Alzheimer's: light therapy restores the rhythm
Posted: January 17, 2012 9:30 AM PST
According to an American study, light therapy sessions offered to patients with Alzheimer's disease would have nothing of the gadget. Their effectiveness however, is real. They would in fact improve their mood, while restoring the circadian rhythm.
Remember that light therapy is designed to offset the deficit artificial sunlight. Treatment consists of exposure to light of high intensity lamps, whose spectrum is similar to that of daylight. Prof. Nowak Luan Etcher, the Wayne State University in Detroit, wanted to assess his interest in his patients. With his team, he followed 20 women over age 65 suffer from Alzheimer's disease. One party received light therapy sessions while the other group was exposed to a single red light. However patients in the first group, the authors observed a marked improvement in many parameters, both objective and subjective. They have become more alacrity in ease and clarity of oral expression, and motor coordination has improved. Finally, the authors have also noted a general improvement in their mood.
A good light for sleep
Other research has shown that light therapy may be beneficial to alleviate sleep disorders. These are common in patients with Alzheimer's disease. They are due to the deregulation of cycles. "This study is part of a stream of recent scientific and medical literature, which suggests that light therapy can significantly improve behavioral disorders in patients with Alzheimer's disease or related diseases," said the Agency Press Destination Health, Dr. Pierre Krolak-Salmon.
The latter, head of the Centre of Memory, Resources and Research in Lyon, is delighted that such studies be conducted. "The results (obtained with light therapy) are extremely encouraging. By restoring the rhythm sleep / wake, we increase the chances of healing patients, http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifdiminution level of anxiety with a better rest. This sounds on all the behavioral problems, such as agitation, aggression or even delusional syndromes and other hallucinations. " Like the author of this work, he stresses the need "to carry out extensive work to confirm this type of study (currently) limited numbers."
Learn more: Visit the Association France Alzheimer.
Source: Journal of Nursing Research, January 11, 2012 - Interview of Professor Pierre Krolak-Salmon, January 12, 2012
The memory problems are usually mild
Posted: January 17, 2012 9:32 AM PST
The memory problems are usually mild
By damien Mascret figaro icon - the 15/01/2012
Many age-related forgetfulness rather due to attention deficit disorder, should not fear an Alzheimer.
Search the title of a book, the name of an actor, where it has put away his key opportunities to test his memory does not fail. Other times, it is the memory of something that has been lived (autobiographical memory) becomes blurred. Immediately there is a concern, one wonders if it is not about to start an Alzheimer's disease.
In fact, the infidelity of our memory is normal: "The autobiographical memory is a memory is moving constantly rebuilding, quite different from a crystallized memory," says Dr. Pascale Piolino, head of the laboratory Research dedicated to the memory at the University Paris-Descartes. Neuroscientists believe that the same brain would not be able to forget would soon be crowded with the influx of information that assaults all the time and could no longer function properly.
Encoding, storage and recall
Today, even if the memory has not revealed all the secrets, a consensus was built around a function in three acts: encoding information, storage and recall them. "Aging does not change or very little storage capacity," explains Professor Bruno Dubois, director of the Institute of Memory and Alzheimer's disease (Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris), "On the other hand there during the normal aging decreased attentional resources that are necessary for recording or retrieval of stored information. "
Things are very different in Alzheimer's disease because it is the storage that is primarily affected. The patient is unaware of his forgetfulness (anosognosia) and memory deteriorates progressively in the evolution of the disease: "In the beginning stage, says Dr. Piolino, the deficit would reach recent autobiographical memory, the moderate stage only persist relatively old knowledge and knowledge alone severe stage of childhood amnesia would survive. "For Professor Dubois," it is mainly the difficulty of storing linked to the achievement of hippocampal formation (an area of the brain plays a key role in memory, Ed), which is worrying as it then returns to a probable Alzheimer disease. "
With memory tests, neurologists are able to pinpoint where in the memory (encoding, storage, recall) is a memory problem. "Complaining of his memory has, in most cases, nothing to do with a disease of memory, adds Professor Dubois. It is a commonplace phenomenon, a priori, resulting from an attentional disorder. "In other words, if you were not careful when you want to remember something, the encoding is not done well or not at all. But what has not been encoded can not be stored. Not to mention that with age, it takes a lot more concentration to remember the same thing. Learning is fortunately possible but requires more effort and concentration because you have to mobilize more attentional resources.
Under certain conditions, it is difficult to mobilize the various memory systems of the brain during a depression when you are anxious or concerned, if the lack of sleep or that you take certain medications such as benzodiazepines. Memory is also a chemical phenomenon.
Association of ideas
However, it is a system of the brain that gives an advantage to older brains: the association of ideas. The older and more memories are available, and therefore the possibility of linking new knowledge to other older. "The more you create associations, more links are stronger and more memory is powerful," says psychologist David Schacter, a professor at Harvard (USA) and one of the leading specialists in the memory. Now, this associative system not only allows a more robust storage but also a reminder easier. The memory is written in an interconnected, not isolated in a drawer of your brief, and it will be much easier to bring back to consciousness.
This is the weakness of spontaneous associations partly explains the difficulty in remembering proper names: "We can see no logic in memory for personal names. There is no logic in a proper name, "said Professor Dubois. "How to find a logical link to attach a name to a face or body? Impossible ... You have to create from scratch. It will strengthen by repetition, but this relationship is fragile. "Not to worry, in fact.
Scientists are still far from having pierced the mysteries of memory. For example, where does the infantile amnesia? This almost total lack of memories encoded before the age of 3-4 years? Why do some memories are they particularly rooted in our memory as they were accompanied, at the time of encoding, a strong emotion?