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Newsletter

September 2007

Mark your Calendar

 

Upcoming Events Organized by Prometheas

 

Please join us to start the new (2007/2008) season with the traditional Kafeneio, planned to take place at St. Katherine’s Greek Orthodox Church in Falls Church, VA on September 28, from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.(see attached announcement).

News related to the fire destruction in Greece

        As soon as the catastrophic impact of the recent fires was realized,  a world-wide campaign began by the Greek Government and numerous international organizations requesting help to address immediate humane problems in the affected areas as well as longer- term reconstruction concerns. The response so far has been overwhelming. 

Prometheas’ Contribution and Follow-up Efforts (Announcement).

The Board of the Hellenic Society Prometheas has felt the same anguish as every Greek anywhere in the world about the inconceivable destruction caused by the recent  catastrophic fires in Greece. Mourning the about seventy people who died in those fires and grieving for the unthinkable and unimaginable tragedy, the Board has decided to donate  the amount of $5,000 for the relief of the victims of fire.

 

Please note that the  Greek Ministry of Economy and Finance has set up a “Special Account for the  Relief of the Victims of Fire” at the Bank of Greece (SWIFT:  BNGRGRAA, IBAN: GR 9801000230000002341103053), to which funds can be transferred  in any currency.

For further information  about donating funds to the above account, please contact Mr. Konstantinos  Alexandris, Consul of the Embassy of Greece in Washington (phone: 202-939-1331,  fax: 202-939-1324, or e-mail: Alexandris@greekembassy.org (mailto:Alexandris@greekembassy.org)  ),  as well as Consular Offices of the Embassy of Greece around the  country.

 

Other Follow-Up Efforts and Announcements: Following are announcements and appeals made for help by the Greek Embassy of Washington DC, the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), and the World Council of the Hellenes Abroad (SAE). Also, a Resolution of the US House of Representatives extending condolences and sympathy to the Govenment and people of Greece.

 

image001

EMBASSY OF GREECE

WASHINGTON

 

                                                                           August 27, 2007

 

Dear Compatriots,

 

I write to you on this occasion, fully aware of the continuous and generous support extended to Greece by the Hellenic American community, particularly during difficult times.

 

During the last few days, Greece has been in the grip of unspeakable tragedy.  Forests of exceptional natural beauty have gone up in flames.  Entire villages have been ravaged by fire, as we mourn the death of sixty three persons.  Our cultural heritage was also threatened, as flames surrounded the archaeological site of ancient Olympia.  Our grief and sorrow are profound.

 

Healing the scars of this unprecedented disaster will require our concerted efforts. 

 

To this effect, I would like to inform you that the Greek Ministry of Economy and Finance has set up a “Special Account for the Relief of the Victims of Fire” at the Bank of Greece (SWIFT: BNGRGRAA, IBAN: GR 9801000230000002341103053), to which funds can be transferred in any currency.

 

For further information, please contact Mr. Konstantinos Alexandris, Consul of the Embassy of Greece in Washington (phone:  202-939-1331, fax: 202-939-1324, or e-mail: Alexandris@greekembassy.org), as well as our Consular Offices around the country. 

 

                                                                  Sincerely,

                                                             Mallias Signature

                                                           Alexandros P. Mallias

                                                          Ambassador of Greece

΂

EMBASSY OF GREECE

WASHINGTON, DC

 

                                                                  27 Αυγούστου 2007

 

 

Αγαπητοί Συμπατριώτες,

 

Σας απευθύνομαι έχοντας επίγνωση της συνεχούς και γενναιόδωρης προσφοράς της Ελληνικής Ομογένειας προς την Μητέρα Πατρίδα, την Ελλάδα, ιδιαίτερα σε δύσκολες στιγμές,

 

Τις τελευταίες ημέρες είμαστε μάρτυρες μιας δοκιμασίας την οποία βιώνει η Πατρίδα μας. Δασικές εκτάσεις ιδιαίτερου  φυσικού κάλλους έχουν παραδοθεί στις φλόγες. Οικισμοί ολόκληροι έχουν καταστραφεί ενώ θρηνούμε ως τώρα εξήντα δύο νεκρούς. Ο πύρινος εφιάλτης απείλησε και την πολιτιστική μας κληρονομιά, ακόμα και αυτόν τον αρχαιολογικό χώρο της Αρχαίας Ολυμπίας. Μπροστά στο μέγεθος αυτής της εθνικής συμφοράς η οδύνη όλων μας είναι βαθύτατη.

 

Για να μπορέσουν να επουλωθούν οι πληγές αυτής της πρωτοφανούς καταστροφής, απαιτείται η συστράτευση όλων.

 

Θα ήθελα να σας πληροφορήσω ότι από το Υπουργείο Οικονομίας και Οικονομικών της Ελλάδος έχει ανοιχθεί «Ειδικός Λογαριασμός αρωγής πυροπαθών», τα στοιχεία του οποίου είναι: SWIFT: BNGRGRAA, IBAN: GR9801000230000002341103053. Στον ανωτέρω λογαριασμό μπορεί να καταθέσει χρήματα οποιοδήποτε φυσικό ή νομικό πρόσωπο.

 

Για οποιαδήποτε πληροφορία ή περαιτέρω ενημέρωση μπορείτε να απευθυνθείτε στην Πρεσβεία και ειδικότερα στον Πρόξενο κ. Κων/νο Αλεξανδρή (τηλ. 202 - 939 1331, fax: 202 – 939 1324, e-mail: alexandris@greekembassy.org, καθώς επίσης και στις Προξενικές μας Αρχές.

 

                                                                                Ο Πρέσβης,                                                              

                                                                       Mallias Signature

                                                                        Αλέξανδρος Μαλλιάς

 

 

CONTRIBUTIONS FOR THE RELIEF OF THE VICTIMS OF WILDFIRES IN GREECE

 

Friday, August 31, 2007

 

In response to a large number of requests addressed to the Embassy of Greece regarding financial contributions for the relief of the victims of wildfires, please note the following:

 

1.  As already announced, those interested in providing assistance may use the special solidarity account set up in Greece:

 

ACCOUNT NUMBER: 2341103053 (Bank of Greece)

SWIFT/BIC: BNGRGRAA

IBAN: GR9801000230000002341103053

ACCOUNT NAME: Logariasmos Arogis Pyropathon

BENEFICIARY: the Hellenic Republic

 

Funds can be transferred in any currency.

 

2. Furthermore, in order to facilitate those interested in providing assistance and help them avoid wire transfers fees, the Embassy of Greece has opened the following account where you may also deposit your contributions:

 

ACCOUNT NUMBER: 15378608 (Citibank)

ACCOUNT NAME: Embassy of Greece – “Special account for the relief of the victims of wildfires”

BENEFICIARY: Embassy of Greece

ABA Number/Routing Number: 254070116 (for wire transfers)

 

3.  Contributions to the aforementioned accounts will be transferred to a special fund established in Greece for the relief of victims of fires and headed by former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Petros Molyviatis. Please note that thus far contributions amount to over 40 million euros.

 

Should you have any further queries, please feel free to contact Mr. Constantinos Alexandris, Consul of Greece in Washington, at 202-939-1306.

 

From the Embassy of Greece

 

 

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Contact: Michael A. Zachariades
Phone: (202) 232-6300; Ext. 204
E-mail:
mzachariades@ahepa.org

 

===========================

 

                             News Release

 

AHEPA Continues Efforts, Assistance to Greece

High-level meetings with U.S. Dept. of State, Ambassador Mallias

NOTICE: We are now accepting online contributions!
To donate directly to the AHEPA Emergency Greek Fire Relief Fund, go to our website (
ahepa.org) and click the "URGENT" button -- or go straight to our secure online contribution form, ahepaonline.com/contribute.aspx.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), the leading association for the nation's 1.3 million American citizens of Greek ancestry, and Philhellenes, held multiple meetings in order to spear-head and coordinate Greek-American relief efforts in Greece.

After multiple conversations with the U.S. Department of State, AHEPA President Ike Gulas has formulated and implemented a strategy to take the lead on Greek-American's efforts in assisting Greece during this ordeal. "In times of crisis, everyone, and rightfully so, feels the desire to drop everything and assist, however, if there isn't an established point or lead, then all efforts may not see fruition," said Gulas.

President Gulas has asked all the chapters to begin putting together care packages and send them to AHEPA Headquarters for delivery to the victims. In the event constructing a care package is too time consuming or difficult at this time, please send a check in the amount of $150 to AHEPA Headquarters, and we will do so on your chapter's or individual's behalf.

Moreover, this morning, Ambassador Alexandros Mallias, Greece's Ambassador to the U.S., visited AHEPA Headquarters and expressed the need of continued immediate and long-term assistance. The situation was described as being the "worst natural disaster" Greece has ever faced. Mallias also thanked AHEPA for its eagerness, willingness and determination to assist.

Via teleconference, President Gulas reiterated AHEPA's commitment to assisting the ongoing effort. Mr. Gulas also informed the Ambassador of its plan of soliciting the assistance of all firefighters willing to travel to Greece in order to fight the fires. "At present, we are working out the logistics, with the U.S. Department of State's guidance, to arrange transportation from the U.S. to Greece," added Gulas.

The problem Greece is faced with today will transcend for generations to come. Therefore, AHEPA will begin collection funds for this tragic emergency from all its sources to assist Greece. AHEPA's commitment to Greece continues, as it has for over 85-years.

AHEPA is the largest Greek-American association in the world with chapters in the United States, Canada, Greece, Cyprus, and sister chapters in Australia and New Zealand. It was established in 1922 by visionary Greek Americans to protect Hellenes from prejudice originating from the KKK, and in its history, AHEPA joined with the NAACP and B'nai B'rith to fight discrimination.

The mission of the AHEPA family is to promote the ideals of Hellenism, education, philanthropy, civic responsibility and family and individual excellence.

The AHEPA family consists of four organizations: AHEPA, Daughters of Penelope, Sons of Pericles and Maids of Athena.

For more information about the AHEPA family, or how to join, please contact AHEPA Headquarters, 202.232.6300, or visit www.ahepa.org.

 

 

 

 

 

AHEPA Fund-raising

 

Please give generously to those in Greece. Visit our web site at www.ahepa.org to donate, now!

 

Basil N. Mossaidis

Executive Director

American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association AHEPA

1909 - Q Street, N.W., #500

Washington, DC 20009

202-232-6300 Phone

202-232-2140 Fax

bmossaidis@ahepa.org

www.ahepa.org

==============================================================================

 

Urgent Appeal to U.S. Hellenes:

Greece is up in flames! Your help is needed now

 

            My Dear Compatriots,

 

IT is now a catastrophe of Biblical proportions. Fires in almost all regions in Greece have decimated forests, torched hundreds of homes and wiped out the entire livelihood of hundreds of families.

It is an unprecedented tragedy.  We are already lamenting 51 dead in Eleia and Laconia.  We fear that the number of victims will increase dramatically.  The estimate of people trapped by fires or suffering severe burns is much greater. At least three prefectures, Messenia, Laconia and Eleia, have been declared disaster areas.

Greek media are talking about “a national tragedy” and portray a nightmarish picture of the fires that have reached 170 in number in the past two days.

It is our sacred duty to unite our efforts and to respond to the urgent cry for help. In the past we have demonstrated that united we can accomplish the nearly impossible. This is probably the greatest disaster that the land of our fathers has suffered in the last half century.  Greece has lost priceless resources that have allowed the country to breathe the fresh air of forests.  The environmental destruction is unimaginable and people have been left homeless. 

 

SAE / USA is appealing to all Hellenes to contribute whatever you can to the bank account listed below to provide relief, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to families victimized by the fires and to fund reforestation of devastated areas through the SAE / USA project “Plant Your Roots in Greece.”

 

Please make your contributions payable to “Plant Your Roots in Greece” and send them to

Chicago Community Bank Acct: # 459-0070-59

234 S Wabash Ave FL2-Chicago, IL 60604-2365

Deposits in Greece:

Alpha Bank Acct: # 143-0021-1-037288

Eurobank Acct: # 0026.0012.39.0100763237

 

We stand in support of the victims’ families and we salute the superhuman efforts of Greece’s fire fighters, the army and the citizens battling the raging fires.

 

Dear Compatriots,

It is imperative for all Hellenes to respond to the appeal and help our mother country in its hour of need.  It is our sacred duty to provide relief to victims and to aid in the reforestation effort to replace all that has been lost in this unprecedented ecological tragedy.

 

Ted G. Spyropoulos

ΣΥΜΒΟΥΛΙΟ ΑΠΟΔΗΜΟΥ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΣΜΟΥ (ΣΑΕ)

 WORLD COUNCIL FOR HELLENES ABROAD (SAE)

 Γραφείο Συντονιστή Περιφέρειας Η.Π.Α.

Coordinator’s Office of U.S.A. Region

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. 110 Congress

 

1st Session

 

H. RES. 629

 

Extending the condolences and sympathy of the House of Representatives to the Government and the people of Greece for the grave loss of life and vast destruction caused by the devastating fires raging through Greece since June 2007.

 

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

September 4, 2007

 

Mr. SARBANES (for himself, Mr. LANTOS, Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN, Mrs. MALONEY of New York, Mr. BILIRAKIS, Mr. SPACE, Ms. BERKLEY, Mr. PAYNE, Mr. LINCOLN DIAZ-BALART of Florida, Mr. KENNEDY, Mr. PALLONE, Mr. SHAYS, Ms. WATSON, Mr. CROWLEY, and Mr. WEXLER)

Submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs

________________________

 

RESOLUTION

 

Extending the condolences and sympathy of the House of Representatives to the Government and the people of Greece for the grave loss of life and vast destruction caused by the devastating fires raging through Greece since June 2007.

 

Whereas more than 3,000 forest fires have been recorded in Greece since June 2007;

 

Whereas over a 10-day period, an estimated 4,000 people saw their homes destroyed by the wildfires, which razed dozens of villages, destroyed livestock and charred an estimated 469,000 acres of mostly forest and farmland;

 

Whereas dozens of Greek families have lost their loved ones to the fires;

 

Whereas thousands of Greeks have been left homeless and hundreds of thousands of acres of pristine forest have been destroyed;

 

Whereas hundreds of thousands of mature olive trees, vineyards and thousands of animals perished in the flames;

 

Whereas damage to the Greek economy is estimated at between $1,600,000,000 and $5,400,000,000;

 

Whereas the United States and Greece have stood side by side in confronting world challenges throughout the 20th century, and will stand together in confronting this new challenge; and

 

Whereas the United States, through its government, its people and its Greek-American community, has already extended significant support to the people of Greece during this difficult time:  Now, therefore be it

 

Resolved, that the House of Representatives –

 

(1)   extends its condolences and sympathy to the Government and the people of Greece for the grave loss of life and vast destruction caused by the devastating fires raging through Greece;

 

(2)   vows its full support and solidarity to a close friend, a strategic partner, and a longstanding ally in this painful and difficult hour;

 

(3)   fully supports the Administration’s initiatives to provide assistance and relief to the people of Greece , including its pledge of $1,500,000 in aid as well as expert and technical assistance;

 

(4)   encourages public institutions, specialized agencies, as well as private citizens, to offer their resources; and

 

(5)   expresses confidence that Greece and its people will succeed in overcoming the hardships incurred through this tragedy.  

 

 

 

 

* * * * *

 

ΟΜΟΦΩΝΗ ΥΙΟΘΕΤΗΣΗ ΨΗΦΙΣΜΑΤΟΣ Η. Res. 629 ΑΠΟ ΒΟΥΛΗ ΑΝΤΙΠΡΟΣΩΠΩΝ ΣΧΕΤΙΚΑ ΜΕ ΠΥΡΚΑΓΙΕΣ

 

Η Αμερικανική Βουλή Αντιπροσώπων υιοθέτησε σήμερα ομόφωνα, κατόπιν ψηφοφορίας, Ψήφισμα υπ’ αριθ. H.Res. 629, με το οποίο εκφράζεται συμπάθεια για τις εκτεταμένες απώλειες λόγω των πυρκαγιών στην Ελλάδα και υπογραμμίζεται η στήριξη των ΗΠΑ στην αντιμετώπιση των επιπτώσεών τους. Στη συνεδρίαση παρέστη ο Πρέσβης της Ελλάδος στις ΗΠΑ, κ. Αλέξανδρος Μαλλιάς, κατόπιν προσκλήσεως του Hellenic Caucus.

 

Ειδικότερα, το Ψήφισμα αναφέρεται στις καταστροφές χιλιάδων οικιών, δεκάδων χωριών, και εκατοντάδων χιλιάδων στρεμμάτων δάσους και καλλιεργειών, με κόστος ζημιών που υπολογίζεται σε 1.6 δις. – 5.4 δις δολ. ΗΠΑ. Αναφέρεται επίσης η συμπόρευση ΗΠΑ και Ελλάδος στις μεγάλες προκλήσεις του 20ου αιώνα, καθώς και η στήριξη της αμερικανικής Κυβέρνησης και της ελληνο-αμερικανικής κοινότητας στον ελληνικό λαό κατά την παρούσα δύσκολη συγκυρία.

 

Στο διατακτικό Ψηφίσματος:

·        Εκφράζεται συμπάθεια στην Κυβέρνηση και το Λαό της Ελλάδος για τις απώλειες που σημειώθηκαν,

·        Υπογραμμίζεται στήριξη και αλληλεγγύη σε «σύμμαχο και στρατηγικό εταίρο»,

·        Επίσης, εκφράζεται υποστήριξη σε πρωτοβουλίες Administration και λοιπών αρμοδίων υπηρεσιών για παροχή βοήθειας προς την Ελλάδα,

·        Τέλος, εκφράζεται πεποίθηση ότι Ελλάδα θα καταφέρει ξεπεράσει την τραγωδία αυτή.

Το Ψήφισμα παρουσίασε ο Βουλευτής κ. John Sarbanes (D-MD), ο οποίος, σε παρέμβασή του, αναφέρθηκε στις καταστροφικές επιπτώσεις των πυρκαγιών, επισημαίνοντας την αλληλεγγύη του αμερικανικού λαού. Υπογραμμίζεται ότι το Ψήφισμα συγκηδεμόνευσαν 14 επιφανείς Βουλευτές, μεταξύ οποίων ο Πρόεδρος Επιτροπής Εξωτερικών Υποθέσεων Βουλής των Αντιπροσώπων, κ. Tom Lantos (D-CA), Αρχηγός Μειοψηφίας κα Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Πρόεδρος Υποεπιτροπής Ευρώπης κ. Robert Wexler (D-FL), καθώς και Συμπρόεδροι Hellenic Caucus, κα Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) και κ. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL). Κυρίες Maloney και Ros-Lehtinen προέβησαν επίσης σε αντίστοιχες παρεμβάσεις.

 

Επισημαίνεται ότι Ψήφισμα H.R.629 αποτέλεσε το βασικό αντικείμενο συζήτησης σημερινής συνεδριάσεως της Ολομέλειας της Αμερικανικής Βουλής Αντιπροσώπων και την πρώτη νομοθετική πρωτοβουλία από έναρξη εργασιών Βουλής μετά το πέρας των θερινών διακοπών.

 

                                                            Μετά τις πυρκαϊές

 

            Με τις φωτιές του Αυγούστου και την κατασtροφή του τέταρτου των ελληνικών δασών και χιλιάδες στρεμάτων καλλιεργειών, η Ελλάδα ξαφνικά γίνεται πολύ φτωχότερη και πηγαίνει πίσω πολλά χρόνια. Δυστυχώς, οι τρομερές καταστροφές αυτήν τη φορά δεν περιορίστηκαν μόνο ενάντια στην ελληνική φύση, όπως συμβαίνει συνήθως: έκαψαν ζωντανές δεκάδες ανθρώπινες υπάρξεις και χιλιάδες άμοιρα ζωντανά, που απανθρακώθηκαν ξαφνικά, ενώ έβοσκαν, ήταν στο σταλό τους ή κοιμότανε στη φωλιά τους. Μαζί με την χλωρίδα, η ελληνική πανίδα δέχτηκε κι αυτή ένα τρομερό πλήγμα, δε χωράει αμφιβολία. Στι περιοχές των πυρκαγιών δεν επέζησε τίποτα.

            Η επανόρθωση από την καταστροφή θα πάρει χρόνια. Αυτό, αν εν τω μεταξύ δεν υπάρξουν καινούριες συμφορές. Και, φυσικά, η επανόρθωση θα επιτευχθεί μόνο αν ο κάθε Έλληνας πράξει το πρέπον, σε αυτή την ιστορική στιγμή, αυτής της ανεπανάληπτης τραγωδίας· είτε αυτός βρίσκεται μέσα ή κοντά στην ελληνική φύση, είτε στην ελληνική πόλη, είτε στο εξωτερικό και είτε, ακόμα, στο σύνολο των Ελλήνων εκπροσωπημένων στο πρόσωπο της Κυβέρνησης, που αυτοί θα εκλέξουν αυτόν το μήνα. Η τραγωδία είναι πολύ μεγάλη για να περιοριστεί σε αλληλοκατηγορίες και, παράλληλα με το να κάνουν όλοι αυτό που πρέπει, να πάρουν όλοι μαθήματα από αυτό το ανεπανάληπτο κακό για να τα χρησιμοποιήσουν θετικά στο μέλλον. Δυστυχώς, το φαινόμενο της ανομβρίας και του καύσωνα φαίνεται ότι δεν είναι κάτι παροδικό που θα το ξεχάσουμε. 

                                                           

                                                                        Ρ.Κ.

 

Misc news

 

Mediterranean Diet May Boost Alzheimer's Survival

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

,

HealthDay News

Posted: 2007-09-10 16:04:15

 

MONDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Consuming what's known as a Mediterranean diet -- one loaded with fruits, vegetables, grains and olive oil -- may help Alzheimer's patients live longer, a new study suggests.

The observation comes after researchers tracked the dietary habits of people diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer's. It follows on earlier work by the same team that suggests these diets may lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's in the first place.

"This time, we found that Alzheimer's patients who were following the Mediterranean diet had longer survival as compared to those who were following the diet less," said study lead author Dr. Nikolaos Scarmeas, an assistant professor in the department of neurology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.

The study is published in the Sept. 11 issue of Neurology.

According to the American Heart Association, diets native to the 16 countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea varies somewhat region to region. However, most regimens include a high intake of fruits, vegetables, breads, cereals, potatoes, beans, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. More than half of all fat-sourced calories in the Mediterranean diet come from monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil. Dairy, fish, poultry, and other sources of saturated fats are eaten at low to moderate levels, the AHA say.

Heart disease rates in Mediterranean nations are lower than in the United States, the AHA adds, although it's not clear that diet alone is responsible for the difference.

To further examine the potential health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, Scarmeas' team compared nutrition and disease progression between 1992 and 2002 among 192 patients with early-stage Alzheimer's, all of whom lived in New York City.

All the patients were 65 and older, most were non-white, and all underwent initial physical and neuro-psychological exams to assess their cognitive capacities. Such evaluations were repeated every 18 months.

In addition, the patients completed questionnaires regarding their food consumption over a one-year period. Daily caloric intake was tallied for seven categories, including dairy, meat, fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereals, and fish.

At no time were patients given any information about nutrition, or instructions about what to eat or how much to eat of any particular food group.

Throughout the full study period, the researchers tracked patients for an average of four-and-a-half years, during which time 85 patients died.

Scarmeas' group found that patients whose consumption habits most closely tracked that of the Mediterranean diet were 76 percent less likely to die in the study period than those whose food intake least mimicked the diet.

Compared with those whose diets most closely resembled a Western diet, Alzheimer's patients who most closely followed the Mediterranean diet lived an average of four years longer.

A more moderate degree of adherence to the Mediterranean diet still translated into extra 1.3 years of survival, the researchers said. That's equal to a 29 percent to 35 percent reduced risk for dying during the study period.

The findings appeared to hold up regardless of patient body mass index, gender, ethnicity, or educational background. Age differences had a nearly imperceptible impact on the findings.

The researchers did not examine how differences in end-of-life care protocols -- such as the possible use of artificial feeding mechanisms and antibiotic therapies -- might have affected survival in some patients.

Scarmeas emphasized that more work needs to be done to tease out the diet's effects.

"For now, we can only speak about the tendency we found in a whole population," he cautioned. "It is possible that particular people happen to have a constellation of several other factors that contribute to a risk for dying or delay their mortality. So, right now, we can only say that in this observational study we found, in general, that the more you follow this Mediterranean diet, the later you die, even after the onset of Alzheimer's disease."

Greg M. Cole is associate director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and a neuroscientist with the Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System. He described the findings as provocative but not definitive.

"It could be that the Mediterranean diet is slowing the progression of Alzheimer's," he acknowledged. "But there could also be other explanations. For example, a lot of people who have Alzheimer's also have cardiovascular disease. The risk factors for both illnesses show a lot of overlap. And it is a pretty well established benefit that the Mediterranean diet protects against heart disease."

"So, it could be that the Mediterranean diet is actually slowing down the accompanying spectrum of vascular problems that lead to stroke and heart attack and other problems associated with a cardiovascular disease that lead to mortality," explained Cole. "So, death is not as good a measure here as the progression of cognitive decline. Is the diet actually slowing down the cognitive decline of Alzheimer's itself? That's the next question. And, if so, that would certainly be a very significant result."

 

 

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

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