Researchers have discovered a link between low vitamin C, beta-carotene levels and dementia, meaning antioxidant rich fruit and veg – such as spinach, carrots and apricots – could help fight the disease’s devastating symptoms.
German scientists looked at the differences between 74 people with mild Alzheimer’s disease and 158 healthy subjects.
The participants, between 65 and 90 years of age, underwent neuropsychological testing, answered questions about their lifestyle and had their blood examined and their body mass index calculated.
The team including epidemiologist Professor Gabriele Nagel and neurologist Professor Christine von Arnim found the serum-concentration of the antioxidants vitamin C and beta-carotene were significantly lower in patients with mild dementia than in control group.
There was no such difference between the groups in levels of other antioxidants including vitamin E, lycopene, coenzyme Q10.
Dr Nagel said although more studies were needed to confirm the results, the findings suggested fruits and vegetables could play a role in fighting the disease.
“Longitudinal studies with more participants are necessary to confirm the result that vitamin C and beta-carotene might prevent the onset and development of Alzheimer’s disease”, said Dr Nagel, of the University of Ulm.
“Vitamin C can for example be found in citrus fruits; beta-carotene in carrots, spinach or apricots.”
Alzheimer’s disease symptoms including forgetfulness, lack of orientation and cognitive decline are caused by alterations in the brain including amyloid-beta-plaques, degeneration of fibrillae and a loss of synapses.
Dementia in New Zealand is a growing issue as the generation known as the baby boomers – anyone born between 1946 and 1964 – heads towards old age.
But research shows that more than half of cases remain undiagnosed, and that’s something Alzheimer’s New Zealand hopes to change with a new campaign it has launched today.
It has been 12 years since Eileen Smith lost her husband Ray at just 54 years old to the cruel and incurable disease that is dementia.
“He’s been my rock, if you like, and I guess there’s many days I feel I’m lost at sea,” says Ms Smith. “I don’t quite know where to go now.”
Around 48,000 Kiwis have the illness and many more cases go undiagnosed.
“A lot of people who get muddled or confused or anxious, people misdiagnose or diagnose it as depression, treat it as depression, to start with, and then realise even when the depression is better the confusion is still there,” says Dr Chris Perkins, old age psychiatrists.
Today, Alzheimer’s New Zealand is launching a campaign to raise awareness of the disease and highlight the importance of early detection.
If you suspect someone you or someone you love is showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease, talk to your doctor, says the organisation.
You have to laugh at all the excitable boffins in the Labour Party running around trying to create “plans”, strategy” and “vision”. They have been doing it for so long now that it implies very firmly that they had nothing that was any good in the first place and need a total change.
They talked endlessly, they changed Leader, nothing. They tried to get good media, nothing. Just yesterday Mike Smith was resorting to talking up paid right-wing shill Matthew Hooton from his performance on Radio New Zealand, about Labour strategy. They are desperate to discuss everything yet do absolutely nothing.
If a publicly listed company dithered with consultation, leadership issues and had this much internal mayhem it would have already suffered from de-listing.
Again even today, explaining is losing:
Labour’s only strategy at the election was the much discussed Stealing Underpants Strategy put in place by their crippled campaign manager who is currently suffering bouts of dementia from the pressure of a young National backbench (one 31 years his Junior), the ineptness of his own under-performing Front Bench colleagues and even Labour lap-blog, The Standard.
Now the poor old fool is threatening media if they use footage they are now almost certain to use just to spite him. More sound strategy.
For this past week The Standard have all compiled namby pamby posts about needing to get rid of Trevor Mallard. Almost all without having the guts to come out and name him as the source of Duncan Garner’s ABC (Anyone But Cunliffe) story. It is pathetic blogging. Put up his name little anonymous blogger boys or shut up.
Mallard has admitted that there is a need for Labour to be constantly refining. Shame is that he does not realise that most of the loudest activists wish to refine him.
Out the door.
Much was made of Fran Mold returning from the dark side to her true home and becoming Labour’s press guru.
Unfortunately for Labour Fran seems suffer from being overly confident in her abilities to get the media to love Labour like she does. Either that or she is dead set useless. Labour’s media under Mold has been awful, and even the good work MPs are doing on issues that matter are not getting much coverage.
Socialist Cindy has been beavering away on welfare, making good progress on sensible reforms like making bludgers accpet they have responsibilities as well as rights, but Fran hasn’t been able to get the most telegenic and appealing Labour MP any coverage. A set of policies from Cindy that would make Waitakere Man start thinking Labour are worth looking at again, and Cindy isn’t fronting anything except perhaps the Listener which Waitakere Man likely doesn’t know exists.
Instead Fran seems to think that having Mallard’s early onset dementia being demonstrated to the public several times a week is a vote winning strategy. Someone needs to tell her she is dreamin’, and perhaps someone else could send her back to the dark side.
Chris Trotter is in superb form with his post about Labour and the Greens. He concludes that Labour is suffering from political dementia:
More and more Labour is beginning to resemble those dementia patients at Silverstream Hospital. Some of Labour’s caucus, like Trevor Mallard, are prone to violent episodes; others, like Shane Jones, test the boundaries of political probity in the most disconcerting fashion. The most pitiful to contemplate, however, are the likes of David Cunliffe and Grant Robertson. They know there are alternatives out there, they can see them,but their colleagues will insist on hauling them back to their beds.
How sad it will be if New Zealand’s oldest political party is forced to end its days looking out at a world it is no longer able to change; weeping tears of silent rage as younger politicians, with the courage to look beyond tomorrow, get ready to inherit today.
Winston has been hoping that this was the case in his bid to salvage his place at the trough:
More than 26,000 New Zealanders may be unaware they are in the grip of dementia.
Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia conditions are heading toward crisis levels, yet remain underdiagnosed and under-treated, according to the World Alzheimer Report 2011, published today.
Just 40 per cent of dementia cases are recognised in countries such as New Zealand, the report says.
That means more than 26,000 New Zealanders could have the disease but remain undiagnosed.
Most people with dementia get their diagnosis late in the course of the disease, if at all, the report says.
This causes a “treatment gap”, limiting access to information, treatment, care and support.
An “overwhelming surge” of dementia cases was expected in coming years, Alzheimer’s New Zealand national director Johan Vos said.
“We need to close this treatment gap and responsibly support organisations at the frontline of response to this looming crisis.”
The article goes on to list the identifying symptoms of dementia but strangely left off a couple of real clinchers: voting NZ First and attending meetings where Winston peters is speaking.
from Boing Boing
Elderly people who are increasingly unable to detect sarcasm or lies may be exhibiting early signs of dementia/neurodegenerative diseases, according to University of California scientists. The new research suggests that it might be possible to spot certain neurodegenerative diseases by looking for surprising gullibility in someone who otherwise may seem healthy. This connection has been somewhat obvious for years, as elderly people are sadly more easily suckered by scam artists. (Not to say that being an easy target for a con means one has a neurodegenerative disease.) In this latest work though, he UCSF team used brain scans to show that damage and deterioration in certain regions of the brain correlate with an inability to known when someone isn’t being sincere.
Well that explains clearly why Winston Peters is able to still garner support. It is from the feeble of mind.
From UCSF Medical Center:
Healthy older subjects in the study could easily distinguish sincere from insincere speech. However, the subjects who had frontotemporal dementia were less able to discern among lies, sarcasm, and fact. Patients with other forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, did better.To associate the detection inability with neurodegeneration, the UCSF team used MRI to make extremely accurate maps of the brains of the subjects in the study. This allowed them to measure the volumes of different regions of the brain showing that the sizes of those regions correlated with the inability to detect sarcasm or lying.
According to Rankin, the work should help raise awareness of the fact that this extreme form of gullibility can actually be a warning sign of dementia — something that could help more patients be correctly diagnosed and receive treatment earlier in the long run.
Yep, pretty much sums up Winston’s popularity and voter base.