Alzheimer’s disease: a few curious things

This is a prelude to my upcoming post, How Bright is the Future for Alzheimer’s Disease? In writing that post I came across a few curious reports about Alzheimer’s disease. I thought these reports were not ground-breaking enough to impact on the future of Alzheimer’s disease. They were however all interesting and thought I should share them.

How does your sleep posture increase your risk of Alzheimer’s disease?

By by Reggaeman - photo by Reggaeman, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1042279
By by Reggaeman – photo by Reggaeman, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1042279

 

Could sleeping on your side help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease? So suggests a study published in Journal of Neuroscience titled The Effect of Body Posture on Brain Glymphatic Transport. What on earth is the glymphatic system!? Wikipedia says it’s a functional waste clearance pathway for the mammalian central nervous system. The authors showed that rats lying on their side cleared brain waste better than if when lying on their backs or fronts. And this waste includes β amyloid, one culprit behind Alzheimer’s disease. If only things were this simple. But just so you know, I now sleep on my side!

Which fatigue-banishing medication may improve Alzheimer’s disease?

This is how to take an exam. Dan Tentler on Flikr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/vissago/3593809008
This is how to take an exam. Dan Tentler on Flikr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/vissago/3593809008

 

Still in slumber-mode, a recent article suggests that the medication, Modafinil, improves cognition. Modafinil is a drug familiar to neurologists who use it to treat conditions typified by excessive sleep, as in narcolepsy. It is also an alerting drug which improves fatigue in conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS). The article is a systematic review of the evidence on the effect of Modafinil on cognition. It is published in the journal, European Neuropsychopharmacology under the title Modafinil for cognitive neuroenhancement in healthy non-sleep-deprived subjects. Curious, but I don’t see neurologists prescribing this for Alzheimer’s disease anytime soon.

Which fruit juice should you drink to protect yourself from Alzheimer’s disease?

This may seem like a newspaper headline but it is a scientific research published in European Journal of Nutrition titled Consumption of anthocyanin-rich cherry juice for 12 weeks improves memory and cognition in older adults with mild-to-moderate dementia. In the study, 49 people with mild to moderate dementia were given anthocyanin-rich cherry juice over 12 weeks. The authors reported that cherry juice significantly improved verbal fluency, and both long- and short-term memory. Cherry juice is supposedly rich in anthocyanin, a flavonoid, and this is a cognitive enhancer. I wouldn’t run out and stock on cherry juice yet: the number of participants in the study was small, and the duration of the study too small, to make any conclusions. But a curious finding none-the-less.

Which bugs are linked to Alzheimer’s disease?

This is probably the most curious of the questions. The headline from Scientific Reports says Different Brain Regions are Infected with Fungi in Alzheimer’s Disease. The authors of the report show that the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, unlike the brains of control subjects, are infiltrated with fungi. If you didn’t have a reason to keep away from fungi before, now you have a curious one.

Brain Aging. Kalvicio de las Nieves on Flikr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/118316968@N08/19444505382
Brain Aging. Kalvicio de las Nieves on Flikr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/118316968@N08/19444505382

 

For the more ground-breaking stuff, watch out for my next post titled How Bright is the Future for Alzheimer’s Disease?

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