New insights on Alzheimer's Disease

September 11, 2009 3:21:31 PM PDT
There are several interesting new reports on Alzheimer's disease. First, an article in the Journal Neurology says a cold, the flu, and even an infected scratch can increase memory loss.

Researchers say what is just a nuisance for most of us, but for a patient with Alzheimer's, it can start a spiral of worsening memory loss.

Researchers think that infections may trigger a chemical that causes inflammation to spike in the bloodstream.

The chemical, called TNF, may be a major player in brain deterioration.

Drugs that can reduce TNF in the blood, such as remicade, may prove to be beneficial in Alzheimer's, say the study researchers.

The next article on Alzheimer's isn't about blood chemicals and powerful drugs. It's about how simply changing what you eat may reduce your risk of memory problems. It's a nod to fruits and vegetables as memory protectors.

A Dutch study found that healthy people between ages 45 and 100 who ate a little less than a pound of fruits and vegetables each day had better brain performance than healthy people at any age who ate less than a quarter pound daily. Researchers think it's the antioxidants in fruits and veggies that gobble up toxins in the body. That may protect the brain.

Another study from the journal Neurology you can't make up. Britney Spears may help point out which people are on the track to Alzheimer's. Well, it's recognizing the name of just about anyone in the news. Names of celebrities were shown to patients during an MRI brain study. Doctors followed blood flow patterns which were markedly different in people with the lowest risk of the disease compared to those with the highest risk.

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