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Don’t Lead to Dementia for Most
Only about 20 per cent of people who experience “senior
moments” of forgetfulness, memory lapses and poor judgment
will go on to develop serious brain-related disorders such as
Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new German study.
Although some people will be stricken with Alzheimer’s or
dementia, many will see their symptoms remain the same or
disappear, the researchers said. It’s all part of a condition called
“mild cognitive impairment.”
“Patients should not be alarmed unnecessarily by receiving a
diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment,” said lead researcher Dr.
Hanna Kaduszkiewicz of the Institute of Primary Medical Care in
Kiel, Germany.
During three years of study of people with mild cognitive
impairment, 42 per cent returned to normal mental
function, 36 per cent retained their mild impairment
and only 22 per cent developed dementia.
For the study, the team collected data on more
than 350 people aged 75 and older who had been
diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, but
didn’t have dementia. Participants performed tasks
including learning new material (such as memorizing
lists of words), delayed recall and memory.
They were also rated on a depression
scale tailored to older people.
Those study participants most likely
to develop dementia were people
who also had signs of depression,
those who had more severe
cognitive impairment and those
who were older, the researchers
Easing discomfort of
The cause of “airplane ear” – also called
barotrauma or barotitus media – is unequal
pressure between the middle ear and the cabin
of an airplane. Normally, the Eustachian tube,
which connects your middle ear to the back of
your throat, equalizes the pressure. But if the
tube is blocked because of congestion or some
other reason, the unequal pressure creates
a vacuum, stretching the eardrum. During
landings, when pressure changes are felt more
intensely, the eardrum is pulled inward, causing
pain and sometimes dizziness. The eardrum
may also not vibrate normally, which impairs
You can take several steps to ease pressure
problems. Swallowing or, better yet, yawning,
activates the muscle that opens the Eustachian
tube and helps to equalize pressure in the
middle ear. Chewing gum also helps.
If you suffer from pain on a regular basis,
spraying both nostrils with a decongestant
spray or taking a decongestant pill an hour
before takeoff and/or landing should
help shrink mucous membranes and
relieve some of the pressure on the
If pain after landing persists after a
few hours, or if your ears continue
to feel blocked, see your doctor,
who can determine if you have
an injury or infection that requires
Older adults who wear multifocal glasses and who regularly take part in outdoor activities are less likely to suffer falls if they
are also provided with a pair of single-lens distance glasses for outdoor use, according to a study published in the British
Medical Journal. After an initial examination by an optometrist, 305 of the 606 participants were given a pair of single-lens
distance glasses for wearing outdoors and in unfamiliar settings, and were told how to use them. They were also shown how
multifocal glasses increase the risk of falls. For those who went outdoors regularly, all falls dropped by approximately 40 per
cent. Based on these findings, older people who engage in frequent outdoor activities should consider purchasing single-lens
distance glasses for outside use when they are prescribed their first pair of multifocal glasses.
Source: Focus on Healthy Aging – Mount Sinai School of Medicine