Entries Tagged as 'Alzheimer’s disease'

Parlez-vous? Bilingualism and Alzheimer’s disease

Categories: General Health

In a recent study in the journal Cortex, a group of Toronto researchers have suggested that speaking more than one language may slow the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Using CT scans, they showed that bilingual people had twice as much brain damage before showing signs of the disease compared to those who spoke one language.

Lead researcher Dr. Tom Schweizer commented in a release: “This is unheard of - no medicine comes close to delaying the onset of symptoms and now we have the evidence to prove this at the neuroanatomical level.”

This small study compared people diagnosed with probable Alzheimer’s who had similar education and skills such as attention, memory, and organization. Half were bilingual and the other half were monolingual.

Although both groups did equally well when tested, CT scans of the bilingual participants showed twice as much brain damage. This indicates that bilingual brains may be better equipped to deal with damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Schweizer noted that if you speak two languages you are using your brain more actively, which may keep it healthier. But he added that the simple fact of speaking two languages cannot prevent Alzheimer’s.

However it doesn’t hurt to “exercise” your brain as you get older. Even if you don’t speak two languages you can still help to keep your brain in shape by doing puzzles like crosswords or Sudoku regularly.

The study was conducted in Toronto, an ideal setting since it is one of the most multicultural cities in the world. According to the 2006 census, nearly half Toronto’s inhabitants speak a language other than English as their mother tongue.

Related: Habits of a healthy memory, Memory tips and tricks, Video: What happens in Alzheimer’s?, Study: Complex job may prevent Alzheimer’s

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Foods to fend off Alzheimer’s disease

We know that the foods we eat can affect how we feel and how we function, and that certain foods can help to boost our brain power and our memory. And new research reveals a strong link between a particular dietary pattern and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

One item high on the list of protective foods may surprise you since it often ends up on the top of the list of foods you should avoid … [Read more →]

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Quotes for lovers of wine

As the weekend is upon us, I thought I would share some great quotes with all the other wine lovers out there.

Wine, when enjoyed in moderation, can be quite the healthy tonic as it is loaded with potent antioxidants such as polyphenols and other healthy compounds, most notably resveratrol.

Wine is heart-healthy, lowering blood flow and promoting good circulation. It also reduces the risk of certain cancers and slows the progression of neuro-degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

So here’s to the weekend … salut!

“Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy.” - Benjamin Franklin

“Good wine is a good familiar creature if it be well used.” - Shakespeare, Othello

“Wine is the drink of the gods, milk the drink of babies, tea the drink of women, and water the drink of beasts.” - John Stuart Blackie

“Wine is bottled poetry.” - Robert Louis Stevenson

“Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath and a glass of wine.” - St. Thomas Aquinas

“God made only water, but man made wine.” - Victor Hugo

“Wine is the most healthful and most hygienic of beverages.” - Louis Pasteur

“Wine rejoices the heart of man and joy is the mother of all virtues.” - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Just remember one last wise saying:  “One’s alright, two the most, three under the table, and four under the host.”

Stay Healthy,
Brennan

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Mediterranean food for thought

As many of you who know me or who follow my online writings on a regular basis are aware, I am a huge proponent of the Mediterranean diet.

Being of part-Italian ancestry, this should go without question. And, as many Italian sons have professed many times before me, my mother is the best cook I know. And thanks to her, I can make a mean lasagna.

But my appreciation of Italian food goes beyond its delicious taste. [Read more →]

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Benjamin Button on the brain

Like lots of folks this past weekend, I watched the Brad Pitt film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Most already know Benjamin’s curious fate: He ages in reverse, beginning life as a baby-sized old man - stricken by all the physical infirmities of age and yet possessing a child’s wide-eyed hopefulness and helplessness. As those around him bear the signs of advancing age, Benjamin becomes fitter, stronger, and more handsome. The lines of his face smooth, the creases plumped.

But even characters of fantastical fictions like Benjamin Button may not be able to escape one of the more heartbreaking aspects of aging: [Read more →]

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