A report of Alzheimer’s disease International (ADI) published in 2009, said there were 35.6 million people were with dementia and Alzheimer’s and it was expected that the number would increase to 65.7 million by 2030.
Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that is a collective name for progressive degenerative brain syndromes. They affect memory, thinking, behavior, intellect, personality and emotion. Symptoms may include loss of memory, difficulty in finding the right words or understanding what people are saying, difficulty in performing previously routine tasks, personality and mood change. In the last stage of Alzheimer’s a person is totally dependent of care-givers and might have swallowing difficulties, is very thin and dies of infections or other diseases.
Although age, family history, and genes play a major role in determining Alzheimer’s risk, there are several ways to prevent Alzheimer’s or slower its progression.
Sleep. Getting enough sleep helps to consolidate memory, and an afternoon nap might lock-in long-term memoires faster. Sleep deprivation could stimulate the production of amyloid plaques and cause the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Lack of sleep also affects hormones’ balance and metabolism, leading to diabetes, weight gain, and making a person to look older. Sleeping less than eight hours a night also increases risk of heart attack, stroke, and depression and weakens immune system, so one gets cold much easier.
Getting enough sleep is a way to lower Alzheimer’s risk.
Music. The capacity for music tends to be affected by Alzheimer’s disease differently than other brain functions. “It appears that words to a song get encoded in a different place in the brain than the words we use in speech, and it appears that people with Alzheimer’s actually preserve the music, and the words that go to music, long after much of the rest of the brain is not functioning well,” said Elaine Bearer, professor of neuroscience at the University of New Mexico. Also listening to relaxing melodies, singing or playing an instrument keep the brain in a good shape.
Intellectual activities. People who keep their brains active may be at less risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Reading, engaging in a hobby such as playing bridge or chess, or doing crosswords and word puzzles may help to reduce risk.
Wine. A glass of wine a day appears to reduce the risk of cognitive decline that occurs with normal aging as well as Alzheimer’s. A study found that those who had a drink a day through the years had about a 25% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s in old age compared with those who didn’t drink at all. Heavier drinking increased the risk of cognitive decline more than non-drinking. A glass of wine could also prevent heart and vascular illness and help you to relax and sleep better. However, if you have Alzheimer’s, a liver condition, or other diseases that get worsen by alcohol, you should avoid it.
Stop smoking. Smokers have a 72% greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s found the researchers from the University of California, San Francisco after excluding studies sponsored by the tobacco industry. Industry-funded studies found that smokers had a lower risk. Besides lowering lung cancer’s risk, quitting smoking also can help you to sleep better, thinking more clear, being relaxed. Stopping smoking improves your complexion, reduces your wrinkles, and lowers heart attack and stroke’s risks.
Control blood sugar. A Japanese study showed that diabetes could raise Alzheimer’s risk up to three times. Those with higher than normal blood sugar levels, or prediabetes, also have a higher risk. High blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) could be reverse through eight hours a night sleep, weight loss, daily walks, and a reduction in sweets and other processed foods.
Control cholesterol levels. High cholesterol levels are associated with changes in the brain that are hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. A study that examined the brains on autopsy found that participants who had high total cholesterol levels (over 224 mg/dL) in mid- to late life were seven times more likely than those with low cholesterol (under 173 mg/dL) to have the beta-amyloid plaques in their brain when they died a decade or two later. Eating low-fat or fat-free dairy products and limiting your intake of red meat can help lower cholesterol levels. The onion and garlic consumed daily are great helpers in prevention of atherosclerosis, by reducing cholesterol level. Also the goal can be reached through weight loss and daily exercise.
Weight loss. Losing weight can also prevent the Alzheimer’s since a study showed that obesity duration increased type 2 diabetes risk, and other study said the diabetes could raise the risk of Alzheimer’s.
Exercise. A daily walk is good for the brain, and getting yourself sweaty several times a week is even better. Studies have shown that aerobic exercise (brisk walking, biking, swimming, or dancing) can reduce the risk of dementia and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia in old age. After the age of 65, at every five years, the number of people with Alzheimer’s doubles.
Alzheimer’s is common in people over 65, but can affects younger people too.
US Against Alzheimer’s said one in eight 65-year-old already has the disease, which has no effective treatment, and is ultimately fatal.
Although Alzheimer’s appears in people over 65, like legendary crooner Glenn Campbell (75), early-onset dementia can be found in younger persons, like basketball coach Pat Summitt (59).
The data that show association between Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes increased over the years. Japanese scientists make the evidence stronger with a study (Glucose tolerance status and risk of dementia in the community) which has been published this week in the journal Neurology.
The prospective cohort study of dementia was performed in Hisayama by scientists from Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan. All subjects underwent a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Volunteers, ages 60 and older were followed for 15 years, 1,017 people (437 men and 580 women) were enrolled. The doctors checked their medical history, and gave them mental exams.
Compared with those with normal glucose tolerance (NGT) the incidence of dementia (Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia) was significantly higher in subjects with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or with diabetes. This association remained unchanged in subjects with diabetes and not related with age, sex, hypertension, EKG abnormalities, body mass index, waist to hip ratio, total cholesterol, history of stroke, education, smoking habits, alcohol intake, and physical activity.
The medical researchers demonstrated that diabetes that was assessed 15 years earlier was a significant risk factor for the development of all-cause dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and vascular dementia. Those with the most severe diabetes at the beginning had a more than threefold increase in the rate of dementia.
“Our findings emphasize the need to consider diabetes as a potential risk factor for dementia. Diabetes is a common disorder, and the number of people with it has been growing in recent years all over the world. Controlling diabetes is now more important than ever”, lead researcher Yutaka Kiyohara said.
Uncontrolled type 2 diabetes could lead to amyloid plaques in the brain and Alzheimer's disease.
The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that 5.4 million people in U.S. have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and the number could reach 16 million within 40 years. The number of persons with diabetes is around 24 million.
“The fact that Type 2 diabetes is increasing, and it’s a risk factor for Alzheimer’s would only make those numbers bigger. It’s already a disaster that’s going to come to us, if we don’t do something better about treating Alzheimer’s disease.” said Dr. William H. Thies, medical and scientific officer for the association.
Alzheimer’s disease “is one of the most feared conditions for people who are entering their later years,” said Thies. “[The new study] gives us an extra piece of information that may move people from considering changes in their life to actually making those changes.”
A Lancet review shows the mechanisms for hyperglycemia-induced dementia: atherosclerosis, microvascular disease, glucose toxicity leading to the accumulation of advanced protein glycation and increased oxidative stress, and changes in insulin metabolism resulting in an insulin-resistant state and distorted amyloid metabolism in the brain.
Last year researchers found a gene that increases both the risk for Type 2 diabetes and for Alzheimer’s.
Medical researchers presented results of a study showing that insulin could slow Alzheimer’s progression. Insulin is the hormone that controls glycemia and it is used to treat diabetes. Delivered through a special inhaler (nasal spray) insulin seemed to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s.
These findings emphasize the importance of controlling glycemia (blood sugar level) for diabetics, as a measure to prevent Alzheimer’s.
Another study has shown that obesity duration increases diabetes risk, thus these related conditions could be prevented through physical fitness and weight loss.
The pancreas produces insulin that controls glycemia. Diabetes type 2 results from insulin resistance and sometimes absolute insulin deficiency. Uncontrolled glycemia could lead to Alzheimer's.
September 21 was declared World Alzheimer’s Day, and this year theme is “Faces of dementia”.
Lots of events take place all over the world, memory walk, forums, conferences, films, workshops, symposia, seminars, fund raising, “2 Bike 4 Alzheimer’s” in Netherlands, Alzheimer’s picnic at Alzheimer’s Centrum in Poland, the launch of the National Alzheimer’s Alliance and memory testing in pharmacies in Romania, a traditional World Alzheimer’s Day concert and the opening of the Dementia Service Centre in Sri Lanka, a range of events across the country for World Alzheimer’s Month and Alzheimer’s Action Day “Go Purple” in USA.
The risk of diabetes type 2 is higher for persons who are living long time with overweight or obesity, said researchers from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee.
Long term obesity lead to higher risk of diabetes
The medical scientists made a survey of 8157 adolescents and young adults (aged 14 to 21 years in 1979) from 1981 until 2006. The patients had self-reported measures of height, weight, and diabetes status (type unspecified). The scientists conducted logistic regression models to predict presumed type 2 diabetes (after excluding presumed type 1 diabetes).
Joyce M. Lee, Achamyeleh Gebremariam, Sandeep Vijan, James G. Gurney discovered that the degree and duration of excess weight, or obesity was a better predictor of diabetes risk than a single measurement of excess weight.
“Our study finds that the relationship between weight and type 2 diabetes is similar to the relationship between smoking and the risk of lung cancer. The amount of excess weight that you carry and the number of years for which you carry it dramatically increase your risk of diabetes,” said Joyce Lee, pediatric endocrinologist.
Children are becoming overweight or obese earlier, they are carrying extra weight for longer periods. “When you add the findings from this study, rates of diabetes in the United States may rise even higher than previously predicted,” Dr Lee said.
The researchers, who published their findings in September issue of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine, said people with a BMI of 35 for 10 years would be considered to have 100 years of excess BMI. White men aged 40 years with 200 excess BMI-years had 2.94 times higher odds of developing diabetes compared with men of the same age and race with 100 excess BMI-years. For a given level of excess BMI-years, younger compared with older and Hispanic and black compared with white had higher risk of developing diabetes. Yet the study is limited by use of self-reported data without specification of diabetes type.
Diabetes type 2 is a metabolic disorder with high blood glucose, insulin resistance and relative insulin deficiency. Long-term complications from high blood sugar: heart attacks, strokes, amputation, diabetic retinopathy, kidney failure, loss of hearing, eyesight, cognitive ability. Diabetes, often found in persons with obesity, is manageable through exercise and diet, later oral medication (pills) might be necessary, or even insulin.
What is obesity in adults and in children? Overweight and Obesity Definition
Obesity in adults is evaluated through BMI, its duration correlates with diabetes type 2 risk
Overweight and obesity designate the weight values over what is accepted to be healthy for a given height. These terms also name ranges of weight that increase the risks of health problems. For adults, overweight and obesity are determined by calculating body mass index (BMI). BMI is calculated using weight and height. This index is used because, for most people, it correlates with their amount of body fat. A BMI over 25 is considered overweight, and a BMI over 30 is considered obese. BMI ranges for children and teens take into account normal differences in body fat between boys and girls and differences in body fat at various ages.
According to CDC 33.8% of U.S. adults are obese and around 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents are obese.
In 2010, all states had a prevalence of obesity over 20%, 36 states had a prevalence of 25% or more; 12 of these states (Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia) had a prevalence of 30% or more.
Weight loss is a remedy to lots of obesity related health problems.
A new study has found that inhaling a concentrated cloud of insulin through the nose two times per day appears to slow — and in some cases reverse — symptoms of memory loss in people with early signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
The study was run by researchers from the Veterans Administration’s Puget Sound Health Care System in Washington on 104 subjects and is considered very preliminary. However, the study findings suggests that a safe, simple and cheap measure that boosts flagging metabolism in key areas of the brain could hold off or possibly derail the progression of the devastating neurological disorder in its early stages.
The preliminary results were published online this week by the Archives of Neurology.
Inhaling a cloud of insulin two times per day appears to slow symptoms of memory loss in people with early signs of Alzheimer's disease
As a metabolic hormone, insulin is best known for its role in treating diabetes, a condition in which the hormone is either insufficiently produced or poorly used by the body’s organs.
But in recent years, several studies have found that people with diabetes and pre-diabetes are at high risk of developing Alzheimer‘s. The autopsies have shown that diabetics whose condition was tightly managed had fewer of the brain tangles and plaques that are the hallmark of disease.
Studies involving animals have suggested that insulin deficiency in the brain may be a key factor in the progression of Alzheimer‘s.
Researchers decided to test insulin on people without diabetes who had been diagnosed with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s or amnestic mild cognitive impairment, a disorder characterized by increased forgetfulness that often progresses to dementia.
Subjects were divided into three groups: 36 of them inhaled 20 mg of insulin twice a day for four months, 38 got 40 mg twice a day, and 30 were given a saline solution.
After two months of treatment, 20 mg of insulin group had improved performance on a memory test. The gains persisted after four months of treatment and were still evident two months after the insulin treatment stopped.
Participants who got 40 mg of insulin had no change in their memory abilities, while those who got the placebo saw a decline. The differences between those on insulin and those on the placebo were “small in absolute terms,” the authors wrote. But they were robust enough that by generally accepted research standards, they are unlikely to have been the result of chance.
Patients taking either dose of insulin were rated by their caregivers as holding steady in their overall social, mental and everyday functioning, while those on the sham medication were rated as having declined. And on physician-administered tests of cognitive function, patients taking insulin showed less decline than those on the placebo.
In a subset of subjects who underwent additional measurements, researchers found that there were fewer amyloid plaque deposits, protein tangles and other physiological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s in those whose memory improved most on the insulin treatment compared with those who had weak responses or were on the placebo.
But the persistence of insulin’s effect was a mixed picture. Two months after the insulin treatments stopped, caregivers of people in all three groups noted similar declines in their overall daily function.
About 5.4 million Americans are believed to have Alzheimer’s, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Scientists acknowledge that while they can diagnose the disease earlier and offer medications to temporarily slow the progression of symptoms, they have been stymied in their search for ways to prevent, halt or reverse it.
“It will take a larger study involving more patients over a longer time to figure out whether nasally administered insulin merely slows the march of Alzheimer’s or thwarts it,” said Laurie Ryan, a neuropsychologist who directs clinical trials involving dementia at the National Institute on Aging, which funded the pilot study.
“In the meantime, intranasal insulin has two things going for it: Insulin is already in wide use at relatively low cost, and the nasal inhaler allows it to be delivered directly and safely to the brain. That minimizes the risk of the hormone affecting blood sugar levels elsewhere in the body, which could be dangerous to kidneys, eyes and blood vessels.
“A safe, easy delivery system — those are things we’d love to see for any kind of treatment for Alzheimer’s disease,” Laurie Ryan said.
Glen Campbell released "Ghost of Canvas" and he will start "Glen Campbell Goodbye Tour"
On August 30, Glen Campbell, the legendary pop-country singer, released his (intended) farewell (to studio recording) album Ghost of the Canvas.
The album was announced in March 2010, as a companion for MeetGlen Campbell, but only in June 2011 Glen Campbell has revealed his intention to make it a farewell recording.
Ghost of the Canvas includes new melodies written by Paul Westerberg, Robert Pollard, Jakob Dylan and Campbell himself. It also features recording sessions (Dandy Warhols, Billy Corgan and classic surf-guitarist, Dick Dale). A better place (an autobiographical song) opens the album.
He will also start Glen Campbell Goodbye Tour on September 2. He will perform in US, Canada and UK. The tour begins in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada at the Casino New Brunswick and ends in Silver Springs, Florida at the Twin Oaks Amphitheatre on February 11 2012.
In June 2011 Glen Campbell shared he was diagnosed with Alzheimer‘s disease.
Glen Campbell, 75, has learned about his diagnosis last year, but he had experienced short-term memory loss for a long time.
The singer and his wife, Kimberly, took the decision to declare Glen Campbell’s condition because he wanted to organize farewell events.
“Glen is still an awesome guitar player and singer. But if he flubs a lyric or gets confused on stage, I wouldn’t want people to think, ‘What’s the matter with him? Is he drunk?'” said Kim.
When the diagnosis of senile dementia was confirmed Kim Woolen, 53, was very troubled, then she tried to cope.
“The indicators were there, so I kind of accepted it. You go through a stage of worry then you start trying to educate yourself. The last stages are horrifying. They can forget. They can’t hold their head up. I guess they can forget how to swallow. I try to focus on making each day as happy as we can. We savour every experience with him while we still have him.”
Glen Campbell said he was confident and felt he had found his place in this universe.
“I think where I am at right now in this universe, I wouldn’t want to be anything else than what I am.”
Campbell wants to stay active and he has very good reasons to do this. The progression of Alzheimer’s disease, like progression of early- onset dementia, can be slow down if a person maintains intellectual activities.
Glen Campbell has a 50 years carrier in show business. He launched over 70 albums, 12 went gold, 4 platinum and one double-platinum.
He is renowned for Rhinestone Cowboy, Wichita Lineman, By the Time I Get to Phoenix, Southern Nights, Crying Time (with Ray Charles), Gentle on My Mind.
Rhinestone Cowboy (written by Larry Weiss), 1975, was used in movie soundtracks and TV shows (including Desperate Housewives), and inspired the 1984 Dolly Parton/Sylvester Stallone movie Rhinestone.
Glen was member of the Wrecking Crew (Los Angeles) studio musicians who worked with artists like Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, the Beach Boys, Dean Martin and hosted The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour (1969-1972) on CBS television.
Meet Glen Campbell (2008) album features contemporary and classic hits by the likes of John Lennon, U2, the Foo Fighters and Green Day.
Campbell has been married four times and has five sons and three daughters. Debbie, 55, Cal, 28, Shannon, 26 and Ashley, 24, are members of Instant People, his roots band.
People should be aware of early-onset dementia, learn what its symptoms are and how important is the early diagnosis.
Pat Summitt, 59, Tennessee women’s basketball coach has been recently diagnosed with early-onset dementia (Alzheimer’s type) when she visited the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
[googlead tip=”patrat_mediu” aliniat=”stanga”]Last May, Mayo Clinic doctors performed a spinal tap and other tests that eventually produced the diagnosis of early-onset dementia.
In a statement released by the university on Tuesday, Pat Summitt said:
“I plan to continue to be your coach. Obviously, I realize I may have some limitations with this condition since there will be some good days and some bad days.”
“But I have been honest and shared my health concerns with you and now we will move on with the business involved. I hope that you will respect my privacy regarding this matter.”
Pat Summitt initially chalked up her memory problems to side effects from medicine she was taking to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
Pat Summitt talked about her early-onset dementia diagnosis.
Early-onset dementia is a term used for progressive dementia that begins before age 65, so, to be aware of its symptoms and visiting doctor for an early diagnosis are crucial.
[googlead tip=”vertical_mare” aliniat=”dreapta”] Linda Johnson, director of programs for Alzheimer’s Tennessee Inc. has some hope to offer to the people who have been diagnosed with early-onset dementia and call her office for help and : better treatments, education and support.
Over the past fifteen years, medications have improved for people diagnosed with “early-onset Alzheimer’s,” or “early-onset dementia”, a term used for progressive dementia that begins before age 65.
Most people diagnosed with early-onset dementia are in their 40s and 50s, though some are in their 30s. It accounts for only 5% to 10% of all Alzheimer’s disease cases.
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Let’s see some of the early-onset dementia symptoms.
Early on, people may have difficulty with language, mixing up words. Later, they may fail to recognize something they should: a favorite restaurant, an article of clothing. They may start to have difficulty performing complex tasks, such as bookkeeping.
“Many times, it’s the co-workers of people with early-onset dementia who notice something is wrong, because most people are taxed with more complex tasks at work than at home,” Linda Johnson said.
“It’s very important to get a diagnosis as soon as possible,” she said, to rule out other things that sometimes cause dementia — vascular problems, for example, some blood clots and tumors, iron deficiency.
Starting medications, which can slow memory loss and other symptoms, ”EARLY is key”, Linda Johnson said.
“It can slow down the progression for years, in certain individuals, though there is no cure,” Johnson said,
But then, there’s the maxim Johnson heard from a trainer: “If you’ve seen one Alzheimer’s case, you’ve seen one Alzheimer’s case.”
She knows a person who lived with Alzheimer’s for 25 years, another who had only 18 months. 10 years seems to be average.
About 50% of early-onset dementia cases are linked to the mutation of certain genes, which means people can have a hereditary disposition to the disease. The other 50% of cases are similar to later-onset Alzheimer’s, and it’s not clear why they begin earlier in life.
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