Archive for May, 2012

New Research Explains Why Exercise Could Cure Dementia

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

 

Exercise has always been attributed to improving health, and many researchers have found exercise can even help prevent cognitive decline in seniors. Now, scientists are finally discovering the reasons why exercise helps memory, and the results could do wonders for fighting dementia-related illnesses.

According to a recent post by the Wall Street Daily, researchers at the University of Queensland have just discovered the molecule in the brain that they believe could prevent, or even cure, dementia.

According to the study, done in mice, researchers found that exercise excited a molecule called fractalkine, which helped stimulate the growth of brain cells needed for memory by regulating the pathways required for brain regeneration.

Director at Queensland Brain Institute, Professor Perry Bartlett, says their tests find that production of fractalkine could be the key to solving the dementia puzzle. According to Bartlett, fractalkine is “the major regulator of this process [of memory],” adding that, “if we’re right, we think we can not only stop but perhaps reverse some of the cognitive decline.”

Human trials of the test are now in the works, and should exercise prove to be beneficial in those studies, then companies may begin producing fractalkine supplements for use in seniors who are unable to exercise.

However, since exercise is the key to producing fractalkine, then if you are able, how many more reasons do you need to get off your seat and start moving?

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Dementia Worries Two Thirds Of People

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

A new poll, conducted by Alzheimer’s Society and Saga Homecare, found that 63% of people said they were worried about dementia. Not surprisingly, the survey, which kicked off Dementia Awareness Week, showed that the highest percentage of those worried about dementia were over the age of 55. However, what is surprising is that 61% of those aged 18-24 were worried about dementia happening to them or someone they know.

The poll also concluded that women were more worried than men, with approximately 70% of women stating they had concern over dementia, compared to 55% of men.

However, despite the concerns about getting dementia, most people polled showed little interest in learning more about the disease. Highlighting a growing concern that many simply attribute dementia to one of the natural pitfalls to growing older. The Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Awareness Week was designed in part to emphasize that worrying about the disease is not the answer to finding a cure; education and taking action is.

Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society, said:

‘This Dementia Awareness Week we need to stop worrying and start understanding dementia. Whether you have five minutes or half an hour please take some time to learn about dementia. Only through knowing more will we ensure the people with the condition are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

For more, check out the Alzheimer’s Society’s 5-things you should know about dementia:

  1. It’s not a natural part of growing old.
  2. It’s caused by diseases of the brain. The most common of these is Alzheimer’s.
  3. It’s not just about losing your memory – it can affect thinking, communicating and doing everyday tasks.
  4. It’s possible to live well with it.
  5. There’s more to a person than the dementia.

 

Related:

Living Alone With Alzheimer’s

 

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