Dementia: The greatest health challenge of our time

According to the World Health Organization, deaths from dementia have doubled since 2000 and dementia is now the fifth biggest killer worldwide.

But dementia has already claimed number one spot in some richer countries.

In England and Wales, one in eight death certificates cite dementia.

There is also a key difference with other major killers such as cancer or heart disease, because there is not a single treatment that either cures or slows the pace of any dementia.

“Dementia certainly is the biggest health challenge of our time,” Hilary Evans, chief executive of the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK, told the BBC.

“It’s the one that will continue to rise in terms of prevalence, unless we can do something to stop or cure this disease.”

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Top 5 Foods to Feed Your Brain

The foods you eat have a huge impact on your body, from your energy level to your heart health and beyond. Your brain is no exception, and research shows that things like the MIND (Mediterranean — Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet, which focuses on specific brain-beneficial food groups, is linked with better brain health as well as dementia prevention.

Leafy greens

Berries

Fish

Nuts

Cocoa

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Don’t tell me to be positive… when I’ve got cancer

When Sophie Sabbage was diagnosed with an incurable illness she felt fear, despair – and overwhelming pressure all around her to stay upbeat. Here she explains how plastering on a happy face can actually do more harm than good.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-7011297/Dont-tell-positive-Ive-got-cancer.html?ico=amp-comments-addcomment&fbclid=IwAR3IANFOiWirYmac1PpGIFS8PQ9s-mFvX2aYWPe3DiKynhZ-2Yl3P9hhatw#article-7011297

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Pharmacogenomics: What is Genetic Testing and How Does DNA Testing for Medication Work?

Pharmacogenomics, or the study of how genetics affect your body’s response to medications, is a relatively new and exciting field of science. Scientists are learning more each day about how genetic testing can be used to select the best medication for patients. Genetic testing can help a doctor determine whether a medication will be effective for a patient and provide dosing guidance. It can also help alert clincians to medications that might be potentially harmful to patients.

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Missy Douglas: Visualising bipolar disorder through art

Fed up with keeping her mental health a secret, bipolar disorder sufferer Missy Douglas spent a year creating a painting each day to express her feelings. Controversially, she decided not to take her medication during this time, in the hope that paintings demonstrating her highs and lows would raise awareness of her condition

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Palliative Care Beyond Hospice Is Spreading to More States

Much of the “confusion” Sinclair referred to is that many people don’t understand the difference between palliative care and hospice.

Palliative care is given to patients with serious illnesses or injuries to relieve their symptoms and stress. Its goal is to improve the quality of life for patients and their families. It can be provided from the onset of an illness, and is often delivered by a team of doctors, nurses, social workers and sometimes chaplains.

Patients in hospice are not expected to live long, usually six months or less. Hospice patients do receive palliative care, but you don’t have to be in hospice to be a palliative care patient.

Even if death is not imminent, palliative care may be the best strategy for patients whose top priority is maximizing quality of life, not extending it by any means necessary.

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The long echo of WW2 trauma

After the existence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was officially recognised by the US government in 1980, in the wake of Vietnam, researchers began to take an interest on the illness on soldiers’ families. Studies were already suggesting that the children of Holocaust survivors could be severely affected by the trauma experienced by their parents. “It would also be easier to believe that they, rather than their parents, had suffered the corrupting, searing hell,” wrote the author of the first paper on intergenerational trauma among Holocaust survivors.

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This diet is easier (and cheaper) than the Mediterranean diet

This article on the Nordic diet makes claims about improvements for people with dementia.

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The Nordic Diet is the brainchild of a team of scientists, nutritionists and chefs birthed back in 2004 as a method of mitigating a growing obesity trend in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. Although many experts have already pointed out that some of the foods featured in the diet weren’t actually around when the ancient Nords reigned, the fundamental personality of the diet is based on the produce intake adopted by the Scandanavians.

Already, in its young life, it has been studied to promote weight loss, without restricting calorie intake. Moreover, because the diet champions food that is locally sourced and sustainably farmed, votaries also get to pride themselves on being environmentally conscious.  The rules are simple enough: eat a ton of berries, vegetables, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, rye, breads, fish, seafood,  low-fat dairy, herbs spices, and canola oil (more on that one in a bit). Occasionally eat free-range eggs,  cheese, and yogurt, eat red meat and animal fats even less, and steer resolutely clear of sugar-sweetened beverages, added sugars, processed meats, food additives, and refined fast foods.  Simply put, the Nordic Diet is a critique of the excessive sugar and fat intake of the western diet, with double the fiber and seafood to boot.

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‘Life is wonderful’ being pain-free after 40 years

Alison Cameron, from Dorset, was 17 when she had appendicitis and went into hospital.

“I had my appendix out and I remember I came round out of the anaesthetic screaming, the pain was something else.”

It was the start of a “horrendous” three years of investigation before “they came to the conclusion through a process of elimination, it was nerve damage”.

Over the next 30 years, Alison had more than 50 injections, known as cryoblocks, to freeze the site of her abdominal pain, but none of them stopped the pain for more than six months.

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Can Reading Really Improve Your Mental Health?

So how can books re-balance the self? Well, above all, as the panel agreed, they provide a form  of escapism that is more intense than in any other artform. “With a film or TV show, you’re given the visuals whereas with a novel you’re inventing them yourself, so it’s actually much more of a powerful event, because you’re involved,” as Berthaud noted. Wheatle offered a powerful example of the transportative effect of fiction when he recalled discovering Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn while living in a children’s home in South London. “It was quite brutal, and so [the book] was a place where I could escape my everyday turmoil. At least, come 9 or 9.30pm, I could hide under the covers with my little torch and go through those pages, and imagine I was floating down the Mississippi River, coming across steamboats and making my own decisions about where I was going to eat and rest.”

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