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healthnotes


Wonder Grain


Native to South Amer- ica, gluten-free quinoa (pronounced KEEN- wah) is one of the world’s few plants with complete proteins in its amino acid profile. Studies show quinoa


has beneficial antioxi- dants, anti-inflamma- tories, and flavonoids, some in especially con- centrated amounts. It also is high in desirable fiber and can improve metabolic health by lowering blood sugar and triglyceride levels. The seeds have a


high concentration of essential minerals and


More Than Just Alzheimer’s M


the leaves are edible. In fact, quinoa is so nutritious, NASA has evaluated it as a grow- able crop to provide food and oxygen for ex- tended space travel. Quinoa also is very


versatile — it can be enjoyed at breakfast, in an entrée, or even in a chilled summer salad. — Marilyn Pribus


ention the word dementia and most people think of Al- zheimer’s disease. That’s un-


derstandable, since up to 75 percent of dementia cases might be attributed to Alzheimer’s disease. However, there are many other types of dementia, and experts say it’s important to know the diff erence. “Dementia is an umbrella term for individuals who have cognitive issues,” explains Dean Hartley, director of science initiatives at the Alzheimer’s Association. Here’s a rundown of the most common dementia types: Alzheimer’s disease. First identifi ed by German researcher Alois Alzheimer in 1906, Alzheimer’s disease is believed to be caused by abnormal protein structures in the brain, called plaques and tangles, which damage and kill nerve cells. Symp- toms include progressive memory loss, an inability to retain new information, and behavioral changes. Vascular dementia. This is the second


most common form of dementia, Hartley notes, causing between 20 to 30 percent of cases. It is primarily caused by mini


28 MILITARY OFFICER JUNE 2016


hemorrhages in the brain, which gradually aff ect memory, judgment, and other func- tions. Personality and mood changes also are common. Frontotemporal dementia. This form, which occurs in 10 to 15 percent of demen- tia cases, is atypical in that it primarily af- fects the forward part of the brain, which is responsible for executive function. Symp- toms include personality changes, loss of word memory, and behavioral issues. Dementia with Lewy bodies. Lewy bod-


ies are spherical clumps of a common brain protein called alpha-synuclein, which damage nerve cells and interfere with ex- ecutive brain function. (The same protein clumps also are associated with Parkin- son’s disease.) Symptoms include memory loss, hallucinations, a staggering gait, and dramatic personality changes. This form of dementia is relatively uncommon, around 5 percent of cases, Hartley says. There currently is no cure for any of the dementias discussed, but medications can alleviate symptoms and slow progression of some forms.


— Don Vaughan PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK


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