Science Feed

...Because of the lack of clarity over the years about whether or not people with dementia felt as much pain as those who did not have a cognitive disorder, other researchers have been looking at the concept. Ruth Defrin, PhD, of University of Tel Aviv calls learning about the pain levels of those who cannot speak for themselves “an imperative ethical goal. Read more →


When it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, a number of researchers think that it’s time to reconsider the idea of infection as a root cause. Scientists are now pointing to studies that reveal the presence of a microbe as a possible trigger for the disease. The theory is that microbes "find their way into the brain via the bloodstream and lie dormant until triggered by aging, immune system decline or by different types of stress…once they are activated, the microbes then damage brain cells - either directly or via inflammation.” Read more →


Alcohol abuse can occur at any age, but in the past, most doctors looked for the signs in younger people. There’s also a bias in society at large, including some doctors, that people who abuse alcohol will be of a certain type. It can be hard for a doctor to look at a sweet, grandmotherly woman and think that perhaps the "occasional" glass of wine she admits to drinking may actually be a good portion of a bottle on a nightly basis. But things are changing. Read more →


As they age, millions of Americans develop health conditions, including chronic pain. For an expert’s view on prevention and treatment, HealthCentral interviewed Kenneth Thorpe, Ph.D., via email. Dr Thorpe is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Health Policy at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. He is also the chairman of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, an organization that has made several public-policy recommendations to address chronic disease, encouraging ways to improve patient access to care and invest in medical innovation. Read on to become part of the conversation. Read more →


The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a collection of cells and cellular components that line the walls of blood vessels in the brain. This barrier is an important part of brain health because it separates the brain from circulating blood. A study led by Walter H. Backes, Ph.D., a professor in medical physics at Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands, has found that the blood-brain barrier was leakier in a group of people with Alzheimer’s disease than in those without the disease. Read more →


When our elders are suffering from physical pain, mental stress, loneliness or the effects of ageism in our society, the result can be depression. Research done at Sweden’s Umeå University and reported on by Medical News Today finds that when group activities were introduced into the elders’ environments, depressive symptoms were often improved and the need for medication reduced or eliminated. Read more →


When dementia symptoms appear it’s natural to fear that the person affected has an incurable form of dementia. Rather than reacting with panic, however, it’s far better to try to remain calm and have a specialist make the determination. Many forms of dementia are incurable, of course, but other conditions can present symptoms that resemble those of dementia but are in fact reversible. Read more →


The virus, which is called a lentivirus vector, is already used in gene therapy. Researchers from Imperial College London, have shown how using this modified virus to deliver a gene, known as PGC1-alpha, to the brain cells of mice destroys the progression of AD. Read more →


Stress has long been considered a major risk for developing Alzheimer’s, but there hasn’t been any real understanding as to why this is so. Now, researchers at the Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease at the University of Florida think that they’ve come closer to discovering the connection. Read more →


Throughout the last several decades, caffeine has been alternately touted as hero or villain. For a time, caffeine was blamed for birth defects in children, and healthy eating, in general, meant eliminating food or beverages containing caffeine. Still, one of the most explosive new trends we’ve seen over the last dozen years has been designer coffee shops and kiosks, which show that people will not always follow where health gurus lead. Now the coffee drinkers may be vindicated. Read more →