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腦退化症


   (阿兹海默氏症、老人痴呆症)
   
   下面是美國加州大學 老年中心主任G.Small博士寫的文章。
   關棠武译

   
   UCLA ( University of California at Los Angeles ) ON ALZHEIMERS
   
   Food for Thought
   思維的食品
   
   "The idea that Alzheimer's is entirely genetic and unpreventable is perhaps the Greatest misconception about the disease," says Gary Small, M.D., director of The UCLA Center on Aging. Researchers now know that Alzheimer's, like heart Disease and cancer, develops over decades and can be influenced by lifestyle Factors including cholesterol, blood pressure, obesity, depression, education, Nutrition, sleep and mental, physical and social activity.
   洛杉磯加州大學老年中心主任Gray Small 博士說:「那種認為腦退化症(譯注-阿兹海默氏症-過去亦稱老人痴呆症,按香港醫務衛生署建議改為腦退化症-下 同)完全來自遺傳的和不可預防的想法,是對這個病症的最大誤解。」研究人員現在已經明白,腦退化症就像心臟病和癌症,是經年累月發展起來的病症,是受生活方式因素所影響,這些因素包括膽固醇、血壓、肥胖、癌症、憂鬱、教育、營養、睡眠、腦力、體力和社交活動等等。
   
   The big news: Mountains of research reveals that simple things you do every day might cut your odds of losing your mind to Alzheimer's.
   好消息:大量的研究指出,只要每日做一些簡單小事就有可能把腦退化症發病機會降低。
   
   In search of scientific ways to delay and outlive Alzheimer's and other Dementias, I tracked down thousands of studies and interviewed dozens of Experts. The results in a new book: 100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer's and Age-Related Memory Loss (Little, Brown; $19.99). Here are 10 strategies I found most surprising.
   為了尋找可以推遲腦退化症和其他癡呆症發生的科學方法,我閱讀了過千份報告及訪談了數十名專家。結論就在一本新書:"你能做得到的100件簡單事情可以預防腦退化症和與老年有關的痴呆症"。下面是我認最值得驚喜的10項策略。
   
   
   1. Have coffee. In an amazing flip-flop, coffee is the new brain tonic. A large European study showed that drinking three to five cups of coffee a day in Midlife cut Alzheimer's risk 65% in late life. University of South Florida Researcher Gary Arendash credits caffeine: He says it reduces dementia-causing amyloid in animal brains. Others credit coffee's antioxidants. So drink up, Arendash advises, unless your doctor says you shouldn't.
   1. 喝咖啡 咖啡得到平反,現在認為咖啡是一種新的補腦品。根據歐洲大量研究表明,中年時每日飲3-5杯咖啡,晚年時出現腦退化症的風險可以下降65%。美國南佛羅里達研究人員Gary Arendash 贊許咖啡,他說咖啡可以減少動物腦中的導致失憶的類澱粉含量。其他研究人員則因抗氧化劑的功用給咖啡加分。Arendash勸人多飲咖啡,除非你的醫生認為你不宜飲咖啡。
   
   2. Floss. Oddly, the health of your teeth and gums can help predict dementia. University of Southern California research found that having periodontal disease before age 35 quadrupled the odds of dementia years later. Older people with tooth and gum disease score lower on memory and cognition tests, other studies show. Experts speculate that inflammation in diseased mouths migrates to the brain.
   2. 牙線 說來也怪,牙齒和牙齦的健康有助於預診癡呆症。南加州大學研究表明,35歲之前有牙周病的人,老年時患癡呆症的機會比沒有的人多四倍。其他研究亦有患牙齒及牙齦病患的長者在記憶力和認知能力測試上得分較低。專家們推測是由於口腔感染炎症向大腦遷移。
   
   3.Google. Doing an online search can stimulate your aging brain even more than reading a book, says UCLA's Gary Small, who used brain MRIs to prove it. The biggest surprise: Novice Internet surfers, ages 55 to 78, activated key memory and learning centers in the brain after only a week of Web surfing for an hour a day.
   3. 谷歌 (譯註- 上網) 加州大學的 Gary Small用核磁共振證實,上網搜索比閱讀書本更能刺激長者的大腦。最令人驚訝的是:55-78歲的新手,只要一個星期每日上網一小時,便能活化大腦的主記憶和學習中心。
   
   4. Grow new brain cells. Impossible, scientists used to say. Now it's believed that thousands of brain cells are born daily. The trick is to keep the newborns Alive..
   4. What works: aerobic exercise (such as a brisk 30-minute walk every day), strenuous mental activity, eating salmon and other fatty fish, and avoiding obesity, chronic stress, sleep deprivation, heavy drinking and vitamin B deficiency.
   4 新生大腦細胞 以前科學家們老是說大腦不可能產生新的細胞。現在卻認為大腦每日產生萬千個新細胞,關鍵是怎樣使這些新細胞存活。
   方法是:帶氧運動(例如每日急散步30分鐘),緊張的腦力活動,進食沙文魚和其他含脂肪高的魚,避免過胖、慢性應激、剝奪睡眠、酗酒和維生素 B缺乏。
   
   5. Drink apple juice. Apple juice can push production of the "memory chemical" acetylcholine; that's the way the popular Alzheimer's drug Aricept works, says Thomas Shea, Ph.D., of the University of Massachusetts . He was surprised that old mice given apple juice did better on learning and memory tests than mice that received water. A dose for humans: 16 ounces, or two to three apples a day. (Important - apples are heavily sprayed so go for the organic juice)
   5. 飲蘋果汁 麻薩諸薩斯大學的Thomas Shea博士這樣說,蘋果汁可以促進「記憶化學物」乙酰膽碱的產生。這也就是治療腦退化症常用藥 Aricept 的作用機理。他用蘋果汁飼餵的老齡老鼠比用水飼養的老鼠,在學習和記憶試驗中表現得比較優勝。人類的服食劑量:16安士或每日2-3個蘋果。(注意 - 蘋果通常噴大量農藥,飲有機果汁較佳)
   
   6. Protect your head. Blows to the head, even mild ones early in life, increase odds of dementia years later. Pro football players have 19 times the typical rate of memory-related diseases. Alzheimer's is four times more common in elderly who suffer a head injury, Columbia University finds. Accidental falls doubled an older person's odds of dementia five years later in another study. Wear seat belts and helmets, fall-proof your house, and don't take risks.
   6. 保護頭顱 若頭顱受到撞擊,那怕是年輕時期的輕度撞擊,也會使晚年時癡呆症增加。職業美式足球運動員發生與記憶有關的疾病比常人高19倍。哥倫比亞大學發現,年輕時頭部受傷的人得腦退化症的機會是常人的4倍。另一項研究表明意外跌倒受傷,五年後發生痴呆症的機會增加2倍。配戴安全帶,戴頭盔,家中防滑,不要冒險。
   
   7. Meditate. Brain scans show that people who meditate regularly have less cognitive decline and brain shrinkage - a classic sign of Alzheimer's - as they age. Andrew Newberg of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine says yoga meditation of 12 minutes a day for two months improved blood flow and cognitive functioning in seniors with memory problems.
   7. 冥思 腦部掃描顯示,經常沉思默想的人,在年齡日長時,腦退化症的典型症狀―認知衰退和腦萎縮比較少。賓夕凡尼亞醫學院的Andrew Newberg 說,記憶力有問題的的長者,若每日作12分鐘的瑜伽冥想,實踐兩個月,便可改進血液流通和思考功能。
   
   8. Take vit D. A "severe deficiency" of vitamin D boosts older Americans' risk of Cognitive impairment 394%, an alarming study by England 's University of Exeter finds. And most Americans lack vitamin D. Experts recommend a daily dose of 800 IU to 2,000 IU of vitamin D3.
   8. 服食維他命 D 英國埃克塞特大學的研究驚人地發現,由於嚴重缺乏維他命D,美國的長者的認知障礙症急升394%。專家建議 每日服食維他命 D3,800-2000 國際單位。
   9. Fill your brain. It's called "cognitive reserve." A rich accumulation of life experiences - education, marriage, socializing, a stimulating job, language skills, having a purpose in life, physical activity and mentally demanding leisure activities - makes your brain better able to tolerate plaques and tangles. You can even have significant Alzheimer's pathology and no symptoms of dementia if you have high cognitive reserve, says David Bennett, M.D., of Chicago 's Rush University Medical Center .
   9. 充實大腦 即所謂 "認知儲備"。生活經驗的累積 ― 教育、婚姻、社交、具刺激性的工作、語言技巧、生活有目標、要動腦的休閑活動 ― 都可以令大腦較好地忍受色斑和緾結 (譯註―色斑 plagues 通常指 amyloid plaques 澱粉質色斑,是在腦退化症患者的大腦所發現的結構異常特征。tangles 是指 neurofibrillary tangles 是腦退化症患者大腦神經原纖維混亂狀態。這兩者都是腦退化症患者死後屍剖的診斷依據) 。芝加哥魯殊大學醫學中心的 David Bennet博士認為,如果有丰富的認知儲備,一個人可以有明顯的腦退化症的病理學病徵,但沒有痴呆的病狀。
   
   10. Avoid infection. Astonishing new evidence ties Alzheimer's to cold sores, gastric ulcers, Lyme disease, pneumonia and the flu., Ruth Itzhaki Ph.D., of the University of Manchester in England estimates the cold-sore herpes simplex virus is incriminated in 60% of Alzheimer's cases. The theory: Infections trigger excessive beta amyloid "gunk" that kills brain cells. Proof is still lacking, but why not avoid common infections and take appropriate vaccines, antibiotics and antiviral agents?

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