Did you know....
every 69 seconds another person is diagnosed with Alzheimers?
5.4 Americans have Alzheimers now!
The 10 signs of Alzheimers:
~ memory loss that disrupts daily life
~ challenges in planning or problem solving
~ difficulty completing familiar tasks
~ confusion with time or place
~ trouble understanding visual or spatial relationships
~ NEW difficulty with speaking or writing words
~ losing things & unable to retrace steps
~ decreased or poor judgement
~ withdrawing from work or activities usually enjoyed with family and friends
~ mood and personality changes
If you notice one or more of the above changes in yourself or a loved one please see your doctor right away....don't delay it could save your memory and your life!
Two Studies Show Alzheimer’s Disease May Spread By ‘Jumping’ From One Brain Region To Another Findings open new opportunities for studying Alzheimer’s and testing potential therapies
February 2, 2012
Sources: Neuron and PLoS ONE
Healthy Neuron Showing
the Normal Tau Protein
Illustration created for
AHAF by Bob Morreale
Two different research groups independently made the same discovery: the Alzheimer's disease protein, called tau, can spread from one part of the brain to other connected regions, effectively "jumping" from one nerve cell (neuron) to another.
The finding is groundbreaking because for decades researchers have debated whether Alzheimer’s disease starts independently in vulnerable brain regions at different times, or if it begins in one region and then spreads from neuron to neuron to other areas of the brain. The answer appears to be the latter. It’s important because if scientists can find the mechanism by which tau spreads from one cell to another, Alzheimer’s disease could potentially be stopped from spreading.
Alzheimer's Disease Research, a program of the American Health Assistance Foundation (AHAF), funded Dr. Bradley T. Hyman, co-investigator Dr. Teresa Gomez-Isla, and their colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital for their major discovery. Dr. Hyman's research will be published later this month in the journal, Neuron.
A second study by Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researcher, Karen E. Duff, Ph.D., at CUMC and at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, also demonstrates that abnormal tau protein, a key feature of the neurofibrillary tangles seen in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s, grows along linked brain circuits, “jumping” from neuron to neuron. Dr. Duff's research was published in PLoS ONE.
Both research projects were highlighted in the February 2 issue of the New York Times.
The findings of the studies have important implications for therapy to reduce or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Treatments could conceivably target tau during its earlier phases, before or as it moves from cell to cell. Said Dr. Duff, “This would prevent the disease from spreading to other regions of the brain, which is associated with more severe dementia.”
Adapted from Columbia University Medical Center
What is one of the earliest signs of Alzheimers disease?
a) forgetting what you started to do before you do it
b) getting lost in familiar areas
c) difficulty remembering names
d) losing sense of smell
answer: losing sense of smell !!!
The following was borrowed from the Alzheimers Association website...
Myth 1: Memory loss is a natural part of aging.
Reality: As people age, it's normal to have occasional
memory problems, such as forgetting the name of a person you've recently met.
However, Alzheimer's is more than occasional memory loss. It's a disease that
causes brain cells to malfunction and ultimately die. When this happens, an
individual may forget the name of a longtime friend or what roads to take to
return to a home they've lived in for decades.
It can be difficult to tell normal memory problems from memory problems that
should be a cause for concern. The Alzheimer's Association has developed information to help you tell the difference. If
you or a loved one has memory problems or other problems with thinking and
learning that concern you, contact a physician. Sometimes the problems are
caused by medication side effects, vitamin deficiencies or other conditions and
can be reversed with treatment. The memory and thinking problems may also be
caused by another type
Myth 2: Alzheimer’s disease is not fatal.
Reality: Alzheimer's disease has no survivors. It destroys brain
cells and causes memory changes, erratic behaviors and loss of body functions.
It slowly and painfully takes away a person's identity, ability to connect
with others, think, eat, talk, walk and find his or her way home.
Myth 3: Only older people can get Alzheimer's
Reality: Alzheimer's can strike people in their 30s, 40s and
even 50s. This is called younger-onset Alzheimer's. It is estimated that there
are more than 5 million people living with Alzheimer’s disease in the
United States. This includes 5.2 million people age 65 and older and 200,000
people younger than age 65 with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Myth 4: Drinking out of aluminum cans or cooking in aluminum pots and
pans can lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
Reality: During the 1960s and 1970s, aluminum emerged as a
possible suspect in Alzheimer’s. This suspicion led to concern about exposure to
aluminum through everyday sources such as pots and pans, beverage cans, antacids
and antiperspirants. Since then, studies have failed to confirm any role for
aluminum in causing Alzheimer’s. Experts today focus on other areas of research,
and few believe that everyday sources of aluminum pose any threat.
Myth 5: Aspartame causes memory loss.
Reality: This artificial sweetener, marketed under such brand names as
Nutrasweet and Equal, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) for use in all foods and beverages in 1996. Since approval, concerns
about aspartame's health effects have been raised.
According to the FDA, as of May 2006, the agency had not been presented with
any scientific evidence that would lead to change its conclusions on the safety
of aspartame for most people. The agency says its conclusions are based on more
than 100 laboratory and clinical studies. Read the May 2006 FDA statement about
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Myth 6: Flu shots increase risk of Alzheimer’s disease
Reality: A theory linking flu shots to a greatly increased
risk of Alzheimer’s disease has been proposed by a U.S. doctor whose license was
suspended by the South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners. Several mainstream
studies link flu shots and other vaccinations to a reduced risk of Alzheimer's
disease and overall better health.
Myth 7: Silver dental fillings increase risk of Alzheimer's disease
Reality: According to the best available scientific
evidence, there is no relationship between silver dental fillings and
Alzheimer's. The concern that there could be a link arose because "silver"
fillings are made of an amalgam (mixture) that typically contains about 50
percent mercury, 35 percent silver and 15 percent tin. Mercury is a heavy metal
that, in certain forms, is known to be toxic to the brain and other organs.
Many scientists consider the studies below compelling evidence that dental
amalgam is not a major risk factor for Alzheimer's. Public health agencies,
including the FDA, the U.S. Public Health Service and the World Health
Organization, endorse the continued use of amalgam as safe, strong, inexpensive
material for dental restorations.
National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1991 funded a study at the University
of Kentucky to investigate the relationship between amalgam fillings and
Alzheimer's. Analysis by University statisticians revealed no significant
association between silver fillings and Alzheimer's. The abstract for this study is posted on
the Journal of the American Dental Association Web
Myth 8: There are treatments available to stop the progression of
Reality: At this time, there is no treatment to cure, delay or
stop the progression of Alzheimer's disease. FDA-approved drugs temporarily slow
worsening of symptoms for about 6 to 12 months, on average, for about half of
the individuals who take them.