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Our Friday Song of the Week – Tush

 

Our Friday Song of the Week – Tush

 
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Can Caffeine Fight Alzheimer’s? Possibly.

Can Caffeine Fight Alzheimer’s? Possibly.

Tau deposits, along with beta-amyloid plaques, are among the characteristic features of Alzheimer’s disease. These protein deposits disrupt the communication of the nerve cells in the brain and contribute to their degeneration.

A team led by Dr. Christa E. Müller from the University of Bonn and Dr. David Blum from the University of Lille was able to demonstrate for the first time that caffeine has a positive effect on tau deposits in Alzheimer’s disease.

The initial results were published in the online edition of the journal Neurobiology of Aging.

Caffeine blocks various receptors in the brain, which are activated by adenosine. The adenosine receptor subtype A2A in particular could play an important role in Alzheimer’s formation.

Prof. Müller and her colleagues developed an A2A antagonist in ultrapure and water-soluble form. Over several weeks, the researchers then treated genetically altered mice with the A2A antagonist. The mice had an altered tau protein, which, without therapy, leads to the early development of Alzheimer’s symptoms.

In comparison to a control group, which only received a placebo, the treated animals achieved significantly better results on memory tests. The A2A antagonist displayed positive effects in particular on spatial memory.

“We have taken a good step forward,” says Prof. Müller. “The results of the study are truly promising, since we were able to show for the first time that A2A adenosine receptor antagonists actually have very positive effects in an animal model simulating hallmark characteristics and progression of the disease.

Source: Science Daily

 
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Led an Intellectual Stimulating Life? You Have a Better Chance of Warding Off Alzheimer’s.

Let’s stimulate our brains!

Led an Intellectual Stimulating Life? You Have a Better Chance of Warding Off Alzheimer’s.

In a JAMA study researchers suggest that high lifetime intellectual enrichment may delay the onset of cognitive impairment by almost nine years in carriers of the APOE4 genotype, a risk factor for Alzheimer disease, compared with low lifetime intellectual enrichment.

What is high lifetime intellectual enrichment you ask? It is a combination of things. Higher intellectual scores take in education (years of school completed) and occupation (based on attributes, complexities of a job), as well as higher levels of mid/late-life cognitive activity (e.g., reading books, participating in social activities and doing computer activities at least three times per week). These were linked to better cognition in older patients.

Authors Prashanthi Vemuri, Ph.D., of the Mayo Clinic and Foundation, Rochester, Minn., and colleagues studied 1,995 individuals (ages 70 to 89 years) without dementia (1,718 were cognitively normal and 277 individuals had mild cognitive impairment) in Olmsted County, Minnesota. They analyzed education/occupation scores and mid/late-life cognitive activity based on self-reports.

Bottom line: Better education/occupation scores and mid/late-life cognitive activity were associated with better cognitive performance.

They concluded that “Lifetime intellectual enrichment might delay the onset of cognitive impairment and be used as a successful preventive intervention to reduce the impending dementia epidemic.”

I assume that if you get half the equation right that there is still some benefit. By that I mean perhaps someone did not complete high school and had jobs that were not intellectually challenging but now find themselves engaged in the activities described – reading books, participating in social activities and doing computer activities at least three times per week. That has to count for something.

Perhaps the message is more for younger generations and parents. Keep your kids intellectually stimulated and engaged; continue that through adulthood and then through your older years and you can delay Alzheimer’s onset for nine years!

Get busy!

 
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Taking a Statin for Cholesterol? You Still Need to Exercise.

Taking a Statin for Cholesterol? You Still Need to Exercise.

Older men who were prescribed statins (the cholesterol-lowering medications associated with muscle pain, fatigue and weakness) engaged in modestly lower physical activity according to a recent JAMA study.

Take these? Still need to exercise.

David S.H. Lee, Pharm.D., of Oregon State University/Oregon Health and Science University College of Pharmacy, Portland, and colleagues examine the relationship between self-reported physical activity and statin use with seven years of follow-up. The average age of the men in the study was nearly 73 years. Of the 3,039 men 727 (24 percent) were statin users and 1,467 (48 percent) never used a statin during the follow-up period. About one-quarter of the men (n=845) first reported using a statin during the follow-up.

Scores on a self-reported physical activity questionnaire declined by an average of 2.5 points per year for nonusers and 2.8 points per year for prevalent users, a difference that was not statistically significant. However for new users, annual scores declined at a faster rate than nonusers. A total of 3,071 men (1,542 of them statin users) had engaged in less moderate physical activity with 5.4 fewer minutes per day; less vigorous activity with 0.6 fewer minutes per day and had more sedentary behavior with 7.6 more minutes per day.

Physical activity is important for older adults to remain healthy. Muscle pain, fatigue, and weakness are common side effects in patients prescribed statins. But it is no excuse not to continue to exercise.

 
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Our Friday Song of the Week – Start Me Up

 

Our Friday Song of the Week – Start Me Up

 
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Physical Activity May be Best Option for Middle-aged Women Who are Overweight or Obese to Avoid Heart Disease – Video

 

Physical Activity May be Best Option for Middle-aged Women Who are Overweight or Obese to Avoid Heart Disease – Video

 
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Long-Term Care Expectation and Reality – Few Prepared. More Expect Family to Take on Burden of Caregiving.

The AP-NORC study shows little has changed in our preparing for long-term care.

Long-Term Care Expectation and Reality – Few Prepared. More Expect Family to Take on Burden of Caregiving.

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research undertook a major study of public attitudes in 2013 related to long-term care in the United States.

The report found that few Americans age 40 or older are prepared for long-term care and even fewer understand the financial costs involved. Americans 40 or older are counting on their families to provide assistance for them as they age.

A second study of more than 1,400 people sought to understand who is providing and receiving care, how caregiving impacts family relationships and personal experience, how Americans 40 or older receive information on long-term care, and which policy measures they think would improve long-term care.

Key Findings

  • Many Americans 40 or older rely on their families for long-term care.
  • Caregivers’ experiences with providing care are mostly positive.
  • Americans 40 or older who have personal experiences with long-term care are more likely to be concerned about planning for long-term care and less likely to think they can rely on family.
  • One-third of Americans 40 or older are deeply concerned that they won’t plan enough for the care they might need when they get older, yet two-thirds report having done little or no planning.
  • Among Americans 40 or older who expect to be a caregiver for family or friends in the next five years, just 3 in 10 say they feel prepared to take on the job.

Read more here.

 
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Make Educated Aging Decisions By BEing Informed. New Be.group Website Can Help

This post brought to you by The be.group. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Educated Aging.

As a healthcare marketer passionate about aging issues, I continually stress that the experience of care IS the marketing for senior care providers. Part of creating a great experience is making sure your web and social media presence are about educating people not selling. These platforms say a lot about an organization, its culture, and what you might expect should you seek its services.

be.group, a non-for-profit operator of seven senior living communities in southern California, seems to understand this. In launching their new web site, they have created an experience and more importantly a resource that can benefit caregivers and their older loved ones looking for senior care services.

More than 150 articles educate readers on diverse topics ranging from understanding long-term care insurance to helping parents find senior living. You don’t have to live in southern California to benefit from the knowledge! The site uses compelling photos, and short narratives to guide you through the decision process from knowing when its the right time to choose senior living to the nuances of financing it.

This blog continually reinforces the need to prepare for your aging sooner in life – physically, financially and emotionally. How we condut our lives when we are young will very much determine how we age. And aging should not be addressed in a crisis as is typical in our society. Baby boomers like myself know the full responsibility of caring for elder loved ones. I am primary caregiver to my 93-year-old mom, Philomena. And while it was the passing of my sister that hurdled me into this role, it was my knowledge that helped me succeed in it. And that is why consumers and professionals should check out the resources on this site.

The site includes printable guides to take onsite to a senior living community, quizzes and resources to think through options, and videos and photos to gain a behind-the-scenes peek at community life. I wish I had these when looking for a community for my mom.

I could relate well to the video on the web site that speaks about the dining experience. Mom is living in a wonderful independent community; however, the biggest complaint is the food. She avoids dinner particularly and that is not just bad for her nutrition (she eats yogurt in her room) but for her socialization as well. The video brings this point home. And it says a lot about the culture of caring at the be.group.

There are still negative connotations associated with senior care and people cling to the idea of living at home forever. Yet living at home alone can be detrimental on many levels. As a boomer, I will kick and scream my way out of the house I live in but I will also be prepared with choices should I need to make a move. You should BE to.

Visit Sponsor's Site

 
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Recorded Concert Gifts for Older Loved Ones

Struggling for a perfect gift for a loved one for their birthday, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparents Day? Here is the perfect solution – a customized CD or DVD recorded especially for your mom, dad, grandmom, grandpop, aunt, uncle or anyone else with their favorite music. Having given thousands of live performances in senior centers, skilled nursing, assisted living and independent living, I have a huge repertoire of songs to choose from and know how to engage seniors.

LEARN MORE AND ORDER HERE.

 
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America’s Health Rankings-Living Longer but with > Rates of Preventable Chronic Disease

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Yes we should be worried!

America’s Health Rankings-Living Longer but with > Rates of Preventable Chronic Disease

America’s Health Rankings® Senior Report, a trend report by United Health Foundation revealed that Americans are now living longer lives, but with increased rates of preventable chronic disease.

Minnesota is at the top of the list of healthiest states for older adults. Vermont is ranked second and New Hampshire is third, followed by Massachusetts and Iowa. Mississippi is ranked 50th as the least healthy state for older adults. Oklahoma, Louisiana, West Virginia, and Arkansas complete the bottom 5 states.

Minnesota’s strengths include ranking first for all health determinants combined, which includes ranking in the top 5 states for a high rate of annual dental visits, a high percentage of volunteerism, a low percentage of marginal food insecurity, a high percentage of creditable drug coverage, and ready availability of home health care workers. Minnesota also ranks first for all health outcomes combined, including ranking in the top 5 states for a low rate of hospitalization for hip fractures, a high percent- age of seniors who report very good or excellent health, a high prevalence of able-bodied seniors, a low premature death rate, a low prevalence of full-mouth tooth extractions, and few poor mental health days per month.

See my full article here.

 
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