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Simply plunk down and unwind with some tea or coffee. In the struggle for survival, nearly every form of life has its mimics--right down to some of the most primitive pathogens. By adopting certain critical features of useful hormones or nutrients, these clever bacteria and viruses can gain entry into a healthy host cell. The result is that the healthy cell eagerly and naively sweeps into itself the causes of such diseases as rabies, mononucleosis, and the common cold (Goodenough, 1991).7 It should come as no surprise, then, that there is a strong but sad parallel in the human jungle. We too have profiteers who mimic trigger features for our own brand of automatic responding. Unlike the mostly instinctive response sequences of nonhumans, however, our automatic tapes usually develop from psychological principles or stereotypes we have learned to accept. Although they vary in their force, some of these principles possess a tremendous ability to direct human action. We have been subjected to them from such an early point in our lives, and they have moved us about so pervasively since then, that you and I rarely perceive their power. In the eyes of others, though, each such principle is a detectable and ready weapon, a weapon of automatic influence. 7As exploitative as these creatures seem, they are topped in this respect by an insect known as the rove beetle. By using a variety of triggers involving smell and touch, the rove beetles get two species of ants to protect, groom, and feed them as larvae and to harbor them for the winter as adults. Responding mechanically to the beetles' trick trigger features, the ants treat the beetles as though they were fellow ants. Inside the ant nests, the beetles respond to their hosts' hospitality by eating ant eggs and young; yet they are never harmed (Holldobler, 1971). There are some people who know very well where the weapons of automatic influence lie and who employ them regularly and expertly to get what they want. They go from social encounter to social encounter, requesting others to comply with their wishes; their frequency of success is dazzling. The secret of their effectiveness lies in the way that they structure their requests, the way that they arm themselves with one or another of the weapons of influence that exist in the social environment. To do this may take no more than one correctly chosen word that engages a strong psychological principle and sets rolling one of our automatic behavior tapes. Trust the human profiteers to learn quickly exactly how to benefit from our tendency to respond mechanically according to these principles. Remember my friend the jewelry store owner? Although she benefited by accident the first time, it did not take her long to begin exploiting the expensive = good stereotype regularly and intentionally.

Now during the tourist season, she first tries to speed the sale of an item that has been difficult to move by increasing its price substantially. She claims that this is marvelously cost-effective. When it works on the unsuspecting vacationers--as it frequently does--it results in an enormous profit margin. And even when it is not initially successful, she can then mark the article "Reduced" and sell it to bargain-hunters at its original price while still taking advantage of their expensive = good reaction to the inflated figure. Taking account of the fact that many of these risk factors are interlinked (such as obesity, physical inactivity, diabetes) about 30 percent of cases in Europe, UK, and the United States are attributable to these seven lifestyle factors. We know that prevention is a legitimate evidence-based approach and the time has come to move from a singular focus on treatment and management of the disease to a focus that prioritizes dementia prevention and brain health. Reducing the prevalence of these seven risk factors by just 10 percent per decade would reduce the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease in 2050 by 8.3 percent globally. articles 3 to 8 explain why each key lifestyle factor included in the program is critical for brain health. By completing the assessments in these articles you will build a personal profile that will give you a clear picture of your assets and risks for each factor, allowing you to identify personal goals to address any barriers to brain health. The down-to-earth tips in each article will help you to devise a practical step-by-step action plan to increase your assets and reduce your risks for each factor. Completing the 100-Day Diary at the end of this article forms an integral part of your action plan. Doing at least one thing every day is key to building a brain-healthy habit. Recording the actions that you take each day in your diary will help to keep you on track. Chances are you are already doing lots of things every day that are good for your brain health. It's just as important to celebrate these healthy habits in your 100-Day Diary and on social media, if you've decided to share your journey with friends and family online. The important thing is to make a conscious effort to make every day a brain-healthy day. The false belief that dementia is a normal part of aging is still widely held. The program in this article is built on scientific research that shows that simple lifestyle changes and even some attitude adjustments can boost brain health and act as a buffer against decline in brain function. The next article shares the good news that your brain is resilient. Read on to learn how you can build reserves to boost your brain health.

As we've seen, a lymphocyte is born with the ability to recognize only one specific antigen. In the scheme of immune protection, this means the lymphocytes travel throughout your body looking for the antigen they recognize carried on the surface of a dendritic cell. Once the T cell finds its "chosen" antigen, it tells your body to produce more T cells that identify this one antigen. The T cells can expand their abilities by becoming T helpers, which produce chemical signals to turn on another round of protectors, the B cells, which produce antibodies--proteins that recognize and help remove specific antigens. T helpers (Th) may develop into T regulators (Treg), which can turn the immune response on or off. T helpers also activate another family of T lymphocytes, the T killer cells, which eliminate infected cells and produce more toxic chemicals. Think of the immune cells doing a do-si-do dance--meeting new partners, handing off antigens to another, and completing the dance by delivering what's special from each of the immune cells. Cells have a unique messaging system of hundreds of different chemicals called cytokines. The word "cytokine" means traveling ("kine") between cells ("cyto"). Here's a quick guide to how your immune system works. Recognizing and dismantling the invader. (1) The cells that begin the immune dance are the phagocytes and the antigen-presenting cells (APCs). The APCs process antigens from the invaders and include the dendritic cells. The offending organism, recognized as dangerous, is taken apart into pieces called antigens. These antigens stimulate immune recognition and specific immune reactions. Once the immune cells recognize the invader, an almost magical dance is choreographed. Carrying the marks of an invader. (2) The antigen-presenting cell now carries the antigen on its outer surface, like a flag (or like the lightning bolt on Harry Potter's forehead!). Then it travels around the body until it meets T helper cells that recognize this particular antigen. (3) Messaging with molecules.

Communication? Invasion! Once the appropriate T helper cell recognizes its specific antigen, that signals it to make more T cells that recognize that antigen. (4) The signaling molecules that tell the immune cells what to do are called cytokines. Looking for partner B cells. (5) The expanded army of T cells with the antigen flag of the invader on its surface goes on the prowl to find a B lymphocyte that recognizes the same antigen. The T cell activates the B cell to make more B cells capable of recognizing that antigen. Expanding B cells and producing antibodies. (6, 7) This population of educated B cells expands and matures into plasma cells that produce antigen-neutralizing protein antibodies. Halting the action. (8) Once the immune defenders have duly eradicated the invader, another set of molecular signals trigger the balance switch: The Treg cells send out their brand of cytokines to turn off the actions. So the war, plus Stalin, brought the sum of Russia's suffering to eighty times that of America. I must have looked sheepish, because for the first time he smiled, but it was the creepy kind. I wanted to get down to business. "I understand that you're not happy with your current contact at the Bureau," I said. "It's always busy-ness first with the FBI," he said, his face looking dead. Another insult--which in my dumb-ass, near-rookie mind meant: Fire back! "What I've heard about you," I said--in full combat mode, with little to lose--"is that to give something, you've got to get something. It's almost like--" I had to pause, because this was a nasty shot. "Like you're a double agent." "All agents, my young friend, are double agents." And that was the end of that.

But only from my point of view--which, I was soon to discover, was absolutely irrelevant, because the only thing that mattered right then was his point of view. Staying stuck in your own perceptions, I've found, is like having a long conversation with no one there. Save your breath. However, these olfactory tortures became easier to endure when I stepped onto the scale before bed. In four days I had shed almost six pounds! And though I wasn't primarily interested in cleansing for weight loss, there was a certain pair of just-a-tad-too-tight blue jeans that I was excited to break out of hibernation. "Yeah, you do look thinner," said my boyfriend cautiously. Then he squinted. "But what's up with your face?" Ah! The breakout. I had almost forgotten about it. I went to sleep with my fingers crossed that it would vanish as quickly as it had arrived. Given my sleepless night, I was torn about whether or not I should still do the saltwater flush. My stomach didn't hurt anymore, but it felt generally unstable. I decided to have a cup of Smooth Move instead of the saltwater, thinking that it would be easier on my stomach. This quickly proved not to be the case. My cramps came back full force about half an hour after I drank the tea. I wanted to curl up in a ball and wait out the pain--but these Smooth Move cramps were accompanied by a bloated feeling so intense that doubling over to relieve the cramps felt uncomfortable and weird, like trying to curl up after eating a very large meal. I didn't actually look bloated--in fact, I managed to observe through the fog of my discomfort that I looked noticeably thinner--but I sure felt it. The results of the Smooth Move were slow in coming.