Did scientists just discover the cure for Alzheimer's -- or the cause?
At first blush the recent research published in the Journal of American Medical Association would have us dancing in the streets. Researchers say that high levels of the fat hormone leptin were associated with fewer cases of all forms of dementia, including Alzheimer's.
What the leptin connection seems to do is open up the possibility of a preventive therapy. By identifying those at risk, those with low leptin levels, we may be able to treat people before there is ever a threat. Up the levels of leptin in at risk people and…ta da…no more future cases of Alzheimer's! But not so fast. The problem is scientists have no idea whether low levels of leptin came first or if the mental decline caused those low levels. What we have is the classic chicken or the egg dilemma.
We'll keep watching the research and let you know of any new developments. In the meantime here are some great ways to keep your brain healthy and firing on all cylinders:
- Keep moving: Staying active helps to circulate blood to the brain and helps ward off other Alzheimer's risk factors like heart disease and diabetes.
- Stay connected: Keeping in touch with friends and being socially active has been shown to reduce stress and ward off dementia.
- Change your diet: Eating a diet rich in monounsaturated fats like olive oil and antioxidant packed foods like dark- skinned fruits and vegetables can help protect your brain cells.
- Stimulate your brain: An active brain is a happy brain, and giving it a work out with mentally stimulating activities like games and crossword puzzles can keep you sharp.
- Get more sleep: Adults generally need a good eight hours of quality sleep or our health starts to suffer including our memory.
Also learn about the sugar-Alzheimer's connection and how that sugary drink may be leading you down the road to dementia.
Association of Plasma Leptin Levels With Incident Alzheimer Disease and MRI Measures of Brain Aging, Journal American Medical Association, Vol. 302 No. 23, December 16, 2009
About the author
An enthusiastic believer in the power of natural healing, Alice has spent virtually her entire 17-year career in the natural-health publishing field helping to spread the word.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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