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Insulin For Alzheimer's Disease?
A recent study done in India suggests that insulin may help Alzheimer's disease. It was known for years that diabetics and alzheimer's patients suffer from memory loss, and it was suggested by some researchers that alzheimer's might be partly caused by poor insulin regulation of sugar in the brain. Insulin breaks down sugars into useful energy in all cells of the body, including the brain. Doctors in India induced diabetes in healthy rats using a drug called streptozotocin. After injection of the drug, rats became diabetic and eventually developed plaques of beta amyloid in their brains, the same kind of amyloid plaques found in the brains of alzheimer patients. The researchers then gave the diabetic rats inhaled insulin through the nasal cavity. With time, the inhaled insuled removed most of the beta amyloid plaques in the brain of the diabetic rats. This work suggests that inhaled insulin may be used to lower amyloid plaques in the brains of patients afflicted with alzheimer's disease.
Source: Subramanian,S. et.al.,Intranasal administration of insulin lowers amyloid beta levels in rat model of diabetes. Indian J Exp Biol,2012, Jan,50(1),41-4.
Does Caregiving Damage The Kidney?
Swiss researchers have found that some stresses of being an alzheimer's disease caregiver may cause moderate kidney damage. The doctors studied 119 caregiver spouses over many months.They measured kidney function by assessing the filtering power of the kidney, using the GFR rate. A lower rate means a kidney that functions less well. They found no differences in caregivers over time, except that when the spouse had their loved one admitted to a nursing home or other facility for care, the kidney GFR rate was much lower than normal, indicating that the stress of placement lowered kidney function in the caregiving spouse. Caregiving spouses with high blood pressure had the greatest impairments in kidney function. Impaired kidney function was evident for as long as three months after placement of the spouse in an alzheimer facility. With time, the kidney functions tended to return to normal. This study indicates the need to monitor kidney function in caregiver spouses who also have high blood pressure.
Source: von Kanel, R., et.al.,Effect of chronic dementia caregiving and major transistions in the caregiving situation on kidney function: A longitudinal study., Psychosom Med, 2012, Jan.27.
Olive Oil Or Coconut Oil For Alzheimer's Disease?
Coconut oil is rumored to help improve memory in alzheimer's disease, but scientific studies of coconut oil are lacking. A study recently compared the effects of olive oil and coconut oil on the memory of mice affected by alzheimer's disease. The SAMP8 strain of mouse develops both severe memory problems and amyloid plaques in their brains, much as human alzheimer patients do. In the new study, coconut oil did not improve memory or reduce amyloid plaques in the SAMP8 alzheimer mouse line. Extra virgin olive oil, however, markedly improved memory and also reduced amyloid in the brain. Olive oil also reduced free radicals in the mouse brains. The researchers who conducted the study think the olive oil improves memory by interfering with free radical damage in the brain. Olive oil contains various kinds of compounds called polyphenols, which act as strong antioxidants. Olive oil is readily and easily absorbed in the human digestive tract.
Source:Farr, S.A.,et.al., J Alzheimers Dis, 2012, Jan.28(1),81-92.
Do Trans Fats Cause Alzheimer's Disease?
Is it possible that trans fats cause or contribute to the formation of Alzheimer's disease? Trans fats are produced when hydrogen is added to oils to keep oils from going rancid. Trans fatty acids are now implicated in alzheimer's disease. Researchers in Germany have found that trans fatty acids dramatically increase production of amyloid beta protein, which is considered by many to be the actual compound that triggers alzheimer's disease in the brain. The researchers found that normal fats, not hydrogenated, did not cause formation of amyloid beta. If this study is confirmed, it would be best to limit trans fats in our diet.
Source:Grimm,M.O.,et.al, J Nutr Biochem, 2011, Dec.29.
Tea For Alzheimer's Disease?
Tannic acid is a flavanoid, found in tea and other natural products. Researchers in Japan recently studied tannic acid for alzheimer's disease. They used a mouse strain, PSAPP, that develops alzheimer's disease memory loss and amyloid changes in brains, much as do humans with alzheimer's disease. Normally, these mice develop problems learning new tasks, remembering old learned tasks and have increased deposits of amyloid beta in their brains. The mice were given tannic acid for six months, as part of their diet. The tannic acid completely prevented memory loss, learning decrements, and hyperactivity. The tannic acid markedly reduced amyloid beta deposits in the brains. The tannic acid found in tea may be of value in preventing alzheimer's disease.
Source:Grimm,M.O.,et.al, J Nutr Biochem, 2011, Dec.29