Posted by WBHI on Jun 30, 2009 in Think Twice
by Dr. Kaycee Sink for Everyday Health
Q: Is it true that women are more likely to get Alzheimer’s disease than men? Why? I’m a 38-year-old woman with no significant health problems. Am I at risk just because I’m a woman?
A: It is generally accepted that women are more likely to get Alzheimer’s disease than men, but we don’t know why. It may simply be that women live longer than men (and age is the biggest risk factor for Alzheimer’s Disease), or that there are reasons related to the decline in hormones women experience as they age (though estrogen replacement has been found to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, not decrease it), or that there are genetic factors (a recent genetic study has discovered a gene on the X chromosome that may increase risk of Alzheimer’s), or that there is some reason we have not yet considered.
Since you cannot change your biological sex, your best bet at preventing Alzheimer’s is to stay healthy and active, both in mind and body.
Posted by WBHI on Jun 22, 2009 in Helpful Thinking
by Pauls Spencer Scott for Caring
If there’s one thing that can make most of us feel slightly less alone when a relative or friend has Alzheimer’s disease, it’s realizing that Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia strike all families — even those in the most glamorous corners of our world.
A rash of celebrities have been facing the disease in their loved ones – parents, partners, friends – and a public soapbox can help draw attention to Alzheimer’s. But I’m sharing their comments because sometimes a high-profile reminder about What Works sticks with us longer.
First Lady Laura Bush
Care situation: Moved mother into a retirement home five years ago; dad died of Alzheimer’s.
“There are things you can do as a long-distance caregiver. One thing: You can build a support group in your parents’ neighborhood, get to know all the neighbors, exchange phone numbers.”
Interesting aside: While living in Washington DC, Bush traveled regularly to Texas to help arrange her parents’ care. Being in one of the world’s most high profile lives didn’t spare her the need to establish eyes, hears, and hands on the ground miles away –- a great way to help prolong a parent’s independent living.