Archive for August, 2013

Conflicting claims on cocoa consumption cause controversy

Cocoa BeansResearchers at Harvard Medical School have claimed that drinking cocoa may improve blood flow to the brain in older people.

The study involved sixty people over the age of 65 who had a range of vascular conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes or high blood pressure. Participants drank two cups of cocoa a day for thirty days. Individuals who initially had impaired blood flow in response to brain activity were found to have improved blood flow by the end of the study.

Half of the study group drank cocoa rich in a compound called flavanol, while the other half drank cocoa with low amounts of flavanol. However there were no significant differences in the results for each group. The study concludes therefore that there is an element of cocoa that may increase blood flow to the brain, but it is not necessarily flavanol.

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Counselling Service offers support to Carers

Susie offers confidential counselling to Carers

Susie offers confidential counselling to Carers

Caring for a relative or friend who has dementia or late-life depression can be challenging and stressful. It is common – and normal – for Carers to experience a range of feelings including sadness, frustration and even anger. This is not a reflection on the Carer’s ability to cope, but a natural reaction to adapting to, and coping with, a sense of loss and an ever changing situation.

Crossroads Care in the Vale recognises the importance of emotional support for Carers of those with dementia by providing a free counselling service. Carers often say that they avoid confiding in family members or friends as they do not wish to ‘burden’ them. By attending counselling sessions, the Carer has an opportunity to talk in confidence and honesty about the difficulties they are facing in their caring role, without feeling judged or even criticised. The Carer can use the counselling sessions to express difficult feelings and to discuss practical ways to improve the situation for themselves and their loved one.

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Rugby-related head injuries increase risk of dementia

6 NationsA possible link between rugby-related head injuries and early onset dementia has been identified by a neuropathologist in Scotland.

Dr Willie Stewart, a brain injuries expert based at Southern General Hospital in Glasgow, made the discovery while examining the brain tissue of a former rugby player in his fifties. The rugby player had higher levels of abnormal proteins associated with head injuries and dementia than a retired amateur boxer who has Dementia Pugilistica. otherwise known as ‘punch drunk syndrome’.

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