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Found 6 results

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    Alamosa resident dead, arrest warrant issued for husband By: Ruth Heide - Updated: 21 hours ago Recent news, here:
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  1. Thinking positively about aging might significantly reduce a person's risk of dementia, a new study has found—even for people with one of the strongest genetic risk factors. Researchers from Yale University and the National Institute on Aging studied nearly 5,000 people aged 60 and older, over a period of four years, and discovered those who held negative beliefs about aging were far more likely to develop dementia. The team assessed their test subjects' perceptions about various aspects of old age by asking how strongly they agreed or disagreed with statements like “The older I get, the more useless I feel." Read more:
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  2. Meals from the sunny Mediterranean have been linked to stronger bones, a healthier heart and longer life, along with a reduced risk for diabetes and high blood pressure. Now you can add lowering your risk for dementia to the ever growing list of reasons to follow the Mediterranean diet or one of its dietary cousins. Read more:
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  3. Your morning cup of joe may have effects that reach beyond getting you alert and ready for the day. Researchers at Indiana University identified 24compounds that can increase the brain’s production of an enzyme that could help protect it against diseases like Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. One of the strongest impacts on the enzyme came from caffeine, which was additionally shown to improve memory function in mice. The enzyme, called NMNAT2, has a protective effect on the brain. Researchers previously found that the enzyme has two important functions - it can guard neurons from stress and work as a “chaperone” when it fights against misfolded proteins called tau which form age-related “plaques.” The misfolded tau proteins are related to a host of neurogenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s as well as Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS. "This work could help advance efforts to develop drugs that increase levels of this enzyme in the brain, creating a chemical 'blockade' against the debilitating effects of neurodegenerative disorders," said Professor Hui-Chen Lu, who led the study. Researchers went through 1,280 compounds, which included current drugs, in an effort to figure out what can influence the production of the NMNAT2 enzyme. Besides caffeine, the world's most popular drug, scientists found that a discontinued anti-depressant drug rolipram also gives a strong boost to the helpful enzyme’s production. Other compounds that have a weaker effect on increasing the amount of NMNAT2 include ziprasidone, canthardin, wortmannin and retonoic acid (found in vitamin A). The scientists are excited about identifying the compounds, hoping they will lead to an increase in our overall understanding of what happens in the brain due to the brain disorders. They also found 13 compounds that lower the protective enzyme. "Increasing our knowledge about the pathways in the brain that appear to naturally cause the decline of this necessary protein is equally as important as identifying compounds that could play a role in future treatment of these debilitating mental disorders," said Lu. The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports. Cover photo: A young woman samples freshly-brewed cappuccino at Bonanza Coffee Roasters on January 24, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
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  4. FRIDAY, Aug. 26, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Couch potatoes have a higher risk of developing dementia in old age, a new study reports. Seniors who get little to no exercise have a 50 percent greater risk of dementia compared with those who regularly take part in moderate or heavy amounts of physical activity, the researchers found. Moderate physical activity can include walking briskly, bicycling slower than 10 miles an hour, ballroom dancing or gardening, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "It doesn't require intensive physical activity to decrease risk of dementia," said senior researcher Dr. Zaldy Tan. He is medical director of the Alzheimer's and Dementia Care Program at University of California, Los Angeles. "Even moderate amounts are fine." Study participants aged 75 or older gained the most protective benefit from exercise against the onset of dementia, the findings showed. "The message here is that you're never too old to exercise and gain benefit from it," Tan said. "These patients derive the most benefit from exercise because they are the ones who are at the age of greatest risk for dementia." Brain scans of participants showed those who exercise are better able to withstand the effects of aging on the brain, the study authors said. With age, the brain tends to shrink. But people who regularly exercised tended to have larger brain volumes than those who were sedentary, Tan and his colleagues found. The new study involved about 3,700 participants in the Framingham Heart Study, a federally funded health research project begun in 1948. All were 60 and older. Researchers measured how often the participants exercised, and tracked them over a decade. During the study, 236 people developed dementia. To see how physical activity might have affected dementia risk, the researchers broke the study population down into fifths that ranged from sedentary to highly active. The one-fifth containing the most sedentary people were 50 percent more likely to develop dementia than the other four-fifths, the investigators found. In other words, even a little exercise helped. The research team also compared physical activity to brain scans taken of about 2,000 study participants, and found a direct connection between exercise and brain size as people aged. Those who worked out had more total brain volume. There are several theories why exercise might help brain health. Increased blood flow caused by physical activity might "beef up" the brain, increasing its volume and promoting the growth of additional neurons, said Dr. Malaz Boustani. He is research director of the Healthy Aging Brain Center at the Indiana University Center for Aging Research and a spokesman for the American Federation for Aging Research. "Physical exercise might end up leading to increased density of the connections between the neurons and create alternative pathways for signals" that might otherwise be impeded due to age-related brain shrinkage, he added. Boustani likened this process to a street system in a city. The more alternative routes are available to drivers, the less likely it is that a blockage on one street will lead to a city-wide traffic jam. Exercise also promotes secretion of helpful brain chemicals such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Tan explained that "BDNF actually encourages the growth of new neurons, and the preservation of those we already have." Heather Snyder, senior director of medical and scientific operations for the Alzheimer's Association, said that the true answer is likely a combination of factors related to exercise. "It's likely there are multiple benefits, and they all funnel together," Snyder said. According to Boustani, these results support other studies that have shown an association between exercise and protection against dementia, but clinical trials aimed at proving a definite link have so far been disappointing. "When we take it to the next step and start doing experiments, randomizing patients to physical exercise versus no physical exercise and see if that will protect their brain, the story becomes a little bit muddy and unclear," he said. Regardless, Boustani said he prescribes moderate intensity physical exercise to his patients as one way to preserve their brain health -- 5,000 steps a day for about a month, increasing to 10,000 steps over time. "Given that there's no harm, and there's a possible benefit to the brain that hasn't been fully explained, I work with my patients and their families to help improve their physical activity," he said. The findings were published online recently in Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.
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