Grapes: 2.25 cups a day can keep brain’s metabolic decline away

By Ruth Schuster

grapesGrapes: 2.25 cups a day can keep brain’s metabolic decline away, say scientists.

Eating grapes on a regular basis slows metabolic decline of the brain in Alzheimer’s sufferers, a small-scale study done in California indicates.
A grape a day won’t do it. The pilot study fed grape powder equivalent to two-plus cups of grapes a day for six months, to Alzheimer’s patients defined with a mild decline in cognition. Result: the fruit protected against the decline of metabolic activity in the test group given grape powder. The ones who did not eat grapes did exhibit deterioration of brain metabolism in the six-month trial period.
Note that the results relate to brain metabolism, not cognition. “No significant differences were seen in scores on the neuropsychological battery of tests between the two groups,” the scientists stress.

“The study examines the impact of grapes as a whole fruit versus isolated compounds,” explains Dr. Daniel H. Silverman, lead investigator of the study. “The results suggest that regular intake of grapes may provide a protective effect against early decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease.”
The results were published in the Experimental Gerontology paper, “Examining the impact of grape consumption on brain metabolism and cognitive function in patients with mild decline in cognition”.
The grapes proved beneficial not only to areas of the brain affected by Alzheimer’s, but to areas associated with attention and working memory performance too. Again, comparison is to comparable people who weren’t stuffed with grapes, or rather with whole grape powder.

Low metabolic activity in these areas of the brain is a hallmark of early-stage Alzheimer’s disease, an incurable and irreversible neurodegenerative condition whose symptoms can be treated, at this stage, but not reversed (in humans: a genetic study done in mice last year reported symptom reversal).
The writers themselves note that more work needs to be done before subscribing to a grape delivery service. Their sample included ten people, five of them women, with a mean age of 72, who had been diagnosed with mild decline in cognition.
Cognitive performance was measured through neuropsychological assessments performed at baseline and 6 months after initiation of therapy. Changes in brain metabolism were assessed by injecting the patients with radiotracer material and scanning their brains.
The scientists note that a growing body of evidence shows that grapes do good things for the nervous system -, and for cardiovascular health as well. Similar work has shown that consuming grapes, its products and certain wines, is associated with lower risk for cardiovascular disease.
How the grape achieves all these things is not clear, though people have believed in the medical properties of the fruit for thousands of years, for instance in ancient Egypt, and not only because they’d had too much wine.
Wine appears to be confer more benefit than other alcoholic beverages, write the scientists in a seminal 2009 paper “Grapes and Cardiovascular Disease” Some think the benefit of the grape, and berries and some other foods, lies in their polyphenols, which are natural antioxidants that help combat inflammatory conditions.
A 2014 study pointed at flavonoids as being the responsible chemical for the upside that eating grapes and berries has for the cardiovascular system.
Most likely the grapes are having multiple effects. As broader clinical studies are done on larger groups of subjects, we may find out.
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Alzheimer’s Risk Factors By Dr Daniel Amen

Alzheimer’s Risk Factors By Dr Daniel Amen

O One family member with Alzheimer’s or dementia 3.5
O More than one family member with Azheimer’s or dementia 7.5
O A single head injury with loss of consciousness 2
O Several head injuries without loss of consciousness 2
O Alcohol dependence or drug dependence in past or present 4.4
O Major depression or ADD/ADHD diagnosed by a physician in past or present (female) 4
O Major depression or ADD/ADHD diagnosed by a physician in past or present (male) 2
O Standard American diet 2
O Being obese 2
O History of stroke 10
O Heart disease or heart attack 2.5
O Pre-hypertension or hypertension 2.3
O pre-diabetes or diabetes 3.4
O Cancer chemo 3
O Parksinson’s disease 1.5
O Sleep apnea 3
O Less than a high school education 2
O Limited exercise, less than twice a week 2
O Jobds that do not require new learning 2
O Periodontal disease 2
O Presence of inflammation in the body (e.g., high homocysteine or C-reactive protein) 2
O Smoking cigarette or 10 years or longer 2.3
O Low estrogen in females or low testosterone in males or femailes 2
O Within the age range of 65 to 74 years old 2
O Within the age range of 75 to 84 years old 2
O Over 85 years old 38
Total Score

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Why women have more Alzheimer’s disease than men

Gender and mitochondrial toxicity of amyloid-beta peptide

The main risk factors for developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are age and gender. The incidence of the disease is higher in women than in men, and this cannot simply be attributed to the higher longevity of women versus men. Thus, there must be a specific pathogenic mechanism to explain the higher incidence of AD cases in women.

In this regard, it is notable that mitochondria from young females are protected against amyloid-beta toxicity, generate less reactive oxygen species, and release less apoptogenic signals than those from males.

However, all this advantage is lost in mitochondria from old females. Since estrogenic compounds protect against mitochondrial toxicity of amyloid-beta, estrogenic action may be important in protecting cells from amyloid-beta toxicity and suggests a possible treatment or prevention strategy for AD. Unfortunately, to date, clinical trials with Ginkgo biloba and other estrogenic therapies have not proved successful in treating AD. As such, more experiments and clinical trials are indeed warranted to find conditions in which estrogenic compounds may be useful to prevent or treat AD.

Connie’s comments: As women age, we have experienced all kinds of stress and inflammatory substances (sugar, aspartame, toxic metals, stress, lack of whole foods, others) that can affect our predisposition to Alzheimer’s disease. The ratio of getting Alzheimer’s between women and men is 3:1.

Sauna bathing is inversely associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in middle-aged Finnish men

Background there are no previous studies linking repeated heat exposure of sauna and the risk of memory diseases. We aimed to investigate whether frequency of sauna bathing is associated with risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.


Setting prospective population-based study.

Methods the frequency of sauna bathing was assessed at baseline in the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease population-based prospective cohort study of 2,315 apparently healthy men aged 42–60 years at baseline, with baseline examinations conducted between 1984 and 1989. Hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease were ascertained using Cox-regression modelling with adjustment for potential confounders.


Results during a median follow-up of 20.7 (interquartile range 18.1–22.6) years, a total of 204 and 123 diagnosed cases of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease were respectively recorded. In analysis adjusted for age, alcohol consumption, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, smoking status, Type 2 diabetes, previous myocardial infarction, resting heart rate and serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, compared with men with only 1 sauna bathing session per week, the HR for dementia was 0.78 (95% CI: 0.57–1.06) for 2–3 sauna bathing sessions per week and 0.34 (95% CI: 0.16–0.71) for 4–7 sauna bathing sessions per week. The corresponding HRs for Alzheimer’s disease were 0.80 (95% CI: 0.53–1.20) and 0.35 (95% CI: 0.14–0.90).


Conclusion in this male population, moderate to high frequency of sauna bathing was associated with lowered risks of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Energy and Anatomy = Cancer and aging

Two types of people

  • Tightly coupled: Only needs to eat less to arrive at required energy level
  • Loosely coupled: Needs to eat more to arrive at required energy level

Sun energy and glucose for energy production

Nucleus is energy limited


Mitochondrial DNA crosstalk: 10% changes in mtDNA has a greater effect in epigenetic expression



Haplogroup U and H


Male bias mito DNA unique

male bias mito DNA unique.JPG

mtDNA background variation

mtDNA background variation.JPG

Human migration and Mitochondrial DNA Variation

Human migration.JPG

Selective mutation by Altitude

amino acid sub.JPG

Phenotypes of mitochondrial DNA depends on Context

al pk.JPG

Background and context are both important in mitochondrial DNA mutation

Nucleus normal, Parkinson type mutation , this is an Energetic Disease


Reactive Oxygen Species Toxicity


Nutrition and Stress in Hypoactive Heteroplasmic Species, Learning Disability




Women Retain Verbal Memory Skills Longer Than Men in Early Stages of Alzheimer’s

Women may have a better memory for words than men despite evidence of similar levels of shrinkage in areas of the brain that show the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study published in the March 16, 2016, online issue of Neurology.

According to study author Erin E. Sundermann, PhD, of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, NY, “One way to interpret the results is that because women have better verbal memory skills than men throughout life, women have a buffer of protection against loss of verbal memory before the effects of Alzheimer’s disease kick in. Because verbal memory tests are used to diagnose people with Alzheimer’s disease and its precursor, mild cognitive impairment, these tests may fail to detect mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease in women until they are further along in the disease.”

The study included participants from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative: 235 people with Alzheimer’s disease, 694 people with mild cognitive impairment that included memory problems, and 379 people with no memory or thinking problems. The groups’ performance on a test of verbal memory was compared to the size of the hippocampal area of the brain, which is responsible for verbal memory and affected in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

Women performed better than men on the tests of both immediate recall and delayed recall among those showing evidence of minimal to moderate amounts of hippocampal shrinkage. At the high level of hippocampal shrinkage, there was no difference in the scores of men and women. At the score that indicates the start of verbal memory impairment, or 37 on a scale of zero to 75 for immediate recall, women showed greater evidence of hippocampal shrinkage (ratio of hippocampal volume to total brain volume multiplied by 103 was 5 compared to 6 for men).

Photo of an elderly lady.

Mary Sano, PhD, of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, NY, and a member of the American Academy of Neurology, said in a corresponding editorial, “At a public policy level, the potential health care cost for under-detection or delayed diagnosis of women with Alzheimer’s disease or its early stages is staggering and should motivate funding in this area.”

“If these results are confirmed, then we may need to adjust memory tests to account for the difference between men and women in order to improve our accuracy in diagnosis,” said Sundermann.


Funding: The Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative was supported by the National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Abbott, Amorfix Life Sciences, AstraZeneca, Bayer HealthCare, BioClinica, Biogen Idec, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eisai, Elan Pharmaceuticals, Eli Lilly, F. Hoffmann-La Roche and Genentech, GE Healthcare, Innogenetics, IXICO, Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy Research and Development, Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Medpace, Merck, Meso Scale Diagnostics, Novartis Pharmaceuticals; Pfizer, Servier, Synarc and Takeda Pharmaceutical.

Source: Michelke Uher – AAN
Image Source: The image is in the public domain.
Original Research: Abstract for “Better verbal memory in women than men in MCI despite similar levels of hippocampal atrophy” by Erin E. Sundermann, Anat Biegon, Leah H. Rubin, Richard B. Lipton, Wenzhu Mowrey, Susan Landau, Pauline M. Maki, and For the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative in Neurology. Published online March 16 2016 doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000002570


Better verbal memory in women than men in MCI despite similar levels of hippocampal atrophy

Objective: To examine sex differences in the relationship between clinical symptoms related to Alzheimer disease (AD) (verbal memory deficits) and neurodegeneration (hippocampal volume/intracranial volume ratio [HpVR]) across AD stages.

Methods: The sample included 379 healthy participants, 694 participants with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), and 235 participants with AD and dementia from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative who completed the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT). Cross-sectional analyses were conducted using linear regression to examine the interaction between sex and HpVR on RAVLT across and within diagnostic groups adjusting for age, education, and APOE ε4 status.

Results: Across groups, there were significant sex × HpVR interactions for immediate and delayed recall (p < 0.01). Women outperformed men among individuals with moderate to larger HpVR, but not among individuals with smaller HpVR. In diagnosis-stratified analyses, the HpVR × sex interaction was significant in the aMCI group, but not in the control or AD dementia groups, for immediate and delayed recall (p < 0.01). Among controls, women outperformed men on both outcomes irrespective of HpVR (p < 0.001). In AD dementia, better RAVLT performance was independently associated with female sex (immediate, p = 0.04) and larger HpVR (delayed, p = 0.001).

Conclusion: Women showed an advantage in verbal memory despite evidence of moderate hippocampal atrophy. This advantage may represent a sex-specific form of cognitive reserve delaying verbal memory decline until more advanced disease stages.

“Better verbal memory in women than men in MCI despite similar levels of hippocampal atrophy” by Erin E. Sundermann, Anat Biegon, Leah H. Rubin, Richard B. Lipton, Wenzhu Mowrey, Susan Landau, Pauline M. Maki, and For the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative in Neurology. Published online March 16 2016 doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000002570