Posted by WBHI on Jul 15, 2012 in Think About It
by Health Day:
Three new studies suggest that a person’s walking ability or type of gait may give hints about oncoming Alzheimer’s disease.
The studies, presented this week in Vancouver at the annual meeting of the Alzheimer’s Association, highlight changes in walking patterns as a potential sign that mental decline is underway.
In one four-year study, a Swiss team led by Dr. Stephanie Bridenbaugh of the Basel Mobility Center tracked the walking ability of nearly 1,200 elderly memory clinic outpatients and compared the results to the walking ability of healthy people.
Tests revealed that a slowing of pace and a change in gait was linked to progression of mental decline, whether the mental state known as mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or full-blown Alzheimer’s disease.
Posted by WBHI on Jun 13, 2012 in Come To Think Of It
by Romeo Vitelli for Huffington Post:
For country and western star Glen Campbell, the decision to go public with his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease wasn’t easy. In the press release that he and his wife Kim issued in June 2011, the 76-year-old singer admitted to experiencing short-term memory problems for years before being diagnosed.
As Campbell’s daughter, Ashley, pointed out in a CNN interview, the family’s main concern was fans getting the wrong impression of problems that her father might develop on stage during shows: “We were concerned that during shows he would forget a line or get a little confused. People would think, ‘Is he drunk?’ Is he doing drugs again?”
Posted by WBHI on Jun 12, 2012 in Sooner Than You Think
by Charles Bankhead for MedPage Today:
Brain imaging with a beta amyloid-specific tracer identified patients who had a high risk of rapid progression from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer’s disease, an Australian study showed.
Three-fourths of patients with high uptake of 18F-florbetaben (18FBB) progressed to Alzheimer’s disease within 24 months. In contrast, half of patients with hippocampal atrophy met diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer’s disease within 2 years.
The results suggest that PET imaging with18FBB could offer the earliest test yet developed for diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study reported at the Society of Nuclear Medicine meeting in Miami Beach, Fla.
Posted by WBHI on Jun 6, 2012 in Helpful Thinking
by Eveline Gan for Today:
She was only 11 and had not heard of dementia when Ms Foong Mei Ching had a nagging suspicion something was wrong with her grandmother 15 years ago.
“Grandma was still out and about with her usual routine, but I felt she was behaving strangely. She would leave the house keys hanging at the door and, sometimes, she forgot how to wear her undergarments,” said Ms Foong, 26, a community relations executive at Yong-en Care Centre.
Worried, she told her parents about her concerns, but they waved it off as normal ageing. ”Back then, there was a lack of information on dementia, and the early symptoms are easy to miss. I felt something was amiss only because I had spent so much time with her during my childhood,” said Ms Foong.
Posted by WBHI on Jun 2, 2012 in Sooner Than You Think
by Paul Harasim for Las Vagas Review Journal:
An imaging test that can for the first time help doctors detect brain plaque tied to Alzheimer’s disease will be available next month at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.
It is a tool that enables clinicians to detect Alzheimer’s earlier and more precisely in patients at the earliest sign of memory problems, an advancement that should lead to accelerated treatment and development of drugs against the disease, according to Dr. Jeffrey Cummings, director of the Ruvo Center.
The strengthening of the Ruvo Center’s detection program, made possible eight weeks ago by FDA approval of a new radioactive dye developed by Eli Lilly and Co., was revealed during wide-ranging interviews Thursday and Friday with Cummings and European scientist Dr. Philip Scheltens, who is speaking today at an international conference on dementia at the Ruvo Center.
Posted by WBHI on May 23, 2012 in Think About It
by David Krotz for Berkeley Lab:
For the past five years, volunteers from the City of Berkeley and surrounding areas have come to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to participate in an ongoing study that’s changing what scientists know about Alzheimer’s disease.
The volunteers, most over the age of 70, undergo what can best be described as a brain checkup. They’re asked to solve puzzles and memorize lists of words. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans image the structure of their brains in exquisite detail. Functional MRI scans allow scientists to watch portions of their brains light up as they form memories. And Positron emission tomography (PET) scans measure any accumulation of beta-amyloid, a destructive protein that’s a hallmark of Alzheimer’s.
The goal of the Berkeley Aging Cohort Study is to reveal how our brains change as we age. The scientists also compare their findings with brain scans of Alzheimer’s patients. They’ve noticed something odd—and perhaps a little hopeful. Some volunteers have the same level of beta-amyloid deposition as an Azheimer’s patient. Yet they show no signs of the disease.
Why is this? How can two people, the same age and with the same signs of the disease, take such different paths?
Posted by WBHI on May 21, 2012 in Helpful Thinking
by Washington Post:
“Is it Alzheimer’s?” A concerned daughter silently mouthed that question to Marvin M. Lipman, Consumer Reports’ chief medical adviser, after a lengthy office visit during which she had described her mother’s increasing loss of short-term memory and occasional erratic behavior.
The focus of this attention was an 85-year-old retired college professor, a seemingly healthy long-term patient of Lipman’s. In all the years she had been seeing him for routine examinations and an occasional infection, she had provided him with few or no clues that she might be slowly developing Alzheimer’s, a disorder that affects 5.5 million Americans.
For each of the incidents that troubled her daughter, she had an explanation: “If you had eight grandchildren, you’d get them mixed up, too.” “The reason I showed up at the wrong house for your birthday was that it was dark and the street signs were hard to read.” “The pot boiled over and ruined the kitchen floor because the timer didn’t ring.”
Posted by WBHI on May 20, 2012 in Come To Think Of It
by Emily Digan for The Independent:
Dementia will kill one in three people over 65, but a survey of GPs reveals that almost two-thirds admit they are not properly taught to recognise the signs of it.
Only 37 per cent of GPs say they have adequate basic training on dementia, according to research by the Alzheimer’s Society. As a result, just 43 per cent of people with the condition are diagnosed, leaving hundreds of thousands of patients untreated, the charity claims.
Around 800,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia, costing the economy more than £23bn every year. In less than 10 years, it is estimated that a million people will be living with the condition, rising to 1.7 million by 2051. If dementia is discovered and treated early, the onset of the worst symptoms can be delayed, giving people a better quality of life.
The Alzheimer’s Society also found that 75 per cent of GPs wanted to know more about the management of behavioural symptoms of the disease. The survey of 382 GPs was commissioned ahead of Dementia Awareness Week which begins tomorrow.
Posted by WBHI on Apr 18, 2012 in Think About It
by Dementia Today:
What is depression?
When doctors talk about depression, they mean the medical illness called major depression. Someone who has major depression has symptoms like those listed below nearly every day, all day, for 2 weeks or longer. There is also a minor form of depression that causes less severe symptoms. Both have the same causes and treatment.
If you’re depressed, you may also have headaches, other aches and pains, digestive problems and problems with sex. An older person who has depression may feel confused or have trouble understanding simple requests.
Symptoms of depression
- No interest or pleasure in things you used to enjoy, including sex
- Feeling sad or numb
- Crying easily or for no reason
- Feeling slowed down or feeling restless and irritable
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Unintended weight loss or gain
- Trouble recalling things, concentrating or making decisions
- Headaches, backaches or digestive problems
- Sleeping too much, or having problems sleeping
- Feeling tired all of the time
- Thoughts about death or suicide
Posted by WBHI on Apr 4, 2012 in Think About It
How to tell when memory trouble might signal Alzheimer’s or another reason to seek help
by Paula Spencer Scott for caring.com
Almost all of us of a certain age — say, anywhere north of 40 — worry at some point about memory glitches. No wonder. Our brains begin to deteriorate by our late 20s. But some memory troubles are signs that there may be something more seriously amiss than normal aging.
“Everybody’s memory is different, so you have to use your own as a baseline to notice changes that are worrisome,” says University of Wisconsin geriatric psychiatrist Ken Robbins. “But certain signs are more strongly associated with a problem like Alzheimer’s.”
When to worry? The following five signs of Alzheimer’s disease, which you yourself might notice, suggest a trip to your doctor, a neurologist, a psychiatrist specializing in geriatrics or memory disorders, or a geriatrician. A thorough evaluation can also rule out other things that can cause memory loss besides Alzheimer’s — for example, medication side effects, depression, pregnancy, and stress.