Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Stress and Alzheimer’s (Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation)

“Feeling stressed may increase the likelihood that you’ll develop memory problems and could increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, a new study reports. The good news is that taking steps to manage and reduce stress, the authors say, might be a way to help maintain brain health and ward off memory problems with age.

“The study, from researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, found that high levels of stress in older people was linked to an increased risk of mild cognitive impairment, a serious form of memory loss that often precedes Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers found that people who experienced high and persistent levels of stress were twice as likely to develop mild cognitive impairment than those who felt less stressed.

“‘Our study provides strong evidence that perceived stress increases the likelihood that an older person will develop mild cognitive impairment,’ said Dr. Richard Lipton, the study’s senior author and a neurology professor at Einstein and Montefiore Health System. ‘Fortunately, perceived stress is a modifiable risk factor for cognitive impairment, making it a potential target for treatment.’

“‘Perceived stress reflects the daily hassles we all experience, as well as the way we appraise and cope with these events,’ said the study’s first author, Mindy Katz. ‘Perceived stress can be altered by mindfulness-based stress reduction, cognitive-behavioral therapies and stress-reducing drugs. These interventions may postpone or even prevent an individual’s cognitive decline.’

“…The findings add to a growing body of evidence that stress can be bad for the brain. A 2013 study from Sweden, for example, found that women who experience a lot of stress in middle age are at increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia late in life. Other research has shown that stress can hasten the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

“High levels of stress and the stress hormone cortisol have been shown to damage brain cells and promote inflammation, which has been increasingly linked to Alzheimer’s disease… Many factors contribute to Alzheimer’s, including age and genetics. Long-term stress may be one more factor that may play a role in the onset of dementia.”

from Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation


  1. “They want us to die.”
    “Who wants us to die?”
    “All of the corporate giants, hedge fund managers, pension raiders, and the super wealthy who see us as non-productive for their bottom lines. All of their paid legislators who do their bidding.”
    When my wife said this to me several years ago, it seemed too extreme for me to believe. Then, I learned and fully understood that she was correct. Many people would now agree in this basic reality.

    I visit a friend weekly who can afford decent care in a facility for people with his particular form of dementia/Alzheimer's disease. I see another friend at least once a week who is showing definite signs of Alzheimer's disease. A friend of my wife has a husband who has recently been tested and diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. One of these men is slightly over seventy, the other two are in their mid-sixties.
    My wife's best friend, who now lives a thousand miles away from us, has an eighty year old husband with Alzheimer's disease. They live at their home. The stress level that she undergoes is incredible.
    They and their wives fight insurance companies daily for payment of coverage they are assured of on paper. Medicare, Tricare, and private insurers. Prescription drugs must also be fought for with each refill. The stress level for all involved is tremendous.
    “Mindfulness-based stress reduction” is utter nonsense when intentional and actual stress is being increased by these corporate actions. Many of the PBS programs that promise to have us age backwards and other magical-thinking insanity actually increase the pressures on those who are forced to endure these stresses. (“If you don't follow our program and cure yourself by being happy, it is your fault.” Blame the victim.)
    The Affordable Care Act is not. I know a 58 year old widow who is a die-hard Obama lover; she is now facing that reality. It is not affordable. It does not provide care; it provides some illness payment coverage. Financial stress. She knows she has been lied to, but is under social stress not to speak reality aloud among her Democratic peers.
    Today, my wife and I spent the morning on the phone and online fighting for prescription coverage for a medication I have taken for years. My wife is at the drug store now for the refill. How much will we have to pay for it? Stress.
    Why is all of this happening?
    They want us to die.

  2. Had some feelings about this, even at age 21, when I saw the 1973 film Soylent Green. (Interestingly enough, the hero in the film was future NRA President Charleton Heston.)
    I think Soylent Green will become a reality in the not-too-distant future.
    I've always thought Chris Hedges to be prescient, as well.