Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Losing Sleep

Losing Sleep | HMS

Losing Sleep
‘Sleep switch’ neurons diminish with age and Alzheimer’s disease
August 20, 2014
As people grow older, they often have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, and tend to awaken too early in the morning. In individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, this common and troubling symptom of aging tends to be especially pronounced, often leading to nighttime confusion and wandering.
Now, a study led by researchers at Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the University of Toronto/Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre helps explain why sleep becomes more fragmented with age. Reported online in the journal Brain, the new findings demonstrate for the first time that a group of inhibitory neurons, whose loss leads to sleep disruption in experimental animals, are substantially diminished among the elderly and individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, and that this, in turn, is accompanied by sleep disruption.
“On average, a person in his 70s has about one hour less sleep per night than a person in his 20s,” explained senior author Clifford Saper, the HMS James Jackson Putnam Professor of Neurology at Beth Israel Deaconess. “Sleep loss and sleep fragmentation is associated with a number of health issues, including cognitive dysfunction, increased blood pressure and vascular disease, and a tendency to develop type 2 diabetes. It now appears that loss of these neurons may be contributing to these various disorders as people age.”
Clifford Saper. Image: BIDMC Media ServicesClifford Saper. Image: BIDMC Media ServicesIn 1996, the Saper lab first discovered that the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus, a key cell group of inhibitory neurons, was functioning as a “sleep switch” in rats, turning off the brain’s arousal systems to enable animals to fall asleep. “Our experiments in animals showed that loss of these neurons produced profound insomnia, with animals sleeping only about 50 percent as much as normal and their remaining sleep being fragmented and disrupted,” he explained.
A group of cells in the human brain, the intermediate nucleus, is located in a similar location and has the same inhibitory neurotransmitter, galanin, as the vetrolateral preoptic nucleus in rats. The authors hypothesized that if the intermediate nucleus was important for human sleep and was homologous to the animal’s ventrolateral preoptic nucleus, then it may also similarly regulate humans’ sleep-wake cycles.
In order to test this hypothesis, the investigators analyzed data from theRush Memory and Aging Project, a community-based study of aging and dementia which began in 1997 and has been following a group of almost 1,000 subjects who entered the study as healthy 65-year-olds and are followed until their deaths, at which point their brains are donated for research.
“Since 2005, most of the subjects in the memory and aging project have been undergoing actigraphic recording every two years. This consists of their wearing a small wristwatch-type device on their non-dominant arm for seven to 10 days,” explained first author Andrew S. P. Lim of the University of Toronto and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and a former member of the Saper lab. The actigraphy device, which is waterproof, is worn 24 hours a day and thereby monitors all movements, large and small, divided into 15-second intervals. “Our previous work had determined that these actigraphic recordings are a good measure of the amount and quality of sleep,” he added.
The authors examined the brains of 45 study subjects (median age at death, 89.2), identifying ventrolateral preoptic neurons by staining the brains for the neurotransmitter galanin. They then correlated the actigraphic rest-activity behavior of the 45 individuals in the year prior to their deaths with the number of remaining ventrolateral preoptic neurons at autopsy.
“We found that in the older patients who did not have Alzheimer’s disease, the number of ventrolateral preoptic neurons correlated inversely with the amount of sleep fragmentation,” said Saper. “The fewer the neurons, the more fragmented the sleep became.” The subjects with the most neurons (greater than 6,000) spent 50 percent or more of total rest time in the prolonged periods of non-movement most likely to represent sleep while subjects with the fewest ventrolateral preoptic neurons (fewer than 3,000) spent less than 40 percent of total rest time in extended periods of rest. The results further showed that among Alzheimer’s patients, most sleep impairment seemed to be related to the number of ventrolateral preoptic neurons that had been lost.
“These findings provide the first evidence that the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus in humans probably plays a key role in causing sleep, and functions in a similar way to other species that have been studied,” said Saper. “The loss of these neurons with aging and with Alzheimer’s disease may be an important reason why older individuals often face sleep disruptions. These results may, therefore, lead to new methods to diminish sleep problems in the elderly and prevent sleep-deprivation-related cognitive decline in people with dementia.”
This work was supported by a Dana Foundation Clinical Neuroscience Grant and National Institutes of Health grants P01AG009975, P01HL095491, R01NS072337, R01AG017917, R01AG024480, R01NS078009, R01AG043379 and R01AG042210. Other support came from grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Robert C. Borwell Endowment Fund.
Adapted from a Beth Israel Deaconess news release.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Maynard's Texas Vegan Buffet

Maynard's Texas Vegan Buffet

Let's have a contest (no cash prizes - just "posted popularity") to
ENVISION a full vegan restaurant concept
(start-to-finish imagination): 

I'll start!

Maynard's Texas Vegan Buffet

Get all you can and can all you get


Dietitian-developed vegan buffet complete with calorie counts, sign up for birthday parties and anniversaries, celebrations of going vegan, etc.  Everyone dressed in colorful uniforms made of vegetable-patterned or fruit-patterned cloth, different vegetables celebrated each day, with free recipes tweeted out (or in RSS feeds) to those who sign up online or in the vegan buffet centers; big parties for vegetarian days, such as GAMO (Great American Meatout), World Vegetarian Day, National Heart Month, International Vegan Day, Gandhi's birthday, Feast Day of St. Francis, etc.

Concept: Overeating - if you dare, but we strongly advise against it, for the following reasons: 1, 2, 3, 4.  We CAN make eating right amounts of vegan food VERY satisfying by integrating culinary arts with dietetic and nutritional science and skill.  We educate and nurture our clients - in person and electronically.  Value-Added venue that is affordable (on both sides) and sustainable.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

How to DO Animal Rights ! FREE ONLINE eBOOK !

How To Do Animal Rights
Your completely freeonline-book to action animal rights.

How to Do Animal Rights - buy the book
Buy the book version ofHow to Do Animal Rights.

...or buy the shorter eBook version at Amazon. For details see the book page.
Amazon ebook of How to Do Animal Rights.


You may copy the online text of How to Do Animal Rights for your non-profit personal use to promote animal rights.

Please read & comment.

Selected Links

Animal Welfare Online
Valuable practical info for AR campaigning, from WSPA.

  • Animals Asia Foundation
    Helping bears and literally millions of dogs and cats horrendously treated in Asia.

  • Online writings of Peter Singer

  • Humane Research Council
    Researches and analyses data to help animal advocates make their case.
  • BBC Animal Ethics
    A nicely concise introduction to animal ethics.
  • International Aid for Korean Animals
    Millions of cats & dogs cruelly treated & eaten in Korea & what you can do about it.
  • Animal Ethics Dilemma
    Explore your personal animal morality.
  • The Animal Activists Handbook
  • Animal Activists HandbookPractical action on alleviating animal suffering. Written by PETA activists Matt Ball & Bruce Friedrich. 2009. 128 pages.

  • Dawn Watch
    Tracking animals in the media & where you can make your voice heard.
  • Protecting Animals in Democracy
  • Protecting Animals in DemocracyAchieving political representation for animals through politics.

  • Animal Liberation Front
    Many good ideas for animal activism.
  • Voice for Ethical Research at Oxford
    Oxford University members who oppose animal research & aim to further ethical alternatives.
  • Striking at the Roots
  • Striking at the RootsRead about doing animal rights in this paperback by Mark Hawthorne.

  • Animal Rights Concerns
    About vegetarian diet and vegan lifestyle to steer society away from animal use.
  • World Animal Day
  • World Animal Day

  • Abolitionist Online
    Australian web site for animal rights.
  • Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics
    Academics pioneering the animal ethics debate.
  • UK Animal Rights
    Web links providing animal rights information, news and resources.

  • Introducing myself

    Search this web site:

    How to Do Animal Rights

    Chapter 1

    How to Do Animal Rights

    Chapter 2
    Philosophy: Key Topics

    How to Do Animal Rights

    Chapter 3
    Campaigning: Methods for Animal Rights 

    Animal rights grows.

    How to Do Animal Rights

    Chapter 4
    Activities for Animal Rights

    Animal rights empathy.

    How to Do Animal Rights

    Chapter 5
    The Law & Animal Rights

    How to Do Animal Rights

    Chapter 6
    Animal Statistics

    How to Do Animal Rights

    Chapter 7
    More Philosophy

    Animal rights. Just two words. Two just words.

    How to Do Animal Rights

    Chapter 8
    Animal-Human Issues (Some of Them) 

    How to Do Animal Rights

    Chapter 9

    Farm animals say no to mutilation.

    How to Do Animal Rights

    Chapter 10

    Chickens need life.

    How to Do Animal Rights

    Chapter 11

    How to Do Animal Rights

    Chapter 12
    Sundry Animal Rights Stuff

    Animal rights hits out at animal abuse.