Monday, February 20, 2012


Big meals correlate with "mild cognitive impairment" in the elderly. I am glad to see that there is some humility below in interpreting the correlation concerned. I would suspect that the "mild cognitive impairment" is nothing more than low IQ and that class is again the mediator. Lower class people eat more and have lower IQ. I also note that food intake appears to have been judged from a dietary questionnaire -- which is pretty low grade data that may have a very shaky link to reality

A link between memory loss and a high calorie diet has been suggested by researchers in the US. They were investigating mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which can be an early sign of dementia.

Research, presented at a conference, claimed a high calorie diet was linked to having twice the risk of MCI, compared with a low calorie diet.

Alzheimer's Research UK said a healthy lifestyle was known to help protect against dementia.

Mild cognitive impairment has become increasingly interesting to researchers as it may help predict who will go on to develop dementia, such as Alzheimer's.

A team at the Mayo Clinic in the US has investigated the effect of diet in 1,233 people aged between 70 and 89. None had dementia, but 163 were diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment.

The patients were divided into low calorie intake (600 to 1,526 calories a day), middle (1,526 to 2,142.5) and high (2,142.5 to 6,000) and the incidence of mild cognitive impairment was compared.

The results were presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology. They showed no difference in the low and middle groups, however, the high intake group had more than double the incidence of MCI.

Researcher Dr Yonas Geda said: "We observed a dose-response pattern which simply means; the higher the amount of calories consumed each day, the higher the risk of MCI."

The study cannot say that a high calorie diet causes MCI, people who are cognitively impaired could end up eating more food or there could be another factor involved which increases the risk of both. It has also not yet been published in a peer-reviewed academic journal.

But Dr Geda did suggest there was potential for therapy: "Cutting calories and eating foods that make up a healthy diet may be a simpler way to prevent memory loss as we age."

Dr Marie Janson, from Alzheimer's Research UK, said the findings were interesting, and fitted in with "the bigger picture of a healthy lifestyle preventing Alzheimer's in later life".

She said it was "difficult" to work out what a mechanism linking calories and cognitive impairment would be. But she added: "We know that age is one of the greatest risk factors for dementia, but adopting a healthy lifestyle including a balanced diet and regular exercise, is beneficial in protecting against dementia along with a number of other chronic diseases."


Stem cell therapy could regenerate damaged heart muscle after heart attacks

This is very preliminary research but would be a huge advance if it pans out

A promising stem cell therapy approach could soon provide a way to regenerate heart muscle damaged by heart attacks.

Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and The Johns Hopkins University harvested stem cells from the hearts of 17 heart attack patients and after prepping the cells, infused them back into the patients' hearts. Their study is published in the current issue of The Lancet.

The patients received the stem cell infusions about three months after their heart attacks.

Researchers found that six months after treatment, patients had significantly less scarring of the heart muscle and also showed a considerable increase the amount of healthy heart muscle, compared to eight post-heart attack patients studied who did not receive the stem cell infusions. One year after, scar size was reduced by about 50 percent.

"The damaged tissue of the heart was replaced by what looks like healthy myocardium," said Dr. Peter Johnston, a study co-author and an assistant professor of medicine at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "It's functioning better than the damaged myocardium in the control subjects, and there's evidence it's starting to contract and generate electrical signals the way healthy heart tissue does."

While this research is an early study designed to demonstrate that this stem cell therapy is safe, cardiologists say it's an approach that could potentially benefit millions of people who have suffered heart attacks. Damage to the heart muscle is permanent and irreparable, and little can be done to compensate for loss of heart function.

"In the U.S., six million patients have heart failure, and the vast majority have it because of a prior heart attack," said Johnston. The damaged scar tissue that results from a heart attack diminishes heart function, which can ultimately lead to enlargement of the heart.

At best, Johnston said, there are measures doctors can try to reduce or compensate for the damage, but in many cases, heart failure ultimately sets in, often requiring mechanical support or a transplant.

"This type of therapy can save people's lives and reduce the chances of developing heart failure," he said.

Cardiac Regeneration A Promising Field

Other researchers have also had positive early results in experiments with stem cell therapy using different types of cells, including bone marrow cells and a combination of bone marrow and heart cells. "It's exciting that studies using a number of different cell types are yielding similar results," said Dr. Joshua Hare, professor of cardiology and director of the University of Miami Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute.

The next steps, he said, include determining what the optimal cell types are and how much of the cells are needed to regenerate damaged tissue. "We also need to move to larger clinical trials and measure whether patients are improving clinically and exhibiting a better quality of life after the therapy."

In an accompanying comment, Drs. Chung-Wah Siu amd Hung-Fat Tse of the University of Hong Kong wrote that given the promising results of these studies, health care providers will hopefully recognize the benefits that cardiac regeneration can offer.

And Hare added that someday, this type of regeneration can possibly offer hope to others who suffered other types of organ damage. "This stategy might work in other organs," he said. "Maybe this can work in the brain, perhaps for people who had strokes."


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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P.S. As I work at my laboratory quality "jeweler's bench" developing new fabrication methods using tiny bottles of covalently bonding surface modification reagents next to a high voltage radio frequency argon etc. ionized plasma sputter coater I finally found on eBay (a fancy description of smashing atoms against a metal disk to splash metal atoms off and down onto small items I want to selectvely gold or silver plate) I am slowly marking the best of many dozens of recorded Churchill speeches I found in an online bundle thanks to your suggestion of writing material study material. I do this at a stable personal weight of 132 lbs down from 169 lbs based on a very low carb recipe regime that required invention of a couple dozen Thanksgiving meal quality "comfort food" recipes whose qualification for acceptance into my menu was both five minute preparation (minus unattended cooking time) and a "better than pizza" result by which I mostly mean freshly ground aromatic spicing that is memorable due to complex and usually oil bodied aftertaste that lingers. Tumeric, garlic, spinach, cauliflower, cumin, cocoa, sausage and lately impeller milled annato seeds feature large in the bulk of my home bound intake, whereas cafes serve me two or three pitchers of iced white tea (with a slice of lime) in bags I found for pennies online to accompany their simple "pile of meat and non-potato sauce" dishes. Traditional French cooking is, after all, a series of concentrated gelatinized meat sauces and large slabs of game plus fibrous greens so low carb dieting exactly overlaps with voluptuous belly rubbing gluttony rather than sad and measly depravation. All of this, including new gymnastics rings hung from formerly hidden but pocket metal detector mapped out steel reinforcing ribbons in a concrete ceiling have been allowed by my last year's decision to conclude my full time, online, financially hectic debunking of the sinful atrocity called climatology. I can now six-months soberly say that without your series of blogs my efforts would have merly felt like an obscure bicker fest between classless and testy rabble desperately clawing for mere popular attention they do not merit.