Islamabad - The exact causes of neuro-degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are unknown, but scientists say excess of copper and iron in the human brain may be one of the influencing factors.

Another is DNA damage by reactive oxygen species, highly destructive molecules usually formed as a by-product of cellular respiration. Researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have discovered how these two pieces of the neuro-degenerative disease puzzle fit together, the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease reports.

“Reactive oxygen species cause the majority of the brain cell DNA damage that we see in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, as well as most other neuro-degenerative disorders,” said post-doctoral fellow Muralidhar Hegde, who led the study.  Alzheimer’s sufferers may repeat statements and questions over and over, forget chats, appointments or events, routinely misplace possessions, often putting them in illogical locations. Eventually they forget the names of family members and everyday objects.  Humans ordinarily have small amounts of iron and copper in their bodies - in fact, the elements are essential to health, according to a Texas statement.  But some people’s tissues contain much larger quantities of iron or copper, which overwhelm the proteins that normally bind the metals and sequester them for safe storage.

The result — so-called ‘free’ iron or copper ions circulating in the blood are able to initiate chemical reactions that produce reactive oxygen species. A high level of copper or iron, they say, can function as a “double whammy” in the brain by both helping generate a large numbers of the DNA-attacking reactive oxygen species and interfering with the machinery of DNA repair that prevents the deleterious consequences of genome damage.

Women on dieting cycles seldom

lose weight

Women who opt for dieting fads which promise rapid weight loss not only regain weight after some time but also cause grave damage to their physical and mental health, a study says. A survey of more than 2,300 people revealed that more than one in five women have been on at least five diets and regained weight and many have been on at least 20 diets without keeping the pounds off.

The survey, conducted by Slimming World and YouGov, reveals that 21 percent of women have yo-yo dieted at least five times, 11 percent have done it at least 10 times and six percent have dieted and put the weight back on again more than 20 times. Yo-Yo dieting refers to repeated cycles of weight loss and weight gain which cause feelings of failure and a loss of confidence in your own ability to make changes.

Slimming World is using the theme ‘Stop yo-yo’ to raise awareness about “the dangerous cycle of repeated loss and regain of body weight and its dramatic effects on mental and physical health.” Jacquie Lavin, Slimming World‘s head of nutrition and research, says: “Yo-yo diets can be both unhealthy for the body and psychologically upsetting.

“In recent years, the UK has seen a huge rise in the number of faddy diets promising rapid weight loss through things like cutting out food groups, following unbalanced eating plans and only consuming liquid foods.”

“The good news is it’s never too late to break the yo-yo cycle and losing weight and keeping it off can be easier than you think. “Latest research suggests a diet of satiating low-energy dense foods like fruit and vegetables, pasta, potatoes, rice, fish and lean meat is more effective for long-lasting weight loss,” said Lavin, according to a Slimming World statement.

“These foods fill you up and are naturally low in calories. Avoiding feelings of deprivation by enjoying the odd glass of wine or chocolate treat without feeling guilty is also important to long term success,” she said.