Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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Posts Tagged ‘Alzheimer’s’

Alzheimer’s And A Suicide

Posted by terrepruitt on March 19, 2015

Possible Alzheimer’s Treatment:

I recently posted a bit about Alzheimer’s.  I found the video very interesting and wanted to share.  Now some interesting information came across my Facebook News Feed today.  It is very “untested”, but, as I said, interesting.  Remember, if you happened to see, the post with the Alzheimer’s video said that there is are certain protein fragments that are abnormal and their accumulation in the brain kills the brain cells with the result being Alzheimer’s.  Well some researchers in Australia think they can use “a non-invasive ultrasound technology” to destroy the “neurotoxic amyloid plaques” thought to cause Alzheimer’s.  They tested it on mice and the memory of the mice improved and there was no damage to the healthy brain tissue.  The test results were that 75% of the mice got their memory back.  Now . . . from what I understand this “breakthrough” is far from any actual practical application but it is pretty interesting if not amazing!

There has to be a start somewhere.  So this COULD be the baby step to an actual cure.

Simple Show of Caring:

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoAnother thing that came across my news feed that I thought was interesting — well, sweet is more accurate — is this thing that three mothers did in Palo Alto.  Apparently last week there was a suicide.  A teen used a Caltrain train to kill himself.  The Channel 7 website states:  “A teenager was fatally struck by Caltrain in Palo Alto Monday morning.

Caltrain officials say the teen was hit after he intentionally walked on to the tracks.

The student was a 15-year-old sophomore from Palo Alto High School.”

As often happens when someone in a small community kills themselves it affects everyone in that small community.  I am not saying that the city of Palo Alto is the “small community” I am saying that Palo Alto High School is the small community.  And what some mothers did was something simple and easy, but I think and hope it is having a big effect on the high schoolers in that small community.  The mothers hung up pieces of paper shaped like hearts on trees to let the students know that there are people who care.  The hearts had messages written on them.  The notes ranged from “wishes” to words of encouragement.  To me it sounds like a wonderful idea.  So sweet in its simplicity.  While I was reading the article and as I started typing this post I was thinking about how it would help the people feeling sad (confused/alone/whatever feeling they are having) because of the suicide.  As I am typing just now it occurred to me that it MIGHT even help someone else who might be contemplating suicide themselves.  They might read the notes or see the hearts and begin to understand that people do care.  I don’t know.  I was so much loving the idea of the care and concern BECAUSE of the suicide I didn’t even think of it helping possibly prevent one.  I really like that thought.

I cannot imagine what the family of the child is going through.  But I hope that the love the community is showing helps somehow.

Just two things that I saw this week.  One I found interesting, one I found sweet.  I know we all don’t see the same things all the time, so I thought I would share.

What do you think?  Do you think the Australian researchers treatment sounds promising?  Do you love the idea of the hanging heart notes?

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A Quick Bit About The Brain

Posted by terrepruitt on February 17, 2015

“What is Alzheimer’s Disease?  Alzheimer’s is a slow fatal disease of the brain affecting one in ten people over the age of 65.  No one is immune.  The disease comes on gradually as two abnormal protein fragments called Plaques and Tangles accumulate in the brain and kill brain cells.”  Then the video goes on to say WHERE in the brain those fragments start and WHAT is in that part of the brain.  The first place is the middle of the bottom part of the brain the place where memories are formed.  The video states that as the disease progresses it becomes harder and harder to form new memories.  Then the disease spreads to the language processing portion of the brain.  Then, Alzheimer’s goes to area of the brain in the front where logical thought takes place.  Problem solving, grasping concepts and making plans are some of the things affected.  This video goes on to show the way the disease progresses.  It somewhat helps explains things like why a person who suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease can remember things from years ago, but not decide what to wear today or what to eat for a meal.  It is a less-than-four-minute video that explains a little bit about how the brain is affected by Alzheimer’s Disease.

The video is about five years old and is from www.AboutAlz.org, but I just saw it posted on Facebook this past weekend.  I thought it was very informative and I wanted to share it.  It quickly and basically explains the progression of the disease.  It states that “the progression from mild forgetting until death is slow and steady and takes place over an average of eight to ten years.”

I was wondering if those numbers have changed since it has been almost five years.  So I clicked on “Statistics About Alzheimer’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Association” under “Alzheimer’s Resources”.  There is a lot of information on that page, like:

“An estimated 5.2 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease in 2014, including approximately 200,000 individuals younger than age 65 who have younger-onset Alzheimer’s.” The Alzheimer’s Association site also states: “Alzheimer’s is officially the 6th leading cause of death in the United States” and “It kills more than prostate cancer and breast cancer combined.”  This site also has a “brain tour” which has seven “pages” of basic brain information.  It has nine “pages” of “Alzheimer’s Disease and the Brain”.  It shows that the brain actually shrinks as it is attacked by the proteins.

I didn’t actually look to see if the progression has been slowed . . . as usual, I clicked a link and got distracted.  But, I think this is enough information for now.

I just thought this video was interesting.  I am sure there are more detailed videos out there, but sometimes quick and simple is nice.  Usually I can spot David Hyde Pierce’s voice in a second.  The first time I saw this I was surprised that he was the one narrating it.  It got me the second time too!  He is a spokesperson for the Alzheimer’s Association.

I like to share the things I think are interesting.  Plus . . . I like to put it on my blog so I know where to find it when I want to see the information again.  I hope this helped teach you a bit about something you might not have known about.  I would imagine if you know someone – especially if you are taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s you know this information.  So, like I said, I hope you learned something.

Please share any information, insight, stories . . . . .

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A Possible Help For Alzheimer’s

Posted by terrepruitt on July 12, 2014

I recently came across some information I thought was interesting.  I had heard it before, in fact I mentioned it in my post Turmeric – Flavor With Benefits, but this time I decided to look into a bit to see what is being said.  One of the compounds found in turmeric is curcumin.  Turmeric is a product of a ground root of the Curcuma longa plant.  It is a relative of ginger.  The curcumin is what gives turmeric it’s yellow color.  So basically it is the stuff in turmeric that stains everything it touches.  While in the middle of typing this I needed to make dinner.  I used some turmeric.  This spice has been used in other cultures as a spice to flavor foods, and a medicinal spice.  It has been used as a dye.  It is a subject of study and research as it is thought to have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  There is information that has been published regarding using curcumin as a possible prevention and treatment for Alzheimer’s.  The National Center for Biotechnology Information,  U.S. National Library of Medicine’s website has information regarding a paper disclosing such information.  The UCLA Alzheimer Translation Center website also has information regarding how it might help prevent Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s is thought to begin with inflammation.  So, as I have stated often in my post, I believe that chronic inflammation in the body is a disease catalyst.  It is as if the body is so busy fighting the inflammation, other things go wrong.  Chronic inflammation is being viewed as a serious health problem.  So again, as I have stated before, things, foods, that can reduce inflammation can be good to add to our diets.

The NCBI article states that the idea that curcumin might help with Alzheimer’s comes from the fact that it is less common in India where they eat a lot of food with curry with turmeric.  This idea was supported by a study in which macrophages (A type of white blood cell that ingests foreign material) was treated with curcumin.  The white blood cells treated with the curcumin were able to clear the type of plague that is thought to contribute to Alzheimer’s.  The article also indicates that since curcumin can pass through the blood brain barrier it can help at the neurological level.  Also, neurotoxicity caused by cadmium and lead was prevented.  Additionally, curcumin might help lower cholesterol.

The bioavailability of the curcumin is not very high.  So eating enough and getting enough could be an issue . . . especially at this point there might not be enough information to know what amount “enough” is.

Another post on The National Center for Biotechnology Information,  U.S. National Library of Medicine’s website claims that three patients with Alzheimer’s showed significant signs of behavioral and psychological improvement after being treated with turmeric powder capsules.  A change was seen after just 12 weeks, but a large improvement of recognizing family members was seen after a year.

There is always risks with anything if one is to use it as a treatment for a specific condition, so before you go out and purchase curcumin capsules please do some research and seek professional advice.  I do think that my adding it to my food would not be a problem.  I know in my post about turmeric I said I would, but I really dislike that it turns my dishes yellow.  But I really think the possible benefits outweigh that.  I prefer to try to use food, herbs, spices, and movement to provide nutrition and health benefits so that I can keep it healthy and hopefully not need medication.

Do you like curry dishes?  What type of curry dishes do you make?  What do you add turmeric to?  Do you have a trick to keeping it from turning things yellow?

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Turmeric – Flavor With Benefits

Posted by terrepruitt on April 12, 2012

When I wrote the post regarding anti-inflammatory foods, I decided to buy some Turmeric.  At the time I was not able to claim knowing what it tasted like.  I figured since it was used a lot in curries I would be ok with it.  I thought that it would be a good thing to add to our diet.  Since there are so many things that work as an inflammatory, I am always trying to add anti-inflammatory foods and ingredients into our diet.  I wasn’t sure exactly how to use it, but I was wanting to give it a go.  Turmeric has been used in food and as medicine for centuries.  Seems like the West is doing a lot of research to see what health benefits it has.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center:  “Turmeric has been used in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory, to treat digestive and liver problems, skin diseases, and wounds.  Curcumin is also a powerful antioxidant.”

Remember Curcumin is the phytochemcial that give turmeric its color.

And Eat This! has a list of 20 Health Benefits contributed to Turmeric including;

-When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.

-Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.

-May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.

Well, I’ve had it for a while now and I really like the flavor.  I’ve added it to soups, to veggies, and to meat.  You know my standard ground turkey and whatever veggies I have?  Well, it really makes that taste wonderful.  I had cooked broccoli, mushrooms, and ground turkey for dinner a few nights ago, today I decided to have the leftovers in a tortilla.  Since we have a few cucumbers I decided to use some up by slicing it really thin and putting it in the tortilla with the meat and a bit of parmesan cheese.  WOW!  The turmeric and the cucumbers were a party-in-my-mouth flavor.  It was really good.  So now I am going to serve cucumbers with my turmeric ground turkey.  Many people can describe flavors, I can sometimes, but I cannot describe the flavor or turmeric.  I would say that it is somewhat mellow so it won’t necessary overpower what you are using it with.  It is not hot or bitter.  I think it can be used with anything savory.     
Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia,Wiki says “it has a distinctly earthy, slightly bitter, slightly hot peppery flavor and a mustardy smell” but I don’t agree.  Maybe I will give it the mustardy smell, but not off the top of my head.

But there is a problem with turmeric.  It dyes everything yellow!  I now have several bowls and utensils dyed yellow because I used them to stir, serve, or store something with turmeric in it.  It is just as bad as tomato sauce when it comes to dying things!

I am familiar with turmeric in its powdered form, but it is a root like ginger, so if you get it in root form you can use it just as you would ginger.  You could chop it, grate it, cut it up . . . the same as ginger. 

If you like the flavor it seems like a great thing to add to just about everything.   Since it is touted as an anti-inflammatory, an antioxidant, help in the treatment of  inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), helps treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, improves liver function, prevents some cancers, lowers cholesterol, helps treat and prevent Alzheimer’s, reduces risk of childhood Leukemia among other things — why not add it to things?

Do you cook with Turmeric?  If so what do you add it to?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Health Benefits Of Coffee

Posted by terrepruitt on July 28, 2009

I love coffee.  I am not a connoisseur, but I love it.  In the August 2009 copy of Self they touted that coffee has some amazing benefits.

The article, well, it is not so much an article as a few pages filled with pictures and facts, has one statement that says that if you want the healthiest coffee you should stick to the home brewed kind because the paper filters catch coffee compounds that can raise cholesterol.

Here are some highlights from that article.  The information suggests that coffee MAY:

  • assist in the prevention of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
  • help your teeth with its “antibacterial and antiadhesive powers”
  • reduce the risk of oral cancer by half
  • help in limited cancer cell growth and DNA damage
  • reduce the risk of breast cancer (in premenopausal women that drink 4 cups of regular coffee a day)
  • help prevent gallstones
  • reduce risk of nonmelanoma
  • reduce chances of diabetes for people who drink 3 to 4 cups of regular or decaf

Information also states that drinking from 300 mg (3 cups of home brew) to 500 mg (16 oz Starbucks Pike Place Roast) in an hour could possibly make you panicky, increase stress hormones, and raise blood pressure.

Way surprising to me, it says that a shot of espresso “has less caffeine than a cup of drip does.  Plus, one downside of espresso is that it may raise cholesterol.”

It also suggests to eat your cereal and dairy later, after your coffee because coffee might block the absorption of iron from fortified grains and could lower calcium uptake.

The pages reveal, along with a lot of other publications I’ve been seeing recently, that coffee helps you get through your workout.  Not only does it give you a zing, it seems to block your brain from knowing your muscles are tired.
Those are just some highlights that somewhat focus on the health benefits.

Even though I teach my morning Nia classes in Willow Glen not too far from where I live, so I don’t have to get up super early,  I still think I have more energy in the morning when I drink coffee.  I don’t have any before I teach my evening class in San Jose, nor my late afternoon one in Los Gatos.  But I feel like I need that extra “wake-up” in the morning.  Do you drink coffee before your workout?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »