Tag Archives: Lifestyle & Health

Our Future is in Good Hands!

I had the distinct pleasure of being invited to the 2012 Destination Imagination (DI) Global Finals (www.globalfinals.org) event in Knoxville Tennessee. I provided the keynote address for opening ceremonies and learned about DI during my time spent over the four days at the event.

DI is a not-for-profit that brings young students together from across the planet to engage in critical thinking and creative challenges within an environment of competition. I can tell everyone that I saw tremendously talented young people from across the globe and I am happy to pronounce that our future is in good hands!

Chuck Cadle, CEO of DI has done a terrific job of leading DI with hundreds of volunteers committed to the mission of inspiring young brains to create and innovate. In a world where we talk about the need to apply our knowledge, DI is setting the pace.

I was given the opportunity to provide a five-minute keynote address to the 17,000 gathered at opening ceremonies in the basketball arena at the University of Tennessee. While I have spoken to many audiences across North America, this was truly a unique and awesome experience. There was some concern that young children might not be interested in hearing about the human brain and the importance that learning and lifestyle can have on the brain. I had no doubt, and many quickly learned how capable and interested these young people are in the brain.

I was so impressed with watching the student groups perform their competitive challenges and with the fun that was generated by all. I was also humbled by the genuine interest of so many students, teachers, and parents from many nations who introduced themselves to me and said they enjoyed my keynote.  I met many new friends and I congratulate the families who participated in 2012 Global Finals at DI.

Great job to Chuck and the entire DI staff. Thanks for letting be a small part.

Sleep Deprivation and Alzheimer’s

A new study to be published in the Archives of Neurology reports levels of amyloid beta, a byproduct of brain activity considered a marker in Alzheimer’s disease, normally rises during the day and decreases at night. Authors of the study suggest a possible link between sleep deprivation and people’s risk for developing dementia such as Alzheimer’s.

It is well established that reduced sleep can lead to cognitive dysfunction. However, prolonged sleep disturbance may play a role in pathologic processes underlying disease.

The authors indicate that levels of amyloid beta increase and decrease naturally. In healthy people, levels of the protein drop to their lowest level about six hours after sleep and then return to their highest levels six hours after peak wakefulness. The transition from sleep to wakefulness strongly correlated with the rise and fall of amyloid beta. The relationship was most pronounced in healthy, young people and less so in older adults who suffer shorter or more prolonged periods of disrupted sleep.

The authors suggested that the brain’s low activity during sleep allows the body to clear amyloid beta through the spinal fluid. Levels of the protein in Alzheimer’s patients, however, appear to be constant. The authors note that more research is needed, but there are reasons to believe that better sleep may be helpful in promoting brain health and reducing risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Sleep may be a factor in the known relationship between exercise and reduced risk of Alzheimer’s as sleep is related to enhanced sleep.

Computers, Exercise Linked to Lower Mild Cognitive Impairment

Moderate physical exercise combined with computer use late in life is associated with a lower risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The research indicated that while both elements related to lowered risk of MCI, there was an additive interaction that created enhanced value according to Yonas Geda, M.D. who presented the research at the annual meeting of the Academy of Neurology.

A random sample of 926 elderly, ages 70 through 90, completed questionnaires on physical exercise, cognitive activities, and caloric intake during the previous year. All were considered non-demented and the diagnosis of MCI, if appropriate, came later. 817 of the original sample were considered normal cognitively and 109 were diagnosed with MCI.

Significant differences were found between the two groups as the normal subjects were younger, better educated, less likely to suffer depression, and had fewer medical problems. When these factors were controlled, the following was found:

  • Any frequency of moderate exercise was cognitively protective.
  • Any frequency of computer use was cognitively protective.
  • Caloric intake was deleterious.

When caloric intake was controlled, physical exercise and computer use had an additive interaction that was significant. For purposes of this study, computer use seemed to have more value than other cognitive enhancing activities such as reading

This study adds to other research that demonstrates brain health promoting effects of computer use with physical exercise.

Herbal Goodness: Rosemary

The savory scent of rosemary can perk you up and boost your memory, and it also adds flavor to just about any marinade. Marinating meat will not only help keep your meat moist, it also significantly decreases the amount of carcinogenic heterocyclic amines (HCAs) produced when meat is cooked at high temperatures. In fact, rosemary is full of the antioxidant carnosol, which might have some specific anti-cancer properties as well. Making a marinade with rosemary sounds like a win-win situation.

source FitSugar

Nutrition – it does make a difference

There are 5 major roles in determining how your body can react and handle stress:

1. Immune System
2. Diet
3. Weight
4. Mineral and Vitamin balance
5. Metabolism
According to the Fibro and Fatigue Inc (2008), a baseline analysis is a critical component to understanding your body’s metabolic balance. Research shows that nutritional imbalances may manifest themselves with a number of symptoms, exacerbate existing conditions or led to chronic conditions/disease.

…..Nutrition – it does make a difference