Posted by WBHI on May 1, 2013 in Think It Over
by Judith Graham for The New York Times:
A large body of research has linked late-life depression to social isolation, poorer health and an increased risk of death. Now, a new study finds that depression is associated with subsequent vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, conditions poised to expand dramatically with the aging population.
The report, published on Wednesday in the British Journal of Psychiatry, is a meta-analysis of 23 previous studies that followed nearly 50,000 older adults over a median of five years.
The researchers found that depressed older adults (defined as those over age 50) were more than twice as likely to develop vascular dementia and 65 percent more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than similarly aged people who weren’t depressed.
Posted by WBHI on May 1, 2013 in Come To Think Of It
by Medical XPress:
Elderly patients who receive anesthesia are no more likely to develop long-term dementia or Alzheimer’s disease than other seniors, according to new Mayo Clinic research.
The study analyzed thousands of patients using the Rochester Epidemiology Project—which allows researchers access to medical records of nearly all residents of Olmsted County, Minn.—and found that receiving general anesthesia for procedures after age 45 is not a risk factor for developing dementia. The findings were published Wednesday, May 1, online in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
Posted by WBHI on Apr 1, 2013 in Sooner Than You Think
by Michael Smith for MedPage Today:
Standard risk prediction tools for heart disease and stroke are better at predicting declining mental powers than a specific dementia risk score, researchers reported.
In a long-running cohort study, higher risks on the widely used Framingham cardiovascular disease and stroke scores were strongly associated with declines on four out of five cognitive tests, according to Sara Kaffashian, PhD, of the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Paris, and colleagues.
On the other hand, higher risk on the recently proposed Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging and Dementia (CAIDE) score was less strongly associated with declines and only on three of the five tests, Kaffashian and colleagues reported in the April 2 issue ofNeurology.
All of the risk scores predict cognitive decline starting in late middle age, Kaffashian said in a statement, but the Framingham tests may have an edge in prevention.
Posted by WBHI on Mar 19, 2013 in Come To Think Of It
by Janice Lloyd for USA Today:
A new report showing one in three older adults dies with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia is raising concerns about the disease’s “pervasive” scope and the spiraling costs of care, the authors say.
Deaths from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia have increased 68% from 2000 to 2010, according to the report being released today by the Alzheimer’s Association, an advocacy group. Meanwhile, deaths from heart disease, HIV/AIDS and stroke have declined. The numbers are taken from Medicare and Medicaid reports.
“Urgent, meaningful action is needed, particularly as more and more people age into greater risk for developing the disease,” says Harry Johns, president and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Posted by WBHI on Mar 16, 2013 in Great Minds Think Alike
by Jan Johansen for Newswire:
Dementia is a terrible thing. It attacks your loved ones’ cherished memories and cognition and leaves them emotionally and physically wasting away. They can fall into depression and even begin refusing foods they once loved.
If you’ve ever had or cared for a loved one suffering from dementia, you know what a hopeless feeling it can be. But now a recent study out of Taiwan offers some hope on the horizon for dementia suffers and caregivers.
Researchers from the National Yang-Ming University set out to improve quality of life for millions of people currently suffering from dementia. And these researchers noticed the same things we all notice — as many dementia sufferers surrender to depression and cut back on eating and physical activity, their physical condition declines rapidly.
So instead of attacking the problem with some toxic, side-effect-laden prescription pill, the researchers tackled the problem another way — with a fork.
Posted by WBHI on Feb 28, 2013 in Helpful Thinking
by Health Day News:
Helping people with dementia to eat more regularly improves their physical health and may lower symptoms of depression, a small new study from Taiwan suggests.
The research included 63 dementia patients who were trained to remember proper eating habits and 27 patients who received usual care. The memory training used a method called spaced retrieval, which requires people to recall a piece of information over increasingly longer time intervals. Another memory-training tool involved practicing tasks associated with daily living.
The patients underwent tests for nutrition, body-mass index (a measurement of body fat based on height and weight) and depression before the start of the study and again six months later.
Posted by WBHI on Feb 23, 2013 in Think It Over
by Daily Rx:
When a patient suffers a stroke, he or she has a significant risk of having another one down the road. Knowing which symptoms can predict the second stroke can help docs and families prepare.
A recent study discovered that people who developed dementia after having an ischemic stroke were at greater risk of having another stroke. Compared to those without dementia, stroke patients with dementia were about two times more likely to have another stroke.
The authors concluded that post-stroke dementia is a risk factor for future stroke. Knowing this risk may help doctors and patients prevent more strokes.
Patients with post-stroke dementia may develop memory and thinking problems within a year after having a stroke.
Posted by WBHI on Feb 21, 2013 in Think About It
by Jaimie Dalessio for Everyday Health:
The protective power of antioxidants against stroke and dementia may have less to do with your total dietary intake of antioxidants and more to do with the specific foods that contribute to your antioxidant level, new research suggests.
Researchers from Harvard Medical School in Boston and Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam in the Netherlands analyzed health and dietary information on 5,395 people aged 55 and older who were part of the long-term Rotterdam Study of medical conditions and other factors in older adults.
Study author Elizabeth E. Devore, ScD, now with Brigham and Women’s and Harvard Medical School, says she and her colleagues at Erasmus came at the Rotterdam research data with a new question: “Is it really about individual nutrients for dementia and stroke, or would it be important to look overall at the total capacity of the diet in terms of antioxidants?”
Posted by WBHI on Feb 1, 2013 in Helpful Thinking
by Carolyn Rosenblatt for Forbes:
Sometimes, you hear a diagnosis that hits you hard. A doctor says your aging loved one has dementia.
Sometimes, you just know something is wrong, it’s not getting better, and the only thing doctors say is “memory loss” or “mild cognitive impairment” (MCI). Does it matter what they call it?
What does matter is that you don’t get sucked into denial and pretend that everything is going to be the same from now on. Unfortunately, we don’t get a course in school telling us what to do and how to be helpful when an aging parent develops dementia. We may not even be clear about what the word means. A startling reality is that by the time a person is 85 years of age, the odds of developing Alzheimer’s Disease, presenting as dementia, are about one in two.
Dementia is a symptom of brain disease, often Alzheimer’s Disease. We don’t have a cure and we don’t know the cause. We have good ideas about how to prevent it, but it’s too late for prevention when your aging loved one already has significant problems with memory loss. There is no medication that changes the overall course of the disease, though some medications provide temporary improvement in short term memory.
Posted by WBHI on Jan 24, 2013 in Helpful Thinking
by Tralee Pearce for The Golbe and Mail:
A retired cardiologist sits at a table at Toronto’s L’Chaim Retirement Home, sorting through cardiograms. He’s not volunteering his time helping others, however. Unbeknownst to him, he’s working at keeping what memories he has.
L’Chaim is using the Montessori Method for Dementia program, a novel approach to combat dementia that has been rolling out in day centres and nursing homes across the country over the last few years. Taking the principles of the Montessori method created for children in the 1970s and applying them to adults suffering from a range of cognitive diseases, the program is seen as a ray of hope in what is often a heartbreaking reality. More than half a million Canadians are currently affected by dementia, and with an aging population, it is poised to become an even greater concern.
The program’s relatively simple approach is part of its appeal. As in the case of the doctor, the Montessori Method gets people to do tasks that feel familiar, along with brain-boosting games, discussion groups and a physical environment that’s designed to both reassure and stimulate. And it seems to help.