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Does childhood cognition predict dementia risk later in life?

To what extent do factors such as education and socioeconomic position affect our thinking skills and memory over time? Not as much as one might think, a new study suggests. The study set out to investigate what influences a person's cognitive ability that is, their ability to think, reason, and remember over a lifetime. The researchers hoped that by getting an insight into what impacts people cognitive ability, they might be able to shed some light on factors that lead to cognitive decline in later life, including Alzheimer disease and other forms of dementia. Dementia, which affects around 5.8 million people in the United States, can cause a decline in a person ability to solve problems, remember, speak, and think. In its most severe form, dementia has a significant impact on a person ability to carry out daily tasks. But what if there was a way to understand the factors that may affect cognitive decline? Predicting what may influence cognitive health in later life could help stave off cognitive impairment. The results of the study now appear in the journal Neurology. Its authors set out to compare the results of thinking and memory tests in people at 8 years old and 70 years old. (credits: www.medicalnewstoday.com)

A compound in avocados may reduce type 2 diabetes

A fat molecule found only in avocados shows signs of strengthening insulin sensitivity, according to research in mice. Avocados aren't merely a tasty addition to a diet they contain a fat molecule that may safely reduce insulin resistance. A study by researchers from the University of Guelph, in Canada, suggests that this compound, which avocados alone contain, may forestall or prevent the hallmark of type 2 diabetes in mice. The team also tested the safety of this compound in human participants. They have published a summary of their findings in the journal Molecular Nutrition Food Research. The compound in question is a fat molecule called avocatin B, or AvoB. For the study, the researchers fed mice a high fat diet for 8 weeks to promote obesity and insulin resistance. Then, the team added AvoB to the diet of half the mice for the next 5 weeks. At the end of the 13 weeks, the mice that had ingested AvoB had gained weight at a slower rate than their counterparts, and their insulin sensitivity had increased. The researchers conclude that AvoB worked against incomplete mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation in the skeletal muscle and pancreas, ensuring the complete oxidation of fats, and thus leading to improved glucose tolerance and utilization, enhancing the rodents insulin sensitivity.

(credits: www.medicalnewstoday.com)