In a culture that believes that talent reigns supreme, the value of good playing surfaces is sometimes underestimated. Recently, government embarked on a programme to improve the quality of high-school playing fields. Something similar is needed for football and cricket fields if players are to properly learn the skills they need. Bumpy fields make it impossible for them to control the ball and pass it at the required level of proficiency. Perhaps, in exchange for a tax concession, companies involved in landscaping could be invited to help in this area. The target would be to renovate at least one football field per parish each year and provide the expertise and staff to do the maintenance. The next critical element is the establishment of a national playing philosophy. Our biggest asset is sprint speed, and a style that embraces that asset may well suit Jamaica best. This may run at odds with our love of Brazilian and Barcelona football, but beauty can have many faces. Whatever style we choose, it should become the template for all of Jamaica’s national teams. That would allow newcomers to the senior team to fit in seamlessly. Once this choice is made, choosing players from the diaspora will be much easier because the selector will be looking not just for good players, but for those who will fit. The wholesale elimination of players from the diaspora could also eliminate the exposure they have received elsewhere. Lest we forget, Paul Hall, Fitzroy Simpson and Deon Burton, all based in England, boosted Jamaica’s drive to qualify for the 1998 World Cup with their competitiveness, professionalism and skills. The door should never close on such an input. The same logic applies to home-grown players who ply their trade abroad. Instead, an overall programme of work should be undertaken to improve Jamaica’s football. Better- coached players on better fields working together within a playing philosophy that suits Jamaica, will work much better. It will take time, but it needs to start now. – Hubert Lawrence has made notes at trackside since 1980. Talent reigns supreme Picking a national squad solely of local players isn’t going to save Jamaican football. The issues facing us on that field of play are too wide-ranging for that. The football fraternity will have to look itself in the eye and build a structure that produces quality play. That will take time. Pegging success to qualifying for the 2022 World Cup may be a mistake, too, as it may force the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) to rush or overlook key elements in the development process. To be fair, some work has started with the certification of many more coaches in recent years. The requirement that coaches must have FIFA certification to train high-school teams is a plus. The pay-off is better-equipped players in the future. Those who organise preparatory and primary- school football might be well advised to adopt similar regulations. Such a move would ensure that aspiring players adopt good technical habits early in their acquaintance with the game. As we all know, bad habits can be really hard to break.
Aug 17 2018A new study from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston has uncovered why some people that have brain markers of Alzheimer’s never develop the classic dementia that others do. The study is now available in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, affects more than 5 million Americans. People suffering from Alzheimer’s develop a buildup of two proteins that impair communications between nerve cells in the brain – plaques made of amyloid beta proteins and neurofibrillary tangles made of tau proteins.Intriguingly, not all people with those signs of Alzheimer’s show any cognitive decline during their lifetime. The question became, what sets these people apart from those with the same plaques and tangles that develop the signature dementia?Related StoriesStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingWhy women who work are less likely to develop dementiaAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementia”In previous studies, we found that while the non-demented people with Alzheimer’s neuropathology had amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles just like the demented people did, the toxic amyloid beta and tau proteins did not accumulate at synapses, the point of communication between nerve cells,” said Giulio Taglialatela, director of the Mitchell Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases. “When nerve cells can’t communicate because of the buildup of these toxic proteins that disrupt synapse, thought and memory become impaired. The next key question was then what makes the synapse of these resilient individuals capable of rejecting the dysfunctional binding of amyloid beta and tau?”In order to answer this question, the researchers used high-throughput electrophoresis and mass spectrometry to analyze the protein composition of synapses isolated from frozen brain tissue donated by people who had participated in brain aging studies and received annual neurological and neuropsychological evaluations during their lifetime. The participants were divided into three groups – those with Alzheimer’s dementia, those with Alzheimer’s brain features but no signs of dementia and those without any evidence of Alzheimer’s.The results showed that resilient individuals had a unique synaptic protein signature that set them apart from both demented AD patients and normal subjects with no AD pathology. Taglialatela said that this unique protein make-up may underscore the synaptic resistance to amyloid beta and tau, thus enabling these fortunate people to remain cognitively intact despite having Alzheimer’s-like pathologies.”We don’t yet fully understand the exact mechanism(s) responsible for this protection,” said Taglialatela. “Understanding such protective biological processes could reveal new targets for developing effective Alzheimer’s treatments.” Source:https://www.utmb.edu/newsroom/article11851.aspx