Alzheimer’s Drug Studies Failing, but There’s Still Optimism

If you are the adult child of an elder, you often worry about that family member’s memory, and you are always on the lookout for potential problems. If you are like me, you comb the the scientific literature and health articles looking for information dreaming of a solution to a weakening memory.

Some days the research reports are positive, but today in the Washington Post, they were less so. The February 6, 2017 Washington Post article offers quite a bit of information about what’s happening in the area of Alzheimer’s research and it explains why scientists, while often disappointed, are still seeking explanations and cures.        Continue reading

Making a New Year’s Weight Loss Resolution? Drive Less

weight and driving

Click to watch the video at the National Library of Medicine.

If you, your senior parents, or anyone else in your family is thinking about weight loss as a New Year’s resolution, watch and listen to this short National Library of Medicine (NLM) video that explains how newly published research in the journal Preventive Medicine has found an inverse association between the number of miles a person drives and weight loss.

An inverse association means that amount of weight loss increases as the miles a person drives decreases.

The NLM page with the video also includes a transcript. It’s also possible to click on the “CC” symbol at the bottom right of the video and turn on captioning.

Check out the abstract of the article, Quantifying the Association Between Obesity, Automobile Travel, and Caloric Intake. The full article is not free, but may be available at a public library and definitely at a hospital library. You can read a bit more about the research in a U.S. News Health article.

What is a Meta-Analysis and How Does It Help Find Better Information?

If you are researching a course of treatment or a cause of disease for an aging parent, family member, or friend, the chances are that you will read scientific studies. Perhaps you will check PubMed, the National Institutes of Health site that has abstracts of all published scientific research. You can visit the National Library of Medicine online or in person, or maybe arrange to go to your local hospital library and check out medical journals.

What’s confusing about searching for information in this way? Well, for one thing, if you are looking for research that examines a particular treatment, disease, or intervention, you are as likely to find studies that describe the success as you are to find reliable research that identified failures.

What should you do in your search? To get a much bigger picture, try to locate a study that’s a meta-analysis.

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