what's the buzz....

what's the buzz....

Gardening could help combat Alzheimer’s

Cognitive stimulation treatment (CST), which involves activities like gardening, cooking and group discussions, helps improve memory, communication skills and general well-being in Alzheimer’s patients, researchers say.

Doing structured activities with others has been shown to improve sufferers’ memory and quality of life ‘consistently’, the stated.

The finding is based on the analysis of 15 studies of elderly people with mild to moderate dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, the Daily Mail reported.

About half of the 700 participants received CST, which involved them in activities several times a week in groups of four or five.

These patients scored higher in memory tests than those visited by home helps or given medication or physical therapy, with the benefits lasting for up to three months after treatment had been completed.

The recipients of CST and their carers also noted improvements in their communication skills and general wellbeing.

7 days’ exposure to pollution may up heart attack risk

Short-term exposure (for up to 7 days) to all major air pollutants, with the exception of ozone, may increase risk of heart attack, researchers have warned.

The potentially harmful effect of episodes of high air pollution on health has been suspected for more than 50 years.

Hazrije Mustafic, M.D., M.P.H., of the University Paris Descartes, INSERM Unit 970, Paris, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the association between short-term exposure to air pollutants and the risk of heart attack, and to quantify these associations.

The major air pollutants included in the analysis were ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter (PM) with an aerodynamic diameter of 10 µm (micrometers; PM10) or less and those 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) or less.

The researchers conducted a search of the medical literature and identified 34 studies that met criteria for inclusion in the analysis, which indicated associations of statistical significance between all analyzed air pollutants and heart attack risk, with the exception of ozone.

Sleep disruption may affect your memory later in life

A new study has found that people who slept “less efficiently” were more likely to have the markers of early stage Alzheimer’s disease than those who have stable sleeping patterns.

“Disrupted sleep appears to be associated with the build-up of amyloid plaques, a hallmark marker of Alzheimer’s disease, in the brains of people without memory problems,” said study author Yo-El Ju, MD, with Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.

“Further research is needed to determine why this is happening and whether sleep changes may predict cognitive decline,” Ju stated.

Researchers tested the sleep patterns of 100 people between the ages of 45 and 80 who were free of dementia. Half of the group had a family history of Alzheimer’s disease. A device was placed on the participants for two weeks to measure sleep. The researchers also analyzed sleep diaries and questionnaires.

After the study, it was discovered that 25 percent of the participants had evidence of amyloid plaques, which can appear years before the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease begin.

The average time a person spent in bed during the study was about eight hours, but the average sleep time was 6.5 hours due to short awakenings in the night.

The study found that people who woke up more than five times per hour were more likely to have amyloid plaque build-up compared to people who didn’t wake up as much.