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Harvest Festival

The staff at the Lodge recently organised a Harvest Festival for residents and their families/friends. Reverend Francis conducted the thanksgiving service and the main lounge was very beautifully decorated with colourful pumpkins, autumn leaves and fruit.

Tea Dance

The champagne was flowing when Champagne Enterprise came on stage and entertained us with songs through the eras. Albert won the Barchester Bear competition and collected a nice prize of fifty pounds. Hazel loves a sing a long and knows all the words to the songs sung. We even had a chance to sing on the microphone with Daisy Daisy! Then we have June and friends joining in for a chance to show their vocal skills off too.

Summer Fayre

Our annual Summer Fayre was a huge success this year raising £472 for our local Charity, The Warwickshire and Northampton Air Ambulance. The fun-filled day included a mobile farm with goats, sheep, rabbits, ducks and a dog and many fundraising stalls with exciting games, tombola and a raffle. The day was complete with a 1940's style band and an extremely competitive egg and spoon and sumo wrestler space hopper race which the staff took part in, much to the resident’s amusement.

National Care Home Open Day at Castle Keep

Lord Mayor of Hull Council Nadine Fudge visited Castle Keep Care Home as part of Care Home Open Day. She said: “I was delighted to be invited to go down and see the fantastic work they are doing at Castle Keep”. She went on to say “They deserve a medal for the service they are providing to people who need it most”. The day was a day of 40's swing, cake stalls, tombola, dancing and singing as well as getting fit with a local Zumba group. Hearing dogs visited as did the Local British Heart Foundation and Sensory group.

The Mad Hatters Tea Party

The Mad Hatters Tea Party was a party organised by our University placement student; Charlotte, and the Activities team decided on the theme. We decorated Hats during our crafts activity and produced decorative items to display in the lounge. The local press attended the event and a lovely afternoon was had by all.

High cholesterol linked to increased Alzheimer's risk

High cholesterol linked to increased Alzheimer's risk
6th January 2014

People with unhealthy levels of cholesterol are at increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests.

Researchers at the University of California found that people with "bad" cholesterol in their blood stream typically had higher a greater concentration of amyloid plaque tangles in their brain.

It is believed that these plaques affect the brain's circuitry and are one of the main reasons people acquire the cognitive condition.

The exact cause of Alzheimer's is yet to be determined, but this study suggests that poor dietary habits can increase a person's risk.

In contrast, people who consumed high quantities of "good" cholesterol – such as that available from olive oil and nuts – were found to have lower levels of amyloid tangles.

"Unhealthy patterns of cholesterol could be directly causing the higher levels of amyloid known to contribute to Alzheimer's, in the same way that such patterns promote heart disease," said professor Bruce Reed, who led the study.

"Our study shows that both higher levels of good cholesterol and lower levels of bad cholesterol in the blood stream are associated with lower levels of amyloid plaque deposits in the brain."

He added that the research could help to find new ways in which the development of Alzheimer's can be reduced.

This could include encouraging people to lower their cholesterol levels earlier in life.

The study involved 74 men and women aged over 70 years.

Dr Laura Phipps, science communications manager for Alzheimer's Research UK, said despite the study's findings, people are not advised to begin take cholesterol lowering statins in an attempt to cure Alzheimer's.

As well as increasing the risk of dementia, high levels of cholesterol can also narrow the arteries as well as cause heart attack, stroke or mini-stoke (transient ischemic attack).

Doing regular exercise, eating a healthy diet and quitting smoking are recommended ways of lower cholesterol.

Find out more about Alzheimer's disease care at Barchester homes.

Compound could hold key to fighting Alzheimer's disease

Compound could hold key to fighting Alzheimer's disease
11th October 2013

Researchers believe they have made a real breakthrough in the fight against Alzheimer's disease after discovering a chemical capable of preventing the death of brain tissue.

The team at the Medical Research Council Toxicology unit based at the University of Leicester completed tests on mice and found that they could stop prion disease.

Working using human subjects will have to be completed before anything conclusive can be stated, but at this stage the signs look very promising.

The researchers feel that, if successful, the find could pave the way for new drugs for Parkinson's and Huntingdon's being developed as well as for Alzheimer's.

Their work involved looking at the natural defence mechanisms found inside the brain's cells. A build-up of vital proteins is made when a virus attacks these cells.

However, this can lead to the production of faulty or "misfolded" proteins. These linger and the brain shuts down production of new cells for a period so long that they effectively starve themselves.

The researchers found that these defence mechanisms could be halted using a compound known as GSK2606414, made by GlaxoSmithKline.

Five weeks after the tests, the mice showed no symptoms of memory loss or impaired reflexes.

Professor Giovanna Mallucci, who led the study, said: "We were extremely excited when we saw the treatment stop the disease in its tracks and protect brain cells, restoring some normal behaviours and preventing memory loss in the mice.

"We’re still a long way from a usable drug for humans - this compound had serious side effects, but the fact that we have established that this pathway can be manipulated to protect against brain cell loss."

Dr Eric Karran, director of research at Alzheimer's Research UK, added that the research could yield a drug capable of reducing neurodegenerative diseases, but warned that things are still at a very "early stage".

Dementia affects more than 800,000 people in the UK.

Read more about Barchester's dementia care homes.

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