mild cognitive impairment

  1. Keep your brain sharp... by barking up the right tree

    You forget important events... lose your train of thought... and get overwhelmed by life's little details.

    And it’s happening more and more often.

    When you're on the older side, those "senior moments" can make you feel, well, a little TOO senior.

    Of course, everyone has trouble keeping track of their busy lives from time to time. Even your grandkids -- who carry around phones that are smarter than us all -- sometimes can't keep things straight!

    But if your "brain hiccups" are stacking up, they could be a sign of something called mild cognitive impairment.

    It's actually not so "mild," because 70 percent of folks with the condition go on to develop dementia.

    And while there's no pill you can pop to make it go away, your doc might try giving you a prescription drug that's been approved for Alzheimer's (but not mild cognitive impairment) that comes with a bunch of risky side effects.

    But he'd be barking up the wrong tree, because according to a new study, an extract that comes from the bark of a pine tree can stop mild cognitive impairment in its tracks… naturally!

    In the study, Italian researchers divided a group of healthy older guys with mild cognitive impairment into two groups: Half took pine bark in addition to standard treatment for the condition, while the other half received standard treatment only.

    After two months, those who'd taken pine bark scored significantly BETTER on the Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) -- which measures memory loss and cognitive problems -- than they had at the beginning of the study.

    Those who didn't take pine bark, on the other hand, didn't see ANY notable improvement in their MMSE scores.

    The theory is that an extract from pine bark, called pycnogenol, can quickly reduce oxidative stress in your gray matter -- and we know that oxidative stress is a risk factor for cognitive decline.

    What's more, previous studies have shown that pycnogenol boosts blood flow by increasing levels of nitric oxide.

    As I’ve shared with you in the past, nitric oxide is a compound that relaxes blood vessels, which allows blood to gush through more freely to every nook and cranny in your body where it’s needed.

    And increased blood flow to your brain means that your gray matter receives more critical oxygen and nutrients that nourish it, giving your cognitive function a boost.

    Plus, the benefits don't stop there. Pycnogenol's ability to increase blood flow can also protect you from dangerous blood clots in your legs .

    And guys, it can even help you regain your "oomph" in the bedroom.

    Pycnogenol comes from the bark of the pine tree found in the forests of southwest France (Pinus pinaster) -- but it's widely available at health food stores and online.

    And instead of driving over to the store to pick some up, you may even want to walk (briskly) -- because previous studies have shown that exercise can also ease mild cognitive impairment .

  2. The first warning sign of dementia?

    How depression could lead to dementia

    Depression might keep you from leaving the house -- but don't let it keep you from seeing a doctor ASAP, especially if you're a senior.

    It could be the first warning sign of dementia.

    Depression and dementia often run so closely together there's a chicken-or-the-egg thing going on. Does the dementia cause the depression… or does the depression cause the dementia?

    One new study of 2,000 seniors says they might happen together -- but depression is the first outward sign, since depressed seniors with mild cognitive impairment have double the dementia risk of seniors with MCI who aren't depressed.

    But whether depression causes dementia or it's merely a warning sign of the disease as it kicks in, your solution is still the same -- and that's to take action NOW to protect what's left of your memory for the future.

    There may not be a drug that can cure dementia, but there are natural treatments that can slow, stop, and even reverse the damage. The trick is to start as early as you can.

    Fish oil, for example, can help protect the brain. So can vitamin D. But if you're really looking for a one-stop shop for dementia prevention, look to B vitamins. These critical nutrients are showing such huge promise in early studies that they're being tested right now as the next big dementia "drug."

    But you don't have to wait for Big Pharma's patented and expensive synthetic blend to hit the market to get the protection your brain really needs. You can start right now with what's available from your favorite supplement shop.

    I had the full scoop on all the latest research, including the exact doses used in cutting-edge clinical trials, in the September 2012 issue of my Douglass Report newsletter.

    Subscribers can log in here and read the whole thing online. And if you're not a subscriber, don't feel left out. Sign up today, and you'll get all my future issues in your mailbox and complete access to all my back issues online.

  3. 'Mild' cognitive impairment and dementia leave you more likely to die

    The 'senior moments' that mark the early stages of mild cognitive impairment can actually up your risk of death even if the condition never turns into dementia.

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