Filed under Dementia

Alzheimer’s Disease – Earlier Diagnosis Guidelines

A great summary of the new Alzheimer’s guidelines is at WEB MD. The recently posted article, New Alzheimer’s Guidelines Stress Early Diagnosis by Daniel J. DeNoon, goes over some of the new diagnosis information recently agreed upon by National Institutes of Aging (NIA) and the Alzheimer’s Association expert panels. The complete guidelines were published in the Journal of … Continue reading

Different People – Different Dementias

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published a March 14, 2011 article, The Many Faces of Dementia which describes different types of the brain diseases as well as the importance of accurately and carefully diagnosing the type of brain abnormality that is affecting each person. Collecting information for a diagnosis involves not only the physician and patient, … Continue reading

Brain 101 for Seniors and Adult Children

If someone in our families experiences a brain disease — depression, stroke, dementia, Alzheimer’s — the  illnesses transport us into the complex world of neurons, plasticity, neurotransmitters, serotonin, hemispheres, and much more. Despite all that is known, the large and complex organ that determines who we are and how we think is a foreign universe. Even the … Continue reading

Alzheimer’s: Helping a Parent Manage Financial Issues

Interesting article in the November 5, 2010 New York Times describing how adult children can get started helping with finances when a parent has Alzheimer’s. In Stepping in for a Parent With Alzheimer’s reporter Tara Siegel Bernard consults with financial planners, shares their ideas, makes specific suggestions about getting started, and offers tips about how to be … Continue reading

An Alzheimer’s Statistic I Did Not Know

Writing in the October 27, 2010 New York Times, three prestigious AIDS advocates, including retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, call for a “man-on-the-moon” effort, setting a goal to stop Alzheimer’s, by the year 2020. Justice O’Connor, writing on the op-ed page along with medicine Nobel Prize winner, Stanley Prusiner (read his Nobel Price acceptance speech), and … Continue reading

Aging Parents: Languages, Dementia, and the Resilient Brain

Read a Wall Street Journal article that describes how people who speak multiple languages appear to have brains that resist some of the early symptoms and brain damage of dementia. The article, Building a More Resilient Brain, describes how a concept called cognitive reserve, often well-developed in bilingual individuals, may enable the brain to continue working even … Continue reading

Hospice: More Days to Say “We Love You”

Thank you hospice. Since reading Dr. Atul Gwande’s New Yorker Magazine article, Letting Go, a piece that describes the end of life (see my recent posting about this article), I’ve been thinking a lot about our hospice experience with a program in Northern Virginia. For some time I’ve wanted to write about those four months, … Continue reading

Education and Dementia Risk

New dementia research conducted at the University of Cambridge finds that the brains of people with more education appear to be better equipped to deal with the effects of dementia. The announcement from the university reviews a number of past brain research results that connect education level with dementia, and then describes the new research appearing … Continue reading

Dementia and Alzheimer’s: What’s the Difference?

At the Alzheimer’s Reading Room a June post, What’s the Difference Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia?, by Dr. Robert Stern, explains differences and clears up some common misconceptions about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. A link at the end of the piece leads to the article’s original source, the ADC Bulletin, a newsletter publication of the Boston … Continue reading

End-of-Life and Pacemakers that Keep on Going

If you are not a regular reader of the New York Times, use this link to go to What Broke My Father’s Heart, by Katie Butler, published in the June 14, 2010, NY Times Magazine. Butler writes about the enormous difficulties her family encountered after a pacemaker was inserted into her father’s chest despite that he had … Continue reading

Dementia: Will I Catch It?

W8J8SJ5DBYR5 Last week, after the publication of Greater Risk of Dementia When Spouse Had Dementia? The Cache County Study (abstract), practically every newspaper health section and blog was featuring this type of headline: If Spouse Has Dementia, Your Risk Rises, Too (MSNBC.com) Dementia Risk Higher if Your Spouse Has Dementia (WebMD) Spouses Who Care for … Continue reading

Dementia: Small Schedule Tweak, Big Result

In March the National Public Radio health blog, Shots, reported an interesting and delightful story, Midnight Munchies Keep Elderly Safer In NY Nursing Home. An employee at the Parker Jewish Institute, a nursing home in New Hyde Park, New York, started, quite accidentally, a midnight snack program for dementia patients in her unit who tended to … Continue reading

Dementia: The Problem of Wandering

The May 4, 2010 New York Times features a health article, More With Dementia Wander from Home, focusing on the problems families experience when a family member with dementia wanders and gets lost. The piece explains how a rising number of confused dementia patients are walking away from home, requiring the development of new policing and … Continue reading

Late-Stage Dementia, Hospitals, and Feeding Tubes

A professor at the Brown University Medical School was the lead author on a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Hospital Characteristics Associated With Feeding Tube Placement in Nursing Home Residents With Advanced Dementia (abstract). Joan M. Teno, MD, used Medicare data from 2000 to 2007 to evaluate how … Continue reading

Causation vs. Association – the Basics

To those of us who are not scientists or epidemiologists two of the most confusing concepts in the universe are association and causation. Many of us are helping parents age as gracefully as possible in the midst of devastating diseases and are deeply frustrated that we cannot sort out the factors associated with an illness … Continue reading

Aging Parents, Atrial Fibrillation, and Dementia

New research, published last week in the April 2010 edition of the journal Heart Rhythm, reports an association between atrial fibrillation and all types of dementia. The article, Atrial Fibrillation Is Independently Associated with Senile, Vascular, and Alzheimer’s Dementia (abstract and full text available), describes the study, which included 37,025 patients already a part of … Continue reading