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Alzheimer's Patient Children Show Middle-Aged Memory Loss

  Children of Alzheimer's disease patients are showing memory loss at a much younger age than recognized before, in their 50's or even younger, according to a new Boston University School of Medicine study. These offspring carry APOE-e4, a gene linked with Alzheimers. Compared to others with the gene, and no diagnosed parent, the children are showing striking mental impairment comparable to people 15 years older, according to Sudha Seshadri, MD, the senior author of the study.

Alzheimer ’s disease is the most common form of senile dementia. It is characterized by degeneration of the brain’s neurons caused by protein tangles.

Protein tangles in Nerve cells, that Cause Communications
Malfunctions in Alzheimer’s Disease Patients - courtesy NIMH

 
                     
There is growing evidence that exercise, healthy diet, limiting alcohol consumption and avoiding tobacco use can help forestall the disease. Head injuries are also linked to the condition, so consider wearing a helmet in sports like cycling or skiing. Actress Natasha Richardson would have survived her recent fatal skiing accident, if she had been wearing a helmet. As discussed in “Reverse Aging Now,” the anti-aging documentary, higher education, intellectual stimulation and social interaction also seem to slow the onset of AD. Alzheimer’s disease afflicts 5 million Americans. The study should prompt at-risk offspring to seek earlier diagnosis. Although some medicines like Namenda and Aricept slow Alzheimer's progression, there is no cure.  
                         

Avid cyclists exhibit signs of bone density loss. There are myriad benefits from riding a bike, including cardiovascular health, lower weight, and a ton of fast moving fun, but a recent study in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that male competitive cyclists had significantly lower bone density in their spines than other men who were physically active in different recreational activities.

Cycling is a lot easier on the joints than running, but since cycling is not a weight bearing exercise, the low impact activity is thought to contribute to the osteopenia observed. Swimmers might also face the same problem. The solution is to cross train with weights or jogging, less enjoyable perhaps but recommended to help prevent the possibility of fractures from those rare times when a rider does fall from a bike. Tennis is another good weight bearing exercise option. Be sure to ease into these other activities gradually. The risk of osteopenia or osteoporosis increases with age.

 
                             
 

In the anti-aging documentary, “Reverse Aging Now,” Robert Atkins, MD, emphasized that his favorite fruits were berries because of their high anti-oxidant content. Researchers at Ohio State University have recently found that black raspberries are potent anti-cancer agents inhibiting oral, colon and esophageal cancer in rats. The most powerful anti-cancer berries seem to be black and red raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and elderberries. Blueberries have other health benefits, but don't fight cancer as well. All these berries are rich in vitamins A, C, E and folic acid as well as selenium; calcium and polyphenols. Anthocyanins, the berry pigments which also color plums, seem to be particularly efficacious. In the Ohio State University study, rats that ate anthocyanin powder alone developed 50 percent fewer esophageal tumors compared to other rats.

Gary D. Stoner, PhD, former head of the Cancer Prevention Program at OSU, now starts every morning with a yogurt shake blended with blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries.

 

Daylight Saving Time is here. As longer days sweep in from the south it's time to start swapping first course hot soups for salad. Here's a favorite salad that is long on nutrition while being short on calories. Round it out with a broiled skinless chicken breast with steamed broccoli and you've got a tasty dinner that's.easy to cook.

There's more good news for coffee drinkers A team of Scandinavian researchers tracked 1409 coffee drinkers for 21 years and found that only 61 developed senile dementia, 48 of these with Alzheimer's disease. Correcting for other factors like high blood pressure and cholesterol, the scientists learned that those who drank 3-5 cups a day cut their risk of dementia by 65%. Miia Kivipelto, MD of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm is the lead author of the study. She does not advocate taking up heavy coffee consumption to forestall dementia. In fact, as outlined in “Reverse Aging Now,” some people have a genetic flaw that does not allow them to clear coffee readily from the body, a condition that can lead to heart trouble. If you're from a family of heavy coffee drinkers with heart disease, cut back, otherwise drink up. Earlier studies show that coffee reduces the risk of Parkinson's disease.

 
 
    Perhaps the biggest anti-aging news since our last newsletter is President Obama's lifting of Bush era restrictions on stem cell research. Stem cells are cells that have the potential of growing into any cell in the human body. They can be coaxed into becoming neurons for spinal repair, or pancreatic cells to cure diabetes. As Robert Lanza, MD, of Advanced Cell Technology discusses in “Reverse Aging Now,” some day it will soon be possible to generate an entire new replacement heart from a patient's stem cells so that it can be transplanted without rejection. Stem cell therapy is also expected to impact Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, stroke, burns, and both osteo and rheumatoid arthritis. Thanks to Obama's executive order, American scientists can now keep pace with their foreign colleagues.

Stem cells have been used in the only documented cure to date of AIDS. A 42 year old American AIDS patient with leukemia was about to be treated in Germany with stem cells through a bone marrow transplant. His doctors went further than merely looking for red and white blood cell compatibility. They searched for a donor whose white blood cells were highly resistant to HIV. After the stem cells were transplanted, the AIDS patient developed white blood cells that HIV couldn't seem to penetrate. According to Gero Hutter, MD of Charite Universitatsmedizin Berlin, without taking anti-viral medication, the patient has been virus and symptom free for more than two years.The research was published in February 2009 in The New England Journal of Medicine.
 
Stem Cells- courtesy NIH
 

A new study from the University of Connecticut shows that your best ally in your weight loss program could be your spouse. Couples not only tend to gain weight together but lose it as well. Amy A. Gorin, PhD, tracked 357 couples in which only one member was involved in a formal weight loss program to combat type II diabetes, yet the other half of the couple lost weight as well, an average of five pounds a year. Dr. Gorin attributes the phenomenon to the availability of healthier foods at home as well as an increase in shared physical activity. The findings were published in The International Journal of Obesity.

 

The era of "pharm animals" has begun. In February the Food and Drug Administration approved the first pharmaceutical product created in the milk of genetically engineered animals. GTC Biotherapeutics genetically engineered 200 goats to produce a human blood protein, antithrombin, in their milk. When the goats are milked, the protein can be extracted. People with a deficiency of antithrombin can suffer from excessive blood clotting. In extreme cases the clots can break off, lodge in the lungs and cause pulmonary embolisms, which can lead to sudden death.

 


Until, now the only source of antithrombin has been donated blood plasma. The goats will now help secure a reliable supply of this vital protein.

To see how one middle-aged man is applying anti-aging precepts to his own life, go to Anti-Aging Diary.com. To embrace anti-aging you need to make a mental as well as physical journey. It's not always easy, but well worth the effort.

 

Reverse Aging News c. 2009 Checkmate Pictures - Paul M. J. Suchecki, Editor

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