Posted by WBHI on Oct 28, 2011 in Think Twice
by Sarah Boseley for The Guardian
Deaths from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are steadily rising in England and Wales, as cancer, heart attack and stroke deaths gradually come down.
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show an 11.7% rise in dementia deaths in the last year, 2009-10, to a total of 25,106. More than two-thirds – 18,349 – were of women, in part because they live longer than men.
Alzheimer’s and dementia are now the third leading cause of death for women, after heart disease and stroke. Falls in other, more preventable and treatable diseases are largely responsible for a 26% rise in dementia deaths over the five years between 2005 and 2010. In the same period, heart disease deaths dropped by 30% in women. Diseases of the urinary system – also linked to old age – increased by 8.1% in that time and lung cancer deaths rose by 3.5%, as smoking continued to take its long-term toll, but most other trends were down.
Posted by WBHI on Oct 25, 2011 in Great Minds Think Alike
by The Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation
Elderly men and women with mild Alzheimer’s disease and cataracts can benefit from cataract surgery, a new report shows. The surgery led to improvements in thinking, sounder sleep, better mood and other benefits.
“We wanted to learn whether significant vision improvement would result in positive mood and behavior changes, or might instead upset these patients’ fragile coping strategies,” said Dr. Brigitte Girard, the lead author of the study and a researcher at Tenon Hospital in Paris, France. Surgery produced improvements in many of the patients studied.
The findings are important, since cataracts, which cloud the lens in the eye, are very common in older people. With the advance of lasers and other technologies, cataract surgery has become a relatively simple procedure that can produce dramatic improvements in vision. The results underline the importance of good vision and medical care for anyone with Alzheimer’s disease.
The study is the first to address whether cataract surgery is helpful specifically for people with Alzheimer’s disease. Earlier studies have shown that older people in general show improvements in thinking and mood after cataract surgery to correct vision loss.