As the population ages, it is universally acknowledged that some will succumb to the awful fate of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), a neurological disorder that accounts for 60-80% of all cases of dementia. Characterized by a decline in cognitive and social functions and severe memory loss, AD affects nearly 35% of the population over 85 years of age. Histopathologically, markers of AD include the formation of senile plaques, caused by the extracellular accumulation of amyloid fibrils in the brain, and intraneuronal aggregates of neurofibrillary tangles with lead to progressive brain dysfunction.
Fluorescent lights are everywhere -- in schools, hospitals, grocery stores, the shopping mall, and now, more than ever, they are also in our homes. With recent initiatives to increase energy efficiency, individuals are regularly swapping out their incandescent light bulbs for fluorescent bulbs in their bedside table lamps and kitchen pendant lights. The result is simply a lower energy bill for most, but for the 37 million Americans who are light sensitive, this small change can add to the constant stress their brains are under as a result of bright and fluorescent lighting.
It has been said that music can help heal the soul. Now this old saying has transferred its healing powers onto improving memory-based interventions for the Alzheimer’s disease patient. Currently, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) affects approximately 5.2 million Americans aged 65 years and older, a number that is expected to reach 7.7 million by 2030. The disease has significant detrimental effects on the functional quality of life of both the patients and their caregivers. Although there exists numerous studies examining potential disease modifying drugs to combat AD, the number of new individuals suffering from the disease continues to grow daily, generating great urgency to implement non-pharmacological interventions that may help to improve daily functioning and quality of life of AD patients in the years ahead.
A study published in recent issue of Neuron describes a very promising new imaging technique, which has successfully charted complex neural reactions and could lead to the detection of brain activity patterns associated with certain psychiatric disorders, including autism and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
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