Alzheimer's Starts Early: the Ticking Time Bomb

We have (the opinion of our advisors such as Dr. Wes Ashford at Stanford) always believed Alzheimer's starts very early, in fact, the tendencies for Alzheimer's, like bad code, are encoded in our genes and threaten the viability of our life program like a missing .DLL file or a broken script. In fact, this precondition can be traced backwards toward early humans between 300,000 and 500,000 years ago when homo neandertalis yet existed. Later, we will post some links to the relevant literature (including a paper by Dr. Ashford.)

Other factors emerge as key...including accumulation of materials in the mind's highways like an old mattress lying on the 101 freeway. Now, UCSD researchers, the NIH, the Ellison Medical Foundation, the Pew Foundation, the Boehringer-Ingelheim Funds and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute have teamed up to show that the preconditions of Alzheimer's start early, at least in mice. You need to monitor yourself over time, like you track the book you bought on Amazon.com, the shoes from Nordstroms.com, or the diamonds from bluenile.com. Now, most people do nothing until it is very late and the forest fire has already ignited...there is a gulf between 'nothingness' and having an MRI and full evaluation. That's why we exist: to give you the tools (MemCheck) you need to check, track, monitor, and enhance your cognitive performance.

Of course, we are also building have built the world's largest database on individual cognitive performance, which will help us understand the mind and cognitive performance in several key ways.

In fact, this subject would benefit from a 3D experience, so we will do an MP3 show on it on Thursday March 3rd. Please email us questions in advance and we will answer them on our upcoming show.

Traffic Jam on Axon Highway Occurs Early in Alzheimer's

A blockage of the movement of chemical supplies and signals within the tube-shaped, brain-to-body cellular highways called axons, appears to occur much earlier than previously thought in the development of Alzheimer's disease, according to research by the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine. The finding could lead to earlier diagnosis and may also provide insight into the causes of Alzheimer's, a progressive, memory-robbing brain disorder affecting some 4.5 million Americans.

Published in the February 11, 2005 issue of the journal Science, the study was conducted in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease and with brain tissue from human Alzheimer's patients who had died when their disease was in its early stages.

The researchers found that abnormal amounts of proteins, organelles and vesicles had clogged up the axons - like a rock in a garden hose - in mouse models of Alzheimer's almost a year before other disease-related symptoms were noted, and in the human tissue of early Alzheimer's patients.

Axons are the long cellular highways that connect brain cells to each other and that carry electrical signals and chemical supplies throughout the brain. Axons extend long distances to their end points, called synapses; nerve impulses are transmitted via the axons so that thought, perception, memory, and learning can occur. Axons also extend to tissue such as muscle so that movements can be controlled by the brain. Although scientists have known that the transportation process within axons appeared blocked in late-stage Alzheimer's patients, this study provides the first evidence that the process occurs early, perhaps even before the clinical signs of the disease are noticeable.

The findings also provide the first evidence of a mechanistic link between the two pathologies characteristic of Alzheimer's brain tissue - twisted, insoluble brain fibers called neurofibrillary tangles, and amyloid plaques, which are excessive accumulation of protein fragments that the body produces normally. Previously, scientists have been unable to determine the molecular relationship between these two different characteristics.

"Proteins in both the tangles and plaque appear to be involved in transportation of materials within the axons," said the study's senior author Lawrence S.B. Goldstein, Ph.D., a UCSD professor of cellular and molecular medicine and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. "Tau, the protein in neurofibrillary tangles, is a protein that appears to regulate traffic within axons. Blockage within axons may promote the generation of excess amyloid beta, the protein in amyloid plaques."

When the scientists evaluated the contents of axonal blockages, they found accumulations of haphazardly arranged vesicles, mitochondria and other organelles. Also prominent was an accumulation of kinesin-1, a protein that acts like a miniature truck to carry molecular cargo through the axons. An additional experiment showed that even a small reduction of kinesin is sufficient to impair axonal transport and promote abnormal amounts of amyloid beta.

"Our evidence suggests that axonal blockage does not form in response to amyloid deposition," Goldstein said. "Rather, blockage seems to occur prior to amyloid deposition and other disease-related pathology. Thus, our findings suggest that axonal transport deficits play an early and potentially causative role in Alzheimer's disease."

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Ellison Medical Foundation, the Pew Foundation, the Boehringer-Ingelheim Fonds and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Additional authors included first author Gorazd B. Stokin, UCSD Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine; and Concepcion Lillo, and David Williams, Ph.D., UCSD Department of Pharmacology; Tomas L. Falzone, Richard G. Brusch, and Stephanie L. Mount, UCSD Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine; Edward Rockenstein, UCSD Department of Neurosciences; Rema Raman, UCSD Department of Family and Preventive Medicine; Peter Davies, Department of Pathology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine; and Eliezer Masliah, M.D., UCSD Departments of Neurosciences and Pathology.

Birds: Not bird brains?

Researchers are now beginning to appreciate the complexity of bird's cognitive structure and abilities. For years, scientists have known birds to be highly sensitive to electromagnetism, and many have suggested that birds travel from north-south and south-north as seasons change by following electromagnetic grid lines radiating from the poles. Birds also have an impressive array of measurable cognitive abilities..

Scripps Howard News Service
February 21, 2005

Birds' brain structures are now appreciated as being nearly as sophisticated as humans'. So of course the next logical question might be: Are all birds of a feather the same in the thinking department?

A Canadian biologist has come up with a rating system for bird-braininess, based not on a mere peck or two in a lab cage, but observations of the birds' own natural behavior in the wild.

Louis Lefebvre, an animal behaviorist at McGill University in Montreal, tapped into more than 70 years of observations recorded by the world's bird-watchers to develop his bird IQ test. He got more than 2,000 reports on 500 animals.

Most of the birders' "field notes" deal with feeding behavior, and the culinary habits are certainly wide-ranging, from English tits that have mastered the skill of opening foil bottle caps of milk bottles left on stoops so they can get at the cream, to Rhodesian vultures that learned to wait around mine fields until an unsuspecting gazelle was blown into a meal.

"Previous attempts to establish animal intelligence used standardized IQ-style tests, which were unfair to certain species and out of touch with real-life situations," Lefebvre said. "We had to find a whole new way of measuring intelligence," he told a seminar on animal behavior Monday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The index statistically takes into account differences in the number of observations for commonly seen birds, such as crows, and rare, isolated sightings, compiling a profile for each species.

"Initially, quite honestly, I didn't think it would work," said Lefebvre, who first reported his work eight years ago. "Scientists don't like anecdotal evidence. So if you're wary of one anecdote, why would you expect to find a valid pattern in 2,000? I've been waiting for something to come up that would invalidate the system, but nothing has."

Three years ago, British researchers further validated the feeding innovation index methodology by applying it to primates.

The result, Lefebvre said, is a clear indication in both groups that greater feeding innovation, tool use and speed of learning are related to having larger forebrains. "Similar solutions to brain-cognition organization seem to have evolved in two groups whose ancestors diverged more than 300 million years ago," he said.

One of the better illustrations of brain size and intelligence matching up comes in the common crow, which has one of the higher brain-body size ratios. Taking into account total body-weight differences, the crow's brain is about five times larger than that of a pigeon, and ranks, along with falcons, at the top of the bird class, followed by hawks, woodpeckers and herons.

In Japan, one species of crow sits around intersections waiting for cars to stop, then swoops down and puts walnuts they want to eat under the cars' tires, and then flit away until their meal is opened.

Bald eagles in northern Arizona have been seen chipping holes in ice over frozen ponds beneath which dead minnows are trapped. Once they make a hole, the eagles jump up and down on the ice to push the minnows up through the holes.


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If you search on Google from California,
here is what you will see...let us know if you like it


How does Gender impact Memory Loss: Take a hint from primates

1. Another clue from the apes    2. CA Gov. Schwarzenegger flexing

In primates, male spatial memory declines faster than females, leading scientists to speculate that testosterone levels, which decline in men as they age, may be responsible.

If this is found to have connections to humans, one possible step at prevention would be to maintain muscle mass through strenuous exercise including weight lifting, which some researchers show retards decline in testosterone. Other benefits include maintaining tension on bones which prevents brittleness. We do not suggest the "juice" made famous by Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, and current superstars.

Yerkes-based finding may help researchers develop sex-specific therapies for humans to guard against age-related memory loss.

When it comes to aging, women may have another reason to be thankful. Research conducted in nonhuman primates at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center of Emory University shows male nonhuman primates are more susceptible to age-related cognitive decline. The February issue of Behavioral Neuroscience reports this finding, which the researchers say has implications for developing sex-specific therapies to help humans guard against age-related memory loss.

By observing that older male nonhuman primates' spatial memory, which is responsible for recording environmental and spatial-orientation information, declines at a greater rate than that of females, researchers led by Agnes Lacreuse, PhD, assistant research professor, and James Herndon, PhD, associate research professor, both in Yerkes' Division of Neuroscience, concluded a species' sex may influence age-related cognitive decline.

"Given that spatial memory is sensitive to sex differences in humans and in nonhuman primates, we decided to focus our study on determining how cognitive aging differs between the sexes," said Lacreuse. According to Lacreuse, such sex differences have not been studied frequently in humans, and when they have, the data has been inconsistent.

In the study, the researchers observed a large group of young and elderly nonhuman primates performing tasks that measured spatial memory. The researchers presented each animal with an increasing number of identical disks for which the animals had to identify the disk appearing in a new location.

"We saw young adult male nonhuman primates outperform females, a finding consistent with human data that shows men have a higher capacity than women for maintaining or updating spatial information. What's particularly interesting, however, was the finding among older adult nonhuman primates. While we observed cognitive decline in both sexes, the sex difference no longer existed among aged male and female nonhuman primates. This finding suggested the males' spatial abilities declined at a greater rate as they got older than did the females."

The researchers' next steps are to determine what factors may contribute to the differential cognitive decline between males and females. An example is testosterone, which is known to decline in older men and also to affect spatial memory in male humans and rodents. The researchers also hope to conduct imaging studies to examine whether males and females differ in age-related reduction of specific brain regions involved in spatial memory.

The Yerkes National Primate Research Center of Emory University is one of eight National Primate Research Centers funded by the National Institutes of Health. The Yerkes Research Center is a recognized leader for its biomedical and behavioral studies with nonhuman primates, which provide a critical link between research with small laboratory animals and the clinical trials performed in humans. Yerkes researchers are on the forefront of developing vaccines for AIDS and malaria, and treatments for cocaine addiction and Parkinson's disease. Yerkes researchers also are leading programs to better understand the aging process, pioneer organ transplant procedures and provide safer drugs to organ transplant recipients, determine the behavioral effects of hormone replacement therapy, prevent early onset vision disorders and shed light on human behavioral evolution

CNN kicks off this story by using our trademark, oh well

CNN kicks off this story on Blink! by using a trademark owned by Cognitive Labs but nevertheless the author Malcolm Gladwell has some interesting observations in the book: that rapid cognition and pattern recognition are the harbingers of a more accurate gestalt of a particular situation, or 'getting the lay of the land' depending somewhat on experience, of course. As a result, the insights obtained enable decisive action, rather than focus groups, which result in the phenomenom of subjects trying to please the researcher, even when the interviewer and sponsors are behind smoked-glass windows...another observation...the power of groups, is an insight we're following here at CL...you'll notice that our company is a non-heirarchical structure of people aimed at a specific goal...improving human cognition. Others are experimenting with groups, for example, at Omidyar.net people are creating forums for positive actions in the world, whether it is for example, a group talking about saving the library in Salinas, CA, which is slated for closure (home of Grapes of Wrath author John Steinbeck) or solving medical issues, or even tackling the problem of education, world freedom, or myriad other subjects...the message is the power of small groups.

Think fast
Malcolm Gladwell's 'Blink' offers insights on perception
By Todd Leopold

Tuesday, February 22, 2005 Posted: 1:34 PM EST (1834 GMT)

Malcolm Gladwell
-Sidebar: What's with the hair?
-The crowd is smarter than you think
-Malcolm Gladwell's official site
-Slate.com: 'Blink' and 'The Wisdom of Crowds'

(CNN) -- Malcolm Gladwell is a science writer, not a rock star. But you'd be forgiven if your first impression is that of the latter.

After all, his new book, "Blink" (Little, Brown), is the No. 1 nonfiction book in the country. His previous book, 2000's "The Tipping Point," sold close to 1 million copies, not bad for a work about the nexus between intelligence, idea testing and the mainstream.

His work appears regularly in The New Yorker, always a glittering platform for writers. He's well paid -- he was given a seven-figure advance for "The Tipping Point," and his corporate talks earn him thousands of dollars -- and when Gladwell goes to places such as California's Silicon Valley to speak, the halls are packed.

And then, of course, there's the hair, a wild spray of Sideshow Bob curls. But that's another story.

"He has achieved the sort of celebrity unknown to most serious writers, and now, with 'Blink,' he's being called a new guru for our age," wrote Farhad Manjoo in the online magazine Salon.

Gladwell, 41, laughs off the comparison, even if he is a little stunned by all the success.

"If I'm a rock star, I'm on an indie label and at a very low level," he chuckles in a phone interview from his home in New York.

But he adds, "It is odd. When you go into writing, it's because you're comfortable with anonymity. The story is always the story, not you. It's certainly not anything I anticipated."

Instinct is 'gift of experience'
At the heart of "Blink" is the idea that snap judgments -- even apparently instinctual, gut reactions -- are accurate. It's what cognition experts call "thin-slicing," which Gladwell defines as "the ability of our unconscious to find patterns in situations and behavior based on very narrow slices of experience."

So, as Gladwell notes in several telling anecdotes, an art expert can look at an apparently genuine ancient sculpture and know it's a fake. Or a relationship expert can judge whether a couple has a chance at success by studying their faces for a few minutes. Or famed tennis coach Vic Braden can know -- just know -- when a player is about to double-fault.

These are all correct judgments based on long years of study and strong gifts of observation.

But there are caveats, of course.

We may not realize it, but our snap judgments -- our thin-slicing -- are based on experience and perception, and both can be skewed.

So we may look at a person and base our impression on the color of his or her skin. Or, being human, our judgments can be affected by physiological elements -- a burst of adrenaline, say, or fatigue -- and be off.

"Instinct is the gift of experience," Gladwell says. "The first question you have to ask yourself is, 'On what basis am I making a judgment?' ... If you have no experience, then your instincts aren't any good."

Understanding, and lack of same

One reason for "The Tipping Point's" popularity was its focus on marketing. (Indeed, The New Yorker article that led to Gladwell's book contract involved how the fashion industry charts "cool" among street kids.) The book defined such personalities as the "Maven," an information broker, and the "Connector," a networker, and discussed how fads break into the mainstream.

But if marketers want to look at "Blink" for tips, they'd better look beyond snap judgments. Because part of Gladwell's point is that some things can't be measured instinctively, particularly if you have no idea how to measure them in the first place -- such as music.

One chapter in "Blink" concerns a musician named Kenna. Kenna's not an easily classifiable musician, and in today's music world, that makes him a hard sell. He has the support of many music lovers -- including an Atlantic Records executive, U2 manager Paul McGuinness and a number of club owners -- but when his record was given to a market research company (the sort that do work for radio stations), it flopped.

"Radio stations have constructed a narrow door[way], and that's because they don't understand how complex and paradoxical our snap judgments are," Gladwell says. "It's hard to measure new songs."

And then there is the collision of biases. Gladwell notes that symphony orchestras, thanks partly to blind auditions, have hired more women in recent years -- but if the tryouts aren't blind, and the orchestra leaders see the musician is female, a pro-male bias often kicks in.

Intriguingly, one of Gladwell's New Yorker colleagues -- "The Financial Page" writer James Surowiecki -- wrote a book last year about collective wisdom, "The Wisdom of Crowds."

At first glance, the theories presented in Surowiecki's book appear to run counter to the material in "Blink." His book deals with the often inexpert conclusions of a group; Gladwell's talks about the instinctive reaction of the individual. (The two had an open discussion about their works in the pages of Slate.com.)

But, Gladwell says, they're really not so different after all. Both draw from experience -- even unconscious experience -- and both make use of thought processes not given enough credit.

"Both Jim and I are interested in the limits of conventional decision-making," Gladwell says. "The idea that an expert will give you the best outcome -- we think that's inadequate. You need a whole palate of different strategies. We're critiquing the same narrow ideology."

Little, Brown & Co. is a unit of Time Warner, as is CNN.


More rain for California, what can we say?

There is more rain in the forecast here in California. All the more reason to stay indoors and work on improving your cognition...with MemCheck. A heartfelt 'thank you to everyone who has just signed up today at the 'premium level' and in the last week. What many people do is take our free test, and then come back and sign-up after awhile to take advantage of the ability to track and monitor your mental performance.

As we say in our ad....MemCheck is a scale for the mind, albeit a powerful one at that. Let's see, coming up, we'll have our take on the book "Blink," another story about monkeys, birds and dinosaurs, and more....


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70 is the New 50 : CBS News, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb


St. George, Utah - CBS Morning Show highlighted the growing interest in longevity and used as a case study, some of the citizens of St. George, Utah - a place not very far from Las Vegas, NV; Zion National Park, and the Trinity Nuclear Test Range site...among others. Certainly, the people of St. George are doing all that they can to fend off aging through exercise, a formula that research strongly supports for health of body and mind. In fact, we have many customers from St. George, so this is a group where we are 'preaching to the choir'

St. George is not without controversy, however...through no fault of these fine people...and our role as advocates is to bring responsible and effective tools to the table, as in MemCheck, and also, bring a 'fair and balanced,' accurate accounting to what is being reported. After all, more than a million of you have registered, we have a responsibility, as part of the media through your fiat to take your health issues and challenges seriously.

From the Deseret News

Utahns have experienced an epidemic of cancer and other radiation-related illnesses as a result of radioactive fallout from U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) nuclear weapons testing in the Fifties and Sixties. AEC's dishonesty and manipulation of information are indelible lessons. We are painfully aware of the risks we face from high-level nuclear waste." - Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, Nov. 9, 2000, in a letter to the Minnesota Public Utility Commission opposing Private Fuel Storage LLC's proposal for a spent nuclear fuel storage facility in Utah.
They were bombs with names like Morgan, Charleston and "Dirty Harry" that showed themselves in faraway flashes, in the snowy ash they left behind and in reverberations that rumbled through southern Utah towns of St. George, Cedar City and Parowan like a freight train through the living room. Ninety-three atom bombs were detonated in the Nevada desert between 1951 and 1963. Nearly one-third of these were bigger than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
The arid western site was chosen, because as long as winds were blowing east, the fallout avoided big cities like Las Vegas and Los Angeles and traveled over sparsely populated areas of southeastern Nevada and Utah instead.
But as pink clouds of fallout passed, rural residents sucked in their powdery, radioactive dust. It fell on their skin, it leeched into the ground and into the vegetables they ate. Many got sick and died right away. Others got cancers later.

I like the following piece, but one would hope CBS might look at the other aspects of the story, which in fact, are a testament to the human spirit...

(CBS) Not long after sunrise in a glorious, red-rock corner of southern Utah, the natives start to get restless, reports CBS News Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Kaledin.

In small groups and large, the oldest citizens of St. George shake off sleep by acting like, well, a bunch of kids!!

"We woke up this morning -- so we feel great," said one senior citizen.

Take this softball practice. To these guys, age is just a number.

"I'm 75 and a half," said one player.

"I'm 69," said another.

"I'm 73."

"I'm 67."

"First of all, you're all lying!! I don't believe it for a minute!" Kaeldin exclaimed.

But it's true. -- many of these gentlemen say they feel better now than they've felt in years.

"And how old do you feel?" she asked.

"About 60, 58 and a half," replied Gene Carney.

"You don't feel 73 at all?"

"Oh, no. No. No. No. No!" he replied emphatically

Even Gene Carney, who's running the bases after not one, but two hip replacements, says he's ready for action!

Is it something in the water? Something in the air? Or maybe just...

"Clean living!!! Never smoked, never drank, never chased women," he said.

In fact, the secret according to this crew, is attitude! And attitudes about aging in America are changing dramatically.

A New Yorker cartoon says it all: "70 is the new 50," and no one in this community would argue.

"Hey, coming out here is what keeps us young," said one ball player.

St George, Utah is one of the fastest growing retirement communities in the country, but the truth is there's nothing "retiring" about the folks who live here. They're staying fit and active well into their seventies and even eighties: part of a trend that's "redefining" old age.

"How would you describe the aging population in America today?" Kaledin asked Dr. Robert Butler.

"Well, it certainly is a lot healthier, more robust and vigorous than it used to be. And in some ways it defines a kind of new old age," replied the president of the International Longevity Center.

Butler himself fits the bill -- a 78-year-old who puts in an 80-hour-work week and works out with a physical trainer.

He says medical advances have been crucial in helping Americans age better: drugs to combat old killers like high blood pressure and high cholesterol have made a huge difference.

"I think health is the central issue," Butler said. "People define the beginning of old age when they feel a decline in function: a decline in physical function, a decline in cognitive function. So function and health are at the heart of it."

And large scale surveys of America's seniors suggest they feel pretty good about themselves.

49 percent aged 65 to 69 said they were living the best years of their lives.

44 percent in their 70's said the same thing.

And, here's one to make you blush:

"The majority of people asked found that a 75 year old man or woman can still be considered sexy?" Kaleldin wanted to know.

"Absolutely," answered Butler.

"Is that a surprise to people?"

"Well, not a surprise to me," he said.

Butler is cautious not to paint too rosy a picture. 1.6 million Americans live lonely, dependent lives in nursing homes and are badly in need of care.

But more and more people like Anita Painter are surfacing as the model for how the golden years can be lived.

Just a few blocks away from that softball game in St. George, she's just showing up for her daily swim.

In fact, her day is so action packed we could barely keep up. From the pool, it was on to art class, then home to visit her beloved horse Goldie. She practiced the piano, serenading her 90-year-old husband Al, and finally fixed dinner.

Not quite the portrait of a 72-year-old some of us had in mind.

"Are you old?" Kaledin asked her.

"Absolutely not," Painter said. "As a matter of fact I have to tell you a funny reaction. When I was 65 and that thing called a Medicare card came in the mail. And I can remember being absolutely furious, wondering why this 35-year-old woman inside me was getting a Medicare card, you know?

That attitude has kept Anita going strong.

She has full blown heart disease, and has even broken her back, but she's determined to show that getting older means getting better.

"Well, I'm here to, by my life, prove that you are as young as you choose to be," she said.

Anita has even competed in the Huntsman World Senior Games-St. George's version of the Olympics for athletes 50 and older. All around the country there are similar stories.

"So this notion that once you turn 65 you're all of a sudden elderly -- that's a myth?" wondered Kaledin.

"I think it's a myth."

Meet Jack and Marie O'Marra. He's 84. She's 76 -- going on 40!

"I still have the same energy levels now that I had 40 years ago. I think if you feel old you're going to behave like a very old person. But if you think young, and you're in relatively good health, that's very important," Marie O'Hara said.

They go ballroom dancing three nights a week in their home town of Little Rock Arkansas, and have been twirling each other around on the dance floor since they met at New York's Roseland Ballroom back in 1946.

"That's really the way I exercise, but it's a delightful way to exercise," Jack O'Hara said..

The physical realities of aging do creep in. Some of their friends have died, and Jack has a history of heart problems and is a little frail. He admits he struggles to keep up with Marie.

But he also says one of the best decisions he's made in recent years was to become a patient of Dr. David Lipschitz.

Lipschitz is something of a celebrity among the geriatric set.

As director of the geriatrics department at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, he's spreading the word in print, and on a TV show seen on many PBS stations.

He's all about busting myths.

Who says older folks can't exercise? Who says they can't have active sex lives?

"The myth is that as we grow older our marriages are going to fall apart, we're not going to have love, we're not gonna have sex. In fact, love is one of the single most important predictors of a long and independent life," said Lipschitz.

"Dr. David" as he's known to his many devoted patients practices a unique blend of medicine and ministry, taking patients' aches and pains very seriously, while telling each and every one:

"I love you. You're gorgeous."

Lipschitz fervently believes that high self-esteem, love, spirituality, regular visits to the doctor, and lots of good old fashioned exercise -- hard exercise -- can make almost any 70-year-old feel 50.

"You need to crack a sweat, in other words," said Kaledin.

"You really do," he replied.

"You really need to…"


"…to make it count."

"And if you can run a marathon, all the better," he added.

And if there is one common thread linking all the senior citizens living healthy, full lives -- it is that they stay physically active.

Many were fit as young people and they've stayed fit well into the sunset of their lives. --like 72-year-old cyclist Jerry Mcaffee.

"My goal is to ride up here clear to the top. That's 17 miles," he said.

Studies even show that physical activity helps ward off another leading fear we all have about old age: mental decline.

"I always like to say that exercise -- if we could put it into a pill -- would be our first longevity medicine --'cause it really is fantastic what aerobic activity will do," Dr. Butler said.

Back at the softball diamond, the guys put Kaledin to the test. They're a pretty tough crowd.


"Aaaawwwww, come on!!

Eventually they lobbed her something she could hit -- barely. But any stereotypes she had about 70-year-olds got knocked right out of the park!!

And Dr. Lipschitz says that's exactly how it should be.

"And the idea that 65 or 70 is elderly is quite preposterous. You can assume that the best is yet to come," he said.


Cognitive Screenings becoming more Common - Associated Press


Screenings Help Check Brain Function

This Dallas center charges $350 for a screen, which delivers tremendous value to consumers, compared to taking action too late. MemCheck, at $0.18 per day is even a better value and done at your convenience, wherever you are. Furthermore, you can track yourself over time, as often as you want. (We suggest once per month, or more frequent, if you wish, and you can supplement our tracking with the games that we include as part of your subscription, or even third party games that you can play on the PC, PS2, XBOX, or other hardware. Scrabble, chess, talking and socializing, and above, all exercise, also lead to healthy cognitive engagement. Live your life to the fullest, at any age!)

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Join over 1 million people who have registered! Try it now before we undergo a planned price increase to $99.50 per year!

By JAMIE STENGLE, Associated Press Writer

DALLAS - Bill Crist was angry and upset when his doctor diagnosed him with dementia.

But the 64-year-old retired pharmacist felt a little better after going to the Center for BrainHealth for an evaluation, which showed his language skills and memory were still quite strong. Crist suffers from a neurodegenerative disorder that is associated with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease (news - web sites). He said the follow-up test helped show him which brain functions "look normal."

Such exams are becoming increasingly popular as aging Americans try to differentiate between normal aging problems and the effects of neurological conditions.

The three-hour screenings cost $350 and are not covered by insurance. Many people get tested even when they aren't showing signs of brain problems.

"It's perfectly appropriate if a person has some anxiety — why not go in and have experts assess you?" said Dr. George M. Martin, professor emeritus of pathology at the University of Washington and the scientific director of the American Federation for Aging Research.

The brain center was founded in 1999 as part of the University of Texas at Dallas' School of Behavior and Brain Science.

As word has spread, the number of screenings has gone up sharply, said Jennifer Zientz, head of diagnostic services for the Center for BrainHealth. Last year the center did 160 checkups, compared with about 50 the prior year.

Molly Keebler, the center's head of community programs, even had her 84-year-old mother tested after she noticed her mother stopped doing some things she usually enjoyed, like keeping a journal.

Her mother, Naomi Williams, got a clean bill of health, and some tips on how to stay sharp. She now keeps a notebook in her purse to jot down reminders and has kept up activities such as reading and going to movies.

"The screening made me feel very uplifted," Williams said.

Zientz said the screenings look at how people process complex information. For people like Crist, who already know they have dementia, the screening helps them focus on their mental strengths.

The screening includes several verbal tests, such as interpreting and explaining proverbs. For example, a healthy person could easily interpret "Don't judge a book by its cover." But someone with cognitive problems might say it means you have to read a book to know what's in it.

When problems are found in the screening, the center refers the patient to a doctor.

Slight downward shifts in mental capacity can be a sign of strokes, kidney malfunction, stress or depression, said Dr. Sandra Chapman, the center's director.

"The earlier you detect a glitch in the brain, the more that can be done," she said.

The best candidates for screenings are people who have noticed changes in their memory, said Dr. Randolph Schiffer, chair of the department of neuropsychiatry and behavioral science at Texas Tech University.

Dr. Bill Woodfin, a Dallas neurologist, said the center not only allows people to talk frankly about the challenges of memory loss, but also helps them understand how they can improve their memory.

"I would anticipate more people in my position - physicians, psychologists who see people with these problems - to refer patients more frequently" for such tests, said Woodfin, who referred about six people to the center last year.

On a much simpler level, the exam gives patients and their families some positive news during a difficult time.

Bill Crist's wife, Peggy, said the tests give patients something positive, rather than negative, to focus on.

"I know it sounds hokey, but it's something you need when you get a diagnosis like that," she said.


Blog at Cognitive Labs? Here's the story

The Buck Stops Here

In the old days tech companies hired a CEO, VP of Sales, VP Engineering, VP Marketing, VP of Customer Service, and so forth, then below that there were Directors of Sales, Directors of Engineering who had to make the business work.

That model is broken. First of all the, the marketing exec gets the heave ho when the first iteration of the business fails (as it almost always does since inevitably the company does not know it's real business), then the VP of Sales and Engineering engage in Mortal Kombat. Then, finally, the CEO walks the plank and the cakewalk starts all over again.

We're not going to waste any time with that c--p. We've got the Lazik that will fix that management nearsightedness. That is the power of the Hive - using the top experts and only the top experts less than one half of one s.d. from the apex we avoid the problem of know-nothing bozo management. Lots of time is saved since no bozos are hired in the first place, none need to be fired. Because of the power of technology we can call on a global base of experts 24-7. And, we designed out organizational pinchpoints from the beginning. Sayonara, Hasta La Vista, and all that.

Well then what do we need?

1. Power Bloggers - You are paid based on what you do, or do not do. As Yoda says, "there is no try." You build awareness, you communicate, you write the great american novel (featuring MemCheck as the protagonist, of course). It's easy. You get paid for every member. Plus, heck, your helping humanity.

2. Marketing Insurgents - Your IMD's (improvised marketing designs) shock, annoy,surprise, and delight by turns. Stop traffic, jump off a building (with a parachute), hand out orange sock puppets or orange medicine balls - we don't care. Just get awareness.

If you want to do 1 or 2 send us an email and tell us why we should hire you, who you know, and all that stuff. All ideologies are subordinate to the great cause of tracking, monitoring, slowing, halting, and reversing

this is an audio post - click to play


Some Aspects of Cognition, like Focus, can Improve with Age

We are in Los Angeles today working on a number of initiatives. Here's what we'll offer up for today...you'll notice at cognitivelabs.com an outline of the kind of people we are seeking...

Certain abilities improve with Age...including the ability, apparently to tune out distractions.....

From [Health India]

What has for long been said about wines, that older the wine, the better the taste, perhaps now seems applicable to human beings as well, for a recent study has revealed that older people seem better equipped at handling and grasping certain broader perspectives compared to young people.

According to The Telegraph, recent study conducted by psychologists from McMaster University Ontario, the findings of which appear in the journal Neuron, states that the process of ageing improves certain abilities and older people appear better and faster at grasping the broader aspect.

"The results are exciting because they may tell us something about how ageing affects the way signals are processed in the brain. As we get older, it becomes harder to concentrate on one thing and ignore everything else. It takes more effort to tune out distractions. We've seen it in cognition and speech studies, and now we see it in vision," the journal quoted Prof Patrick Bennett, co-author of the paper as saying.

The report states that for example though older football fans may not track the individual players as well as the younger supporters, they are however, more likely to appreciate team strategies.

"It's critical to understand how ageing affects vision and the brain. If we can characterise what is happening to our brains as we age, we will be in a better position to help seniors see better for longer," the journal quoted Prof Allison Sekular, Prof Bennett's colleague and co-author of the study, as saying.


Wanted...Firefox Pros...we're hiring

Write or turn us on to MemCheck firefox extensions and you have got a deal! Shoot us an email at developer@cognitivelabs.com.

We mean it.

More jobs in the future!!! Very near future on every device, including MemCheck for the home...

(c) 2005 CorAccess

Humans...No big deal

One view of Humanity, I don't agree with it completely, but it does highlight the issue of scientific advancement and the need for greater responsibility by all of us on the planet...

Not so special after all

Advances in science may reduce humans to the pets of machines in 100 years, write Ian Sample, David Adam, Alok Jha and Simon Rogers.

Humans have always thought of themselves as special, and with good reason. As far as we know, we are alone in the universe in churning out art and literature, in formulating the laws of physics and in creating the spectacle that is morris dancing.

But our view of ourselves as the pinnacle of life has suffered huge blows at the hands of science. Every now and again comes an idea so revolutionary that it rocks the foundations on which our hubris is built.

Three upheavals in scientific thinking have served to remind us that we are not so special after all, says V.S. Ramachandran, director of the Centre for Brain and Cognition at the University of San Diego.

First came the Copernican revolution in the 16th century. The Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus argued that the Earth was not at the centre of the solar system. Instead, he relegated our planet to one of many orbiting the sun.

Copernicus wasn't the first to come up with a heliocentric model, but his description was backed up with mathematics that meant it was taken far more seriously. "At once, the whole notion that Earth was special was rendered obsolete, and that must have been pretty humbling," says Ramachandran.

If Copernicus ruffled feathers by saying the Earth wasn't special, Charles Darwin got personal more than 300 years later by implying that humans weren't special either.

With the publication of On the Origin of Species, Darwin promoted his theory of evolution via natural selection, immediately suggesting that humans were just another kind of animal.

"It meant we weren't the crowning glory of evolution, we were just hairless apes that happened to be slightly cleverer than our cousins," says Ramachandran.

"It was a great shock. Victorian women fainted when they heard about it."

Nearly a century later, James Watson and Francis Crick, two scientists in Cambridge, unravelled the structure of DNA. This led to a further challenge to human arrogance. We were, in short, simply vessels of self-replicating molecules, whose only purpose was to pass them on to another generation.

So what's next? What will be the fourth revolution? And will it, like those before, force us to question once more what it means to be human? Here are the views of six of the world's top scientists.

Seth Shostak, senior astronomer, Seti Institute, California The amount of computing power you can buy for $1000 doubles every 18 months. It's hardly speculative to declare that by 2020 your desktop will have more operational horsepower than a human brain.

Many people who work in machine intelligence believe that, with the right arrangement of hardware and software, you really can build a thinking machine. Not just a device that beats everyone at chess; a machine that can write fiction, do physics research or be amusing at parties. If you doubt this, then you are forced to concede that there's something miraculous going on under our hats. Is there some good reason that one organ of the body - the one in your skull - has a function that can't be replicated? That's hubris of a fine sort; a kind of self-defence concocted by the very organ under examination.

It strikes me as likely that, sometime this century, we will build a thinking computer. That machine will run the planet. Competitive pressures will ensure this (if we don't have a machine running our society, we'll fall behind those that do). We will no longer be the smartest things on Earth. Our mantle of superiority will be donned by our own creations.

Then what? Will the machines get rid of us? A machine that dwarfs our intelligence might regard us as we regard goldfish. Our role may be to serve as pets for the sentients in charge.

All of this would be dismaying enough if it were merely a science fiction story. But I suspect the first steps will be taken by mid-century. We could well be the last generation of humans to dominate Earth.

>>read more


A new member every couple of minutes

Every few minutes, somebody takes the plunge and signs up for MemCheck...they get a free test, and a free evaluation of their memory based on the cognitive database we have established. You need to provide your birthday, your zip code, and your level of education...so we can make the right comparisons.

Then the algorithms take over...generating a descriptive output. Used over time, you can create a bar graph or scatter plot of your cognitive performance. So, if something changes, like the story of the Chicago policeman who retired to Arizona and suddenly found himself with Alzheimer's - you, and the medical experts, might get a 'heads up' and be able to do something about it. It's a way to scan yourself like you might scan a package and see where it is. Now, there might be more than one way to do this, but this is the easiest way, and where possible, we should follow the path of least resistance, where there are increasing returns.

In 1996, I read W. Brian Arthur's piece in the Harvard Business Review and that catalyzed my thinking...what gets ahead, stays ahead. His case example was the Netscape browser, earlier it was the Windows OS. We see the same thing happening here with MemCheck, it also happened with tracking for packages, online airline sales, search, and even, Ebay.

What will we see tomorrow? Help us make the future. Also, there will be many upgrades and enhancements that will make our service even easier to use and better. Thanks for your help.


Under the Trees in SiIicon Valley


What do trees have to do with Alzheimer's Disease? It all has to do with simple observation of Juan. There are some old trees around here. In this case, the tree is probably over 160 years old, before the Civil War, when California was not yet a state.

At that time, the Live-Oak studded flats and hills were roamed by Grizzly Bears, the only thing that could frighten the sturdy rancheros of the Californios the Spanish speaking population of Alta California that looked after the great estates of the notables. The coming of Leland Stanford's Central Pacific railroad (later known as the Southern Pacific) and made famous by the golden spike driven at Promontory, Utah changed everything. One of the early lines of the Southern Pacific cuts through the town.

A tree crew was working at a location fairly close to Willie Mays house (he of the bronze statue in front of Pac Bell Park in San Francisco) cutting down some massive trees.

I told him a little of our aim to fight Alzheimer's. He waved a gloved hand at the trees, the air pungent with the smell of oak wood shavings under a strong February sun. "My friend, what your are telling me sounds like the trees. The sap has to keep moving, or the tree gets a fungus that grows, then turns the wood into a sponge. You've got to care for your trees like you take care of a friend. Even if they are as old as yours, they stay healthy. If you can help people like we help the trees, that will be something."

Thanks for the wisdom, Juan


Remote Alzheimer's Monitoring for Choctaw Nation

We have many, many users in Oklahoma. Everywhere, really. There is a guy in Oregon that lives on a mountain top in a cabin, above 7,000 feet. He has no phone. He has a propane generator and satellite internet access and a Skype account. What will we see tomorrow?

Doctors in UT Southwestern Medical Center's Alzheimer's Disease Center are using telemedicine for follow-up appointments with patients in the Choctaw Nation, an American Indian population in southeastern Oklahoma. The Alzheimer's Disease Center is the only one in the country studying the clinical and scientific aspects of dementia in the American Indians.

"After finding out that the Choctaw Nation had a video-conferencing setup, we thought this might be a better way to serve the population," said Dr. Myron Weiner, professor of psychiatry and neurology and a specialist in age-related dementia.
Dr. Weiner said this is the first time the Alzheimer's Disease Center at UT Southwestern has used telemedicine as a way of seeing patients for periodic checkups. It's also one of the first of 32 National Institutes of Health-funded Alzheimer's Disease Centers across the United States to use telemedicine.

The National Institute on Aging has funded research at UT Southwestern since 1991 - examining patterns of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of memory loss in American Indian populations. In one of these, patients are more than 200 miles away from their doctors.

"After the initial diagnosis is made, it is not necessary to have follow-up, face-to-face meetings with patients, which is why the telemedicine link has made it very efficient for us to track patients' progress. We think this is a model that other Alzheimer's Disease Centers could be able to use across the country," said Dr. Roger Rosenberg, director of UT Southwestern's Center, and holder of the Abe (Brunky), Morris and William Zale Distinguished Chair in Neurology.

UT Southwestern doctors visit Talihina, Okla., four times a year to diagnose any new cases of Alzheimer's-related memory loss or other types of dementia within the Choctaw community. Dr. Weiner first used the satellite link in January to see patients.

The health-care connection is made using equipment in Dallas linked to satellites located where patients in the Choctaw Nation live. Patients' family members bring them to one of the four Oklahoma locations including the primary memory disorders clinic in Talihina, Broken Bow, McAlester and Hugo.

"They can see me, and I can see them," Dr. Weiner said of the teleconference linkup. "We can assess any side effects of psychotropic medications and get an estimate of disease progression."

Dr. Weiner, who holds the Aradine S. Ard Chair in Brain Science and the Dorothy L. and John P. Harbin Chair in Alzheimer's Disease Research at UT Southwestern, also conducts interviews with patients' caregivers to assess the progression of memory loss or other neurological deficits. For people suffering from dementia or other memory disorders, shortening travel time for checkups is another positive outcome of telemedicine, Dr. Weiner said.

Because of the three-hour travel time to the Choctaw Nation Health Care Center in Talihina, Okla., it had not been possible for UT Southwestern staff to see as many new patients or to follow patients as closely as they would like. Telemedicine reduces doctors' travel time and increases convenience for Choctaw tribal members because satellite hookups are available at several locations in southeastern Oklahoma.

In 2004 UT Southwestern received a grant from the National Alzheimer's Association to look at cardiac risk factors affecting Alzheimer's Disease in the American Indian community. Telemedicine is another way of using existing technology to increase research capabilities and reach more people.

In addition, Dr. Weiner said, similar telemedicine setups could be used in any remote location, enabling doctors to better serve patients living in primarily rural areas.


Got Memory Loss? Make My Day

If you have memory loss, don't smoke. It doesn't help. So says
WebIndia 123.
Clint would keep it short.


Cognition Stays When the Body is Throttling Down

How long does cognition stay in the body? Sound like a new Hollywood effort?

Patients in a minimally conscious state (MCS) -- those with severe brain damage who demonstrate intermittent awareness of their environment -- may retain some degree of cognitive function, even though they can't follow simple instructions or communicate, the findings from a small study suggest.

Using a special type of "functional" MRI scan, researchers found that such patients exhibit brain responses to speech similar to those seen in healthy individuals. The findings appear in the medical journal Neurology

"These findings raise important questions related to whether MCS patients have a greater capacity to experience subjective states but also to benefit from therapeutic interventions," Dr. Joy Hirsch, at Columbia University in New York, and her colleagues suggest in their report.

Hirsch's group performed functional MRI on two brain-injured patients in a minimally conscious state and on seven healthy subjects as they listened to narratives by family members. Functional MRI was also performed while the subjects' hands were touched.

"The MCS patients studied here showed remarkably similar brain activity to that evoked in healthy control subjects," the authors report.

"In our subjects, the resting MCS brain preserves an ability to recruit (nerve) networks necessary for cognition and interaction," Hirsch's group reports. This possibility "presents a humanitarian imperative to further investigate the state of consciousness of these and other brain-injured patients."

SOURCE: Neurology, February 8, 2005


What we Remember Changes as we Age

We emphasize the positive

Older people tend to erase the bad stuff and highlight the good stuff when remembering their choices in life. In making current decisions, senior citizens are more focused on feeling good about their choices, while young people are trying to learn as much as they can about each option. It seems to be all about feeling good, researchers suggest.

Research published in the current issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology, finds there are age-related differences that appear to affect the way adults make and remember their choices in life, suggesting that older adults "accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative in their memories.

Psychologists at the University of California, Santa Cruz, have learned that adults of all ages tend to "fill in the gaps" when recalling decisions of the past, shedding light on the mysteries of memory distortion. But as people age, they rely more heavily on a comparison process that favors positive emotional outcomes, said lead researcher Mara Mather, an associate professor of psychology at UCSC.

"The results add a twist to our understanding of how people remember things that weren't there," said Mather, who coauthored the paper with UCSC graduate student Marisa Knight and then-undergraduate Michael McCaffrey, who graduated in 2003. "The way we remember one option is shaped by what we know of the other options, and the comparison process changes as we age."

"People are always surprised by how malleable memory is, but researchers have really only scratched the surface," added Mather.

Mather's research used studies of decision making to glean insight into how inaccurate memories are generated.

The first study explored how adults make decisions when two options lack directly comparable features. For example, when deciding between rental apartments, prospective tenants compare features such as rent, square footage, and natural light. But the comparison is problematic when more is known about one option than the other-Apartment A has hardwood floors, for example, but nothing is known about the flooring in Apartment B.

"It's a problem in decision making, because people are driven to make decisions by comparing feature-by-feature," said Mather, who wanted to know how people cognitively cope with the gaps.

It turns out that adults of all ages tend to falsely fill in the gaps and then remember circumstances as being "more alignable" than they were. For instance, in the rental example, the tenant might "fill in the gap" by inferring that Apartment B had carpets and go on to recall that incorrect information later.

"People remember features that can be compared more than those that can't be aligned, and they make inferences that fill in the blanks and that contrast with the other information," she said. "Alignability helps memory but also leads to false memories."

In another experiment, Mather explored emotion's powerful impact on memory and found that older adults with high cognitive functioning use a decision-making strategy that generates more positive emotional outcomes.

These older adults tend to favor the feature-by-feature decision-making process because it guards against regret.

By contrast, younger adults are more likely to employ what psychologists call the "whole option" strategy, in which they consider both the negative and positive aspects of each option before examining the next option. "Young people are trying to learn as much as they can about each option, while older people are more focused on feeling good about their choices," said Mather.

Mather found that in general, adults aged 65 to 80 tend to initially ignore negative features--and to remember them less-than younger adults. Elders also remember more positive features than negative, compared to younger adults, she said.

Researchers previously have attributed most age differences to cognitive decline, said Mather. But in this study, Mather's team tested older adults for their cognitive abilities, and those with the best performance on tests of working memory and other complex tasks were most likely to use different strategies than the younger adults.

"This pattern suggests that younger and older adults' comparison processes are influenced by different goals," she said. "Even when older adults show little or no signs of cognitive decline, they make decisions differently than younger adults, in ways that should help them avoid regret."


Think Fast: Reaction Time And IQ May Predict Long Life

If you are using MemCheck, based on complex RT you have a step on the researchers in this study, who use a simple measure.

The ancient Greeks imagined three Fates - one spun the thread of life, the second measured its length, and the third snipped it off. Science has tried to provide more plausible (if less poetic) reasons for why some of us live longer than others. Now two researchers in Scotland have made a discovery even the Greeks couldn't have imagined: Reaction time may be a core indicator of long life.

Ian Deary, University of Edinburgh, and Geoff Der, MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, Glasgow, report on a study from the MRC Unit that measured both the IQs and the reaction times of middle-aged subjects. Both tests of mental ability were associated with life span, but reaction time was the stronger indicator.

These findings, presented in the study "Reaction Time Explains IQ's Association with Death," appeared in the January 2005 issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the American Psychological Society.

The new research builds on earlier studies showing that people with lower IQs tend to die at younger ages than those with higher IQs. Deary and Der, however, wanted to use a more fundamental measure of mental ability - which they define as efficiency in processing information. They thought IQ tests might relate to physical health because people with higher IQs typically are more likely to be in occupations with safer environments. Reaction time is moderately related to IQ, but is a simpler assessment of the brain's information-processing ability - one that doesn't bear so much on other, possibly confounding factors like knowledge, education, or background.

To test their theory they examined data from the MRC Unit that, back in 1988, had 412 male and 486 female 54- to 58-year-olds living in west Scotland. The participants took both an IQ test measuring their verbal and numeric cognitive abilities and a reaction-time test that measured how quickly they pressed a button after seeing a number on a screen. The researchers also recorded the participants' gender, employment, education, and smoking status. Over the next 14 years, 185 participants died, and Deary and Der compared their test results to see if the IQ or reaction-time responses predicted their mortality.

The researchers learned that those with higher IQ scores lived longer, a result consistent with other studies. The study also showed that characteristics significantly related to death included male gender and smoking. But Deary and Der also found something new - faster reaction times seemed an even better predictor of long life than IQ.

There are different ways the results could be interpreted. Slow reaction times could reflect a degeneration of the brain, which in turn could reflect degenerating physical health (an obvious possible cause of earlier mortality). But in another study the IQs of 11-year-old subjects also were found to predict life span length, just as accurately as it did for the middle-aged participants in Deary and Der's 14-year study.

Future studies of reaction times in younger-aged people may shed more light on the IQ-mortality connection.

Professor Deary said, "It is only in the last few years that we have come to realize that IQ-type scores are related to mortality, even when the mental tests were taken decades before death. Now, several research teams have replicated this finding. What we need to do now is understand it. We and others are following up several possible explanations for this intriguing new association between intelligence and survival."

Psychological Science is ranked among the top 10 general psychology journals for impact by the Institute for Scientific Information.


Worry May Increase Alzheimer's Risk

People who have a tendency to worry or feel very stressed out may be more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease later in life, new research reports.

The relationship between stress and Alzheimer's disease also appears to be much stronger in whites than in African-Americans, the authors note in the journal Neurology.

The nature of the connection between a tendency to worry and the memory-robbing disease is still unclear, study author Dr. Robert S. Wilson of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago told Reuters Health.

However, he said that he suspects that chronic elevations of stress hormones may damage regions of the brain that regulate both behavior under stress and memory.

Wilson emphasized that this study only connects stress and Alzheimer's, and does not prove that one causes the other. The report "does not establish that distress causes dementia," Wilson noted.

But while it's too soon to recommend that people reduce their stress to help avoid Alzheimer's disease, there are many other healthy reasons to relax, he added.

"The tendency to experience psychological distress is a trait that we all have to greater or lesser degrees," Wilson noted. "Family or friends concerned about a loved one who is chronically unhappy should encourage the person to see a qualified mental health professional."

As part of the study, Wilson and his colleagues asked 1,064 white and black people at least 65 years old about their tendency toward worry and stress, then examined them 3 to 6 years later to determine if they had developed Alzheimer's disease.

They found that people who appeared prone to feeling distressed were more than twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's disease within 3 to 6 years. The relationship between stress and Alzheimer's disease was much stronger in white participants, Wilson and his team report.

Wilson added that this is the first study to examine the link between stress and Alzheimer's disease in African-Americans.

"At this point we do not have an explanation for the racial difference, but we think the finding underscores the importance of including racial and ethnic minorities in this kind of research," he noted.

SOURCE: Neurology


Awards to Alzheimer's Researchers

In Washington D.C.,the MetLife Foundation has just announced the award of $700,000 to four specialists in the Alzheimer's field: William E. Klunk, M.D., Ph.D. and Chester A. Mathis, Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; John C. Morris, M.D., of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and Ronald C. Petersen, M.D., Ph.D., of Mayo Clinic. The awards recognized the scientists for their clinical research on early detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Furthermore, Northwestern University scientists have reported success in a 30 patient study of a new bio-marker that could assist in the detection of Alzheimer's. Using the researcher's technique of triangulation, it will be easier in the future for physicians to make a diagnosis.


Sleep: 4 hours for Edison, 12 hours for Einstein

This piece on sleep I thought would be of interest to you. This comes from RedNova.

Get the Sleep You Need Naturally

Gentle, soothing herbs deliver restful slumber

Sleep is essential to optimal health, helping our bodies and minds to recharge, re-energize and successfully navigate the day's activities. The amount of sleep needed for a person to best function varies among individuals, with eight hours being the average. It is said that Thomas Edison thrived on only four hours of sleep each night, but that Albert Einstein required 12 hours for a good nights rest.

But if there's one thing we probably all have in common, it's that we could use more sleep. With the stress of modern, busy lifestyles, it's not uncommon to have a hard time falling asleep or getting enough rest. Sleep difficulty ranks third as a common complaint for individuals seeking medical advice, right behind headaches and the common cold. Each year, a third of Americans reportedly suffer at least occasional difficulty in falling asleep, and between 10 percent and 20 percent of the U.S. population has habitual or severe difficulty in falling asleep.

More women are affected by sleep disturbances than men, and, statistically, sleep disturbances are known to increase with age. With little or no treatment, sleep disturbances can evolve into an increased risk of physical and mental disorders such as depression.

When most of us think of problems associated with sleeping, the word "insomnia" often comes to mind. Insomnia refers specifically to difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or both. It can manifest in different patterns, including awakening frequently during the night, waking up too early in the morning or just poor sleep quality. To describe insomnia, herbal practitioners prefer the phrases "sleep disturbances" or "sleeping difficulties."

Call it what you will - anxiety, stress or just plain excitement - the ups and downs of daily life can lead to sleep troubles. As a result, many people turn to prescription medications, which are potent drugs that may involve health risks including habit-forming behavior and even overdose. These drugs may often react with alcohol, as is the case with barbiturates, or lead to clumsiness or drowsiness the next day. Over-the-counter drugs are available, too, but they also may cause side effects such as grogginess, dry mouth and constipation.

For many consumers who do not need a physician's attention, herbs may successfully help them achieve better sleep without unwanted side effects.

You can read more about herbal remedies at the link above


7,000 people per month are joining Cognitive Labs

Do you remember this? I remember the last Apollo lunar mission from pre-school days. You could get a plastic lunar rover under the shrink wrap of your TANG instant breakfast drink. Very healthy. Around September we were adding about 3,000 per month. Since then it has more than doubled, so has our subscription base. If you don't want to get left out, go here to make your purchase - it works out to about 18 cents day.

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