Could these 2014 Nobel Prize scientists save your memory?

By: Karen Hawthorne, M. A. | Alzheimer | Saturday, October 18, 2014 – 05 a.m.

memory What to do when a loved one is so confused and scared they are trying to leave the house in the middle of the night? They can not remember where they are, or what they are, or where they should be.

is a scary thought, and even worse when it happens to someone close to you.

The truth is that it is largely true for friends of people with Alzheimer’s disease, a degenerative brain disease that can rob your memory, your relationships and your ability to care for himself and his family.

is happening now to the grandmother of a friend of mine. His mother was taking care of her grandmother who lived alone well in his 80 years. She was failing, forget things and often confused. The family concluded that Grandma needs full-time care home for the elderly.

That said, the mother of my friend still visits her grandmother twice a day to make sure it is properly fed and maintained with the aim of a little peace. Still, grandma has begun to wake up and wandering at night, scared and trying to get out of the closed facilities.

Now my friend says his grandmother rarely her or her mother recognized. With a definitive diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, the family knows that your condition is worsening.

Related reading: Memory Test Alzheimer’s disease

is heartbreaking to hear. And that makes me think of the conversations I’ve had with my mother about my father is not as strong as it used to be, they forget to turn off the lights when you leave a room sometimes. So it’s not like my father, always wrong-eying the electricity bill! So I think about what it would be like for me and my family if he is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease -. What it must be like to witness a loved gradually lose themselves and their connection to the world

Although risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease, we all have the ability to remember. It is built into our brains, and scientists are now turning to this natural ability we all possess.

Alzheimer crippling our elderly population

This is good news, considering the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease. The numbers of the latest data from the US Census 2010 and Chicago Health and Aging Project (CHAP), a study based on the population of chronic health conditions of the elderly, show one in nine Americans over 65 years (11 percent) has Alzheimer’s. One in nine!

About a third of Americans 85 years or older (32 percent) have the disease. our elderly population is paralyzing.

There is no cure, only strategies to manage symptoms and cognitive impairment.

So when I hear about the research of the best scientific minds in the world that can influence our understanding and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, that is something to applaud.

2014 Nobel Prize discovers link between mind and memory

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2014 was awarded to British-American researcher John O’Keefe and Norwegian husband and wife team May- Britt Moser and Edvard Moser. His research has identified brain cells that function as an “inner GPS” – a positioning system that allows us to orient ourselves and find our way from one place to another. Not so much about the human mind that we do not understand. But this puts us one step closer …

With Alzheimer’s disease, people often lose their way and can not recognize their surroundings. Knowledge about how the brain positioning system can help us decipher responsible for memory loss and brain degeneration that come with this dreaded disease mechanism works.

How do we know where we are?

How do we know how to get from the kitchen to the bedroom, or where we live to the corner store? By familiarizing yourself with benchmarks and repeat steps our time and time again. It has to do with how the brain creates a map of the space around us so that we can navigate unfamiliar territory or find your way along new routes to new destinations. How can we store this information so we can find it easily the next time you want to track the same way?

Related Reading: Your steak dinners are putting it at risk of Alzheimer’s disease

There is a cellular basis for such higher brain functions.

O’Keefe, director of Sainsbury Wellcome Centre in neural and behavioral circuits University College London, discovered the first component of this cellular positioning system in 1971 that a type of nerve cells was found in the brain’s hippocampus was always activated when a rat came to a certain place in a room. Then other nerve cells were activated when a rat was elsewhere in the same room. It concluded that these “place cells” form a map of the room.

Fast forward more than three decades, May-Britt and Edvard Moser, both directors of the centers of neuroscience in Trondheim, discovered another key part of the positioning system of the brain. They had previously worked in the laboratory of O’Keefe at University College London and were based on their research. also make the map of brain connections in the hippocampus of rats moving in a room –

other nerve cell they called “grid cells” were identified. They discovered a pattern of activity in a nearby part of the brain called the entorhinal cortex. specialized cells were activated to generate a coordinate system, like GPS hand in his car, which allows precise positioning and orientation. His research showed how place and grid cells make it possible to determine the position, recognize their surroundings and to navigate.

So when people say that our bodies are made of matter and energy with all these electrical impulses that make us function begins to make sense in a kind of-your-mind-blowing way!

A place for maps in the human brain

I read that the imaging of the brain, and studies of patients with brain surgery, have provided evidence that there place and the grid cells in humans as well. So the Nobel science has very real, human applications.

In patients with Alzheimer’s disease, experts say that the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex are affected often at an early stage, causing people to lose their way and do not recognize their surroundings.

This knowledge of the positioning system of the brain and how specialized cells in the brain work together thought-provoking for laymen and scientists alike. new avenues for understanding other cognitive processes such as memory, thinking and planning opens.

I think there is much in store for the understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and working toward a cure.

Karen Hawthorne is editor in Health and eTalk Karen has worked for the National Post, Postmedia News, CBC Radio Vancouver, the Edmonton Journal, the Register of Kitchener-Waterloo and the Cobourg Daily Star, reporting on health news and trends in lifestyle for more than 15 years .

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