Category Archives: From Research to Real Life

Coffee-drug for Parkinson’s and dementias?

We have been told the benefits of caffeine (see more info HERE). What researchers are finding is that caffeine, the world’s most widely used drug, does more than wake people up. Caffeine is linked to improvements in memory and appears to protect against the destruction of brain cells. One of the results find that people who drank two or more… Read more »

This is your brain on coffee

For hundreds of years, coffee has been one of the two or three most popular beverages on earth. In a large scale epidemiological study (National Cancer Institute 2012), men who reported drinking two or three cups of coffee a day were 10 percent less likely to have died than those who didn’t drink coffee, while women drinking the same amount had… Read more »

what happens to your body when you exercise?

exercise changes you. Neuroscientist Judy Cameron, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Tommy Boone, Ph.D., a board certified exercise physiologist, and Edward Laskowski, M.D., co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center take us through what happens in the body when we exercise. Increased blood flow during exercise benefits the brain: brain cells function… Read more »

“this is your brain on the couch”: inactivity changes the brain

We know that the brain retains plasticity, or the capacity to be reshaped, throughout our lifetimes. And that exercise is particularly adept at remodeling the brain, prompting the creation of new brain cells and other positive changes. I posted previously about the dangers of sedentary time (HERE). Now it seems that inactivity can also remodel the brain. A study (Mischel et al…. Read more »

Applications of Yoga in Parkinson’s disease (Roland, 2014)

It’s published! You can access the FULL article here. It is a systematic review summarizing all the available published research on yoga for Parkinson’s disease (which wasn’t much…). Preliminary data suggested modest improvements in functional mobility, balance, upper- and lower-limb flexibility, and lower-limb strength. The presented evidence also showed improvements in nonphysical factors, such as mood and sleep. This is important… Read more »

Sleep in Parkinson’s disease

Last week, I posted about a recent scientific understanding of WHY we need sleep (see post HERE). There are all kinds of benefits to getting enough sleep:  It’s good for your heart, it may reduce stress, and even prevent cancer. – More importantly, sleep is good for your brain – especially working memory… the kind essential to daily function. –… Read more »

NEW research opportunity

Hi! Just wanted to point out that I have a new tab… RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES. – And, yes, that means I am off-and-running with my latest research study. SO, PLEASE check it out if you are interested in getting involved – Specifically, I’m looking for care partners of persons with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or Parkinson’s disease to fill out a questionnaire! *the… Read more »

Why do we need sleep?

Before 2013, we didn’t really know the answer to this question. We knew that our brains and bodies work better after sleep. But what we didn’t know, until now, was why. Scientists report the first major mechanical reason our brains need to sleep in Science (Xie et al., 2013) — certain cleaning mechanisms in the brain work better when we shut… Read more »

Waiting too long for a dementia diagnosis?

The dementia themed posts this month are in honour of Alzheimer’s awareness month. If you’re interested, past posts include: defining dementia, dementia gene, G8 dementia summit, and Azheimer’s vs. Parkinson’s disease. About 747,000 Canadians have Alzheimer’s disease and dementia and this number is expected to climb to 1.4 million in less than 20 years. Recently, the Alzheimer’s Society Canada (ASC)… Read more »

Parkinson’s disease… more than a movement disorder.

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is more than a movement disorder. Dementia is one of the things people worry about. And a number of people with PD can develop cognitive changes. I want to stress these are DIFFERENT things. Dementia is a loss of intellectual function (memory, reason, problem solving, abstract reasoning) which is qualitatively different from a previous state of life…. Read more »