Stockholm: Swedish researchers have uncovered a direct link between polluted air and dementia. People who live in homes exposed more heavily to pollution run a 40 percent greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia than those who live in areas with cleaner air, a study at Umea University says.
“In total, about 16 percent of all the cases of dementia in the study might have been caused by exposure to pollution,” researcher Bertil Forsberg said describing the results as “sensational.”
The study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, studied nearly 2,000 people over a 15-year span while simultaneously tracking traffic patterns in the northern Swedish city of Umea, Xinhua news agency reported.
All participants were 55 or older and free of any disease symptoms when the study began.
The researchers established the elevated risk having controlled for factors such as age, education level, lifestyle and body fat.
While previous research linked air pollution to cancer, asthma and respiratory diseases, academics have in recent years begun to probe how air quality affects the brain.
“We know that very small particles can enter the brain through the olfactory nerve and cause direct damage,” Forsberg said.
People who drink three to four cups of coffee a day are more likely to see health benefits than harm, experiencing lower risks of premature death and heart disease than those who abstain, scientists said on Wednesday.
The research, which collated evidence from more than 200 previous studies, also found coffee consumption was linked to lower risks of diabetes, liver disease, dementia and some cancers.
Three or four cups a day confer the greatest benefit, the scientists said, except for women who are pregnant or who have a higher risk of suffering fractures.
Coffee is one of the most commonly consumed drinks worldwide. To better understand its effects on health, Robin Poole, a public health specialist at Britain’s University of Southampton, led a research team in an “umbrella review” of 201 studies based on observational research and 17 studies based on clinical trials across all countries and all settings.
“Umbrella reviews” synthesize previous pooled analyses to give a clearer summary of diverse research on a particular topic.
“Coffee drinking appears safe within usual patterns of consumption,” Pool’s team concluded in their research, published in the BMJ British medical journal late on Wednesday.
Drinking coffee was consistently linked with a lower risk of death from all causes and from heart disease. The largest reduction in relative risk of premature death is seen in people consuming three cups a day, compared with non-coffee drinkers.
Drinking more than three cups a day was not linked to harm, but the beneficial effects were less pronounced.
Coffee was also associated with a lower risk of several cancers, including prostate, endometrial, skin and liver cancer, as well as type 2 diabetes, gallstones and gout, the researchers said. The greatest benefit was seen for liver conditions such as cirrhosis of the liver.
Poole’s team noted that because their review included mainly observational data, no firm conclusions could be drawn about cause and effect. But they said their findings support other recent reviews and studies of coffee intake. (VOA)
New York, Nov 18: A computer brain training exercise designed to improve the speed and accuracy of visual attention can help seniors reduce risk of dementia by nearly a third, suggest results of a 10-year study.
This exercise is known as “speed of processing training”, “useful field of view training”, or “UFOV training.
“Speed of processing computer brain training resulted in decreased risk of dementia across the 10-year period of, on average, 29 per cent as compared to the control,” said lead study author Jerri Edwards from University of South Florida in the US.
“When we examined the dose-response, we found that those who trained more received more protective benefit,” Edwards added.
The study, published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions, enrolled 2,802 healthy older adults in the US and followed them as they aged from an average of 74 to 84 years.
Participants were divided into a control group or one of three intervention arms using different types of cognitive training.
One group received instruction on memory strategies and another group received instruction on reasoning strategies. The third group received individualised computerised speed of processing training.
Researchers found no significant difference in risk of dementia for the strategy-based memory or reasoning training groups, as compared to the control group.
However, as compared to the control group, the computerised speed training group showed significantly less risk of dementia — averaging a 29 per cent risk reduction.
When reviewing the impact of each computerised speed training session completed, researchers found those who completed more sessions had lower risk.
The computerised speed training task or the computer brain training exercise was designed to improve the speed and accuracy of visual attention, including both divided and selective attention exercises.
The computer brain training exercise was developed by Karlene Ball of the University of Alabama Birmingham and Dan Roenker of Western Kentucky University – both in the US. (IANS)
Green tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world.
Researchers believe green tea is a more acceptable alternative to medicine
CHINA, July 30, 2017 : Here’s news to turn your week into a Wellness Week! If you like tea, and are also on the lookout for a healthier lifestyle, then now is the perfect time to switch to green tea. Adding to its countless benefits, a latest research has now revealed that green tea can help improve memory and insulin resistance in the brain.
Northwest A&F University, in Yangling, China recently conducted a research which suggested that EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), the most abundant catechin and biologically active compound found in green tea could lessen high-fat and high-fructose (HFFD)-induced insulin resistance and cognitive impairment.
EGCG has the potential to improve insulin resistance, which is a precursor of type II diabetes. Insulin resistance occurs when insulin levels are sufficiently high over an extended period of time and is in turn, associated with a higher risk of developing heart diseases.
An ancient beverage in Southeast Asia, Green tea has been long touted to boost immunity, keep the heart healthy and reduce risk of multiple diseases. Made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, it is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water and is grown in 30 countries.
“The ancient habit of drinking green tea may be a more acceptable alternative to medicine when it comes to combating obesity, insulin resistance and memory impairment,” believes Xuebo Liu from Northwest A&F University, in Yangling, China, reports IANS.
For the research, the team divided three-month old male mice into three groups that were each fed differently,
A standard diet
An HFD diet
An HFD + EGCG diet
The mice were then monitored for 16 weeks and tested on a range of parameters, like a water maze memory test.
The study revealed two major findings,
The group fed with HFFD had an elevated final body weight than the control mice, and a considerably higher final body weight than the HFFD+EGCG mice.
The HFFD+EGCG group had a much lower escape latency and escape distance than the HFFD group on every test day.
Consistent with these results, the study established that consuming EGCG prevented HFFD-evoking memory impairment and neuronal loss (which is more commonly known as brain drain).
The research has been published in The FASEB Journal, and is also available online.
Benefits of green tea & It’s healing properties:
Promotes weight loss
Helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure
Relieves stress and depression
Boosts immune system
Improves oral health
Reduces risk of diseases like type 2 Diabetes, Skin Cancer and Neurological diseases
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