Age, gender and family history are the Alzheimer’s risk factors you can’t control. After 65, your risk doubles. If you have a first-degree relative with Alzheimer’s, like a parent or sibling, your risk can double or triple. And lastly, being a woman is a risk factor in itself.
I am 61, my oldest sister has dementia and I’m female. That’s 3 for 3. Before running to the doctor, I decided to see how my memory was holding up. I found more information than even I could process. After spending considerable time researching, I centered on 2 hot topics from the medical community as well as 3 quick memory tests.
WOMEN AND INSULIN
1 Study ~ 1 Step Closer
One newly published study has further revealed both of these combined factors are clarifying links for the development of Dementia/Alzheimer disease.
It has been known for some time that insulin is linked to dementia. However, a new study published in Archives of Neurology, Jan 2, 2012 from Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University with Thomas van Himbergen as study leader has furthered the link between the two. Click here for Full Study.
Adiponectin, one of 3 hormones studied, appears to raise the risk for developing dementia and Alzheimer’s among women. Adiponectin is found from visceral fat and is known to play a role in the regulation of metabolizing glucose and lipids.
“It is well established that insulin signaling is dysfunctional in the brains of patients with AD, and since adiponectin enhances insulin sensitivity, on would also expect beneficial actions protecting against cognitive decline, “ van Himbergen said in a recent journal news release. “Our data, however, indicate that elevated adiponectin levels was associated with an increased risk of dementia and AD in women.”
The study gathered data from the Framingham Heart Study (1985-1988). They followed up a total of 840 patients for an average of 13 years. 541 were women of average age of 76 years. Blood samples were taken and were measured for a number of markers and all patients were simultaneously monitored for dementia symptoms. During the follow-up period 159 subjects developed dementia, of which 125 were AD.
3 MEMORY TESTS
1 BRAIN FOOD LIST
Dr. Oz is really great in making things simple to understand. His website is overwhelming at times but I found 3 great memory tests that enable you to evaluate your current levels in order to take the next steps needed to maintain your mental functions. Additionally, I am linking you to a great food list that may enhance your brain performance. Have fun!
MEMORY QUIZ #1
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VAMC) St. Louis University Mental Status (SLUMS) examination is easy to take and is used as an assessment tool for informational and entertainment purposes only. http://www.stlouis.va.gov/GRECC/Education.asp (Under e) Performance Tools)
Take this on a good day! Try to be rested, fed, and in a quiet place. Remember that your scores can be influenced reduced by many factors, including, without limitation, illness, trauma, and depression. If your exam score suggests that you might be experiencing a problem with your memory, please consult your primary health care physician.
MEMORY QUIZ #2
Alzheimer’s disease affects the brain, our body’s more vital organ, by literally shrinking and crippling function. Breakthroughs in Alzheimer’s prevention now make it possible to treat Alzheimer’s before it develops into a full-blown disease. Certain people are at greater risk. Take this quiz and learn the risk factors associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
MEMORY QUIZ #3
Storing a memory is a standard process for your brain. Healthy cells communicate to each other and pass the memory to the hippocampus, the area of your brain used for storage. When you need that memory, the process works in reverse and you can recall it. In AD, Alzheimer’s disease, plaque destroys the connection to the hippocampus and the access to the stored memories is lost.
One of the first parts of the brain that’s affected is your sense of smell. If you cannot identify all the items on the list below by their smell, you should speak to your doctor.
Have a friend or partner test you with the items below:
10. Natural Gas
BRAIN FOOD LIST
These brain foods have the power to build your brain up and prevent cognitive decline and the onset of crippling conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.
Antioxidants, monounsaturated fats and omega-3s are big health buzzwords that have one thing in common – they do great things for your body and nourish your brain. Giving your brain the nutrients it needs is essential to longevity. Keep this list of foods handy and make sure to refuel your brain often. It will thank you later.
• Lentils provide a steady stream of glucose to your brain. Glucose, a sugar and key source of energy for cells in the body, is the only fuel your brain can use. The high fiber content of lentils is a key component in keeping your brain in optimal shape. The fiber regulates the release of the glucose, providing a steady stream of fuel that powers your brain cells.
• Chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids and have been found to keep the arteries of the brain clear of plaque. They nourish the brain by helping communication between brain cells. Sprinkle some into your yogurts, cereals and salads, or munch on them alone.
• Brazil nuts are an excellent source of healthy, or monounsaturated, fats. They are also high in magnesium, a mineral that’s essential to the transmission of signals between the brain and the rest of the body. Almonds, walnuts and cashews are also excellent brain foods. Eat a fistful of brazil nuts or mixed nuts a day.
• Coffee can protect the brain. One study found that coffee can help keep the blood-brain barrier intact; this barrier acts as a coating, and protects the brain from unwanted materials and damaging elements, like harmful cholesterol. Another study showed that coffee may also improve short-term memory. Coffee is high in antioxidants; Americans get most of their antioxidants from coffee. Drinking one or two cups a day is healthy, just remember to use modest amounts of milk and sugar.