Talk Deeply & Be Happy

Would you be happier if you spent more time discussing the state of the world and the meaning of life — and less time talking about the weather?

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Deep conversations made people happier than small talk, one study found.
It may sound counterintuitive, but people who spend more of their day having deep discussions and less time engaging in small talk seem to be happier, said Matthias Mehl, a psychologist at the University of Arizona who published a study on the subject.

“We found this so interesting, because it could have gone the other way — it could have been, ‘Don’t worry, be happy’ — as long as you surf on the shallow level of life you’re happy, and if you go into the existential depths you’ll be unhappy,” Dr. Mehl said.

But, he proposed, substantive conversation seemed to hold the key to happiness for two main reasons: both because human beings are driven to find and create meaning in their lives, and because we are social animals who want and need to connect with other people.

“By engaging in meaningful conversations, we manage to impose meaning on an otherwise pretty chaotic world,” Dr. Mehl said. “And interpersonally, as you find this meaning, you bond with your interactive partner, and we know that interpersonal connection and integration is a core fundamental foundation of happiness.”

Dr. Mehl’s study was small and doesn’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship between the kind of conversations one has and one’s happiness. But that’s the planned next step, when he will ask people to increase the number of substantive conversations they have each day and cut back on small talk, and vice versa.

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The study, published in the journal Psychological Science, involved 79 college students — 32 men and 47 women — who agreed to wear an electronically activated recorder with a microphone on their lapel that recorded 30-second snippets of conversation every 12.5 minutes for four days, creating what Dr. Mehl called “an acoustic diary of their day.”

Researchers then went through the tapes and classified the conversation snippets as either small talk about the weather or having watched a TV show, and more substantive talk about current affairs, philosophy, the difference between Baptists and Catholics or the role of education. A conversation about a TV show wasn’t always considered small talk; it could be categorized as substantive if the speakers analyzed the characters and their motivations, for example.

Many conversations were more practical and did not fit in either category, including questions about homework or who was taking out the trash, for example, Dr. Mehl said. Over all, about a third of all conversation was ranked as substantive, and about a fifth consisted of small talk.

But the happiest person in the study, based on self-reports about satisfaction with life and other happiness measures as well as reports from people who knew the subject, had twice as many substantive conversations, and only one-third of the amount of small talk as the unhappiest, Dr. Mehl said. Almost every other conversation the happiest person had — 45.9 percent of the day’s conversations — were substantive, while only 21.8 percent of the unhappiest person’s conversations were substantive.

Small talk made up only 10 percent of the happiest person’s conversations, while it made up almost three times as much –- or 28.3 percent –- of the unhappiest person’s conversations.

Next, Dr. Mehl wants to see if people can actually make themselves happier by having more substantive conversations.

“It’s not that easy, like taking a pill once a day,” Dr. Mehl said. “But this has always intrigued me. Can we make people happier, by asking them, for the next five days, to have one extra substantive conversation every day?”

Source: The New York Times. (Health, March 17,2010)

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Alangium Chinense

Botanical Name : Alangium chinense
Family : Alangiaceae
Genus : Alangium
Synonyms : Alangium begoniifolium – (Roxb.)Baill., Marlea begoniifolia – Roxb.,Stylidium chinense – Lour
Kingdom:
Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Cornales
Species: A. chinense

Habitat :E. Asia – India to C. China .  Upland thickets in W. China. Open places around villages at elevations of 300 – 2400 metres in Nepal.Woodland Garden; Secondary;

Description:-
An evergreen Small deciduous tree, growing to 8m at a slow rate.  Leaves alternate, asymmetrical, ovate, entire or with shallowed pointed lobes, 8-25 cm long, 4.5-16 cm wide, dark green, glabrous or with scatered hairs above, lighter beneath with axillary tufts of hairs along nerves. Apex pointed, base oblique and truncate. Petiole reddish. Flowers in axillary cymes, slightly fragant, about 2 cm long, in July-August. 6-7 white petals, reflexed and sometimes cohered. Conspicuous orange anthers. Fruit ovoid, black

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It is hardy to zone 9. It is in leaf all year, in flower from June to July, and the seeds ripen from August to November. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation :
Succeeds in any moderately fertile well-drained soil[200]. Requires full sun and a sheltered position[200]. Not very frost tolerant,  this species is likely to be on the borderlines of hardiness even if obtained from its higher provenances . However, although the top growth will be killed back in all but the mildest winters, the plant will usually resprout from the base in the spring and will usually flower in the summer.  These flowers are sweetly scented. This species is closely related to A. platinifolium. Although a fair sized tree in its native habitat, it is unlikely to make more than a shrub more than 2 metres tall in Britain. It does not require pruning.

Propagation:-
Seed – we have no details for this species but suggest sowing the seed in a greenhouse in the spring. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out in early summer and consider giving them some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in sand in a frame

Medicinal Actions & Uses:-
Blood tonic; Carminative; Contraceptive.

This plant is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, where it is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs. And, it is used to treat snakebite, used as a carminative. Moreover, it is used to increase circulation, as a contraceptive and a “hemostat”, to treat numbness, rheumatism, and wounds. The roots and the stems are a blood tonic, carminative and contraceptive. They are used in the treatment of rheumatism, numbness, traumatic injuries, wounds and snakebites. A decoction of the leafy shoots is said to be tonic. A paste of the roots is applied to the area around dislocated bones to help them setting. The shoot, rootbark and whole plant are all used medicinally.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Other Uses:-
Oil.

An oil extracted from the seeds is used for lighting lamps.

Scented Plants
Flowers: Fresh
The small white flowers are sweetly scented.

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Alangium+chinense
http://www.biologie.uni-ulm.de/systax/dendrologie/Alangchifw.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alangium_chinense
http://www.metafro.be/prelude/prelude_pic/Alangium_chinense4.jpg

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Sitting into the Back Stretch

Here’s a nice stretch for your middle and lower back that fits easily into your workday. Just move your chair away from the desk and give it a try whenever your back feels tight or stiff. This move is also a great way to release tension in your neck and shoulders.

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STEP-1.

Sit all the way to the back of a sturdy chair (not a rolling one). Place your feet shoulder-width apart with your ankles below your knees, feet flat on the floor. Bend forward at the hips, bringing your chest and ribcage in between your inner thighs. Reach your arms in front of you, with your hands on the floor, looking down between your feet. Pause and feel the stretch in your middle and lower back.

STEP-2.
Once you feel comfortable with the stretch, reach your hands behind your feet and grasp the front legs of the chair. Aim the crown of your head forward away from the chair as you engage your upper back muscles and slide your shoulders down away from your ears. Pull your torso closer to the floor to feel a deeper stretch. Hold for three to six complete breaths, release your hands and slowly sit upright to come out of the stretch.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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Mountain Dandelion (Agoseris glauca)

Botanical Name :Agoseris glauca
Family : Compositae/Asteraceae
Subfamily: Cichorioideae
Genus: Agoseris
Synonyms : Agoseris villosa – Rydb.  Troxicum glaucum – Pursh.
Other common names: Mountain Dandelion ,false dandelion,pale agoseris and prairie agoseris.
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order: Asterales
Tribe: Cichorieae
Species: A. glauca

Habitat : It is native to northern and western North America from Alaska to Ontario to New Mexico, where it grows in many habitat types.   Western N. AmericaBritish Columbia to Manitoba, south to California and New Mexico.  Meadows and other open places at all elevations in moderately dry to moist or even wet soils.

Description:
Agoseris glauca is a species of flowering plant in the daisy family .This is a perennial herb which varies in general appearance. It produces a basal patch of leaves of various shapes which may be as long as the plant is high. There is no stem but the plant flowers in a stemlike inflorescence which is sometimes erect, reaching heights near half a meter or taller. The flower head is one to three centimeters wide with layers of pointed phyllaries. The head is ligulate, bearing many yellow ray florets and no disc florets. The fruit is an achene with a body up to a centimeter long and a pappus which may be almost 2 centimeters in lengt

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It is hardy to zone 0. It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from June to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
The plant prefers light (sandy) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil.

Varieties:-
Agoseris glauca var. dasycephala
Agoseris glauca var. glauca

Cultivation:
Prefers full sun and a sandy or gravelly loam low in nutrients. The sub-species A. glauca villosa is used for its gum.

Propagation:-
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 2 – 6 weeks at 15°c. As soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer or late in the following spring. Division with care in spring. The plants do not like a lot of root disturbance so it is best to pot up the divisions and keep them in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are established.

Edible Uses:-
Edible Uses: Gum.

The solidified sap (latex) of the stem is chewed as a gum.

Medicinal  Actions &  Uses:-

Laxative; Poultice; Warts.

The following reports refer to the sub-species A. glauca dasycephala (Torr.&Gray.)Jepson. An infusion of the entire plant is used as a wash for sores and rashes. The milky latex is applied to warts in order to remove them. This requires constant applications over a period of weeks for it to be effective. A poultice made from the latex is applied to sores. An infusion of the root is used as a laxative.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Other Uses
Latex.

 

A latex in the plant contains rubber, but not in sufficient quantities to make it commercially valuable.

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Agoseris+glauca
http://web4.msue.msu.edu/mnfi/abstracts/botany/Agoseris_glauca.pdf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agoseris_glauca

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Ways to Improve Your Adolescents’ Health

Simple, low-cost steps like wearing a pedometer to encourage walking or meditating for a few minutes every day can enhance adolescents’ health, say researchers.

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According to Dr Vernon Barnes, physiologist at the Medical College of Georgia‘s Georgia Prevention Institute, these types of side-effect-free steps can quickly help lower blood pressure, heart rate and even weight, neutralizing today’s unhealthy, upward trends among young people.

In one of three studies presented at the American Psychosomatic Society Annual Meeting in Portland, Ore, Dr Barnes said a positive attitude and family environment increases the effectiveness of the interventions. The research comparing breathing awareness meditation to health education and life-skills training discovered that all methods improved blood pressure.

Dr Barnes, who has studied the effect of mediation on cardiovascular health for over a decade at MCG, has documented the improved stress reactivity in black adolescents with high normal blood pressures as well as lower blood pressures in black, inner-city adolescents who meditate twice daily.

Meditation also sharpens the mind for education.

Dr Barnes said: “When you come to school with a stressed mind, you can’t do as well.

The benefit of calming your mind is preparing it to learn.”

A review of school records showed meditating adolescents miss fewer days and generally behave better, he pointed out.

Another study demonstrated that the blood pressure of students in a high school-based walking program decreased after just 16 weeks compared with non-participating peers. Dr Barnes, part of an adult team competing with a group of high school students to see which can walk the farthest, said the pedometer inspired adolescents to walk.

He said: “You think about it: that little extra walking will hopefully benefit your health.”

“It all works together, which makes sense,” he said, looking at the effectiveness of the techniques over just a few months. While decreases in blood pressure were small – a 2.5 point reduction in pedometer wearers compared to a 3.5 point increase in the control group – it’s good momentum.

Dr Barnes said: “If you could maintain that decrease into your adult years, it may decrease cardiovascular disease risk.”

Researchers also reported reductions in anger and anxiety after a dozen, 50-minute classes on the topics taught by health teachers. Psychosocial factors such as anger are known to contribute to a wide range of health problems including elevated blood pressures and heart disease in adulthood. But Williams LifeSkills workshops helped adolescents learn to analyse a situation before responding, to listen and empathize or even stand firm when necessary.

Source: The Times Of India

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Sleep Habits Linked to Fat Gain in Younger Adults

James Hetfield.
Image via Wikipedia

Researchers found that among adults younger than 40, those who typically slept for five hours or less each night had a greater accumulation of belly fat over the next five years.
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But those who logged eight hours or more in bed each night also showed a bigger fat gain, although it was less substantial than that seen in “short sleepers.”

On average, short sleepers showed a 32 percent gain in visceral fat, versus a 13 percent gain among those who slept six or seven hours per night, and a 22 percent increase among men and women who got at least eight hours of sleep each night.

A similar pattern was seen with superficial abdominal fat. Even when the researchers considered factors like calorie intake, exercise habits, education and smoking, sleep duration itself remained linked to abdominal-fat gain.

The study does not prove that too little or too much sleep directly leads to excess fat gain. But the findings support and extend those of other studies linking sleep duration — particularly a lack of sleep — to weight gain and even to higher risks of diabetes and heart disease.
Resources:
Reuters March 1, 2010
Sleep March 1, 2010 :

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Using a Chair Can Help Abdominal Crunches

Have you ever thought of using a folding chair when performing abdominal crunches? Try it. You’ll find that it’s a comfortable way to focus on contracting your abs without feeling pressure on your back.

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STEP-1. Place an open-back chair or bench on a flat, padded surface and lie down in front of it. Place your lower legs on the seat of the chair with your feet hanging off the back end of the seat. Scoot in so your hips are close to the chair. Place your hands behind your head with your elbows pointed out to the sides. Inhale, allowing your abdomen and rib cage to rise slightly.

STEP-2. On an exhale, push your back firmly against the floor as you contract your abdominal muscles to raise your chest, shoulders and head off the floor. Pause for two seconds with the front of your ribs and navel pressed toward the floor. Remember to rest your head in your hands so your neck and shoulders can stay relaxed. Lower and repeat 15 to 20 reps. Rest 20 seconds and repeat another set.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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Glochidion Puberum

 

Botanical Name : Glochidion puberum
Family :Euphorbiaceae/Phyllanthaceae subfamily: Phyllanthoideae tribe: Phyllantheae. Also placed in: Euphorbiaceae
Synonyms: Agyneia pubera L. (basionym)

Genus : Glochidion


Habitat :
E. Asia – southern and western China.  Montane slopes, stream banks scrub or forest edges at elevations of 300 – -2200 metres.Woodland Garden; Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;
Slopes, scrub on stream banks, forest margins; 300-2200 m. Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Japan].

Description: A decidious Perennial  Shrub growing to 3m.
Erect shrubs 1-5 m tall, monoecious, much branched; branchlets gray-brown, densely pubescent. Stipules triangular, ca. 1 mm; petiole 1-3 mm; leaf blade oblong, oblong-ovate, or obovate-oblong, rarely lanceolate, 3-8 × 1-2.5 cm, papery or subleathery, gray-green and midvein sparsely pubescent or glabrescent adaxially, greenish and densely pubescent abaxially, base cuneate to obtuse, apex obtuse, acute, shortly acuminate, or rounded; lateral veins 4-8 pairs, elevated abaxially, reticulate nerves prominent. Flowers in axillary clusters, 2-5-flowered, proximal axils mostly to all male flowers, distal axils mostly to all female flowers. Male flowers: pedicels 4-15 mm; sepals 6, narrowly oblong or oblong-obovate, 2.5-3.5 mm, spreading, green to yellowish, densely pubescent outside; stamens 3, connate into a cylindric column. Female flowers: pedicels ca. 1 mm; sepals 6, as in male, but shorter and thicker, green; ovary globose, densely pubescent, 5-10-locular; ovules 2 per locule; style column annular, shortly lobed in summit. Capsules depressed-globose, 8-15 mm in diam., 8-10-grooved, densely pubescent, reddish when mature, apex with persistent annular styles. Seeds subreniform, 3-angled, ca. 4 mm, red. Fl. Apr-Aug, fr. Jul-Nov.

click to see the pictures
It is hardy to zone 0. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant)
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:-
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain. However, judging by its native range, it could succeed outdoors at least in the milder areas of the country. It is likely to require a sheltered sunny position with some protection from winter cold.

Propagation:-
Seed – we have no information for this species but recommend sowing the seed in a warm greenhouse, preferably as soon as ripe if this is possible. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first year. Plant out in early summer after the last expected frosts and consider giving the plant some protection from the frost during at least its first winter outdoors.

Medicinal Actions & Uses:-

Depurative; Febrifuge.

Febrifuge, depurative. Dispels clots. All parts of the plant are used as medicine for the treatment of dysentery, diarrhea, rupture, cough, etc.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Other Uses

Oil.

The seeds contain up to 20 per cent of oil, which is used in making soap and as a lubricating oil.

Resource :
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Glochidion+puberum
http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?403683
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=GLPU6
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=620&taxon_id=200012580

 

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Ageratina Herbacea

Botanical Nane: Ageratina herbacea
Family : Compositae / Asteraceae
Genus: Ageratina
Synonyms : Eupatorium herbaceum – (A.Gray.)E.Greene. Eupatorium arizonicum Greene.
Common Names: Fragrant snakeroot and Apache snakeroot.
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales
Tribe: Eupatorieae
Species: A. herbacea

Habitat : It is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, where it grows in several habitat types.( South-western to South Central N. America.)   Pinyon-Juniper Woodland at elevations of 1500 – 2200 metres in California . Ageratina is found in forested areas. Woodland Garden; Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;

Description:
This is a perennial herb growing a green, fuzzy stem from a woody caudex to heights between about 50 and 70 centimeters. The leaves are yellow to green or grayish and are triangular to heart-shaped. The inflorescence is a cluster of fuzzy flower heads under a centimeter long containing long, protruding white disc florets and no ray florets. The fruit is an achene a few millimeters long with a rough bristly pappus.
.CLICK & SEE THE  PICTURES
Ageratina herbacea has only white disc flowers, no ray flowers to create a “daisy” appearance. The flowers are mainly in groups at the end of stems. This appearance is similar to the Brickellias. However, the leaves of Ageratina are nearly triangular in shape and strongly toothed along the edge. In addition, the leaves are deeply veined. The veins are nearly parallel and mostly palmate from the leaf base except for some peripheral vein branching.

It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower from August to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation :-
Succeeds in an ordinary well-drained but moisture retentive garden soil in sun or part shade.

Propagation:-
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame, only just covering the seed. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring.

Medicinal Uses:-
A cold infusion of the plant is drunk and also used as a lotion in the treatment of headaches and fevers.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Ageratina+herbacea
http://www.wnmu.edu/academic/nspages2/gilaflora/ageratina_herbacea.html
http://tchester.org/gc/plants/species/ageratina_herbacea.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ageratina_herbacea

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Foe Turns Friend

A-beta, a protein implicated in Alzheimer’s, may be the brain’s shield against germs.
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For years, a prevailing theory has been that one of the chief villains in Alzheimer’s disease has no real function other than as a waste product that the brain never properly disposed of.

The material, a protein called beta amyloid, or A-beta, piles up into tough plaques that destroy signals between nerves. When that happens, people lose their memory, their personality changes and they stop recognising friends and family.

But now researchers at Harvard suggest that the protein has a real and unexpected function — it may be part of the brain’s normal defences against invading bacteria and other microbes.

Other Alzheimer’s researchers say the findings, reported in the current issue of the journal PLoS One, are intriguing.

The new hypothesis got its start late one Friday evening in the summer of 2007 in a laboratory at Harvard Medical School. The lead researcher, Rudolph Tanzi, a neurology professor who is also director of the genetics and aging unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, said he had been looking at a list of genes that seemed to be associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

To his surprise, many looked just like genes associated with the so-called innate immune system, a set of proteins the body uses to fight infections. The system is particularly important in the brain, because antibodies cannot get through the blood-brain barrier, the membrane that protects the brain. When the brain is infected, it relies on the innate immune system to protect it.

That evening, Tanzi wandered into the office of a junior faculty member, Robert Moir, and mentioned what he had seen. As Tanzi recalled, Moir turned to him and said, “Yeah, well, look at this.”

He handed Tanzi a spreadsheet. It was a comparison of A-beta and a well-known protein of the innate immune system, LL-37. The likenesses were uncanny. Among other things, the two proteins had similar structures. And like A-beta, LL-37 tends to clump into hard little balls.

In rodents, the protein that corresponds to LL-37 protects against brain infections. People who make low levels of LL-37 are at increased risk of serious infections and have higher levels of atherosclerotic plaques, arterial growths that impede blood flow.

The scientists could hardly wait to see if A-beta, like LL-37, killed microbes. They mixed A-beta with microbes that LL-37 is known to kill — listeria, staphylococcus, pseudomonas. It killed eight out of 12. “We did the assays exactly as they have been done for years,” Tanzi said. “And A-beta was as potent or, in some cases, more potent than LL-37.”

Then the investigators exposed the yeast Candida albicans, a major cause of meningitis, to tissue from the hippocampal regions of brains from people who had died of Alzheimer’s and from people of the same age who did not have dementia when they died.

Brain samples from Alzheimer’s patients were 24 per cent more active in killing the bacteria. But if the samples were first treated with an antibody that blocked A-beta, they were no better than brain tissue from non-demented people in killing the yeast.

The innate immune system is also set in motion by traumatic brain injuries and strokes and by atherosclerosis that causes reduced blood flow to the brain, Tanzi noted.

And the system is spurred by inflammation. It’s known that patients with Alzheimer’s have inflamed brains, but it hasn’t been clear whether A-beta accumulation was a cause or an effect of the inflammation. Perhaps, Tanzi said, A-beta levels rise as a result of the innate immune system’s response to inflammation; it may be a way the brain responds to a perceived infection. But does that mean Alzheimer’s disease is caused by an overly exuberant brain response to an infection?

That’s one possible reason, along with responses to injuries and inflammation and the effects of genes that cause A-beta levels to be higher than normal, Tanzi said. However, some researchers say that all the pieces of the A-beta innate immune systems hypothesis are not in place.

Dr Norman Relkin, director of the memory disorders programme at New York-Presbyterian / Weill Cornell hospital, said that although the idea was “unquestionably fascinating”, the evidence for it was “a bit tenuous”.

As for the link with infections, Dr Steven DeKosky, an Alzheimer’s researcher at the Virginia School of Medicine, noted that scientists have long looked for evidence linking infections to Alzheimer’s and have come up mostly empty handed.

But if Tanzi is correct about A-beta being part of the innate immune system, that would raise questions about the search for treatments to eliminate the protein from the brain.

“It means you don’t want to hit A-beta with a sledgehammer,” Tanzi said.

But other scientists not connected with the discovery said they were impressed by the new findings. “It changes our thinking about Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr Eliezer Masliah, who heads the experimental neuropathology laboratory at the University of California, San Diego.

Source : New York Times News Service

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