A community for people who want to remain as healthy as possible as we age.

Working Toward Fewer Zombie Years

(David Katz, M.D., Yale Prevention Research Center)[W]whatever explains the fascination with zombies, they seem to belong to that same taxonomic category of interest as purple cows of silly poem fame: People may enjoy seeing them, but no one wants to be one.
But we are increasingly at risk of exactly that. And far worse -- we are at risk of imposing a long span of zombie years on our children. I mean this in the most literal sense.
Zombies are, insofar as I understand their biological classification, undead. They aren't entirely dead, but they certainly aren't fully alive either. That sounds a lot like life with a serious chronic disease. When one's life no longer involves pleasure or the pursuit of interests, it is something of a half-life. When schedules are occupied by medicines, procedures, and doctor visits, it is something other than really living. And when we can't remember the names of our own children, we are no longer entirely here.
These are, in a heart-wrenchingly real way for anyone affected and everyone who loves him or her, years of only partial living. These are zombie years, and there is nothing cute nor entertaining about them. They are a black void where life sucked out of our years goes to [wither] and die…
Health care reform will do nothing to fix this, except maybe pay the bills. Modern medical technologies will not fix it. But we can fix it.
As noted, the chronic diseases that stalk us and our children alike and siphon away life from years even when not doing the same to years from life are almost entirely preventable. This is incontrovertibly established in a consistent aggregation of peer-reviewed research spanning decades. We can disease-proof ourselves, and our children, with an application of lifestyle as medicine.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Self-Rated Health Puts Aging, Health Needs on the Agenda

(Science Daily) Implementation of national surveys where the population can estimate and assess their own health may give policy makers important insights into the different health interventions that should be implemented. According Siddhivinayak Hirve, PhD student at Umeå University, this may include a simple tool that harmonizes the assessment of health in developing countries with the rest of the world.
When the World Health Organization, WHO, conducted a study of aging in a global context and health among adults, in 2007, they asked the simple question "In general, how would you rate your health today?"…
In his thesis, Siddhivinayak Hirve has examined the factors that influence the assessment of own estimated health in older individuals in the population in rural India…
Siddhivinayak Hirve concludes, based on his findings, that it is possible to use information on self-rated health from major national surveys, such as the planning of health care, even in small, isolated areas.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Are You a Disease-Prone or a Self-Healing Personality?

(Ronald E. Riggio, Ph.D., Psychology Today) Research shows that certain individuals are prone to develop stress-related illnesses in clusters. The disease-prone personality is associated with a pervasive negative mood, depression, anxiety, and irritability. They tend to dwell on the negatives of life and are often dissatisfied. As a result, they are more prone to stress-related illnesses, including coronary heart disease.
Self-healing personality is associated with being conscientious, emotionally secure, having enthusiasm for life, and strong social relationships. These characteristics lead to more healthful behaviors—avoiding smoking, better adherence to exercise programs and maintaining a healthy diet. This leads to greater resistance to stress-related illnesses.
Although personality is difficult to change, we can learn from the behavior patterns of disease-prone and self-healing individuals. A focus on maintaining a more healthy lifestyle can make all the difference. Cultivating good, supportive social relationships, as opposed to staying in stress-filled and conflict-ridden relationships. Developing good coping strategies for dealing with stress and life’s little hassles will stave off stress-related diseases.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Navigating Health Claims Through Science

(Keri Gans, MS, RDN, CDN, U.S. News & World Report) As a registered dietitian, I have always felt it's my responsibility to communicate health messages to the public in a way that makes sense. Sure, I might have a personal opinion on the topic, and when I share that point, I disclose that it's my opinion and nothing more. Other times, I talk about what I observe in my practice with patients and give anecdotal recommendations. But for me, the bottom line is science…
When a new health claim arises, I look for the science. I first ask if there's research to support that claim – and not research from just one study, but from many? Is it a peered reviewed study? Is the study double blind and controlled? How many participants were there – ten, fifty? The length of the study needs to be considered, too. Did it span four weeks or four years? And were the participants humans or rats? Personally, I don't really care who conducted the study or who funded it, as long as it was well-designed. Trust me, I know this all can be very confusing. It's hard to understand research, especially if you aren't trained to do so.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

More Information and Recent Research on General Health Topics

(LiveScience) In her many television appearances, Suzanne Somers offers health advice to women. But what she says doesn't always hold up as fact, and in some cases, following her advice could be harmful.
(Reuters Health) Doctors often assume they're explaining things in a way patients understand. When patients are confused, doctors don't always realize it. A new study shows patients might benefit from having their "health literacy" tested.
(Tamara Duker Freuman, MS, RD, CDN, U.S. News & World Report) [F]allacious reasoning continues to guide many of our dietary decisions. Often, pre-existing beliefs about food and nutrition can cloud the ability to assess dietary choices rationally and can lead to self-defeating – or downright dangerous – dietary practices. Here are some examples I see regularly: • The fallacy of naturalism… • The fallacy of mammalian solidarity… • The fallacy of fat… • The fallacy of false cause.
(The Salt, NPR) Fruits and vegetables are undeniably important to a healthful diet. But there's another side to some of these plants that, thankfully, most people never see: the tiny amounts of toxin within them. Lucky for us, healthy human bodies are remarkably good at filtering out toxins from everyday foods.
(Reuters) Fears of job cuts and "banker bashing" are taking a toll on the health of bank workers of all levels, according to an international study published on Wednesday that follows a trail of burnouts and tragedies in the world of finance.
Community: I feel real sorry for them.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Recipes

MyRecipes.com:
Pan-Seared Scallops with Tomatoes and Pesto
Entertain on the fly with a quick-cooking and delicious scallop dinner.
EatingWell:
Chicken & Sweet Potato Stew
Here's a dinnertime warmer with a hint of spring's sweetness, designed for that day when you'd rather be outside raking the leaves from the garden, getting it ready for what's ahead, than slaving over the stove.
Los Angeles Times:
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

For healthier skin, eating right is the key

(Washington Post) We've heard of problem skin being treated with everything from salicylic acid to antibiotics.
But yogurt and blueberries, flaxseed and salmon?
Nutrition plays a key role in skin health, says Meagen McCusker, associate professor of dermatology at the University of Connecticut Health Center.
"It's really true that you are what you eat," says McCusker, adding that the condition of your skin often tells a story about your overall health and well-being…
Recipe for clear skin
Cut out refined sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and any processed and most white foods.
Try probiotics, which can be found in yogurt and kefir and are also sold as nutritional supplements.
Eat healthful fats: sardines, grass-fed beef, almonds, wild Alaskan salmon and flaxseed.
Eat from the rainbow: red cabbage, blueberries, yellow peppers, kale and garlic.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Shoppers follow nutrition star ratings, study says

(San Francisco Chronicle) A nutritional rating system using gold stars affixed to price labels on grocery store shelves appears to have shifted buying habits, potentially providing another tool to educate people on how to eat healthier, according to a new study.
The independent study examining a proprietary gold star system used in Hannaford Supermarkets suggested it steered shoppers away from items with no stars toward healthier foods that merited gold stars.
"Our results suggest that point-of-sale nutrition information programs may be effective in providing easy-to-find nutrition information that is otherwise nonexistent, difficult to obtain or difficult to understand," the researchers wrote in the study, published last week in the journal Food Policy.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Labeling foods that are genetically engineered will not cause food prices to skyrocket

(Consumer Reports) On Nov. 5, Washington state residents will vote on Initiative 522 (PDF), a referendum that would require labels on foods that are genetically engineered (these are also known as genetically modified organisms, or GMOs). Food-industry opponents of such labeling argue that the requirement will cause food prices to climb. Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, disagrees with that assertion. What’s more, we believe that genetically engineered foods should be identified as such, the same as foods that contain additives or are frozen, homogenized, from concentrate, or irradiated. The labels allow you to make informed choices about the foods you eat…
[I]f consumers avoid the genetically engineered products, we believe that the market will quickly adjust to demand. True, it might be hard today for a breakfast-cereal maker, for example, to find corn that isn’t genetically engineered. But if consumers demand nonengineered cereal, farmers will surely start growing it.
Considering also information from the 60 countries where GMO labeling is the law, we believe that requiring labels on food that is genetically engineered should not raise food prices in any discernible way for Washington state consumers.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Can Redistribution of Surplus Food Really Improve Food Security?

(Science Daily) While surplus food redistribution has been promoted as a way of reducing food waste and food poverty, a paper published recently … concludes that unless a distinction is drawn between genuine waste to be recovered and surplus to be redistributed for community benefit, surplus food as a resource is unlikely to be fully utilised…
[Said Dr. Jane Midgley,] '[M]y research suggests that without greater guidance from government this will continue as an ad-hoc arrangement between the food industry and charities which may not adequately address either problem.'
The research recommends that greater understandings of the values and qualities associated with surplus food and how the tensions surrounding these are managed is essential if surplus food is to be used as a potential resource to improve food security and other current food system pressures.
Community: Here’s one more reason why food security is important: “Intimate Partner Violence Linked to Food Insecurity.”
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

FDA proposes animal food safety measures

(UPI) Two days after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration acknowledged thousands of dogs sickened from pet jerky, the FDA is proposing animal food safety measures.
For the first time, the FDA is proposing preventive measures to protect all animal food from disease-causing bacteria, chemicals and other contaminants. This includes the food that pet owners give their dogs, cats and other companion animals, and the feed that farmers give their livestock, FDA officials said.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Man charged with extortion over threats to Midwest water supply

(Reuters) A Missouri man was charged on Friday with trying to extort $10,000 from the FBI by saying that he could help authorities investigate a threat to contaminate the public water supply of four Midwest cities.
Manuel Garcia, 69, of Kansas City, called police and federal agents to report that he knew of two men who intended to pour 55-gallon drums of unspecified contaminants into water systems in Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri, and Wichita and Topeka, Kansas, according to statement from the U.S. attorney's office in Kansas City…
"I want to assure the community that our water supply is safe," Tammy Dickinson, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri said in the news release. "We don't believe there was ever a credible threat to public health and safety."
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Gut News

(Shots, NPR) Trillions of microbes live on and in the human body, tucked into very different ecosystems. Some like the dark, warm confines of the mouth. Others prefer the desert-dry skin of the forearm. The biggest and most active collection of microbes hangs out in the gut.
(MedPage Today) Psychological comorbidity had a significant association with levels of an inflammatory cytokine in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), suggesting a centrally mediated effect, investigators reported… Though suggestive, the results do not prove that psychological comorbidity in IBS is a driving force in the condition, Orla Craig, MB BCh, …, said.
(MedPage Today) Testing for antibodies to the protein vinculin may offer a serologic means of diagnosing irritable bowel syndrome, a researcher said here.
(MedPage Today) Poor sleep quality had a significant association with active inflammatory bowel disease and several potentially modifiable factors, culminating in poor health-related quality of life, a survey of 200 patients showed.
(MedPage Today) Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have significantly higher rates of influenza than the greater population, a researcher said here.
(Science Daily) Patients with inflammatory bowel disease are at an increased risk of stroke and heart attack according to a new study presented by Mayo Clinic researchers.
(MedPage Today) Almost twice as many patients with proctitis and proctosigmoiditis attained remission with budesonide foam as compared with placebo, reported William Sandborn, MD, … and colleagues.
More . . .

Got the flu? Here's what to do.

(Consumer Reports) You didn’t get around to getting your flu vaccine and now you’re paying the price. You’ve got the classic flu symptoms; headache, fever, scratchy throat—the works. Your first move? That depends on your situation.
If you are at high risk of flu compli­cations because you are pregnant, younger than 5, older than 65, or suffer from a chronic disease (or live with a high-risk person), ask your doctor whether you’re a candidate for an antiviral drug such as Tamiflu (oseltamivir) or Relenza (zanamivir). Taking one of those drugs within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms can shorten the duration of flu symptoms by a day or two, reduce the chance of spreading the disease, and may reduce other complication risks.
Other people should stick with the tried and true: getting plenty of sleep and fluids (water and juices are best), and over-the-counter drugs. Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen, which work well to reduce fever, headache, and inflammation, are generally more effective than multi­symptom products such as NyQuil and Theraflu, which contain medicines you probably don’t need. Don’t bother with antibiotics—they treat bacterial infections, not viruses such as the flu or colds.
Two natural remedies might also be worth considering. Some research suggests that these supplements—elderberry extracts and n-acetyl cysteine—may help to relieve flulike symptoms. Other natural remedies, including echinacea, ginseng, vitamin E supplements, and the homeopathic medicine oscillococcinum, have been shown to be of no use in preventing the flu or lessening its symptoms.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Paying Kidney Donors Can Save $$, Help Patients

(MedPage Today) Paying living donors for their kidneys would reduce the number of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients on dialysis and transplant wait lists, and save the healthcare system money, researchers in Canada concluded.
Using decision analysis modeling, they estimated that a $9,648 ($10,000 Canadian) payment per living donor would increase the number of kidneys available for transplant by 5%, with an incremental cost savings of around $328 ($340 Canadian) per patient and a gain of 0.11 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs).
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Baby 'cured' of HIV: New details offer hope for other patients

(Los Angeles Times) New details about the first person to be cured of HIV through drug therapy alone offer hope that others who are born with the virus may be able to beat it back and avoid a lifetime of treatment, researchers reported Wednesday.
The formerly HIV-positive Mississippi girl drew widespread interest in March when doctors presented her case in March at a medical meeting in Atlanta. Now they have published a full account of the girl’s treatment and recovery in New England Journal of Medicine.
The 3-year-old girl has not taken any antiretroviral drugs for at least 18 months – yet tests find “no detectable level of HIV-1 RNA” in her blood, according to the report.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Affordable Care Act News

(ThinkProgress) An uptick in the number of Americans applying for medical schools and becoming family doctors is great news for Obamacare, which will extend insurance to millions of Americans and allow them to afford medical services for the first time.
(Kaiser Health News) A subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, which built the federal data hub, will oversee the fixes
(ThinkProgress) "HealthCare.gov is fixable," the administration says.
(Bloomberg) The monthlong wait to repair the Obamacare health-insurance exchange is increasing pressure on the president to ease a key deadline for consumers to sign up. Jeffrey Zients, the economic adviser asked by President Barack Obama to help correct the website, said the exchange is fixable and will be working “smoothly” by the end of November. That would mean two months when the consumer website at the heart of the $1.4 trillion U.S. health-care overhaul won’t be fully operating.
(McClatchy) “The call centers are available,” he said, reciting the telephone number – 1-800-318-2596. “You can talk to somebody directly and they can walk you through the application process. . . . Once you get on the phone with a trained representative, it usually takes about 25 minutes for an individual to apply for coverage, about 45 minutes for a family.” But consumer advocates say the centers were never meant to be an alternative to the insurance exchange website.
(McClatchy) The list of Democratic senators seeking an extension of the health care open enrollment period is growing. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., first proposed the delay earlier this week, and Friday, nine other Democratic senators joined the effort. They wrote Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, saying, "Given the existing problems with healthcare.gov and other state-run marketplace websites that depend on the federally-administered website, we urge you to consider extending open enrollment beyond the current end date of March 31, 2014.
More . . .

Medicare News

(Kaiser Health News) Americans are living and working longer than ever. And Medicare, the health plan that’s supposed to help senior citizens, is facing budget problems sooner rather than later. By 2023, about 70 million people will get health care paid for by Medicare, and their tab is expected to hit about $1.1 trillion in that year. So it’s no surprise that the idea of raising the eligibility age for Medicare to 67 from 65 keeps getting floated as a way to trim federal spending.
(The Hill) The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office on Thursday dramatically lowered its estimate of the amount of budget savings to be gained from raising the Medicare eligibility age. The CBO now says that raising the Medicare age slowly to 67 from 65 would yield just $19 billion over 10 years. In 2012, the CBO had estimated the move would yield $113 billion in the first 10 years. The CBO estimate could reduce any incentive lawmakers, especially Democrats, have to take the politically treacherous step of raising the Medicare age.
(MedPage Today) Doctor-owned firms that distribute medical devices supplied 19% of the products used in spinal surgeries billed to Medicare in 2011, according to an investigation by the Office of Inspector General.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Lower Blood Sugar Levels May Be Good for the Brain

(Science Daily) Even for people who don’t have diabetes or high blood sugar, those with higher blood sugar levels are more likely to have memory problems, according to a new study…
People with lower blood sugar levels were more likely to have better scores on the memory tests. On a test where participants needed to recall a list of 15 words 30 minutes after hearing them, recalling fewer words was associated with higher blood sugar levels. For example, an increase of about seven mmol/mol of a long-term marker of glucose control called HbA1c went along with recalling two fewer words. People with higher blood sugar levels also had smaller volumes in the hippocampus.
“These results suggest that even for people within the normal range of blood sugar, lowering their blood sugar levels could be a promising strategy for preventing memory problems and cognitive decline as they age,” said study author Agnes Flöel, MD.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize cognitive decline.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Poor sleep tied to Alzheimer's-like brain changes

(Reuters Health) Older adults who don't sleep well have more of the brain plaques that are hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests.
The finding doesn't prove that not getting enough shut-eye causes the build-up of beta-amyloid plaques and leads to dementia rather than the other way around.
The researchers can't be sure which came first because they asked about sleep problems and took brain images at around the same time.
But, the study's lead author said, "It's exciting that our findings … may point to sleep disturbance as something that can be a modifiable risk factor that can be leveraged to prevent Alzheimer's disease."
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize cognitive decline.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Major Alzheimer's Risk Factor Reduced by Red Wine Ingredient

(Science Daily) The major genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD), present in about two-thirds of people who develop the disease, is ApoE4, the cholesterol-carrying protein that about a quarter of us are born with. But one of the unsolved mysteries of AD is how ApoE4 causes the risk for the incurable, neurodegenerative disease. In research published [recently], researchers at the Buck Institute found a link between ApoE4 and SirT1, an "anti-aging protein" that is [stimulated] by resveratrol, present in red wine.
The Buck researchers found that ApoE4 causes a dramatic reduction in SirT1, which is one of seven human Sirtuins…
The Buck group also found that the abnormalities associated with ApoE4 and AD, such as the creation of phospho-tau and amyloid-beta, could be prevented by increasing SirT1. They have identified drug candidates that exert the same effect.
The best way to enhance the action of hydrogen sulfide in the body without poisoning ourselves is to eat foods that contain sulfur compounds, especially broccoli and garlic.
Resveratrol is found in red wine, red grapes, and peanuts. It’s also available as a food supplement.
There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize cognitive decline.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Preventive Effect of Plant Sterols in Alzheimer’s Disease

(Science Daily)  It's no secret that many of the phytochemicals in fruit and vegetables have a positive effect on our health. For instance, plant sterols (also known as phytosterols) help to lower cholesterol levels. According to a new study…, they also appear to prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease. The scientific research team … has shown that a particular sterol, stigmasterol, inhibits the production of proteins that play an important role in the development of the disease…
"Plant sterols are present in various combinations in nuts, seeds and plant oils. As plant sterols are the equivalents of animal cholesterol, they can in principal influence metabolic processes, where cholesterol is involved," explained [research team leader Dr.] Marcus Grimm… "Because they also lower cholesterol levels, they are extensively used in the food industry and as dietary supplements."
High cholesterol levels have long been discussed to increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
Community: About.com has a list of the best dietary sources of phytosterols.
There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize cognitive decline.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

"Brain Food" That Really Works

(Reader’s Digest ) Eat these foods to protect brain cells, improve your memory, and even reduce your odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Walnuts
These wrinkly nuts—which kind of resemble the human brain—are rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant associated with a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease…
Eggs
Those bright, round yolks are rich in choline, a B vitamin-like nutrient… [Y]our brain uses choline to make acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that may be important for maintaining memory and communication among brain cells…
Blueberries
"Brainberries" is what Steven Pratt, MD, … calls these antioxidant-packed fruits… In select animal studies, researchers found that blueberries helped protect the brain from oxidative stress, and may have worked to reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia, Pratt said…
Wine and Champagne
While too much alcohol can certainly destroy healthy brain tissue, drinking in moderation may be good for your mind. A study … found that the antioxidant EGCG—found in red wine and green tea—helped stop beta-amyloid proteins from harming brain cells in the lab. Additionally, research from UCLA found that wine’s antioxidants may block proteins that build brain-destroying plaques…
Avocados
Avocados are almost as good as blueberries in promoting brain health, Dr. Pratt told WebMD.com…
Kale and Other Cruciferous Veggies [such as broccoli]
These superfoods contain powerful antioxidants that can protect your brain from toxic free radicals…
Salmon
Your brain loves omega-3 fatty acids, which are thought to play an important role in cognitive function.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize cognitive decline.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Blood Pressure Drugs Decrease Risk of Alzheimer's Disease

(Science Daily) A Johns Hopkins-led analysis of data previously gathered on more than 3,000 elderly Americans strongly suggests that taking certain blood pressure medications to control blood pressure may reduce the risk of dementia due to Alzheimer's disease (AD)…
[A] team of researchers found that people over the age of 75 with normal cognition who used diuretics, angiotensin-1 receptor blockers (ARBs) and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors showed a reduced risk of AD dementia by at least 50 percent. In addition, diuretics were associated with 50 percent reduced risk in those in the group with mild cognitive impairment.
Beta blockers and calcium channel blockers did not show a link to reduced risk, the scientists reported.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize cognitive decline.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Learning new skill beats puzzles for boosting seniors' memory

(CBS News) Want to work out your brain? A new study suggests you should put away that crossword puzzle, because learning new skills may be a more effective way to keep your mind sharp.
A new study … shows that frequently engaging in brain-teasing activities you love like puzzles may not be enough to noticeably stave off mental decline.
"It seems it is not enough just to get out and do something--it is important to get out and do something that is unfamiliar and mentally challenging, and that provides broad stimulation mentally and socially. When you're inside your comfort zone you may be outside of the enhancement zone," Denise Park, co-director for the Center for Vital Longevity, said.
Community: Psychology Today has this: “Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone Keeps You Sharp.”
There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize cognitive decline.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Tip-of-the-tongue moments not tied to memory decline

(Reuters Health) Did you ever want to say something, but the word or name gets "stuck on the tip of your tongue?" Don't worry. Those lapses may not be a sign of dementia - just age, suggests a new study.
Researchers found those tip-of-the-tongue experiences become more common as people age, but are not related to worsening memory overall.
"Our major finding is that they seem to be independent," Timothy Salthouse, the study's lead author, told Reuters Health…
"Even though the tip-of-the-tongue experiences are more common as you get older and they're very frustrating … they don't seem to be a sign that you're having memory problems associated with impending dementia," Salthouse said.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize cognitive decline.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

More Recent Research on Neurodegenerative Disease

(MedPage Today) Arterial stiffness was associated with beta amyloid plaque formation in the brains of elderly people with no signs of dementia, independent of blood pressure and antihypertensive treatment, researchers reported.
(MedPage Today) Screening tests for cognitive impairment can successfully identify patients with early-stage dementia, but the benefits of doing so remain unproven, according to a review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
(Science Daily) [Researchers] studied samples of spinal marrow from 20 Alzheimer's patients and an equal number of healthy control subjects. The screening was aimed at 35 proteins that are associated with the lysosomal network. "Six of these had clearly increased in the patients; none of them were previously known as markers for Alzheimer's," says [study leader Katarina] Kågedal. Her hope is that the group's discovery will contribute to early diagnoses of the illness, which is necessary in the first stage in order to be able to begin reliable clinical tests of candidates for drugs.
(MedPage Today) The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) was better than the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) at teasing out subtle differences in cognitive performance among mildly impaired individuals, researchers reported… The researchers said that, combined with a functional test, the MoCA could be helpful in classifying patients in the borderline area between mild impairment and dementia.
(Science Daily) In the last few years, epidemiological data has accrued showing that older people with diabetes are significantly more likely to develop cognitive deterioration and increased susceptibility to onset of dementia related to Alzheimer's disease. Now, a research team led by Giulio Maria Pasinetti, MD, PhD, … discovered a novel mechanism through which this may occur… "The next question we must ask is how we can translate this into the development of novel disease prevention and treatment strategies," Dr. Pasinetti [said].
(MedPage Today) IPX066, an extended-release carbidopa-levodopa-type medication, lowered "Off" time in patients with advanced disease and may have benefited newly diagnosed patients as well, researchers reported.
More . . .

Recipes

Cooking Light
MyRecipes.com:
Turkey and Bean Chili
Make this low-calorie chili in just 20 minutes for a quick, one-pot supper. Serve with cornbread to complete the meal.
EatingWell:
Creamy Mustard Chicken
In this healthy, creamy mustard chicken recipe, thin-sliced chicken breasts (sometimes labeled chicken cutlets) cook quickly and are delicious smothered in a velvety, light mustard sauce and garnished with fresh chopped sage. If you can’t find chicken cutlets, cut boneless, skinless chicken breast into 4-ounce pieces and place between pieces of plastic wrap. Pound with a meat mallet, rolling pin or heavy skillet until flattened to about 1/2 inch thick.
The Supermarket Guru:
Steal This Recipe® Rice Crusted Alaskan Halibut in Coconut Curry Sauce | Mizuna, Denver
What could be more refreshing for a summer dish than fresh, wild-caught halibut from the cool waters of the Pacific Northwest? This recipe puts a twist on this eco-friendly seafood with a coconut curry sauce reminiscent of Southeast Asian flavors. The coconut flavor will surely put you in the mood for summer, as it reminds you of warm, tropical destinations.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Healthy Eating

(Huffington Post) Along with the changing colors of the leaves and the fall season upon us, comes delicious produce packed with nutrients… Sweet Potatoes… Brussel sprouts… Apples… Butternut squash… Grapefruit… Pears… Parsnips.
(Bloomberg) Except during the recession, when consumers sought less expensive groceries, retail sales of canned, jarred, and otherwise preserved foods have been in decline. Ready meals such as canned stew, fruit, and seafood saw the steepest drops since 2003, according to researcher Euromonitor International. Last year, volume sales of canned and preserved foods dropped by 1 percent, and Euromonitor estimates that by 2017, retail sales will be down 5 percent from 2012 levels, to 5 millions tonnes.
Sure, they’re affordable and can reduce food waste. But, as the firm explains in a report, because these products can be kept on shelves for years and can contain high levels of sodium, they are perceived to be less fresh and less healthy than even frozen and chilled foods.
(UPI) There is a significant association between eating a low-fiber diet and increased heart risks including metabolic syndrome and obesity, U.S. researchers say.
(UPI) Small daily dietary changes can make adding fiber easy to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and some cancers, a Canadian non-profit says.
(David Katz, M.D., Yale Prevention Research Center) There is no need to obsess about cutting saturated fat. But I advise against any particular effort to add saturated fat to your diet. In fact, don't waste much time focusing on saturated fat per se. Rather, focus on eating well, as the Okinawans have long done with a very low-fat plant-based diet, or as the Mediterraneans have long done with a much higher-fat, but still mostly plant-based diet. If we choose wholesome foods, we will wind up with better diets and better health. Incidentally, our saturated fat intake will not be more than moderate.
(Dallas News) Sarah Michaelson no longer wonders what she’ll be having for dinner. Her meals are delivered to her door. She signed up last fall with Blue Apron, a company that ships ready-to-cook dinner kits. Michaelson and her husband, Phil, pay $59.94 a week to have six uncooked meals sent to their home every week. Blue Apron’s kits are filled with everything needed to whip up a meal, from the raw meat and fish to spices and vegetables. Recipes, with step-by-step instructions and pictures, are included. “It saves us a lot of money,” says Michaelson.
More . . .

The Latest from The People’s Pharmacy

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Interesting Stuff

(Science Daily) [W]hat is it in our DNA that fine-tunes the genetics so that siblings -- especially identical twins -- resemble one another but look different from unrelated individuals? A new study by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has now shown that gene enhancers -- regulatory sequences of DNA that act to turn-on or amplify the expression of a specific gene -- are major players in craniofacial development.
(Science Daily) Just 13 days in space may be enough to cause profound changes in eye structure and gene expression, report researchers.
(NBC News) No next-of-kin was around to claim the frozen 5,300-year-old body of Ötzi the Iceman when it was found in the Italian Alps in 1991, but researchers now report that there are at least 19 genetic relatives of Ötzi living in Austria's Tyrol region.
(Scientific American) Specialists use CT scans and 3-D printing to study the maladies of mummified corpses.
(Discover Magazine) Fossil suggests that all early hominids were of one species, upending existing evolutionary theory.
(Scientific American) Figuring out how biomolecular self-organization happens may hold the key to understanding life on Earth formed and perhaps how it might form on other planets.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]