Everything you need to know about Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of degenerative dementia, which can appear principally in the elderly age (over 65 years, but may also occur in the previous age).
The most frequent symptom of Alzheimer’s is the difficulty about remembering recent events. Although the progression rate may vary, the average life expectancy after diagnosis is from three to nine years.

What can be the main causes of this degenerative dementia?
The cause and progression of Alzheimer’s disease is not yet well understood. Research indicates that the disease is closely associated with amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary clusters found in the brain, but the cause of such degeneration is not well- known.

Who discovered this type of illness?
The disease was first described in 1906 by the German psychiatrist and neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer.

In 2006, there were more than 25 million sick people worldwide and it is estimated that one in 85 worldwide will be affected by 2050.

With the advancement of the disease, the clinical picture may include confusion, irritability and aggression, mood swings, language difficulties, short and long term memory loss, and progressive sensory dysfunctions.
Generally, Alzheimer’s is made up of three stages: early, middle and late.

Early – Stage
This phase is made up of difficulty in language, in actions, in perception, or in the execution of complex movements. In addition, old memories of personal life, lessons learned , and implicit memory (body memory on how to do things and gestures) are not affected.

Middle – Stage
During this intermediary stage, activities like reading and writing are slowly abandoned. Complex motor sequences become less coordinated and the risk of falls increases. In this phase, memory problems get worse, and the person may not recognize his relatives. Long-term memory, which was previously intact, becomes compromised.
Furthermore, behavioral and neuropsychiatric changes become more frequent.

Late – Stage
In the third (and the last) phase of Alzheimer’s language is reduced to simple sentences or words, even singles, ultimately leading to the complete loss of the word. Apathy and fatigue are the most common symptoms. People with Alzheimer’s disease will eventually not be able to perform even simpler tasks independently: in fact, muscle mass and mobility deteriorate. The cause of death is usually an external factor (such as an infection).

How to reduce the risks of Alzheimer’s?
Thanks to some precaution, you can reduce the risks about the development of this disease.
For instance:

1. Think positive and avoid depression, which can influence the brain from a cognitive perspective;
2. Measure the pressure to keep under control your health:  high blood pressure or an ever-accelerated heart rate increases the risk of contracting this illness;
3. Avoid the obesity. Maintaining a proper weight is essential to enjoy good health, in terms of body and brain function. The more you gain weight, the more your body produces insulin, a protein that can improve the chances of contracting Alzheimer’s disease;
4. Have nice sleeps. Sleep disorders, such as apnea, have been linked to cognitive deficits;
5. Don’t live in the past: you always have to open your mind to the daily news.

The life of an unforgettable man: John Lennon

What do you know about John Lennon‘s life?

Let’s discover his biography!

John Winston Lennon was born on October 9, 1940 in Liverpool in the Maternity Hospital on Oxford Street. His parents, Julia Stanley and Alfred Lennon who have been married two years earlier, separated in April 1942. John, spent his  childhood and adolescence with his aunt Mimi. The spirit of the boy was already rebellious and in search for freedom and new experiences. At the age of seven, John begins to make his first drawings.
In 1952 John joined the Quarry Bank High School. In those years, John explained, “I was aggressive because I wanted to become popular, I wanted to be considered the ‘boss.’ ”

As time goes on, John tends to get closer to uncle George, husband of Mimi but unfortunately, in June 1953, George died of anemorrhage.  To overcome this bad situation, Julia (John’s mother) adviced him to become a guitarist, teaching him the first arrangements on a banjo. In fact, firstly, John’s style was more like a banjo than a guitarist. In March 1957 he founded his own skiffle group, calling it firstly “The Black Jacks” and  then “Quarrymen” (by the name of the school). The following July 9th during a concert in Woolton, their sound deeply impressed a spectator named Paul McCartney who revolutionized his life.

In fact, this was the beginning of Lennon-McCartney’s duo, which has given life to the future band Beatles. On July 15, 1958, John’s mother, Julia, dies in a car while she’s together with her son. The Quarrymen, now with George Harrison, recorded their first tracks. John also composes his first song “Hello Little Girl”. In the same year John meets and falls in love with Cynthia Powell at Liverpool Art College. In 1959, Quarrymen changed their name into Silver Beatles and became one of the major attraction of Liverpool’s Casbah Club. In August 1960 they performed at the Reeperbahn in Hamburg with Stu Sutcliffe at the bass, where they played uninterruptedly for eight hours a day. To keep to rhythms of that heavy work John begins to take amphetamine, getting in a state of confusion.

Afterwards, In January 1961 The Beatles performed their first concert at Liverpool’s Cavern Club. John, meanwhile, writes the first biography of the Beatles for Mersey Beat, a local music newspaper, and in which he also weekly writes stories, poems and cartoons. During these years, John started to assume heavy drugs.

However, in November 1966 John meets for the first time Yoko Ono, an event that would radically change his life. In April 1973, John and Yoko bought an apartment in New York in front of Central Park. Meanwhile, John had big problems with the federal government for the recognition of American citizenship. In the second half of the same year, John and Yoko broke their love relationship.

Accordingly, John moves momentarily to Los Angeles and interlaces a relationship with May Pang secretary of Yoko. But their separation was not longer because they met themselves again at John’s appearance at Elton John’s Concert at Madison Square Garden on November 28, 1974.

During these years he saw various problems with his band, causing some distances, because of the presence of Yoko Ono. However, a new project named Get Back was launched by the Beatles. This could have led to the hope of an hypothetical meeting of the quartet but On Monday, December 8, 1980, Lennon was shot by a crazy man.

This brought to the loss of a unique and unforgettable man in the history of rock music.

Among the main works of John Lennon, we have to remember the song “Imagine“, which still remains one of the best songs of all  time.

Macron vs Le Pen: who will win?

Do you know the political situation of France?

On May 7 there will be a second round between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen. According to the final results of the first round of the French presidential elections, Emmanuel Macron has obtained 24.01%, and Marine Le Pen the 21.30% of votes. In addition, the affluence of voting has reached the 77.77%. This means that not many French people have expressed their ideas. In 2012 the situation was different and better: about the 80.42% of French citizens decided to vote.

After a long head to head and a first phase in which Marine Le Pen seemed to prevail, contradicting the projections, she arrived as second.
After Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen there are Francois Fillon, who has obtained the 19.94% and Jean-Luc Melenchon, who arrived at 19.62%.

So what will happen on May 7? We don’t know. 
Emmanuel Macron’s and Marine Le Pen’s electoral programs express two radically different ideas of how France should be in the future.

Macron is a former of the socialist government who has never had an electoral mandate. His ideas are progressive liberal: he rejects the right and left labels. One of the central points of his electoral campaign was the demand for greater European integration, and in particular wants a stronger union among the eurozone countries. He is agree with the international trade and the reduction of public spending and taxes, particularly those affecting the poorest social classes.  Macron is also in favor of flexibility in the workplace.

While, Le Pen is a rightist nationalist, opposed to immigration and European integration. Le Pen is in favor of protectionism and proposes to encourage French companies and to penalize foreigners. She proposes a referendum to leave the EU and return to the French franc, and stricter rules for the reception of migrants and asylum seekers.

“I Malavoglia”: the best novel of Giovanni Verga

I Malavoglia” is the great work of Giovanni Verga, who was an Italian writer of the 19th century. He was one of the pioneers of realism, a narrative style of that time in which there was the presentation of the daily routine.

In fact, the novel “I Malavoglia” tells the story of a fisherman’s family who lives and works in Aci Trezza, a small Sicilian village near the city of Catania.
Let’s discover the plot!

In this village live a Tuscan family, nicknamed Malavoglia. The patriarch is Padron ‘Ntoni, a widower, who lives in the house of his uncle together with his son, Bastianazzo, who is married with Maruzza.
Bastianazzo has five children: ‘Ntoni,  Filomena (called Mena or Sant’Agata), Alessio, (Alessi) Luca and Rosalia (called Lia). The main means of subsistence their small boat used for fishing, which is named the “Provvidenza“.

In 1863, ‘Ntoni, the oldest son, went to military service.
This event will mark the beginning of the ruin of his family.
In fact ‘Ntoni, thanks to this help, was essential to the family. But when he leaves, these gains are missing. To overcome this loss, Padron ‘Ntoni tries a deal by buying a large quantity of lupini beans, by a compatriot named Zio Crocifisso because of his continued complaints and his deep pessimism.

But during the voyage to Riposto, the boat is subject to shipwreck and Bastianazzo dies. As a result of this tragedy, the family also suffer from another terrible event: the father, who is the main source of family livelihood, died, while the lupine debt is still to be paid and Provvidenza must be repaired. When the military service is over, ‘Ntoni goes back to the harsh life of a fisherman but he does not give any support to the precarious economic situation of the family.

The bad luck for the family does not end.
In fact, Luca, one of the other sons, dies in the battle of Lissa of 1866.
The debt contracted by Zio Crocifisso also costs to the family the loss of their “Casa del Nespolo” house, and the reputation and honor of the family get worse, reaching humiliating levels.

To increase these bad situation, there is a new shipwreck of “Provvidenza” and Padron ‘Ntoni risks to die. Maruzza, the wife of Bastianazzo, dies because of cholera.
Because of these numerous tragedies, ‘Ntoni decides to leave the country with the hope to make money, but then he returns, without any desire of working and giving himself up to alcoholism.

Previously, when ‘Ntoni left Aci Trezza, the family was forced to sell their boat to accumulate money in order to repurchase the house but this was not possible also because of other reasons.

After many years, Padron ‘Ntoni’s is very old and he is out of his mind.
Accordingly, his relatives decide to take him to the hospital.
Lia, the youngest of the family became a prostitute in Catania city.
While Mena who feels shamed about her sister’s situation chooses not to marry Alfio, whom she is in love with, and stays in the house to look after the children of Nunziata and Alessi, her younger brother, who continuing his work of fisherman, was able to rebuilt the family, buying the “Casa del Nespolo” house.

After buying the house, the few members of Malavoglia (that have survived to these continuous tragedies) decide to visit at the hospital the now old Padron ‘Ntoni to inform him of the sale and to announce to him an imminent return home. This is the last happy moment for the old man (and another tragedy!), because he dies just in the day of his longing for his return.
So his desire to die in the house where he was born has not been realized.

Meanwhile, when ‘Ntoni comes out of prison, he returns to the country and to his family’s house. However, he realizes that he can’t remain there because of his past.
Accordingly, with his behavior he has been self-excluded from family, denying all his values.
Thus, he is forced to leave his own home even if that house was the only place where he could have lived in a better way, without the risks of serious economic problems.

History of a worldwide brand: the Nike Company

Nike is a brand of clothing and sports accessories.

When was it born?
Its company was founded on January 25, 1964, when a trainer named Bill Bowerman and a student named Phil Knight created the Blue Ribbon Sports brand to import sports shoes from Japan from Onitsuka Tiger, later becoming Asics . The name “Nike” (pronounced “Nāiki”), recommended by Jeff Johnson (one of Knight’s collaborators), was chosen among the many proposals made by the various collaborators of the time.
On May 30, 1971, Nike.inc was born.

Over the years, Nike has become the world’s leading manufacturer of sports apparel and accessories, especially for football, basketball and many other sports disciplines.

Today the company also manufactures a large variety of accessorizes such as watches, eyeglasses, bags and so on.

However, Nike has been criticized for working conditions they offered to their factories.
In fact, as reported by many newspapers, it has been discovered that the company has been exploiting the work of children. They were employed for 14 to 16 hours a day in bad hygienic conditions, to carry out massive work, in dark and unhealthy factories.
Afterwards, Nike announced that these conditions would be controlled by the International Labor Organization.
Who knows what is the current situation!