dementia

  1. The “Goldilocks” secret for a healthy brain

    After a stressful day, you want to unwind. You’re only human!

    Kick off your shoes… put up your feet… fill your glass with your favorite spirit… and you’ll feel YOUR spirits lifting.

    But watch out before you pour a few too many.

    Because new research shows that drinking too much alcohol can do more than take the edge off.

    It can put a damper on your brain function!

    And I’m not talking about a few “senior moments” here and there. This is about full-blown Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

    Now, you DON’T need to enact your own personal Prohibition to stay sharp as a tack. In fact, going “dry” might have the same effect as drinking like a fish!

    You just need to know what the right amount is to reap the benefits of booze… without giving the Grim Reaper any reason to come knocking earlier than you might expect.

    I know this may come as a shock. Until now, factors known to increase your dementia risk included genetics, head injuries, and poor nutrition. But now, we can add booze to that list.

    In the study, published in the BMJ, researchers started observing 9,087 middle-aged folks and followed them for nearly a quarter-century –into their senior years.

    They found that those who drank more than 14 units of alcohol a week (or about a glass of beer or wine a day) saw their risk of dementia soar.

    For every seven extra drinks above 14, they saw their risk go up by 17 percent.

    You may think the answer, then, would be to quit drinking altogether. But based on these latest findings, that appears to be an even WORSE idea.

    In the study, the folks who didn’t drink a single DROP of alcohol saw a 45 percent increased risk of developing dementia!

    The theory is that moderate drinking can protect you from developing conditions that have been linked to brain damage and dementia -- like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

    Besides that, many moderate drinkers are more social than the teetotalers. And enjoying a cocktail with family and friends can keep your brain healthy AND happy.

    So, we know how much is too much… and too little… but what’s “just right?”

    The study found that the perfect “Goldilocks” amount of alcohol to protect your gray matter is between one and 14 units a week – no more than one beer or wine per day.

    One little tipple goes a long way!

  2. Is this ‘silent killer’ stalking your BRAIN?

    You may FEEL perfectly healthy. But if your BP is soaring, it could be wreaking havoc on your body in ways you’ll never even notice (at least, not until it’s too late).

    That’s why they call hypertension the "silent killer," because it can quietly damage blood vessels throughout your body -- without any obvious symptoms.

    Typically, the top concern with BP on the higher end is that it ups your risk of a heart attack that strikes without warning. But according to a new study, all that pressure in your "pipes" can ALSO pave the way to brain changes that are linked to dementia.

    And it can happen YEARS before you have any symptoms.

    The study involved about 140 patients aged 40 to 65, none of whom had been diagnosed with dementia. In participants with hypertension -- a systolic ("top") number greater than 140 mmHG -- MRIs revealed early evidence of the very same neurological damage that we see in dementia.

    More specifically, the hypertensive folks showed microscopic damage in their brains' white matter -- which refers to the millions of bundles of nerve fibers in your brain that help neurons in different areas communicate with one another.

    Those with hypertension also scored worse on tests of memory and executive function when compared to participants whose “top number” was below 140 mmHG.

    Now, a diagnosis of hypertension is somewhat of a moving target -- because the "goal posts" for what's considered dangerously high BP keep shifting.

    But a new study published in the European Heart Journal shows that higher-than-normal blood pressure in midlife boosts your risk of dementia even if it's BELOW the threshold of an "official" hypertension diagnosis.

    In that study, when researchers measured the blood pressure of over 8,500 participants four times over the course of four decades, they found that those whose systolic BP was greater than 130 mmHg at age 50 had a 45 percent HIGHER risk of developing dementia than those whose systolic BP was lower at the same age.

    Now, take that with a grain of salt. If you’re over 50… or even over 65… your blood pressure can naturally go up over time. And that’s usually not a cause for concern.

    Plus, we don’t know how the BP was being measured each of those four times in that second study… and really, it was only four times. And we don’t know whether the participants’ BP was actually spiking higher than that at any point between measurements.

    A better way is to measure it consistently at home, where you’re comfortable, instead of in a doctor’s office – an environment that often causes artificially high BP readings, a phenomenon known as “white coat syndrome.”

    If you choose to rely only on what your doc finds, ask him or his staff to take your BP a second time. As I recently shared with you, that second reading is often lower and more accurate.
    And if it turns out that your BP is consistently (and dangerously) high, bring it down to a more reasonable level by making some simple lifestyle changes like losing weight, moving around a bit more, and supplementing your diet with tart cherry juice and cinnamon.

  3. Are you taking one of these mind-robbing pills?

    You misplace your glasses... mix up your doctor's appointments... and can't remember if you've taken your daily pills or not. As we age, there sure are a lot of daily details to keep track of, and everyone fumbles them from time to time. But if your memory "hiccups" happen more and more often, you may worry that something more serious...
  4. Dodge dementia with THIS gadget

    As we age, our hearing just isn't what it used to be. HALF of folks over 65 have some degree of hearing loss -- and we know that there's much more at stake than just your ability to enjoy a TV program or some small talk. That's because when your hearing fades, key regions of your brain aren't as stimulated...
  5. A strong heart is a 'fountain of youth' for your brain

    Ladies, when it comes to dementia, you outnumber men... and how. As many as TWO-THIRDS of Americans with Alzheimer's disease are women. Now, we're not sure why that it is. It could be something in your genes... or in your hormones... or it could simply be because women tend to live longer, and the guys are dying off before they...
  6. Inactivity shrinks your brain and boosts dementia risk

    Could sitting around make your brain cells DIE? Use it or lose it. That old saying may sound trite -- but when it comes to staying spry as we age, nothing could be truer. You can't keep up your tennis game if you rarely play... or be the toast of the dance floor if you don't stay on your toes...
  7. Fermented blueberries improve dementia

    Toss THIS with your salad to protect your brain This morning, I shared with you how fruit can help improve your lung function. Now, fruits are part of the Paleo diet, but since they contain so much natural sugar, I don't recommend eating a lot of them. While berries and citrus are delicious, you can overdo it on them! File...
  8. Abnormal magnesium levels boost dementia risk

    Make like Goldilocks when it comes to magnesium Many things in life are best for you in moderation. Eating too little food can leave you malnourished and hangry... while indulging too much can set you up for a spare tire and heart troubles. And although having too little time on your hands is stressful, having too much can also drive...
  9. Fluctuating blood pressure linked to dementia

    BP all over the map? Here's what's at stake For a while now, we've known that having high blood pressure (a.k.a. "hypertension") can up your risk of dementia. And you might think that you're in the clear if your BP is within even what the mainstream considers a "normal" range. But according to a new study, if your BP bounces...
  10. Too little REM sleep boosts dementia risk

    Why you need to stay asleep for at least 90 minutes Whether it's the urge to pee... or pangs of arthritis or anxiety that never seem to take a rest... it becomes harder to stay asleep long enough to get fully rested as we get older. In fact, half of folks over 60 toss and turn during the wee hours...

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