What is Epilepsy and How to Treat It?

Epilepsy is a disease of the central nervous system when an excitation focus appears in the cerebral cortex and causes convulsive activity. Epilepsy is a chronic disorder of the brain, manifested in people all over the world. The disease is characterized by repeated seizures manifested in the form of short-term involuntary convulsions in any part of the body (partial seizures) or throughout the body (generalized convulsions). What may cause epilepsy? The most common type, characteristic for 6 out of 10 people suffering from this disorder, is idiopathic epilepsy, which has…

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Sleep and Dementia

It has been known for some time that there is a correlation between sleep and dementia.  In an article published in Science on October 18, 2013, researchers found an interesting potential explanation for this association.  We know that amyloid beta accumulates in the brain of patients with Alzheimer’s Disease.  The study performed at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York discovered that during sleep the brain doubles the rate at which it removes metabolic debris including amyloid beta.  Other research has reported an inverse relationship between sleep and…

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What is the Difference Between Alzheimers and Dementia?

Dementia is a broad category of degenerative diseases characterized by a progressive decline in cognitive function in more than one of the following areas: (Recent memory). (Aphasia) Speech change. Apraxia) Inability to perform motor tasks despite normal muscle strength. (Agnosia) Inability to comprehend sensory information, i.e., vision. (Executive function) Planning, organization, sequencing, abstracting. Loss of recent memory is the initial symptom in Alzheimer’s disease but memory loss alone is not adequate to make the diagnosis which requires difficulty in at least one of the other domains. Alzheimer’s disease is the…

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Sleep and Dementia By James W. Kozelka

The timing of sleep (known as circadian rhythm) is under the control of the hypothalamus (a part of the brain about the size of a dime directly behind the eyes and above the pituitary). The most important input to this “biological clock” is light information from the retina. In newborn infants our biological clock has not yet been set and the pattern of sleep is somewhat random (known as irregular circadian rhythm). Over the first several weeks of life light input from the retina eventually sets the biological clock and…

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Frequently Asked Questions: What are the Risk Factors for Alzheimer’s Disease?

Age is the primary risk factor for the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Genetic factors may influence the development at a very early age. However, the etiology is unknown in the majority of patients and is likely due to a combination of both genetic and environmental factors. Only approximately 2% of Alzheimer’s cases are due to classical autosomal dominant genetic transmission. Three genes have been identified. These genes share a common biochemical pathway that leads to abnormal production of amyloid beta (a protein that accumulates in the brain of Alzheimer’s…

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