer squad, basketball teams, and all who made the morning terrific. Mark your calendars now for the 5th Annual Turkey Trot, Thursday, November 22, 2018. Try to beat the 28 member HGH team winners.

Respite training is scheduled for January as is our Tie-One-On bowtie event at Lowry basketball January 9th. Come join the fun, knowing that you are making a strong difference in our community.