Category: general

Is it time for your Alzheimer’s test?

There is a website you can find online that will offer you free self-assessments to help you determine if you may be starting to develop Alzheimer's and related dementia. There are 5 tests you can take.

The first one is called "Self-Administered Geocognitive Examination" (SAGE), and shows that four out of five people (80 percent) with memory issues will be detected by this test. Ninety-five percent of people who are normal thinking, will have normal SAGE scores. The test is provided by the The Ohio State University Medical Center.

No doubt, those of us over 50 have noticed that sometimes our memory doesn't seem to be as good as it is at other times. If you don't like the results you get from these tests, make sure you read one of my other posts titled Food for thought. If you follow the 10 strategies strategies outlined in that article, then you might consider re-taking the tests.

Note: the website that offers the tests says " If you decide to administer one or more of these memory tests, and the results of the memory test seems suspicious, you should consult with your personal care physician or a neurologist for a more thorough memory examination and diagnosis."

Some of you may find this test more frightening then you care to admit, so I'm not going to mention the others ones in this post. But if you want to take all five, just click here to go to the website now.

Even if you don't do as well as you think you should in the tests, please keep in mind that symptoms can be caused by numerous factors, such as:

  • Metabolic and endocrine abnormalities too much or too little thyroid hormone or cortisol are examples);
  • Brain Lesions (tumors, collections of blood called subdural hematomas, and abscesses);
  • Infection (meningitis, encephalitis, syphilis, to name a few);
  • Impaired cerebral spinal fluid flow causing normal pressure hydrocephalus;
  • Radiation to the brain, or brain trauma;
  • Stroke;
  • and medication side-effects.

Even severe depression can also cause dementia. This is why medical, neurologic, and psychiatric assessments are essential parts of the initial evaluation of dementia.

I've published other articles on Alzheimer's. If you would like to read them too, you can find them by clicking the Alzheimer’s tag here, or at the bottom of this post (under the Facebook comments)

If you don’t want to miss any of these posts: on the right-hand side of the blog is a place where you can enter your email address, and I’ll send you any new posts by email. You’re not going to get spammed — I respect your privacy. All you will get is the new posts only. Note: any posts that contain video or other website technologies won’t be available in the email version of the posts.


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No More Wasted Time — by Beverly Preston

One of the folks I interact with on Twitter is a #1 Bestselling Author on Amazon. Beverly Preston has been a stay at home mom for 21 years, although she prefers the title Domestic Engineer, raising her four amazing kids. Along the way, Beverly worked side by side with her husband Don, the love of her life, designing, building and selling custom homes. As her children begin to venture out on their own, she's left to shed a tear--for a minute--wonder what's next in life, and embrace the feeling of empowerment that surely must've been wrapped in a present she received on her fortieth birthday.

If Beverly isn't at home riding her spin bike, you'll find her spinning richly emotional and sinfully sexy romance stories.

 

Her new book No More Wasted Time summary follows:

After losing her husband to a sudden heart attack, Tess Mathews escapes to Bora Bora to lay her husband and sorrow to rest. What she doesn’t expect is a new beginning.

Tom Clemmins is an A-list actor whose life revolves around work and an onslaught of women. He travels to Bora Bora for a much-needed break. Tom has a few ideas of how he’ll enjoy his vacation, but love isn’t one of them. Until he sees Tess.

Reserving a private shark-feeding excursion to scatter her husband’s ashes into the lagoon, Tess is furious when Mr. Hollywood bribes his way onto the boat, leaving her no other choice but to share the boat ride.

Tess is torn between tremendous guilt and zealous lust when their boat ride turns into a week full of romance and desire neither thought imaginable. Utterly smitten with a woman for the first time in his life, Tom casts his commitment phobia aside and whisks Tess off to Malibu where he introduces her as his “girlfriend” on the red carpet.

As the paparazzi besiege, can Tess survive the media blitz that ensues in order to find her second chance at love?

It's been getting some great reviews:

“This book was hard to put down and I look forward to more by Beverly Preston. ” Lynette  |  19 reviewers made a similar statement

“This book made me cry, laugh, and root on Tess as she takes her life into her own hands and finds love again.” Caylee  |  10 reviewers made a similar statement

“The character development was well thought out and very sincere.” Ashley E. Clark  |  3 reviewers made a similar statement

Beverly is offering this Kindle version eBook for free through Amazon for the next day or so. Actually she said "Steve it is free Sun Mon Tues!" So ... don't wait! Click here to download it now!


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Fukushima — are we in danger?

I've read that people of Hiroshima were still experiencing sickness and death even 40+ years after the fact. Of course then... there is Harper whose bureaucrats in Ottawa have muzzled a leading fisheries scientist whose discovery could help explain why salmon stocks have been crashing off Canada’s West Coast, according to documents obtained by Postmedia News.

Like so many people (I suppose) who have questions about how this might affect us, I have been looking into it a bit. I found a few websites that reportedly had news about cover ups, and they had embedded Youtube videos as proof. But when I clicked to play the videos a message appeared that the user who posted the video had his/her account deleted because of copyright infringement of certain media sources. Note: it's still easy enough to find movies, television shows and illegal music videos on Youtube.... that have been there for years.

What I would call an interesting find though, was an article published by a small paper in Williams Lake, B.C.  The article is titled "Counting the nuclear fallout", and another article by S. McDowall titled "Attention Canadians: what to eat after Fukushima meltdown." Note: I didn't see fresh fish on the menu.... Another note: You may have to search the news source using the title above. Funny, it doesn't come up when you click on the link.

I'm not worried about myself. I'm 50+ so something will get me sooner than later. I am however, worried about my children and their children. You know, articles and videos start dissappearing on the Internet related to any cover-up, it makes you wonder....

Like Shakespeare said, "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark!"

Use the comment section below to tell the readers here how you feel about this potential threat.


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Nice photo of the Economy River

This photo was taken by Lynn MacIntosh. She kindly gave me permission to use it.

I wanted to post it here because there is a forum topic for fishing, if you care to discuss this hobby. In the first post under this topic I mention "pulling a striped bass out of the Economy River" — so this photo is a nice picture of the river, when the tide is in.
 


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Food for thought

UCLA on Alzheimer's Disease - young or old should read

Food for Thought

 "The idea that Alzheimer's is entirely genetic and unpreventable is perhaps the greatest misconception about the disease," says Gary Small, M.D., director of the UCLA Center on Aging. Researchers now know that Alzheimer's, like heart disease and cancer, develops over decades and can be influenced by lifestyle factors including cholesterol, blood pressure, obesity, depression, education, nutrition, sleep and mental, physical and social activity.The big news: Mountains of research reveals that simple things you do every day might cut your odds of losing your mind to Alzheimer's.In search of scientific ways to delay and outlive Alzheimer's and other dementias, I tracked down thousands of studies and interviewed dozens of experts. The results in a new book: 100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer's and Age-Related Memory Loss

 Here are 10 strategies I found most surprising.

 1.  Have coffee.   In an amazing flip-flop, coffee is the new brain tonic. A large European study showed that drinking three to five cups of coffee a day in midlife cut Alzheimer's risk 65% in late life. University of South Florida researcher Gary Arendash credits caffeine: He says it reduces dementia-causing amyloid in animal brains. Others credit coffee's antioxidants. So drink up, Arendash advises, unless your doctor says you shouldn't.

2.  Floss.  Oddly, the health of your teeth and gums can help predict dementia. University of Southern California research found that having periodontal disease before age 35 quadrupled the odds of dementia years later. Older people with tooth and gum disease score lower on memory and cognition tests, other studies show. Experts speculate that inflammation in diseased mouths migrates to the brain.

3.  Google.  Doing an online search can stimulate your aging brain even more than reading a book, says UCLA's Gary Small, who used brain MRIs to prove it. The biggest surprise: Novice Internet surfers, ages 55 to 78, activated key memory and learning centers in the brain after only a week of Web surfing for an hour a day.

4.  Grow new brain cells Impossible, scientists used to say. Now it's believed that thousands of brain cells are born daily. The trick is to keep the newborns alive. What works: aerobic exercise (such as a brisk 30-minute walk every day), strenuous mental activity, eating salmon and other fatty fish, and avoiding obesity, chronic stress, sleep deprivation, heavy drinking and vitamin B deficiency.

5.  Drink apple juice.  Apple juice can push production of the "memory chemical" acetylcholine; that's the way the popular Alzheimer's drug Aricept works, says Thomas Shea, Ph.D., of the University of Massachusetts. He was surprised that old mice given apple juice did better on learning and memory tests than mice that received water. A dose for humans: 16 ounces, or two to three apples a day.

6. Protect your head.  Blows to the head, even mild ones early in life, increase odds of dementia years later. Pro football players have 19 times the typical rate of memory-related diseases. Alzheimer's is four times more common in elderly who suffer a head injury, Columbia University finds. Accidental falls doubled an older person's odds of dementia five years later in another study. Wear seat belts and helmets, fall-proof your house, and don't take risks.

7. Meditate.  Brain scans show that people who meditate regularly have less cognitive decline and brain shrinkage - a classic sign of Alzheimer's - as they age. Andrew Newberg of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine says yoga meditation of 12 minutes a day for two months improved blood flow and cognitive functioning in seniors with memory problems.

8. Take Vitamin D.   A "severe deficiency" of vitamin D boosts older Americans' risk of cognitive impairment 394%, an alarming study by England's University of Exeter finds. And most Americans lack vitamin D. Experts recommend a daily dose of 800 IU to 2,000 IU of vitamin D3.

9. Fill your brain.  It's called "cognitive reserve." A rich accumulation of life experiences - education, marriage, socializing, a stimulating job, language skills, having a purpose in life, physical activity and mentally demanding leisure activities - makes your brain better able to tolerate plaques and tangles. You can even have significant Alzheimer's pathology and no symptoms of dementia if you have high cognitive reserve, says David Bennett, M.D., of Chicago's Rush University Medical Center.

10. Avoid infection.   Astonishing new evidence ties Alzheimer's to cold sores, gastric ulcers, Lyme disease, pneumonia and the flu. Ruth Itzhaki, Ph.D., of the University of Manchester in England estimates the cold-sore herpes simplex virus is incriminated in 60% of Alzheimer's cases. The theory: Infections trigger excessive beta amyloid "gunk" that kills brain cells. Proof is still lacking, but why not avoid common infections and take appropriate vaccines, antibiotics and antiviral agents?

 What to Drink for Good Memory

 A great way to keep your aging memory sharp and avoid Alzheimer's is to drink the right stuff.

a. Tops: Juice.  A glass of any fruit or vegetable juice three times a week slashed Alzheimer's odds 76% in Vanderbilt University research. Especially protective:blueberry, grape and apple juice, say other studies.

b. Tea:  Only a cup of black or green tea a week cut rates of cognitive decline in older people by 37%, reports the Alzheimer's Association. Only brewed tea works. Skip bottled tea, which is devoid of antioxidants.

c. Caffeine beverages.  Surprisingly, caffeine fights memory loss and Alzheimer's, suggest dozens of studies. Best sources: coffee (one Alzheimer's researcher drinks five cups a day), tea and chocolate. Beware caffeine if you are pregnant, have high blood pressure, insomnia or anxiety.

d. Red wine:  If you drink alcohol, a little red wine is most apt to benefit your aging brain. It's high in antioxidants. Limit it to one daily glass for women, two for men. Excessive alcohol, notably binge drinking, brings on Alzheimer's.

e. Two to avoid:  Sugary soft drinks, especially those sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. They make lab animals dumb. Water with high copper content also can up your odds of Alzheimer's. Use a water filter that removes excess minerals.

 5 Ways to Save Your Kids from Alzheimer's 

 Now, Alzheimer's isn't just a disease that starts in old age. What happens to your child's brain seems to have a dramatic impact on his or her likelihood of Alzheimer's many decades later.

Here are five things you can do now to help save your child from Alzheimer's and memory loss later in life, according to the latest research.

1. Prevent head blows Insist your child wear a helmet during biking, skating, skiing, baseball, football, hockey, and all contact sports. A major blow as well as tiny repetitive unnoticed concussions can cause damage, leading to memory loss and Alzheimer's years later.

Encourage language skills:  A teenage girl who is a superior writer is eight times more likely to escape Alzheimer's in late life than a teen with poor linguistic skills. Teaching young children to be fluent in two or more languages makes them less vulnerable to Alzheimer's.

3. Insist your child go to college:  Education is a powerful Alzheimer's deterrent . The more years of formal schooling, the lower the odds. Most Alzheimer's prone: teenage drop outs. For each year of education, your risk of dementia drops 11%, says a recent University of Cambridge study.

4. Provide stimulation Keep your child's brain busy with physical, mental and social activities and novel experiences. All these contribute to a bigger, better functioning brain with more so-called 'cognitive reserve.' High cognitive reserve protects against memory decline and Alzheimer's.

5. Spare the junk food Lab animals raised on berries, spinach and high omega-3 fish have great memories in old age. Those overfed sugar, especially high fructose in soft drinks, saturated fat and trans fats become overweight and diabetic, with smaller brains and impaired memories as they age, a prelude to Alzheimer's.

 


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