Saturday, September 2, 2017

Alzheimer's Prevention: The Latest Recommendations

  From the recent report of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine come general recommendations.
  Cognitive Training: there is currently no evidence to support a conclusion that cognitive training can prevent or delay mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's.
  Hypertension: manage blood pressure in those with hypertension (particularly in mid-life i.e.. 35-65) to prevent, delay or slow the progression of Alzheimer's.
  Physical activity: studies fail to demonstrate increasing physical activity prevents, delays or slows mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's. However, the report noted the other health benefits of increased physical activity such as lowering the risk of hypertension, stroke and obesity as well as symptoms of depression.
  Contrastly,to improve your life overall: consider the FINGER study out of Finland which found that targeting diet, exercise, vascular risk factors and brain training slowed cognitive decline in older adults.
Downloadable report:

Reduce Parkinson's Disease Risk: Truncal Vagotomy ?

  Researchers out of Sweden reviewed patients that underwent truncal vagotomy (a surgical procedure that functionally disconnects multiple abdominal organs by cutting the vagus nerve supply to them) and found a decreased risk of developing Parkinson's disease compared to controls. In fact there was a greater decreased risk in those that underwent selective vagotomy (which disconnects only the stomach).
  These findings offer further support for the Braak hypothesis that Parkinson's disease starts in the gut and spreads to the brain.
Neurology 2017Apr 26

Brain Structure Changes When Learning with Music

  Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found that people that practiced a movement task with the left hand to music showed a significant increase in structural connectivity in the white matter tracks that link auditory and motor regions on the right side of the brain.
  Future studies will look to apply this finding to motor rehabilitation programs such as after a stroke.
Brain Cogn. 2017;116:40-46

Friday, September 1, 2017

Is Parkinson's Disease an Autoimmune Disease?

  Following up an earlier study, researchers at Columbia and La Jolla have discovered a population of T cells in the blood of patients with Parkinson's disease that recognize alpha-synuclein peptides providing evidence that PD may be,in part,an autoimmune disease, and autoimmune targeted treatment could potentially slow or stop the disease process.
Nature 2017;Epub 2017 Jun21
Nat Commun 2014;5:3633

Hardening of Arteries in Brain Increases Risk of MCI and Dementia

  Vascular risk factors are known to be associated with dementia. This study suggests atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) intracranially (in brain) is associated with mild cognitive impairment (MCI:Pre-dementia?) and dementia.
  Treating vascular risk factors may again decrease the development of atherosclerosis and decrease the prevalence of MCI and dementia.
Neurology 2017 Apr18;88:1556

Stand Less at Work to Decrease Heart Disease

  Sitting at work for prolonged periods has been a known risk factor for increased heart disease. A recent study out of Ontario suggests that occupations associated with prolonged standing increased heart disease two-fold compared to occupations involving primarily seated positions.
  Occupations that combined sitting and standing and walking showed lower risks in in men BUT elevated risks in women.
Am Jrnl of Epidemiology,kwx298

No Sweat:Tatoos and Exercise

  Tattooed skin generated les sweat and higher sodium concentration than nontattooed skin when stimulated by pilocarpine iontophoresis .
  Translated : heavily tattooed athletes sweat less not allowing for heat dissipation with vigorous physical exertion which may pose health risks such as heat exhaustion and fatigue and increase risk of injury.
Med Sci-fi Sports Exec.2017 Jul;49(7):1432-1436