Study: Women More Likely to Suffer from Alzheimer’s

Woman Holding TempleFor as much as we know about the human brain, there are still countless questions yet to be answered. One of them, according to researchers at the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences in North Carolina, has to do with why women are more likely than men to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, and almost two-thirds of Americans diagnosed with it are women. Moreover, at age 65 women without the disorder have greater than a one in six chance of developing it during their lifetime, while men of the same age have only a one in 11 chance.

In a recent study of nearly 400 seniors, researchers found that women experience a decline in healthy brain function at a much faster rate than men. And, once the early symptoms of cognitive deterioration (including memory loss and disorientation) begin to show, overall decline in healthy brain function tends to happen more quickly in women—about twice as fast.

Despite their findings, it is still unclear why women seem more vulnerable than men to Alzheimer’s and similar disorders. Possible contributing factors may include hormonal or DNA differences, as well as lifestyle factors such as nutrition and physical activity. Duke scientists hope this and other studies may one day help with Alzheimer’s treatment and prevention.


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U.S. Children & Teens Not Drinking Enough Water

girl_drinking_waterAt the same time kids in the United States are drinking more sugary drinks than ever, they are also drinking less of something vitally important to their mental and physical health: water. In fact, more than half of American children and teens are under hydrated, say researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

In a report published last month in the American Journal of Public Health, it was revealed that 54.5% of our youth are not adequately hydrated, in large part because they are not drinking enough water. For the study, researchers gathered information for more than 4,000 children and adolescents (ages 6 to 19) using data from the 2009 through 2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They also discovered that boys are 76% more likely to suffer from insufficient hydration, and a quarter of U.S. kids don’t drink plain water at all.

Why Does it Matter?
Even mild dehydration can lead to health problems, say experts, since water plays an important role in countless bodily functions including digestion, circulation, metabolism, temperature regulation, and kidney function. Poor hydration may also cause fatigue, moodiness, and problems paying attention and retaining information in school, which is why drinking enough water is especially important during critical development years.

According to the National Academy of Medicine in Washington, D.C., school-age children should drink between 7.5 and 14 cups of water daily. Schools can help by replacing sugary drinks with bottled water, as well as providing access to fresh, clean drinking water throughout the day. Parents can do their part by replacing soft drinks, sports drinks, and sweetened fruit drinks with purified water.

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