MEMORY LOSS AND DEMENTIA

The word “dementia” is an umbrella term used to describe a set of symptoms, including impairment in memory, reasoning, judgment, language and other thinking skills. Dementia begins gradually in most cases, worsens over time and significantly impairs a person’s abilities in work, social interactions and relationships.
Often, memory loss is one of the first or more recognizable signs of dementia. Other early signs may include:
-Asking the same questions repeatedly
-Forgetting common words when speaking
-Mixing words up — saying “bed” instead of “table,” for example
-Taking longer to complete familiar tasks, such as following a recipe
-Misplacing items in inappropriate places, such as putting a wallet in a kitchen drawer
-Getting lost while walking or driving around a familiar neighborhood
-Undergoing sudden changes in mood or behavior for no apparent reason
-Becoming less able to follow directions







Diseases that cause progressive damage to the brain — and consequently result in dementia — include:
-Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia
-Vascular dementia (multi-infarct dementia)
-Frontotemporal dementia
-Lewy body dementia

Each of these conditions has a somewhat different disease process (pathology). Memory impairment isn’t always the first sign of disease, and the type of memory problems may vary.

ANTIOXIDANTS: KEY FOR LONGEVITY!

When it comes to boosting antioxidant intake, recent research indicates there’s little benefit from taking diet supplements. A better way, according to a report in the September issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter, is eating a diet rich in antioxidant-containing foods.
Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, carotene, lycopene, lutein and many other substances may play a role in helping to prevent diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and macular degeneration. Antioxidants are thought to help because they can neutralize free radicals, which are toxic byproducts of natural cell metabolism. The human body naturally produces antioxidants but the process isn’t 100 percent effective and that effectiveness declines with age.
Research is increasingly showing that those who eat antioxidant-rich foods reap health benefits. Foods, rather than supplements, may boost antioxidant levels because foods contain an unmatchable array of antioxidant substances. A supplement may contain a single type of antioxidant or even several. However, foods contain thousands of types of antioxidants, and it’s not known which of these substances confer the benefits.
Some of the better food sources of antioxidants are:
-Berries: Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and cranberries
-Beans: Small red beans and kidney, pinto and black beans
-Fruits: Many apple varieties (with peels), avocados, cherries, green and red pears, fresh or dried plums, pineapple, oranges, and kiwi
-Vegetables: Artichokes, spinach, red cabbage, red and white potatoes (with peels), sweet potatoes and broccoli
-Beverages: Green tea, coffee, red wine and many fruit juices
-Nuts: Walnuts, pistachios, pecans, hazelnuts and almonds
-Herbs: Ground cloves, cinnamon or ginger, dried oregano leaf and turmeric powder
-Grains: Oat-based products
-Dessert: Dark chocolate






SHARP YOUR MIND!…. READ THIS!

Eat these 4 foods to help sharpen your mental focus.
If you think cognitive decline isn’t something that starts to happen until after age 60, think again. A new study from the British Medical Journal showed that cognitive decline—a decrease in memory and reasoning capacity—can start to affect our brains as early as 45! Give yourself a mental boost now with these four foods.
1. Leafy Greens
A recent study in Neurology showed that people who ate two or more daily servings of vegetables, especially leafy greens, had the mental focus of people five years their junior. Have a big salad for lunch; serve some sautéed spinach at dinner.
2. Whole Grains
Studies show that eating a breakfast of whole grains helps sustain mental focus better than a morning meal of refined carbohydrates or no breakfast at all. Two to try: whole-grain cereal with milk or eggs with whole-wheat toast.
3. Coffee
It might come as no surprise that coffee can help your mind feel sharper (goodbye, morning brain fog!), but did you know that coffee affects men and women differently? Men actually feel more alert more quickly than women do after drinking a caffeinated beverage, according to research from the University of Barcelona. In the study, men reported feeling less drowsy after only 10 minutes and sustained the mental boost for a half hour.
4. Gum
It’s not technically a food, but a 2011 study found that people who chewed gum during a stressful task were more alert afterwards than when they did the task without gum.






10 SUPERFOODS FOR A SUPER BRAIN!

We all know that we need to eat the right diet for the good of our physical health. With the right diet, we can lose weight and strengthen the muscles in our body. But did you know that with the right foods, you can become smarter? That’s right, adding superfoods to your diet can do you wonders.
-Acai. Known as one of the truest superfoods, acai is packed with antioxidants with ORAC, omega-3, vitamins, and protein. Acai has been known to enhance brain health and improve cognitive abilities as well as reduce the risk of diseases.
-Kale. This leafy green exploded in popularity recently and is known as one of the most nutrient-dense foods known to man and one of the top foods for brain health. Kale is loaded with vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin A as well as phytonutrients (antioxidants) and signalling molecules that help decrease inflammation of the body.
-Goji Berries. Goji berries are an excellent superfood for boosting brain power because they improve the sharpness of your brain and help you retain information more efficiently. Goji berries also help in reducing damaging inflammation of the brain as well as reduce the accumulation of toxins in the brain.
-Spirulina. Spirulina is known as one of the most concentrated source of protein and an excellent alternative for those who are wishing to eliminate meat from their diet. Spirulina also has many cognitive benefits!
-Cacao. Great news! Cacao, aka chocolate has tons of minerals and nutrients that boost the body’s neurotransmitters and creates that pleasant feeling that many experience when they eat chocolate. But here’s the catch, when you eat chocolate that’s been cooked or processed, the cacao’s nutritional value is lost.
-Maca. Maca is a superfood that is related to the radish and is grown in the Andes mountains. It can survive higher elevations and has proven to be a strong food that can survive the elements. Maca has been known to improve the brains neurochemistry and helps fight against depression, stress, and anxiety.
-Coconut. By providing a stable fuel supply, coconut is considered to be great fuel for your brain and supporting your brain’s learning capabilities and memory retention.







-Broccoli. Scientists have recently discovered a compound in broccoli known as sulforaphane, which has been shown to help protect the brain after there’s been an injury and actually improve the brain’s performance.
-Chia Seeds. Beans help stabilize blood glucose levels, and the brain depends on glucose for food. Not only is it economical, but it provides the brain with a steady source of energy and helps prevent crashes.
-Chia Seeds. Chia seeds are the latest trend in the superfood industry. However, they are known as the staple food for the Mayans and Aztecs, who used chia seeds for many dietary needs such as flour, oil, and an add-on for water. Chia means “strength” in the Mayan language and was considered to be a magical food because it provided much needed energy and stamina for the brain.

GO FOR A BRAIN HEALTHY DIET!

According to the most current research, a brain-healthy diet is one that reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes, encourages good blood flow to the brain, and is low in fat and cholesterol. Like the heart, the brain needs the right balance of nutrients, including protein and sugar, to function well. A brain-healthy diet is most effective when combined with physical and mental activity and social interaction.
Increase your intake of protective foods. Current research suggests that certain foods may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and appear to protect brain cells.
In general, dark-skinned fruits and vegetables have the highest levels of naturally occurring antioxidant levels. Such vegetables include: kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli, beets, red bell pepper, onion, corn and eggplant. Fruits with high antioxidant levels include prunes, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, plums, oranges, red grapes and cherries.
-Cold water fish contain beneficial omega-3 fatty acids: halibut, mackerel, salmon, trout and tuna.
-Some nuts can be a useful part of your diet; almonds, pecans and walnuts are a good source of vitamin E, an antioxidant.






CURE FOR ALZHEIMER’S CLOSER

A treatment to reverse Alzheimer’s Disease could be available in five years, it has been revealed.
Experiments on mice have indicated that a new vaccine not only halts the advance of the disease, but repairs damage already done.

It could also be given to patients whose families have a history of Alzheimer’s, to prevent them developing the disease.
The research by British, American and Canadian scientists, was being hailed last night as the most significant breakthrough yet. Harry Cayton, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, said: ‘This really does make us optimistic.’
A growing number of elderly and even middle-aged people are being struck down by the degenerative brain disease, which has some 500,000 sufferers in Britain alone. It causes untold misery to families who are left to care for loved ones who may no longer recognize them.
The vaccine attacks the build-up of a protein called beta-amyloid, which forms a damaging waxy plaque on brain cells. The latest research, reported today in the scienctific journal Nature, suggests the drug not only removes the proteins but can restore mental functions.






What Foods are Best for Enhancing Memory?

It’s too simple to single out our particular food (or foods) as being “best” for memory. Memory is too complicated a process, and it requires a greater variety of nutrients than any single food can provide.
Since remembering involves a good bit of brain activity, and brain activity puts special emphasis on a healthy nervous system and healthy blood flow, all steps you can take to improve your blood flow, circulation, and nervous system function may end up contributing to better memory.
A first important step would be upgrading the overall fat quality in your meal plan. You’ll want to focus on plant foods like walnuts, flaxseeds, cold water fish like salmon, and oils like extra virgin olive oil, because the types of fat contained in these foods help keep your blood vessels and nerve wrappings healthy. (Among these fats is a group called omega-3 fat. It’s impossible to overestimate the importance of certain omega-3 fatty acids&mdashespecially the fatty acid called DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid—in brain and nervous system function). What you are not going to want are hydrogenated oils that contain trans fatty acids, fried foods, large amounts of beef fat, pork fat, or chicken fat, or other high-fat, processed foods.
You’re also going to want plenty of antioxidant nutrients like vitamins C, E, beta-carotene, colorful plant flavonoid and carotenoid pigments, and minerals like zinc and manganese. Vegetables and fruits that are richly colored are usually your best bet here. We do not know where you live and therefore which fruits and vegetables you have available so we would just say that it would be good to look for ones that are deep in color … such as deep green (like leafy greens such as mustard greens, kale, broccoli, etc.), deep orange (papaya, sweet potato, winter squash, etc.), dark blue (berries, eggplant, purple cabbage, etc.) and deep red (berries, cherries, tomatoes, peppers, etc).






Is Hot Chocolate the New Elixir for Brain?

A new study suggests hot chocolate may be the elixir of choice for older people who want to keep their minds sharp. The study of 60 older adults linked 30 days of twice-daily hot cocoa consumption to a 30 percent bump in memory and thinking abilities among those who had impaired blood flow to their brains.
Study author Dr. Farzaneh Sorond, a neurologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, said chocolate seemed to boost the brain’s blood supply, citing an 8.3 percent increase in blood flow after a month’s worth of hot cocoa.
“The areas of your brain that are working need more fuel,” she said, describing a phenomenon known as “neurovascular coupling,” which refers to the intimate link between better blood flow and improved neuronal activity.
In people with impaired blood flow, she added, “cocoa may be beneficial by delivering more fuel.”
Chocolate May Boost Brain Power- While more research is needed to tease out the exact mechanism by which chocolate boosts blood flow, Sorond said that antioxidants and caffeine may certainly play a role.
“It stimulates the pleasure centers of the brain,” said Dr. Peter McCullough, a consultant cardiologist at Providence Hospitals and Medical Centers in Southfield and Novi, Mich., who was not involved in the study.
Anyway, it’s important to remember that even if the link holds up, chocolate would not be the only way to maintain a healthy brain and circulatory system. A healthy diet and regular exercise may also boost blood flow to the brain.






How to fight Memory Loss

Concerned about memory loss? Take heart. Simple steps — from staying mentally active to including physical activity in your daily routine — may help sharpen your memory. Can’t find your car keys? Forget what’s on your grocery list? You’re not alone. Everyone forgets things occasionally. Still, memory loss is nothing to take lightly. Although there are no guarantees when it comes to preventing memory loss or dementia, memory tricks can be helpful. Consider four simple ways to sharpen your memory — and know when to seek help for memory loss.
-Stay mentally active. Just as physical activity helps keep your body in shape, mentally stimulating activities help keep your brain in shape — and perhaps keep memory loss at bay. Do crossword puzzles. Read a section of the newspaper that you normally skip. Take alternate routes when driving. Learn to play a musical instrument. Volunteer at a local school or community organization.
-Socialize regularly. Social interaction helps ward off depression and stress, both of which can contribute to memory loss. Look for opportunities to get together with loved ones, friends and others — especially if you live alone. When you’re invited to share a meal or attend an event, go!
-Get organized. You’re more likely to forget things if your home is cluttered and your notes are in disarray. Jot down tasks, appointments and other events in a special notebook, calendar or electronic planner. You might even repeat each entry out loud as you jot it down to help cement it in your memory. Keep to-do lists current, and check off items you’ve completed. Set aside a certain place for your wallet, keys and other essentials.
-Focus. Limit distractions, and don’t try to do too many things at once. If you focus on the information that you’re trying to remember, you’ll be more likely to recall it later. It might also help to connect what you’re trying to remember to a favorite song or another familiar concept.






Clean your Brain with a Good SLEEP!

It’s no secret that too little shut-eye can drain your brain, but scientists haven’t fully understood why.
Now, a new study suggests that a good night’s sleep leaves you feeling sharp and refreshed because a newly discovered system that scrubs away neural waste is mostly active when you’re at rest.
It’s a revelation that could not only transform scientists’ fundamental understanding of sleep, but also point to new ways to treat disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, which are linked to the accumulation of toxins in the brain.
One of the waste products of the brain is the protein amyloid-beta, which accumulates and forms plaques in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis had previously shown that levels of amyloid-beta in mice brains dropped during sleep because of a decrease in production of the protein.