Yesterday, a 77-year-old gentleman under my care complained of increasing memory decline. When I tested him, he was only able to recall 2 words out of 10 on his objective memory assessment. He felt like he “failed” the test. After our first Brain Boot Camp session, he recalled 20 out of 20 words!!! As you can imagine, he felt pretty encouraged. I was thrilled!
Take care of your brain now. The brain shrinks a decade BEFORE signs of Alzheimer’s disease appears. The earliest stages of Alzheimer’s may begin as many as 20 YEARS BEFORE the disease is severe enough to be diagnosed. It’s much easier to protect healthy brain cells than it is to try to revive dead ones.
Researchers are optimistic that they found a new way to predict Alzheimer’s disease, but learn how to PROTECT your brain from Alzheimer’s with Brain Boot Camp.
I’d like to invite you to “Like” my new Facebook page. The scientific evidence is clear: brain aging begins as early as your twenties. Brain Boot Camp is a fun, interactive class! Don’t let your brain grow old before you do! http://Facebook.com/brainbootcampers
Lifestyle diseases characterize diseases that occur primarily as a result of a person’s daily habits. Some of the main contributing factors include bad food habits, physical inactivity, stress, and an aging biological clock — all of which contribute to visceral (intra-abdominal) fat.
When it comes to your health, where you store your fat makes a difference. Are you shaped like an apple or more like a pear? KRON 4 Morning News Weekend anchor, Marty Gonzalez, and I talk about the difference between the fat that has settled on your hips and thighs versus what you’re carrying upfront.
All Fat is Not Equal
Fat accumulated in the lower body, such as the hips, thighs, and buttocks (the “pear shape”) is subcutaneous fat. Subcutaneous fatlies under your skin and above your muscles — it’s the “pinchable stuff”. Subcutaneous fat is measured by pinching your skin in a several different locations.
Visceral fat, a.k.a. intra-abdominal, belly, or deep fat, (the “pear shape”) lies out of reach and is tucked deep within your abdominal cavity where it pads the spaces between and around your VISCERA — your internal organs like your heart, lungs, liver, and other organs.
It’s also stored in the “omentum” — an apron-like flap of tissue that sits underneath the abdominal muscles and blankets the intestines. As the omentum fills with fat, it gets harder and thicker.
Lifestyle Diseases Linked to Visceral Fat
Research shows that people with “apple-shaped” bodies face more health risks than those with “pear-shaped” bodies. You need some visceral fat to cushion your organs, but too much of it has been correlated with the following health conditions:
Kaiser Permanente of Northern California studied of 6,500 members for an average of 36 years, from they were in their 40’s to 70’s. The study concluded subjects with higher visceral fat had a higher risk of dementia than those with less visceral fat. Possible speculation of the trial is that substances such as leptin, a hormone released by the belly fat, may have some adverse effects on the brain. Leptin plays a role in appetite regulation but also in learning and memory.
Researchers are not clear why visceral fat plays a larger role in insulin resistance — which raises risk for diabetes — than other fat.
Why Visceral Fat is a Health Risk
Visceral fat is most dangerous because it is biologically active — that is, it acts like an organ producing hormones and other substances that have harmful effects.
Excess visceral fat is near the portal vein which carries blood from your intestines to your liver. Substances (e.g., free fatty acids) released by visceral fat enter the portal vein and travel to your liver where they can affect the production of fats in the blood. Visceral fat is directly linked to:
A simple smell test could provide a quick and inexpensive way to identify those at high risk for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Weekend anchor Marty Gonzalez on “KRON 4 Morning News Weekend” is a willing test subject for the Alzheimer’s peanut butter test.
Worldwide, nearly 44 million people have Alzheimer’s disease or a related form or dementia, but only 1 in 4 people with the disease is diagnosed.
Smell Test Protocol
Testing for Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias can be time-consuming, costly and invasive. In contrast, this University of Florida study used a simple peanut butter test:
Patient: Closed his/her eyes and mouth.Then blocked one nostril.
Clinician: Opened the peanut butter container (one tablespoon).
Clinician: Held the ruler next to the open nostril while the patient breathed normally.
Clinician: Moved the peanut butter up the ruler one centimeter at a time during the patient’s exhale until the person could detect an odor.
Clinician: Recorded the distance.
After 90 seconds, the procedure was repeated on the other nostril.
The study revealed dramatic differences between the left and right nostril in patients with early stage Alzheimer’s disease.
In patients with other kinds of dementia, there were either no differencesin odor detection between nostrils or the right nostril was worse at detecting odor than the left one.
When smelling the peanut butter, the left nostril in the Alzheimer’s patients could not detect the smell of the peanut butter until it was an average of 10 centimeters (about 4 inches) closer to the nose than the right nostril had detected the smell. *A normally functioning olfactory nerve can detect odors at about 20 centimeters (about 8 inches) from the test agent.
* See your physician if you lose your sense of smell. *
Validated Five-Item Test for Dementia
In University of Chicago Medical Center study, nearly 3,000 adults, aged 57 to 85, had to identify five odors (peppermint, fish, orange, rose, and leather). During a five-year follow-up, those that could not identify at least four out of the five odors were found to be more than twice as likely to develop dementia.
* The smell test marks someone who needs closer monitoring and further testing. *
If you’ve been managing your blood pressure, you’re probably well aware of its high’s and low’s. You delight in a low blood pressure, but when your diastolic pressure (represented by the bottom number in your blood pressure reading) is low, you may be at risk for the following:
New-onset heart failure
Increased mortality if you have chronic kidney disease
Diastolic blood pressure measures the pressure within your arteries as it flows through them. It’s the pressure between heartbeats, that is, when your heart is at rest. Your systolic blood pressure (represented by the top number in your blood pressure reading) measures the amount of pressure that your blood exerts on vessels when your heart contracts or ‘beats’.
Isolated Diastolic Hypotension
“Isolated diastolic hypotension” (IDH) is a condition that occurs when your diastolic blood pressure is low (less than 60 mm Hg), but your systolic blood pressure is 100 mm Hg and above.
If you’ve been congratulated for having a good systolic blood pressure (less than 120 mm Hg — or even less than 130 mm Hg), don’t be so quick to start your celebratory dance. What’s your diastolic blood pressure? Many clinicians don’t consider a low diastolic blood pressure reading as problematic. Continue reading “When a Lower Blood Pressure is NOT Better”→