Memories in Early Alzheimer’s May Not Be Irretrievable After All

Alzheimer’s disease leads to tragic memory deficits, but it’s not clear whether those memories are actually lost. It’s also not clear whether this is a problem with memory formation and storage or a problem in memory retrieval. This is clinically relevant, since memory retrieval could potentially be restored by targeted brain stimulation.

Source: Memories in early Alzheimer’s may not be irretrievable after all

I am curious about the difference between whether the memory is actually being stored and not able to be retrieved later, or not being stored to begin with at all.  It never occurred to me to think about such a nuance.

This Video Explains How Stress Breaks Down Your Brain

If you think there’s a possibility of Alzheimer’s for you, please make sure you make plans with regard to health, etc. before things get bad and you can’t make those decisions anymore. Things easily become a big mess in those situations.

Controversial ‘Transmittable Alzheimer’s’ Theory Is Starting to Look Plausible

Back in September, researchers in the UK discovered that brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s may be transmissible through certain medical procedures. Skeptical scientists urged caution, but now a different set of autopsy results have shown the same thing.

Source: Controversial ‘Transmittable Alzheimer’s’ Theory Is Starting to Look Plausible

Alzheimer’s is an all-too-common disease, but the vast majority of Alzheimer’s patients have never had brain surgery like that described here, where prions could be transmitted. If you’re wondering how this study is applicable to the vast majority of the Alzheimer’s population – there’s fear that these prions could be transmitted via blood transfusions, or via contaminated surgical equipment.  Having worked in a hospital, such equipment is run through a sterilizer and packaged in a vacuum sealed bag to maintain sterilization.

Ultrasound Helps Drugs Sneak Past the Blood-Brain Barrier

Here in the S-wing of Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital, Mainprize and his research team accomplished on Thursday what no one in the world has ever done before: Using focused ultrasound waves, they have opened the human blood-brain barrier, paving the way for future treatment of an array of currently impossible or hard-to cure-illnesses – from brain cancer to certain forms of depression, stroke, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Source: Sunnybrook doctor first to perform blood-brain barrier procedure using focused ultrasound waves

I’m not very keen on intentionally tearing even small holes in capillaries. It may work well for tumors, since the goal is to damage that tissue anyway. But using this to deliver drugs to healthy tissue sounds problematic. The Blood-Brain Barrier exists for some very good reasons. If used in healthy tissue this would essentially imitate a small hemorrhagic stroke for 8-12 hours. That’s a lot of time for glutamate toxicity alone, and there are many other substances in systemic circulation that aren’t tolerated well in the brain.

10 Stubborn Food Myths That Just Won’t Die, Debunked by Science

Every other week, new research claims one food is better than another, or that some ingredient yields incredible new health benefits. Couple that with a few old wives’ tales passed down from your parents, and each time you fire up your stove or sit down to eat a healthy meal, it can be difficult separating food fact from fiction. We talked to a group of nutritionists and asked them to share the food myths they find most irritating and explain why people cling to them. Here’s what they said.

Source: 10 Stubborn Food Myths That Just Won’t Die, Debunked by Science

Some of the myths have been covered on their own:

Drinking Coffee Late in the Day Will Screw Up Your Internal Clock

It’s no secret that drinking coffee shortly before bedtime disrupts sleep, but a new study suggests that caffeine can actually affect our body’s internal clock, pushing back our natural rhythms by nearly an hour.

Source: Drinking Coffee Late in the Day Will Screw Up Your Internal Clock

Related reads:

Do the benefits outweigh the lack of sleep?

Scientists Urge Caution in Wake of “Transmittable” Alzheimer’s Claim

A provocative new paper published in Nature suggests that neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s may be transmissible through certain medical procedures. It’s an alarming claim—but one that will require more proof if it’s to be accepted by the scientific community.

Source: Scientists Urge Caution in Wake of “Transmittable” Alzheimer’s Claim

We already know prion disease can be transmitted via surgical instruments. The supposition is prion diseases are more common and responsible for more neuro-pathology than we have given them credit for. There is no data or evidence – especially not a study of 8 patients who suffered from an incredibly rare neurodegenerative disorder which we don’t fully understand, to support this.

Scientists Turn Skin Cells into Brain Cells, Using Alzheimers Patients

Using a special mix of small molecules, two groups of scientists in China have successfully turned human skin cells into neurons. They hope that their technique could one day help rejuvenate failing tissues in the brains of Alzheimers patients.

Source: Scientists Turn Skin Cells into Brain Cells, Using Alzheimers Patients

It’s interesting that a mice and human trial were done seemingly in parallel.  It’s apparently cheap, easy, and minimal if any rejection risk.  But we’re a ways from being able to leverage this into something useful.

How We Discovered Alzheimer’s Disease

Today we hear a great deal about Alzheimer’s disease, but relatively little about its discoverer. Its discoverer had little idea how famous his few case studies would become. Here’s how Alzheimer’s went from a medical anomaly to one of the most known and feared medical conditions in the world.

Source: How We Discovered Alzheimer’s Disease

Inadequate Vitamin E Can Cause Brain Damage

Researchers at Oregon State University have discovered how vitamin E deficiency may cause neurological damage by interrupting a supply line of specific nutrients and robbing the brain of the “building blocks” it needs to maintain neuronal health.

The findings — in work done with zebrafish — were just published in the Journal of Lipid Research. The work was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

The research showed that zebrafish fed a diet deficient in vitamin E throughout their life had about 30 percent lower levels of DHA-PC, which is a part of the cellular membrane in every brain cell, or neuron. Other recent studies have also concluded that low levels of DHA-PC in the blood plasma of humans is a biomarker than can predict a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Source: Inadequate vitamin E can cause brain damage

Curious about good sources for vitamin E?

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Almonds
  • Spinach (not good for blood thinner)
  • Swiss Chard (also not good for blood thinner)
  • Bell peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Peanuts

Vitamin E is fat soluble – consuming fat soluble vitamins with fat increases their uptake.