Wednesday, January 13, 2010

SEAWEED MAY TREAT ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE


The image about Alzheimer's in the sidebar and above is explained in the last paragraph of this article of mine which was published in Italy Magazine today. Long-term readers of this blog will know that helping victims of this cruel disease and their families is a cause close to my heart.
From the negative image of the Italian South generated worldwide by the events reported in Monday’s story, we move to a positive and hopefully far-reaching discovery made by scientists there: Giovanni Scapagnini, a biochemist at the Medical Faculty of the Università degli Studi in Molise, has found that a molecule present in seaweed may help to protect the brain from developing Alzheimer’s disease. It may also be effective in the treatment of the disease.

The molecule, homotaurine, may, according to Dr Scapagnini’s research, help preserve the hippocampus, an area of the brain associated with memory. In trials carried out in Europe and the USA brain toxins were reduced in patients treated with a drug containing the molecule. These toxins are believed to be a factor in the development of the disease. The patients’ reasoning also improved.

Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative form of dementia for which there is no cure at present and memory loss is only one of its many distressing symptoms. It is most often associated with ageing but it can strike younger people too, although this is rare.Often the family of a sufferer also become victims of the disease because its effects can be heartbreaking to witness. Over 35 million people are affected by Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia in the world and 7.3 million of them are in Europe. Over 1 million Italians are affected and it is estimated that there are 97,000 new cases in Italy every year. This amounts to a new case in Italy every 71 seconds. Dr Scapagnini estimates that by 2050 Alzheimer’s will affect three times as many people as it does today.

If you are in Italy between now and 31st January you can help Pronto Alzheimer, a helpline for sufferers and their families, by sending a text message to 48544 from any personal mobile phone connected to Wind, 3, Tim, Vodafone or Telecom Italia or by calling the same number from a Telecom Italia landline within Italy. Pronto Alzheimer will receive 2 euros for every message sent or call made.

12 comments:

lakeviewer said...

I read with disgust the story about the immigrants in Reggio Calabria. A shameful incident, indeed.

Leslie: said...

I have a great fear of getting Alzheimers and it's close to my heart because my mother died from it at only age 81. I try to keep my brain working by doing word puzzles and keeping active. I sure hope Pronto Alzheimer gets lots of support.

Dragonstar said...

So many people are affected, as you say, not just the single sufferer. It's such a distressing disorder. I do hope this discovery proves to help a large number of people.

amethyst said...

Great stuff - about the seaweed. I hope it lives up to its promise and will help many. (Of course, seaweed is a brilliant health food in many respects). Did you also read the research (from the US - Hawaii, I believe) that shows how moderate coffee drinking can also be beneficial? Buona Giornata!

Winchester whisperer said...

Maybe I'll get some for my father. He doesn't have Alzheimer's, thank goodness, but his memory is definitely deteriorating.

jams o donnell said...

I really do hope something good comes from this research

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Lakeviewer. Yes, shameful and unItalian. Hi, Leslie. I think we all fear it. We can only make the most of the moment. Hi, Dragonstar. Yes, it is a terrible thing. I hope so too. Hi, amethyst. No, I hadn't read that. Thanks for sharing the info here. Buona serata. Hi, WW. Maybe it's worth a try. I know you're very close to your Dad. I really hope so too, jams.

CherryPie said...

It sounds fascinating, I hope it works.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Cherie. I really hope so, too.

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

My one grandmother, my mother and now my father. He's so child like and I feel like I'm now the parent. I look around the nursing home and see so many like him. It's sad. My Dad was very smart and personable...a salesman and a politician. You'd never know it now. I spent two hours with him on Friday and he said one word the whole time I was with him. I get no response...just a blank look. Yes, lets get a cure or a decent treatment in time for the next generation. It's too late for Dad.

Mary said...

Hi Welshcakes, I'm just travelling back to the UK tomorrow for my mother's funeral. She has suffered from Alzheimers for at least seven years, and in reality, this is a merciful release. Let's try to find out the cause and search for a cure. It truly is the most dehumanising illness.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Betty. I really do know what you are going through. One of the saddest aspects is when we feel we are "parenting the parent". We feel so helpless, too. I do hope a cure can be found for this disease.
Hello, Mary. I am so sorry that you have lost your mother. My thoughts are with you. x

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