Appetite loss is an early warning sign associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). It correlates highly with depression and inability to focus, both of which are themselves linked to dementia risk.
SPECT & PET scans show brain changes that are hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease many years before obvious symptoms show. These imaging studies can be used as biomarkers for predicting progression from mild cognitive impairment to full blown Alzheimer’s, & can also be used for early diagnosis.
Belly fat accurately predicts cognitive decline in older adults.
Researchers conclude that reducing central obesity (and its associated inflammation) can help prevent and slow impaired brain function.
Waist-to-hip ratio, available in the resource tab at www.theseedsplan.com, is a reliable way to assess belly fat and is more reliable than BMI (body mass index). The apple vs. pear shape (pear is better) is another quick measure of central obesity.
Wrist sensors measuring sleep time, efficiency & awakenings show that nine of ten family caregivers experience chronic sleep deprivation. This raises their risk for depression, weight gain, heart disease, Alzheimer’s & premature death. Sleep disruption also makes it harder for caregivers to provide optimal care. Care for caregivers is critical for health & job performance.
Environmental enrichment (EE) is an animal research model aimed at understanding how intellectual activity and exercise help humans build cognitive reserve, an insurance policy against mental decline. EE prevents development of toxic beta-amyloid proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease, through its anti-inflammatory protection of brain cells,. Take home: get out there and rattle your cage!
Researchers recommend guidelines for Alzheimer’s disease prevention begin during childhood, with attention to metabolic, dietary, genetic and environmental risk factors. The brainstems of young children living in areas where air quality routinely fails to meet US EPA standards for ozone and PM2.5 particles show Alzheimer’s hallmarks. Air pollution is associated with Alzheimer’s disease risk at every age.
Beyond Your Wildest Genes is a natural health think tank with Paleo-friendly, evidence-based podcasts. The information is always timely & useful. Thank you to co-host Dr. Wanda Lee McPhee for exploring strategies of lifelong brain health as outlined in The SEEDS Plan.
Once again, “just right” is better than too little or too much. A study of over 9000 participants followed for 20+ years, found the risk of dementia increases both in those who abstain from alcohol in midlife, as well as those who consume more than 14 units per week. For brain health, the sweet spot appears to be between 1 – 14 alcohol units per week.