Men Lose Their Cognitive Ability Sooner Than Women

Men are losing their thinking ability ahead of women, study shows.

Don’t fear, however, a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment doesn’t mean you are fated to get Alzheimer’s disease.

Scientists have yet to come up with a reliable test for who is vulnerable.

What is known is that continuing to learn, read and solve puzzles show positive signs of keeping your mind sharp.

The studied followed 1,450 people between the ages of 70 and 89 in Olmsted County, Minn., who were free of dementia in 2004. They went through testing every 15 months. After three years, 296 people had developed mild cognitive impairment. The study was published in the journal Neurology.

Men were more likely to be diagnosed, with 72 per 1,000 people developing a mild cognitive impairment; in women, the rate of diagnosis was 57 per 1,000. Overall, 6 percent were diagnosed with memory loss.

Vinpocetine Offers New Hope For Brain Health

Vinpocetine is the new herb sensation credited with having real and substantial effects on brain health.

New hope at a time when Alzheimer’s and dementia have affected so many.

Studies with vinpocetine show that it works in the brain in the following four ways: enhancing blood circulation in the brain, increasing the production of stored energy in brain cells, improving the brain’s utilization of oxygen, and improving the brain’s metabolism of glucose.

Insurers Don’t Like the Big Business of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is proving to be a drain on insurance companies.

Snoring was once considered an annoyance, however, research has shown that complications can increase the risk of several serious illnesses, including heart disease, stroke and dementia.

Testing can be a lucrative business, and labs have popped up in free-standing clinics and hospitals across the country. Over the past decade, the number of accredited sleep labs that test for the disorder has quadrupled, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

At the same time, insurer spending on the procedure has skyrocketed. Medicare payments for sleep testing increased from $62 million in 2001 to $235 million in 2009, according to the Office of the Inspector General.

Although the initial cost may be a burden on insurers the hope lies in the prevention of more serious and costly ailments in the future.

Alzheimer’s Treatment By 2025

Finding an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s has become a priority for the U.S. government.

Regardless, an estimated 5.4 million Americans already have Alzheimer’s or similar dementias — and how to help their families cope with day-to-day care is a priority, the advisory committee made clear Tuesday.

The disease is growing steadily as the population ages: By 2050, 13 million to 16 million Americans are projected to have Alzheimer’s, costing $1 trillion in medical and nursing home expenditures. That doesn’t count the billions of dollars in unpaid care provided by relatives and friends.

Among the goals being debated for the national plan:

—Begin a national public awareness campaign of dementia’s early warning signs, to improve timely diagnosis.

—Give primary care doctors the tools to assess signs of dementia as part of Medicare’s annual check-up.

—Have caregivers’ health, physical and mental, regularly checked.

—Improve care-planning and training for families so they know what resources are available for their loved one and themselves.

Forgetful at 45 Could Be the Norm

Scientist have discovered that memory loss and cognitive function start slipping earlier than once thought.

Maintaining and improving mental health should start early in life.

Living a healthy lifestyle and being active seems to be the best way to ward off mental decline.

Researchers haven’t conclusively proven that cognitive decline in middle age predicts Alzheimer’s or other dementias, but on balance the evidence suggests that small changes in midlife mental function can become magnified later in life, says Francine Grodstein, Sc.D., an epidemiologist and associate professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston.
“There is a lot of evidence that [people] with cognitive decline are at highest risk of later developing dementia, so it is likely that preventing or delaying cognitive decline today will help reduce risk of dementia tomorrow,” says Grodstein, who was not involved in the research but wrote an editorial accompanying the study.

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