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Month: October 2019 (Page 1 of 8)

Number of Americans living with dementias will double over the next 20 years

Science Daily »

Milken Institute research estimates that by 2020, roughly 4.7 million women in the US will have dementia, accounting for nearly two-thirds of all people living with the condition.

The number of both women and men living with dementia is projected to nearly double by 2040, with the number of women projected to rise to 8.5 million, and the number of men expected to reach 4.5 million (up from 2.6 million in 2020), according to the report, which was released at the 2019 Milken Institute Future of Health Summit in Washington, D.C.

Over the next 20 years, the economic burden of dementia will exceed $2 trillion, with women shouldering more than 80 percent of the cumulative costs.

Read more »

More » The Hill, AARP, WebMD

Too many bad nights of sleep could play a role in developing dementia

Katherine Ellen Foley, writing in Quartz »

“Sleep disorders and insufficient sleep contribute to Alzheimer’s decades before people develop the disorder,” Ruth Benca, a psychiatrist at the University of California, Irvine, said during a panel on brain health at the summit in Washington, DC.

Benca’s work has tracked the relationship between sleep—particularly the deep sleep known as rapid-eye movement (REM)—and its relationship to developing dementia later in life. In 2017, she and her team published work following healthy individuals with a variant of a gene called APOE that puts them at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s. They found that individuals who reported lower-quality sleep tended to have larger buildups of the proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease, called amyloid and tau, in the fluid surrounding their brains than those who reported sleeping well. It seemed, they thought, that the process of sleep might be clearing some of these buildups.

Subsequent work has backed up that theory. The same year, another study found that among a cohort of adults over 60, those who took longer to enter REM sleep and dreamt less were at an elevated risk of developing dementia. Last year, researchers from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland published the results of a study that found healthy participants who agreed to be woken up hourly for a night (yeesh) had higher levels of amyloid the following day. And earlier this year, a separate group from Washington University School of Medicine found that older adults who got less REM sleep were likely to have higher amounts of tau, too.

Read more »

Canadian adults receive failing grade on overall physical activity report card

ParticipACTION, a non-profit group that promotes healthy living, released the first-ever Report Card on Physical Activity for Adults yesterday, giving adults living in Canada a “D” for overall physical activity.

The report stated that even though 83 percent of adults think physical inactivity is a serious health issue, only 16 percent meet the national guidelines of 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each week.

The research shows that 29 percent of adults in Canada fall within the low active lifestyle category and adults 18 to 79 years old are sedentary for almost 10 hours per day.

The research also shows that sedentary time increases with age and adults 65 and older are spending the most time inactive. This is extra concerning as for the first time in Canadian history, adults over the age of 65 make up a larger percentage of our population than those aged 15 and under.

Physical inactivity can lead to increased risk of chronic diseases, cognitive decline, slips and falls, and social isolation. We can’t stop aging, but we can age better with physical activity.

Fortunately, the Report Card is not all negative. 74 percent of adults in Canada say they have strong intentions to be physically active within the next six months. Perhaps they just require a little extra motivation.

As we age, natural changes such as slowed reaction times and decreased muscle and bone strength contribute to an increase in slips and falls. Engaging in activities like strength training or tai chi can help participants meet their weekly activity goals while improving balance, core strength, and stability.

Research shows that being physically active can also help protect against the onset of dementia and slow its progression. Regular brain stimulation along with physical activity can extend our years of strong brain health.

About 20 percent of adults in Canada experience some level of loneliness or isolation. Older adults are at higher risk due to a lack of mobility and shrinking social networks. Staying active, and making time to get active with others helps to build social connections and enhances community engagement.

Source: ParticipACTION

More » CBC

Alberta is imposing a $30-per-tonne carbon tax on industrial facilities

  • Some of the proceeds raised by the Alberta $30-per-tonne carbon tax on large industrial facilities will fund green technology projects.
  • The Alberta’s United Conservative Party government industry tax is being set at a higher level per tonne than the $20 Premier Jason Kenney promised during the spring election.
  • The tax could increase in future years.
  • Alberta’s UCP and the Conservative Party of Canada campaigned against all carbon taxes during the federal election that ended last week.
  • Environment Minister Jason Nixon said Alberta’s UCP government will keep fighting a federal carbon tax, arguing that tax is unconstitutional.

Read more in the Globe and Mail (paywall) »

Lights to go out on Little Bay Islands as locals agree to resettle

Tracey Lindeman, writing in The Guardian »

By New Year’s Day, Mike and Georgina Parsons – and their dog – will be the only permanent residents of Little Bay Islands. At 53 and 44 respectively, they are the island’s youngest full-time residents.

They moved to the community a few years back, attracted to the idea of living off the grid in Mike’s hometown, and have spent the last couple of years preparing for a life of solitude on the edge of the Atlantic.

As winter draws near residents have been slowly filing out, each weekend bringing more farewells. At least half the numbers in the phone directory have been disconnected. Many residents intend to return to their homes in the summers, but for others this may be goodbye.

Watching his parents and other residents pack up and go is tough, said Parsons. “In spite of the fact that 100% of the permanent residents here voted to leave, I know that to actually do it, to pack up their things and leave, is just heartbreaking.”

Read more »

A diet that is healthy for us is also better for the environment

Researchers have found that most foods that promote good health, also tend to be better for the environment. And the reverse also holds true. If the food is bad for you, it’s probably also bad for the planet. Red meat, for example, both increases your risk of death and its production and processing is terrible for the environment.

Maria Godoy, writing for NPR »

In a vast new analysis published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Tilman and his co-authors looked at the health and environmental impacts of 15 different food groups, including nuts, fruits, vegetables, red meat, dairy, eggs, fish, olive oil, legumes and sugar-sweetened beverages.

The foods were ranked relative to one another based on how they influence the risk of disease and the toll they take on the planet in terms of water and land use, greenhouse gas emissions and how they impact pollution of water and soil.

Most of the time, the researchers found that foods that promote good health also tended to be better for the planet — and vice versa.

Read more »

More » HealthDay, Science Daily

No more petrol cars on Brussels streets by 2035

Sarah Johansson, writing in the The Brussels Times »

The Brussels government has adopted the definitive version of its Climate plan.

The Climate plan will phase out the use of diesel by 2030 and the use of petrol by 2035 at the latest.

The previous government created a low-emission zone, which includes areas in all the Brussels communes. The progressive ban of the highest-polluting diesel and petrol vehicles between now and 2025 is currently underway.

To achieve this, the Brussels government has committed to “setting new benchmarks for the LEZ for all types of vehicle for 2025-2035” next year. “While working with stakeholders and any affected professional sectors. We will be taking into account the social, economic and budget impact and the alternative technologies available,” a spokes person said.

The Brussels government also plans “to add motorcycles to the LEZ rules, which are currently not included for operational reasons. A ban of the highest-polluting motorcycles will be added in 2022.”

Read more »

More at » Fortune

15 Canadian youth sue federal government over climate change

The youth, from seven provinces and the Northwest Territories, are being represented by Arvay Finlay LLP and Tollefson Law Corporation, and partner with the Pacific Centre for Environmental Law and Litigation, and the David Suzuki Foundation.

The case, La Rose et. al. v. Her Majesty the Queen, alleges the federal government is violating their rights to life, liberty and security of person under section seven of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Jeff Tollefson, writing for Nature »

Fifteen people aged between 10 and 19 filed the lawsuit in federal court, arguing that climate change will impinge on their right to “life, liberty and security”. The lawsuit also argues that climate change will interfere with basic equality rights, given that the most severe effects of climate change will be borne by future generations.

“Basically, what we’re arguing is that the courts must hold this generation to account for harms that are being done to the next,” says Chris Tollefson, co-counsel for the plaintiffs and a specialist in environmental law at the University of Victoria in Canada.

Ira Reinhart-Smith, a 15-year-old plaintiff from Caledonia, Canada, says that he got involved with climate activism — including the Fridays for Future school-strike movement — last year. “This lawsuit is helping me express my anger and my fear,” he says. “My generation and generations to come are going to be exposed to things that the world has never been exposed to before.”

Read more »

More at » Toronto Star, CBC, Maple Ridge News, Newsweek

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