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Does poor sleep cause dementia?

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It makes sense that after a night of poor sleep, we might not be thinking as clearly the following day. But what about engaging in poor sleep habits throughout our lifetime? Could that put us at risk for long-term cognitive impairments, such as dementia?

Even in people who don’t seem to be cognitively impaired, poor sleep seems to correlate with subtle changes in the same brain proteins that are used to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. The question is why.

Possible explanations

There are several explanations, which are not mutually exclusive and could all be true:

  • Sleep is biologically important for reducing or clearing harmful neurodegenerative proteins from our brains. Exciting new studies in mice have suggested that sleep may clean the brain of amyloid beta, a protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

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Is my child ready for overnight camp?

is your child ready for overnight campWith summer just around the corner, making plans for your child’s summer vacation may be on your mind. The options are vast, and depending on the age and maturity of your child, overnight camp may be up for consideration for this summer.

How young is too young? Continue reading

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Heartburn’s burn and the risk for esophageal cancer

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Reflux of stomach acid over time can damage the lining of the esophagus, which can lead to esophageal cancer.

 

Heartburn. It’s a symptom that many people experience on a regular basis. What many people don’t realize is that long-term heartburn can put them at risk for esophageal cancer. The esophagus is the long tube that connects the throat to the stomach. Reflux of stomach acid over the long haul can damage the lining of the esophagus, which can lead to cancer. Continue reading

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‘A day on the lake changed my life’

U-M student continues recovery, encourages water safety

“I pretty much remember everything,” says 20-year-old Taylor Janssen about the July 2015 day that changed his life. The University of Michigan Ross School of Business student dove into the lake by his house after a volleyball, but a shallow spot in the water made for a much more complicated day.

Taylor’s friends pulled him out of the water, called his dad and they were on their way to the hospital, where U-M neurosurgeons worked to stabilize his cervical injury.

“I just went out for a day on the lake, and it changed my life,” Taylor says.

Taylor’s dad, Mark Janssen, now looks at the risks people take in a different way than he used to.

“It just takes one mistake to alter your life forever,” Mark says.

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Walk for heart health!

Get ready now for National Walking Day on April 6

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Walking is great for many reasons, especially if you find yourself sitting at a desk all day. That applies to quite a few of us because, according to the American Heart Association, sedentary jobs have increased 83 percent since 1950. So it’s important to get moving during lunch, after work and on weekends for heart health and overall well-being. 

You can get started by gearing up for National Walking Day on Wednesday, April 6. Then, make a commitment to incorporate walking into your daily routine. Continue reading

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13 ways to decrease swallowing problems in Parkinson’s disease

Many people with Parkinson's disease experience problems with swallowing food, liquid and medications

Many people with Parkinson’s disease experience problems with swallowing food, liquid and medications

People with Parkinson’s disease may notice changes with swallowing, especially as the disease progresses. Speech-language pathologists evaluate swallowing (in addition to speech and communication skills) and provide treatment and suggestions to facilitate swallowing.

Here is some information you may find helpful.

Basic swallowing suggestions

  1. Sit upright. Bring the liquid or solid up to mouth; don’t bend your head down to the table.
  2. Start meals by taking small sip of water to moisten mouth.
  3. Take smaller bites and small sips.
  4. Swallow everything in your mouth prior to the next bite or sip.
  5. Avoid tipping head back when swallowing.
  6. Alternate swallows of liquids and solids.
  7. Eat and drink more slowly.
  8. Swallow again or swallow twice if needed.
  9. Do not try to talk and swallow at the same time.
  10. Time your medication to get maximum benefit during meals.
  11. Keep auditory and visual distractions (such as the radio, TV, conversations, etc.) to a minimum during meals.
  12. Sit upright for at least 30 minutes after eating to help prevent heartburn/reflux.
  13. Maintain good oral hygiene. Brush teeth after every meal.

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