【Unlocking Word Meanings】
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
1. ward off [wawrd of] (v.) – to prevent something from happening
Example: One must always take vitamins in order to ward off flu.
2. hallmark [HAWL-mahrk] (n.) – a trademark or a symbol
Example: Exercising is a hallmark for a healthy lifestyle.
3. disrupt [dis-RUHPT] (v.) – to disturb or interrupt something
Example: It was very rude of her to disrupt our conversation.
4. deficiency [dih-FISH-uh n-see] (n.) – the state of being incomplete; shortage
Example: Parents should monitor their children’s diet to avoid nutrition deficiency.
5. pave the way [peyv th uh wey] (idiom) – to prepare the way for something
Example: Her excellent performance will pave the way for a future promotion.
Read the text below.
A new study confirmed that coffee could ward off Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers from the University of Bonne [bawn] and the University of Lille [leel] suggested that drinking coffee has a positive effect on tau deposits, one of the major hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. The study was led by Dr. Christa E. Müller and Dr. David Blum.
The team evaluated the outcome of consistent caffeine consumption in mice, which were bred to develop tau deposits similar to those of humans. These deposits disrupt the communication of the nerve cells in the brain, which then leads to Alzheimer’s disease.
Some of the mice were given drinking water with caffeine. On the other hand, another group of mice were not given caffeine in their drinking water.
The results showed that the mice treated with caffeine did not develop memory deficiencies unlike the mice without caffeine intake. They also showed that the chemistry of the tau proteins in the hippocampus was different in the caffeine-drinking mice. Also, caffeine appeared to lessen several pro-inflammatory and oxidative markers in the hippocampus of the tau mice.
With the rising number of people suffering from Alzheimer’s, the researchers hope that their findings will pave the way to new discoveries about the disease, especially in its treatment. Today, five million Americans are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. By 2050, the Alzheimer's Association estimates that figures could rise to up to 13.8 million.
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
· Would you drink coffee to ward off the possibilities of having Alzheimer’s disease? Why or why not?
· What could be the bad effects of too much coffee intake?
· What do you think are the causes of memory loss?
· How can one person prevent himself/herself from having memory loss?