First Alzheimer's disease stole Rosemary DeFelice’s speech, mobility and independence. Then, at 75, she lost the ability to eat.
She would chew away at her food, coughing and sputtering and spitting up but swallowing very little, said her daughter, Cyndy Viveiros. And like many relatives caring for patients with advanced dementia, Ms. Viveiros had to decide whether or not to have a gastric feeding tube inserted.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.