Like most people, I love chocolate and would be thrilled if it could be the next healthy brain food! And in fact a new study hitting the headlines today claims chocolate – cocoa specifically – might help improve cognitive functioning. As delicious as these results sound, I hate to tell you there are some serious flaws in the methodology.
This study looked at neurovascular coupling (NVC), which is a term for the close relationship between brain activity and brain cerebral blood flow. As different areas of the brain need more energy to complete their tasks, they also need greater blood flow. A lower blood flow response to a cognitive task is considered “impaired NVC.” If blood flow is impaired, it can compromise cognitive functioning, and perhaps even cause damage. This study was designed to see if NVC can be changed through dietary intervention – in this case antioxidant-rich cocoa. Continue reading “Can chocolate reduce risk of Alzheimer’s?” »
Research reported at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2013 suggest that the risk of developing dementia in the United Kingdom may be lower than anticipated. Here’s a breakdown of the research:
Later-born populations have a lower risk of prevalent dementia than those born earlier in the past century.
Background and methodology
In 1989 and 1994, investigators did baseline interviews of 7,635 people aged 65 years and older in geographic areas of England (CFAS I). The results were then used to estimate dementia prevalence, predicting that 8.3% of the population aged 65+ would have dementia two decades later. Between 2008 and 2011 scientists revisited the same geographic areas to provide geographical and generational comparison. This time, they interviewed 7,796 people aged 65 and older and found that prevalence was in fact lower than predicted at 6.5% of the population. Continue reading “In the news: Is the rate of dementia decreasing?” »
Melissa, Team Blondes
…And that’s exactly why I play. Playing for the Blondes Vs. Brunettes for the Alzheimer’s Association is my fundraiser of choice, though I have been involved in numerous events with the Association. Normally you can find me being an advocate on the state or federal level (and crying while trying to hide it), in a support group (and crying normally) or at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s (and straight-up ugly crying). Raising funds playing flag football seemed odd to me at first, but being that I love football, being active and meeting new people, I was all for it.
And I couldn’t have made a better decision. Joining these ladies was empowering. During one of our first practices, we were asked to share stories about our experience with the disease. Having done this to just about anyone who would listen in the past few years (yes, I am that girl who will interrupt you if I hear the word ‘memory’ to tell you facts and figures about Alzheimer’s disease), I figured it was no big deal. And it wasn’t. As I explained that my father was symptomatic by 50, waited a few years for a formal diagnosis (Early Onset Alzheimer’s), subsequently lived another ten years, and that his disease could be familial (that means I have a 75% chance of inheriting it, folks), something odd happened, that has never happened before… Continue reading “There’s No Crying In Football…” »
¿Papá, adivine adonde hemos estado esta semana? Fuimos a Washington D.C. a pedirles a los del Congreso que suporten las causas de Alzheimer’s. Papá no respondió. Linda se fue a la cocina a prepárales una tasa de chocolate. Patricio y Linda acababan de llegar a su casa de ir los a recoger, para que pasaran el fin de semana con ellos. Pasaron unos cinco minutos cuando Papá la llamo. “Hija, ven.” Linda se acercó a él, “Hija, no me gusta que entres en contrato con esos de Washington.”
Eric, Patricio, Linda, Congressman Ami Bera, Zack y Paul
Los sentimientos de papá vienen de su vida en El Salvador. En El Salvador paso mucho tiempo donde era peligroso meterse en causas políticas. Ellos nos criaron con el pensamiento, que lo mejor para todos erra no meterse en causas. Las enfermedades de mamá y papá cambiaron esos pensamientos para nosotros. Hora que ellos ya no pueden hablar por sí mismos, nosotros le tenemos que prestar nuestra voces. Alguien tiene que advocar por ellos. Continue reading “Dos Voces, Un Destino: Prestar Nuestra Voces” »