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June 25, 2016 / 19 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘memory’

Chocolate May Be Sweet Solution for Memory Problems Age 50+

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Are you over fifty and finding it hard to keep track of your car, your keys or new faces these days?

According to the findings of a small study published in the October 1, 2014 volume of the journal Nature Neuroscience, chocolate may improve memory skills normally lost with age.

Healthy subjects ages 50 to 69 performed better on a memory test after drinking a mixture high in cocoa flavanols for three months than those who drank a mixture low in flavanols.

Cocoa flavanols are anti-oxidants, which led the drinkers to perform the same as people 20 to 30 years younger on a pattern recognition test involving the kind of skill used when remembering the face of someone you just met, or the place you parked your car.

Researchers found that people in the high-flavanol group exhibited increased function in the “dentate gyrus” area of the brain’s hippocampus – the area linked to this type of memory skill.

According to the study’s principal investigator Dr. Scott A. Small, a neurologist at Columbia University Medical Center, those who drank the cocoa flavanol mixture performed 25 percent better than the low-flavanol control group.

The area of the hippocampus that is impaired early in Alzheimer’s disease – the entorhinal cortex – showed no increased activity.

But it would take a monumental amount of chocolate to reach the level of flavanols necessary to achieve any effect, doctors say.

To reach 138 milligrams of epicatechin (the daily dose of the high flavanol group), one would have to eat about 100 grams of baking chocolate or unsweetened cocoa powder – about 300 grams of dark chocolate a day.

Consider the incredible amount of fat and calories involved, and the cost-benefit ratio.

Is it really worth it?

Age-related memory decline may be different, and that flavanols may not help people with Alzheimer’s, even if they help those with age-related memory loss, researchers point out.

There were other factors involved that may have affected the study outcomes, including the size of the cohort and other food items consumed by the subjects and controls.

Nevertheless, good news about chocolate in any form is always good news for chocolate lovers.

Right?

Hana Levi Julian

A Woman of Courage and Strength

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

When I was little, my parents didn’t have much money so family vacations were non-existent. But somehow, for years if I remember correctly, my uncle and aunt invited me to spend a week at their house. These are the memories of a child – perhaps it was only a few days. For all I know, it could have been only one night – but the memory I carry with me was that I spent days and days with my Uncle Woodie and my Aunt Pia.

Pia was an accomplished artist – she filled her house with color and brightness. She was a wonderful mother…housewife…teacher. She was always dressed so beautifully, so elegantly. I have so many memories of her as I was growing up.

Seven years ago, Pia was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and told she had months, maybe even just weeks, to live. She redefined courage as she fought back the disease time and time again.

When a doctor told her there was no hope… she decided not to listen. She went experimental treatments, was declared cancer free and continued to fight even after the disease re-appeared. She became a symbol for many as she launched campaigns to raise money and awareness for a disease that leaves devastation and shock in its wake.

Through it all, she continued to smile, continued to cherish her family. I saw her a bit over a year ago when she came to Israel to celebrate the bar mitzvah of her oldest grandson. There was such pride in her as she stood on Masada and watched her daughter’s family gather around.

We all knew the disease was still there and we knew she would continue to fight it for as long as she could. She never gave up; she never gave in.

She lost her battle with cancer on Friday (Shabbat in Israel).

There are many heroes in the world – perhaps the greatest are those who simply struggle to live their lives with dignity, respect, and love.

I always knew Pia was a woman of grace, beauty, talent and love. I have learned over the last few years, that she was also a woman of incredible courage and strength. May God bless her memory.

Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

Paula Stern

Jewish Scientists: Block Memory of Alcohol Use and Cure the Habit?

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Research teams headed by a Hebrew University graduate and Tel Aviv University researchers have suggested that an experiment on rats showed that blocking their memory of alcohol use helped them break the habit.

Memories of addiction often cause drinkers to return to their habit when they are aroused by the smell of alcohol, creating pattern difficult to break.

Dorit Ron, a neuroscientist at the University of California at San Francisco and a graduate of Hebrew University, led her team’s research that disrupted memories of rats that had been exposed to alcohol.

The scientists, along with a team from Tel Aviv University, identified a potential molecular target in the brains of rats that might be able to be used to help cure alcoholics.

Their study, published this week in Nature Neuroscience4, explained that rats became problem drinkers after spending seven weeks exposed to a choice of water or a mixture of water and 20% alcohol.

Ron said, “It’s pretty amazing. Over time, you can see they develop a strong preference for alcohol.”

The researchers then took the alcohol away from the rodents, but then gave them a drop a day of a liquid that had a slight taste and odor of alcohol. The rats that also received a drug to inhibit memory showed a lesser tendency to go back to the booze.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jewish-scientists-block-memory-of-alcohol-use-and-cure-the-habit/2013/06/24/

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