Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Battling Brain Atrophy and Alzheimer’s Disease for better health

Mild Cognitive Impairment, Brain Atrophy and Alzheimer’s Disease

We have known for many years that the brains of elderly people show atrophy. More recently, we have realized that atrophy occurs even in cognitively healthy subjects, but is much more accelerated in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Studies show the following:

  • An intermediate rate of atrophy is found in people with mild MCI.
  • People over 60 years of age without MCI normally have brain shrinkage of approximately 0.5 percent per year.
  • Individuals showing MCI normally have a brain atrophy rate twice as high, approximately 1 percent per year.
  • Alzheimer’s patients can lose as much as 2.5 percent of brain volume per year.

Drugs Versus Supplements for Sleep Disorders

With the recent finding that prescription sleep medications are linked to an increased risk of cancer, heart disease, premature death and other health conditions, I have argued that taking melatonin in a supplement that also includes 5-HTP, GABA and Bacopa monnieri is a much safer and effective strategy to remedy age-related insomnia and sleep disturbances. With recent studies showing that melatonin supplementation may be an important measure to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and stabilize cases of MCI, the argument in favor of using a melatonin supplement as a sleep aid, instead of prescription and over-the-counter sleeping pills, becomes even more compelling.

 

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July 8, 2012 Posted by | Health and Fitness | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reduce Stress – Live to 120!

Too much stress will shorten your life

Too much stress will shorten your life

     With today’s economic gloom we certainly have plenty to worry about.  Mortgage payments, sending the kids to college, layoffs and furloughs continue to loom over us and cause much stress and anxiety.

     During these times of stress our bodies release a host of hormones that can cause our hearts to speed up, our sense to become more alert and our brains to become overall active, especially at night, when we need our sleep.

Find ways to combat stress overload
Find ways to combat stress overload

Our worrying about the future can cause serious health effects upon the body.  The cortisol and adrenaline released during high pressure periods have some disturbing underlying effects.

    Over time the continued flood of stress hormones can wreak havoc on our bodies.  Stress is associated with high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, depression, irritability, insomnia and even a higher susceptibility to heart arrhythmias.

    Studies report that people who are under high levels of stress tend to eat more, exercise less and they make poor food choices.

The answer in combating the negative effects of stress lies with eating well and getting regular aerobic exercise.

    Just 30 to 60 minutes a day, three to four times per week, of exercise can reduce anxiety, release tension and motivate the brain to pump out endorphins, a chemical that creates a sense of well being.

Regular exercise combats the negative effects of stress
Regular exercise combats the negative effects of stress

When you do aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, swimming, biking, running or jogging, for 30 minutes or more, your body releases the “feel good hormones” called endorphins.

    Endorphins can relieve pain and improve your mood.  These repetitive types of aerobic exercises that require the same movement over and over again has a calming effect on the body, similar to that of meditation.

    Brisk walking is one of the best exercises for stress relief as it can produce the healthy benefits needed.  Studies have shown that those who walk for an hour and a half, five days per week, at a pace of 4 miles per hour significantly reduced their stress, anxiety and depression than those who walked for just 15 minutes a day.

     Our bodies were meant to last for 120 years, according to scientific research, so we should do everything in our power to help fight against negative effects such as stress.

August 26, 2009 Posted by | Editorial, Health and Fitness | , , , , , | 2 Comments