Wed09172014

News

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates


Nine candidates have filed to run for three open seats on the Mountain View City Council in the Nov. 4 election – none of them incumbents. The Town Crier asked them to introduce themselves to readers in the following Q&A format. We knew the...

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Schools

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The Los Altos School District’s newly expanded Facilities Advisory Committee met for the first time last week. The 28-member committee’s first task is to prioritize campus improvement projects.

The Los Altos Scho...

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Community

Sports

New-look Lancers find their footing

New-look Lancers find their footing


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Jenna Adams, left, and Carly Deale attempt to bump the ball Friday night. The juniors combined for 28 kills.

This year’s St. Francis High girls volleyball team faintly resembles last season’s squad ...

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Special Sections

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
An estimated 75 supporters of higher teacher pay turned out for the Sept. 4 Mountain View Whisman School District board meeting.

Teachers, trustees and administrators are recovering from a dramatic Mountain View Whism...

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Business

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Esthetician Marjan Kashi showcases one of the treatment rooms at her new studio, Pure Serenity Skincare at Rancho Shopping Center. Kashi provides services including microdermabrasion and various light and heat energy the...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation


During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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People

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

Pear puts on a pair of plays

Pear puts on a pair of plays


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Dan Kapler (as Teddy) and Betsy Kruse Craig (Trish) star in Pear Avenue Theatre’s “House.”

The Pear Avenue Theatre production of two interlocking comedies by Alan Ayckbourn – “House&...

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Spiritual Life

Back to Church Sunday offers opportunity to recommit

The children in Los Altos are back to school, and I can still hear parents cheering. Summer is officially over, even if the calendar doesn’t quite think so.

Parents have attended Back to School nights to meet their children’s teachers. B...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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Memory loss: Why it's increasingly common and what to do about it

We’ve all done it. When was the last time you walked into a room and said to yourself, “What did I come in here to do?”

In recent years, a growing number of patients of all ages are coming to see me because of memory loss. They do their usual online research, type in their symptoms and then panic because they think they have early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Fortunately, this isn’t usually the case.

What is it about our modern-day lifestyle that leads to deteriorating memory? Following are some common causes of (non-Alzheimer’s) memory loss.

• Stress. Stress hormones like cortisol send blood flow away from a part of the brain called the hippocampus, which creates new memories and controls our sense of direction.

• Lack of sleep. Sleep is becoming a lower priority as bedtimes shift later as a result of our nighttime digital addictions. Sleep allows us to process data from our day and consolidate them into memories and learning experiences. Many people resort to the chronic use of sleep medications, which may also have negative effects on cognitive function and memory.

• Lack of exercise. Exercise is a great brain booster. Increased sitting time is linked to obesity, heart disease and reduced brain function. Studies show that sedentary people have reduced levels of a vital brain chemical called BDNF (brain-derived neurotropic factor) that contributes to memory loss.

• Unhealthy diet. How you eat can impact how clearly you think and recall information. Glucose in particular is the brain’s primary fuel source, so eating foods that cause significant fluctuations in glucose levels will have a negative impact on both mood and memory. Insulin resistance is the underlying cause of diabetes, heart disease and a growing list of chronic health conditions, including memory loss.

• Too much computer time. New studies indicate that a brain that’s overly reliant on technology is at risk for reduced memory and cognitive function. For example, if we have a question or are trying to recall information, we have instant access to it on our phones or computers. In the old days, individuals could actually remember at least a dozen different phone numbers and addresses. Our reliance on high-tech tools may contribute to a weaker brain.

• Too much alcohol and medications. Drinking too much alcohol can impair memory. Prescription and over-the-counter drugs and supplements may also affect your memory, so discuss them with your doctor.

• Other medical conditions. Diabetes, thyroid disorders, depression and a long list of other medical disorders can be connected to memory loss, so be sure to discuss this symptom with your doctor.

Preventive steps

The following steps can protect and improve your memory – while also reducing the risk of chronic health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

• Get more exercise.

• Manage stress through activities such as yoga and meditation.

• Get plenty of sleep.

• Improve your diet with an emphasis on reducing sugars and excess carbohydrates. Eat more vegetables and fruits.

• Start hobbies that stimulate different parts of your brain, such as learning a language or playing an instrument.

• Socialize more face-to-face and not online. Human social stimulation helps enhance brain function.

In today’s world, memory loss is more common, but there are many ways you can fight this trend. For persistent or progressive memory loss, consult your doctor for a thorough evaluation.

Dr. Ronesh Sinha is an internal medicine physician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s Los Altos Center, where he provides medical consults to high-risk South Asians. He also runs health education and wellness programs for local employers.

The Palo Alto Medical Foundation and column editor Arian Dasmalchi provide this monthly column.

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