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Old 05-08-2014, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,746 posts, read 4,228,956 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcopolo View Post
I'm sure that exercise helps with "brain health". After all, exercise can reduce obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, etc., diseases that increase one's risk of developing AD. But don't count on it. The biggest risks by far are genes and aging.

As indicated (but largely ignored by the reporters) the (same) study cited in three of your four hyperlinks suggested exercise moderated the accumulation of amyloid plaques in SUBJECTS CARRYING THE APOE4 GENE." There was no significant difference found in the non-carriers. Here's the actual study:
Exercise engagement as a moderator of APOE effects on amyloid deposition

Your other hyperlink merely references Mild Cognitive Impairment "MCI" and notes increased cognitive performance after 12 weeks of exercise. Okey dokey. Were these nonamnestic type MCI subjects, amnestic type MCI subjects or a combination of both? IIRC, only those with amnestic type MCI are at a greater risk of developing Alzheimer's. Finally, have the authors conducted any follow up? Some amnestic type MCI patients will develop Alzheimer's in a few years, some will remain impaired, while others will actually return to normal cognitive status. Longitudinal studies are needed.

My father and my exMIL were both exercise freaks. In fact, my exMIL donated huge bucks to have an indoor pool installed at her continuing care community. She viewed her daily laps as essential to maintaining good health. She's now 90 and has dementia. My father faithfully performed rigorous exercise every morning (treadmill, weights, etc) and took daily walks until he was about age 86. He's now 88 and demented. Needless to say, both my exMIL and father are upset (feeling betrayed, perhaps) that they did everything "right" and now find themselves slowly losing the battle. (As did my exFIL, an exercise nut as well.) All three of them did great - until they got OLD.

The only way to insure you will not develop late onset Alzheimer's is to not get old. Although I occasionally check out new research re: AD and other dementias (as I am an "information geek" who has one APOE4 gene and an iffy diagnosis of amnestic MCI), I've slowly come around to really enjoying life. Who knew?!
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Old 05-09-2014, 05:27 AM
 
6,461 posts, read 3,376,199 times
Reputation: 6647
I recently saw a program on 60 Minutes where a neurologist showed that they are now suspecting Alzheimer's may be caused by many silent strokes that are showing up as deteriorated spaces in the brains of Alzheimer's patients instead of the plaque buildup.

After dissecting many Alzheimer's brains and looking at PET scans, they became confused as they looked at Alzheimer's brains both with plaque and many without any plaque. But a constant that showed up were these deteriorated areas that were caused from many tiny strokes destroying areas of the brain. Not sure if they were the same as TIAs because they said they were so silent that they were never even noticed by the patients.
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Old 05-09-2014, 06:52 AM
 
6,461 posts, read 3,376,199 times
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Since so much research has now shown that meditation changes blood flow and many functions of the brain, I was wondering if there had been studies on meditation and Alzheimer's. If you google it, there are a few small studies that show some positive effects. Here is one of the studies:

Meditation may help slow progression of Alzheimer's disease -- ScienceDaily
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Old 05-09-2014, 09:10 AM
 
10,824 posts, read 8,090,324 times
Reputation: 17038
Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainrose View Post
Since so much research has now shown that meditation changes blood flow and many functions of the brain, I was wondering if there had been studies on meditation and Alzheimer's. If you google it, there are a few small studies that show some positive effects. Here is one of the studies:

Meditation may help slow progression of Alzheimer's disease -- ScienceDaily
The research on both meditation and exercise shows so many beneficial effects that I'm baffled why there are people, especially retired persons, who practice neither.

Both practices enhance my daily quality of life to a degree that I'd continue them even if there were no proven long-term benefits.

I began a regular exercise program at age 60 and my meditation practice at age 63. It's never too late to start.
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Old 05-13-2014, 03:50 AM
 
16,437 posts, read 19,171,170 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcopolo View Post
Anyone who claims to be fearful of Alzheimers or dementia who is NOT exercising regularly is not thinking clearly.
I am reminded of what George Burns said on his 100th birthday when asked by an interviewer if he exercised regularly: "I get plenty of exercise acting as pall bearer for friends of mine that got plenty of exercise."
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:18 AM
 
Location: in the miseries
3,302 posts, read 3,589,238 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bideshi View Post
I am reminded of what George Burns said on his 100th birthday when asked by an interviewer if he exercised regularly: "I get plenty of exercise acting as pall bearer for friends of mine that got plenty of exercise."
Like that!
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Old 03-23-2015, 01:11 PM
 
6,756 posts, read 1,408,480 times
Reputation: 16888
I am 61, I have always had mild OCD, and now that I am seriously thinking about retirement plans, I am obsessing over the thought that I might be developing early onset Alzheimer's or dementia, without any REAL reason to think that way. I am very much at risk for late onset Alzheimer's/dementia, though, because three out of my four grandparents developed advanced dementia at just about 90 years old; and it came on very suddenly in all three cases. (Two years before they needed 24/7 care, they were fine with no symptoms except the occasional "can't think of the word" and the "can't find my keys" we all go through.)

Anyway, I know I am probably worrying for no good reason, as the likelihood is that I wouldn't develop symptoms for 25 more years (if I even live that long). Plus, I just took an on-line test for Alzheimer's and passed 100% except for the "copy this drawing" part -- which did not surprise me because I couldn't draw a straight line or a round circle even 40 years ago and I have always been TERRIBLE at drawing anything. However, now, whenever I double type a word or start to put a cereal bowl in with the mixing bowls, even though I have occasionally made mistakes like these for almost my whole life, I worry that I might be losing my mind.

I am also worried that I won't know when I should really worry. This is because I had two so-called major warning signals many years ago. About ten years ago, we purchased it a new dryer and two weeks later I forgot how to get it to work, I couldn't find the manual, and I didn't figure out what I was doing wrong until after I called the repairman. The second incident was about 35 years ago when I was a department head and completely forgot over the weekend that the CEO was coming to town Monday morning, and that we all needed to be there early for a breakfast meeting with him! (I didn't remember until I was getting into my car to drive to work at the usual time.) So, as both of these events occurred when I know my mind was in top form, if something like the two events I just described happen again, how will I know whether it is something serious or if it is just a major "head slap" kind of thing that can happen to anyone?

Have any of you experienced this kind of obsessing, and how do you, or did you, cope with it and reassure yourself? (Btw, at my last appointment less than a year ago, my doctor said I was fine.)
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Old 03-23-2015, 01:55 PM
 
685 posts, read 566,426 times
Reputation: 1004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emigrations View Post
An old buddy of mine from high school posted on Facebook today that his father just passed away after battling Alzheimer's. This guy is 27, so I'm assuming his dad was probably under 60, and very likely under 70. It appears that the man got Alzheimer's early and went to an early demise.

Have you seriously considered life and retirement with Alzheimer's or some other cognitive impairment?
I'm sorry about your high school buddy's passing and it hits a chord as my best and only friend from high school is showing drops in her cognitive abilities despite her young age (62).

My partner and I have looked at this issue very, very seriously and knew prior to retiring we would have to. We are very focused on life/retirement with Alzheimer's and/or dementia for a couple of reasons. 1) My partner's family has a history of Alzheimer's. I'm on my toes as best I can to notice changes in her cognition and behavior. 2) We're aware that not engaging our minds will deteriorate if we simply sit back and do nothing. Dendrites stop firing, so synapses shut down when they're diseased or not used.

To mitigate some of the loss in cognition, my partner takes classes, joins meet-ups, and book clubs, and reads a lot. We're both using Luminosity (I use it less than she) and the reality is I don't know how valid the website's claim is. In other words, despite the fact that we're engaging working the puzzles/games I don't know it will stave off some of the lack of cognitive processing issues. She meditates (I don't but try and usually fall asleep ) and we both exercise and that includes riding our motorcycles. It uses our brain and is a modicum of exercise. I'm probably in worse shape than she at this time due to my pulling back from life from my deafness. I now have a cochlear implant (CI) and the implant may be making my cognitive abilities worse due to the utter sound distortion and an exponentially increase of tinnitus. Disclaimer: No CI company will say that's a possibility and admittedly, my hearing history is pretty unique.

My father remained as active as he could and worked, literally from bed, until about one week prior to his death. He was a little over 81 years old and a working economic consultant. He had a laptop and a printer always near and he had no intention of retiring. His brain was intact, even when he was no longer able to speak. I saw no cognitive deterioration despite the fact that he was undergoing various "treatments" for his cancer for almost ten years. Dad was amazing in that sense.

Even without being concerned about Alzheimer's or dementia based on history, it's really important to keep our minds engaged.
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