Dementia in the News

99.9 FM WBUR Radio Boston (July 27, 2010): Diagnosing Alzheimer's Earlier

Publication Date: 
Tue, 07/27/2010

Imagine a test that could tell you if you would develop Alzheimer's disease well before you experience memory loss or other symptoms. With no cure and limited treatment available, would you take it?

More than five million Americans suffer from the disease. It's the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

Scientific American (July 27, 2010): More Education Delays Dementia Signs, But Not Damage

Publication Date: 
Tue, 07/27/2010

Education has been linked to dementia risk for dementia for decades, but researchers behind a new study opened up the brains of hundreds of people who had died with the disease to try to find out why this correlation exists.

The scientists found that the number of years a person had spent in school early in life did not change the amount of damage to the brain from dementia.

New York Times (July 23, 2010): When Pneumonia Follows Dementia

Publication Date: 
Fri, 07/23/2010

The 323 residents living in Boston-area nursing homes had entered the final stages of dementia.

“They couldn’t recognize family members,” said the geriatrician and researcher Dr. Jane Givens. “They spoke fewer than six words. They were bed-bound.”

They couldn’t take sips of water without assistance; they’d become incontinent. Their average age was 86. And they’d developed pneumonia.

New York Times (July 21, 2010): Old Age in America, By the Numbers

Publication Date: 
Wed, 07/21/2010

The population of older Americans is growing faster than ever and living longer than ever, but not as long as in much of Europe and elsewhere in the developed world, according to “Older Americans 2010: Key Indicators of Well-Being,” a report compiled by 15 federal agencies.

The full report, with tables detailing senior demographics, economics, health status, health risks and health care, is available at agingstats.gov. It contains a number of surprises, and raises a number of questions, for those interested in how Americans are aging.

The Economist (June 17, 2010): No End to Dementia

Publication Date: 
Thu, 06/17/2010

Drug companies are notoriously secretive. The clock starts running on a patent when it is filed, so the longer something can be kept under wraps before that happens, the better for the bottom line. You know something is up, then, when a group of these firms announce they are banding together to share the results of abandoned drug trials. And on June 11th, several big companies did just that. They publicised the profiles of 4,000 patients from 11 trials so that they could learn from each other's failures. An act of selflessness, perhaps, but also one of desperation.

New York Times (July 16, 2010): Drug Trials Test Bold Plan to Slow Alzheimer's

Publication Date: 
Fri, 07/16/2010

Marilyn Maldonado is not quite sure why she is at the Memory Enhancement Center in the seaside town of Oakhurst, N.J.

“What are we waiting for?” she asks. About 10 minutes later, she asks again. Then she asks again.

She is waiting to enter a new type of Alzheimer's drug study that will, in the boldest effort yet, test the leading hypothesis about how to slow or stop this terrifying brain disease.

New York Times (July 13, 2010): Rules Seek to Expand Diagnosis of Alzheimer's

Publication Date: 
Tue, 07/13/2010

For the first time in 25 years, medical experts are proposing a major change in the criteria for Alzheimer's disease, part of a new movement to diagnose and, eventually, treat the disease earlier.

The new diagnostic guidelines, presented Tuesday at an international Alzheimer’s meeting in Hawaii, would mean that new technology like brain scans would be used to detect the disease even before there are evident memory problems or other symptoms.

USA Today (July 13, 2010): Race, Culture May Play Role in Alzheimer's Disease

Publication Date: 
Tue, 07/13/2010

Racial and cultural differences may impact how early people with dementia are diagnosed, the type of care they receive and how long they live - and they even impact the way families of Alzheimer's patients deal with grief when their loved ones dies, according to several new studies.

Research presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Monday suggests more culturally-tailored resources could benefit African Americans, Latinos and other minority groups.

CNN (July 5, 2010): Depression May Raise Risk of Dementia, Alzheimer's, Study Finds

Publication Date: 
Mon, 07/05/2010

The link between depression and dementia has always been unclear, but a new study supports the theory that depression increases dementia risk.

The findings, published in the journal Neurology, are based on nearly 1,000 people who were studied for up to 17 years. Researchers evaluated them for depression and dementia using standard clinical tests. Those who were depressed when first examined almost doubled their risk for dementia and also increased their risk for Alzheimer's disease.

Boston Globe (July 2, 2010): Born to Age Gracefully

Publication Date: 
Fri, 07/02/2010

Five months shy of his 100th birthday, Louis Charpentier still rises every day at 9 a.m. to spend hours in his basement shop in suburban Leominster, carving delicate wooden figurines. Years after most people’s bodies and minds have failed, Charpentier climbs stairs with ease and recalls everything from the latest episode of “Dr. Phil’’ to the first train he ever saw, carrying soldiers who fought in World War I.

For years, scientists have been fascinated by biological outliers such as Charpentier as they seek to unlock the secrets of longevity.

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