Whether serving up a nutritious and delicious meal or offering the benefits of an energetic work-out, at the Sedona Community Center, a primary focus is on health and well-being. Both consistently good nutrition and a regular fitness plan help to form the solid foundation for improved physical, mental, and social health.
As an article from the University of Minnesota states, ‘The food we eat gives our bodies the information and materials they need to function properly. If we get too much food, or food that gives our bodies the wrong instructions, we can become overweight, undernourished, and at risk for the development of diseases and conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease.’ Study after study has also shown that getting regular, moderate-intensity exercise may be instrumental in reducing our risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. The results of one of the largest randomized clinical trials ever conducted and led by Dr. McTiernan of the Public Health Sciences Division found a key reason—exercise effectively reduces intra-abdominal fat, a hidden risk factor for many chronic illnesses.
Of the many chronic conditions that befalls humankind; perhaps none is more dreaded than Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that, over time, destroys thinking skills, memory, and eventually the ability to complete daily living tasks. It is currently ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., but recent estimates indicate the disorder may actually rank third, right behind heart disease and cancer as the cause of death in older Americans.
Research and awareness of the disease over the past several decades has suggested that the earliest symptoms of Alzheimer’s are memory loss and cognitive decline. But now, a new study indicates that dropping glucose levels in the brain occurs some time before these commonly known symptoms. Best of all, the research team may have discovered how to prevent the glucose levels from decreasing, something that could lead to a prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. The star of the research is a little protein known as p38, as described in the research report from Translational Psychiatry. The p38 protein is considered a possible candidate for the development of a drug to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s-associated cognitive decline.
“The findings are very exciting,” explained lead researcher Dr. Domenico Praticò, “There is now a lot of evidence to suggest that p38 is involved in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.”
After years of worldwide effort to find a prevention or cure for Alzheimer’s disease, the past year has opened up several other promising breakthroughs. A partnership study from Flinders University and the University of California indicates the possibility of creating a drug that could prevent the brain protein buildup—a causal factor of the disease—possibly leading to a vaccine in as little as five years. More research from Baylor College of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University also indicates the creation of a pill that could prevent the accumulation of the toxic molecules that go on to form the brain plaques characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see the vision of the Alzheimer’s Association, ‘A world without Alzheimer’s disease,’ come to pass in our life time? Never give up hope!