Use It or Lose It

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by kmguru, Apr 2, 2002.

  1. kmguru Staff Member

    Messages:
    11,757
    MEDICINE
    'Use It or Lose It,' New Alzheimer's Research Concludes

    When it comes to memory, there might just be something to the old adage "use it or lose it." Writing in the February 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers provide further evidence that people who participate more frequently in cerebrally challenging activities have a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

    Robert S. Wilson of the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center and colleagues examined more than 700 participants in the Religious Orders Study, a group of Catholic nuns, priests and brothers who have agreed to annual memory testing and brain donation at the time of death. At the study's outset, the subjects underwent cognitive testing and filled out a questionnaire probing the amount of time they spent engaged in common pastimes involving information processing: watching TV, listening to the radio, reading, playing games or solving puzzles and going to museums. Participation frequency was rated on a five-point scale ranging from every day (five points) to once a year or less (one point). The scientists followed the subjects—all age 65 or older and dementia free at the start of the study—for an average of 4.5 years and administered annual follow-up cognitive tests.

    Over a seven-year period, 111 participants developed Alzheimer's disease. The researchers found an inverse correlation between the frequency of cognitive activity and the risk of developing the disease. For each one-point increase in a subject's score on the scale of intellectual activities, they report, the risk of developing the disease decreased by 33 percent. Moreover, people with the highest frequency of activity had a 47 percent lower risk of disease compared with those with the lowest activity level.

    The precise mechanisms governing such an association between mental stimulation and reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease remain unclear. Some scientists propose that the tasks afford protection by making the brain more efficient and therefore less vulnerable to the damage wreaked by Alzheimer's. Others suggest that frequent mind flexing strengthens processing skills and allows the brain to compensate for age-related declines. It is also possible that people who develop Alzheimer's may be less inclined, years earlier, to engage in cognitively stimulating activity. "Further research," says Elisabeth Koss, assistant director of the National Institute on Aging's Alzheimer's Disease Centers Program, "should help better sort out whether cognitive activities can be prescribed to reduce risk of Alzheimer's disease and why that may be so." —Sarah Graham

    And

    Testosterone Prevents Key Alzheimer's Abnormality

    New research suggests that testosterone treatment could prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease in aging men and women. According to findings detailed in a report released yesterday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, doses of the hormone, given alone or in combination with estrogen, staved off a key chemical aberration characteristic of the disease in rats.

    Women carry a higher risk for Alzheimer's than do men, a difference that scientists have attributed to the decline of estrogen (which is known for its neuroprotective effects) after menopause. As a result, much research has focused on the potential benefits of estrogen in preventing or treating the disease. Sozos Papasozomenos and Alikunju Shanavas of the University of Texas-Houston thus decided to turn their attention to the male hormone testosterone. The researchers focused on a hallmark of the disease in which a brain protein called tau forms snarls of filaments, so-called neurofibrillary tangles, through a chemical reaction known as hyperphosphorylation. As it turns out, exposing rats to high temperatures triggers this same reaction. But the researchers found that treating the rats with testosterone or a combination of testosterone and estrogen prior to heat exposure prevented the hyperphosphorylation of tau by blocking the overactivation of an enzyme involved in the process.

    Considering that estrogen counteracts some of the effects of androgens like testosterone, Papasozomenos and Shanavas note, estrogen alone could prove detrimental rather than protective against Alzheimer's. They assert, however, that their research results indicate that testosterone given alone to aging men or along with estrogen to postmenopausal women would probably aid prevention or treatment of the disease. —Kate Wong
     
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  3. Rick Valued Senior Member

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    Interesting...

    I am still unclear about women's Menopause process,i mean,what is the reason of the occurence?

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    bye!
     
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  5. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    km,

    Nice to know.

    And could we consider that debating at sciforums is a cerebrally challenging activity?

    If true then sciforums represents good medicine for the prevention of Alzheimer's.

    Cris
     
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  7. Rick Valued Senior Member

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    In relegious forum Cris?

    you must be kidding

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    ...
    ummm...the best is the post Riddle i think...isnt it?(Free thoughts.)

    BYE!
     
  8. kmguru Staff Member

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    11,757
    Yes, sir.

    Unfortunately brain stimulation occurs when you are forced to think alternate ideas and possiblities and integrate that to your own thinking process (the Brain). Well, some here refuse to accept even for fun, any new ideas, speculations, dimensions, paradigm, out-of-box thinking....so they are doomed to getting old...with brain hardwired to a small set of neurons and the rest withering away as they look at the monitor....

    Many years ago, I taught "creativity" as a CEU (only one class, 8 pupils)...I had fun teaching and learning that people get set in a hard wired mode and it is very difficult to reorient them to adaptability....
     

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