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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Fear dementia? It's not your genes that you should be concerned with, experts say

By Marni Jameson






JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Anyone who has a close relative with Alzheimer’s shares the same worry: Am I next?

However, a growing body of research indicates that our lifestyles — particularly what we eat and whether we’re obese — play a greater role than our genes in determining our brain health as we age.

“For years, scientists thought that Alzheimer’s was primarily genetic,” said Gary Wenk, professor of neuroscience at Ohio State University. “We now believe that, while there’s a genetic component, Alzheimer’s is primarily a lifestyle disease.”

People do carry genes, including APOE-4, that predispose them toward the disease, but whether they activate those genes depends heavily on their lifestyles, said Dr. Stuart Lipton, professor at Sanford-Burnham Research Institute, where he’s scientific director of neuroscience, aging and stem-cell research.

“A myth exists that if the Alzheimer’s gene is in your family, you’re going to get it. But that only affects 1 percent of cases,” Lipton said. “What matters most is how you superimpose your lifestyle on top of your genetic background.”

A degenerative brain disorder that causes progressive loss of memory and intellectual and social skills, Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, affecting 5.4 million Americans, nearly half a million in Florida alone, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Though no cure exists, medications can slow progress.


Although Americans may have more control over whether they develop Alzheimer’s than they thought, the primary risk factors are all on the rise.

“Looking at the rising rate of obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome, we’re in a bad state of affairs,” Lipton said.

Obesity is linked to Alzheimer’s because it’s a risk factor for diabetes, and diabetics have a two to three times greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s, said Ira Goodman, a neurologist at Orlando Health. “We believe that’s because their impaired ability to use or make insulin contributes to neurodegeneration” — in other words, brain breakdown.

Goodman, like other neuroscientists, recommends eating fewer carbohydrates, which keeps insulin levels down.

He cited a study out of the University of Cincinnati that found that carbohydrate restriction helped participants who had mild cognitive impairment regain mental function. Researchers divided the 23 participants into two groups. One group went on a typical diet consisting of 50 percent of calories from carbohydrates for six weeks. The other group went on a low-carbohydrate diet, where fewer than 10 percent of calories came from carbohydrates.

Afterward, cognitive function stayed about the same in the first group, while in the low-carb group, function improved, according to the 2010 study, published in the Neurobiology of Aging.

Brain experts also recommend a diet high in protein and rich in colorful fruits and vegetables. The latter are strong in polyphenols and anti-oxidants, which have proven to boost brain health.

Controlling stress is also important for optimizing brain function. Stress increases cortisol, a hormone, in the blood, which increases blood sugar, which increases insulin, Goodman said. The neuroscientist also does research at Compass Research in Orlando, where studies are under way looking for medications to prolong brain health and slow mental demise. In a recent study at Yale, scientists found that stressful events appeared to cause gray matter — the brain tissue that contains dendrites, which transfer information between brain cells — to shrink.

The cumulative effects of stress lead to cognitive impairment and probably to memory loss, said researcher Rajita Sinha, professor of psychiatry at Yale Medical School and director of the Yale Interdisciplinary Stress Center.

Yale researchers asked 103 healthy volunteers ages 18 to 48 to fill out questionnaires to quantify the amount of stress they’d had in their lives. Then participants underwent brain scans.

Subjects who had experienced recent stressful events, such as loss of a job, house or loved one, showed markedly lower amounts of gray matter in the prefrontal cortex, according to the study published in a recent issue of Society of Biological Psychiatry.

“The dendrites shrink with high levels of stress,” Sinha said. “But all is not lost. The brain is dynamic and plastic. If the stress is dealt with in a healthy manner, dendrites grow back.”

A healthful manner includes all the behaviors that help keep Alzheimer’s at bay: keeping blood-sugar levels steady, exercising, building good personal relationships and engaging in positive activities, Sinha said.

Of course, another primary risk factor for Alzheimer’s is getting older. Today, the chances of having Alzheimer’s by the time a person reaches age 85 is 50 percent, Goodman said. That risk rises to 75 percent by age 100.

“Even if you do carry a genetic predisposition, lifestyle modifications in midlife can greatly reduce the risk and delay onset,” Goodman said.

BROKEN DEMOCRACY MORE WAYS TO WARD OFF ALZHEIMER’S

Coffee drinkers and those who partake in a little wine each day also enjoy some protective benefits, said Gary Wenk, professor of neuroscience at Ohio State University, and author of “Your Brain on Food.”

Long-term global studies have shown that those who consume five cups of coffee a day reduce their incidence of diabetes by 50 percent, and that protection increases as coffee consumption goes up.

Other brain-healthy behaviors include keeping cholesterol levels, blood pressure and inflammation under control. “What’s good for your heart is good for your brain,” said Ira Goodman, a neurologist who conducts Alzheimer’s studies at Compass Research in Orlando, Fla.

Patients who’ve taken statins for years to control their cholesterol seem to have some protection, as do those who keep their blood pressure down, with or without medication, Wenk said.

Large epidemiological studies have suggested that anti-inflammatory medications also help. “Those who developed arthritis early and began taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories were at lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s,” Wenk said.

Exercising your body and your brain also proves protective. “The more you learn, the more synapses you make,” Goodman said. “Brain degeneration involves the breaking down of synapses, so the more you have the longer the brain takes to break down. This is why we think people who are highly educated have a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s.”

Socializing with friends and being active in your faith also help, researchers say.

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© 2013,The Orlando Sentinel Distributed by MCT Information Services

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