Welcome to AlzScience!

Hello and welcome to AlzScience! I created this blog because of a disconnect that I noticed between the scientific research being conducted on Alzheimer’s disease and the information that is relayed to the public. There is so much more to this complex disease than what you hear on the news or read online. My goal is for this blog to be an understandable guide for people with or without a science background to stay informed on the latest in dementia research and what science says we can do to keep our brains healthy as we age.

I want to make this disclaimer: I am far from an expert on Alzheimer’s disease or brain health. As a matter of fact, I am only at the beginning of my journey towards becoming a neuroscientist. (See the “About” section for more information on my background.) However, what I can offer is an understanding of basic genetics and neuroscience, as well as experience with reading and deciphering scientific papers. I believe these two areas of knowledge will prepare me to act as a sort of translator to convert the jargon and statistics of primary articles into readable language that someone without a PhD in neuroscience can easily understand.

If you have any particular topics or questions that you would like me to discuss, feel free to contact me.

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7 thoughts on “Welcome to AlzScience!

  1. Tony

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and liking my post on protecting your memory by staying at a healthy weight. Congrats on your blog and studies and aims. I, too, lost a loved one to Alzheimer’s. I agree completely with you on the awful injustice of losing one’s memories and, in fact, life from this mental scourge. Best of luck with your work!

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  2. KDN

    Thought you may like to consider the following: Studies have shown that elevated default-mode activity of the brain is associated with amyloid plaque deposition (amyloid plaques define Alzheimer’s). Elevated default-mode activity is linked to rumination, worry, mental proliferation, etc. Studies have shown that mindfulness and all meditation practices significantly reduce rumination, worry, etc., thereby diminishing the activity of the default-mode network. So, I think this is an area worth investigating for Alzheimer’s disease.
    Also, there is strong evidence that stress (which happens through rumination/worry) is linked to Alzheimer’s (see: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26655068 ).

    Check out the following references that provide supporting evidence:

    Brewer, J. A., Worhunsky, P. D., Gray, J. R., Tang, Y. Y., Weber, J., & Kober, H. (2011). Meditation experience is associated with differences in default mode network activity and connectivity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(50), 20254-20259.

    Greicius, M. D., Srivastava, G., Reiss, A. L., & Menon, V. (2004). Default-mode network activity distinguishes Alzheimer’s disease from healthy aging: evidence from functional MRI. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 101(13), 4637-4642.

    Garrison, K. A., Zeffiro, T. A., Scheinost, D., Constable, R. T., & Brewer, J. A. (2015). Meditation leads to reduced default mode network activity beyond an active task. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 15(3), 712-720.

    Larouche, E., Hudon, C., & Goulet, S. (2015). Potential benefits of mindfulness-based interventions in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease: an interdisciplinary perspective. Behavioural brain research, 276, 199-212.

    Wells, R. E., Yeh, G. Y., Kerr, C. E., Wolkin, J., Davis, R. B., Tan, Y., … & Press, D. (2013). Meditation’s impact on default mode network and hippocampus in mild cognitive impairment: a pilot study. Neuroscience letters,556, 15-19.

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    1. AlzScience Post author

      Thank you for your comment! There is certainly some very interesting research on the brain health benefits of meditation and stress reduction. For example, the MEND protocol, which I recently wrote an article about, included this as one of its guidelines for reversing cognitive decline. I will add this to my list of topics to cover more in-depth in the future and will definitely check out the sources you listed.

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