Posts Tagged ‘alzheimer’s’

Doctor’s Orders: Have a Cup of Cocoa a Day

Monday, August 26th, 2013

828353_79331045A new study released in the August 7 issue of Neurology possibly found a new preventative measure for aging adults fighting memory loss and dementia. No, it’s not eating a greater quantity of healthier foods and exercising – although that helps! Researchers found that seniors who drank two cups of hot cocoa every day for a month performed better on memory and thinking exams than those who didn’t have the chocolaty drink.

The study included 60 people with the average age of 73, all of whom did not have dementia. For 30 days, the individuals were asked to consume two cups of hot cocoa each day, but refrain from eating any other chocolate for the duration of the study. Of the patients studied, 18 of them had impaired blood flow at the start of the study. Before partaking in the study, researchers also conducted MRI scans, which revealed that those with impaired blood flow had small clusters of brain damage compared to those with normal blood flow.

According to previous outside research, chocolate, and most notably dark chocolate, has many health benefits that can reduce blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, lower risk of stroke and benefit individuals with cognitive impairments.

By the end of the study, researchers did MRI scans on the brain once again to find that those with blood flow impairments at the start of the research showed improvements by more than 8 percent. Blood flow to the brain helped individuals improve their times on memory tests. In fact, the average score dropped by more than 50 seconds by the end of the study.

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Forget something? Maybe the reason is in your mouth!

Friday, November 13th, 2009

cognitive function

Did you know that Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, diabetes, and heart disease, can be linked to poor oral health? According to extensive research, various health issues like the ones mentioned can be related to one’s oral hygiene. This is why it is important to brush and floss regularly, as well as visit the dentist for regular checkups.

Researchers have found recently that gum disease can influence brain function in a negative way: gum disease can cause inflammation throughout the body, in turn causing a loss of mental function.

In a study of people ages 60 and older, those with the highest levels of the gum disease-causing pathogen were 3X more likely to have difficulty with verbal memory tests, like recalling a three-word phrase after a period of time. Also, adults with the highest levels of this pathogen were twice as likely to fail three-digit reverse subtraction tests and verbal recall tests.

In the study, the researchers mentioned that there are no epidemiological studies that have shown the relation between periodontitis and cognition, despite the link between periodontitis with stroke and the risk factors of stroke and dementia. However, evidence supports there being a relation between poor oral health and incident dementia. It can be expected that there will be more tests done on this topic in the near future.

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The Link Between Cognitive Impairment and Dental Health

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

The National Institutes of Health have given a $1.3 million grant to a doctor to research how cognitive decline and dental health are linked together in elderly people.

Older adults commonly have poor oral health as well as cognitive decline, such as extreme cases like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.  With more information on these health conditions, people can improve their oral and cognitive health.

In previous research, people found that there are links between gum disease, tooth loss and a decline in cognitive function and memory.  Thus far, it is not clear what the specific underlying factors of this link are.   If you do have gum disease, receding gums, bleeding gums, and so on, you should check out PerioTherapy to help solve your problem. 

Dentists have been recommended to inform patients with severe gum (periodontal) disease that there is a strong correlation between below par dental health and a higher risk of stroke, diabetes, and heart disease.  These patients should be directed to see a doctor, since the proof of the relationship between overall health and dental health is increasing.

Source:  Brafton Inc.

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