Dementia in the News

HealthDay News (July 2, 2009): Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia

Publication Date: 
Thu, 07/02/2009

Middle-aged adults who live alone are twice as likely to develop dementia or Alzheimer's disease later in life compared to those who are married or live with a partner. And the risk is three times higher among those who are divorced or widowed, according to a new study by Swedish and Finnish researchers.

The study included 2,000 men and women in Finland who were initially surveyed when they were 50 years old and again 21 years later.

ABC News (September 8, 2009): For Early Onset Dementia Patients, Workplace Fraught with Worry

Publication Date: 
Tue, 09/08/2009

When Diane Thornton first realized she was having trouble keeping track of appointments, she would write herself reminder notes. When she got lost on her way to the office, she'd call her secretary and ask for directions. On days she had trouble speaking or remembering words, she would avoid answering her phone.

Washington Post (September 7, 2009): Scientists Discover 3 Genes with Links to Alzheimer's Disease

Publication Date: 
Mon, 09/07/2009

Two European research teams have identified three genes that affect a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, the most common cause of dementia in the elderly.

The new genes appear to have at least as big a role as four others discovered in the last 15 years that are known to play a role in Alzheimer's.

"The message here is that genes are important in Alzheimer's disease...and there may be multiple ways of reducing the risk that the genes produce," said Julie Williams, a neuroscientist at Cardiff University in Wales who helped lead one of the teams.

USA Today (September 15, 2009): Arts Allow Alzheimer's Patients to Live in the Moment

Publication Date: 
Tue, 09/15/2009

A smile crosses Bob Blackwell's face as he gently lifts his camera to his eye and zooms in on a black-and-yellow swallowtail butterfly hovering near the same flower as a yellow finch.

A little while later, Blackwell, 66, rests in the shade of a gazebo at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA., where he enjoyed a balmy late summer morning recently, snapping images of nature.

The (UK) Daily Telegraph (June 3, 2009): Curry May Prevent Alzheimer's Disease, Expert Says

Publication Date: 
Wed, 06/03/2009

Eating curry containing turmeric once or twice a week could prevent Alzheimer's disease and many researchers are investigating if it can be used as a treatment in those who already have it.

Professor Murali Doraiswamy told delegates at the Royal College of Psychiatrists' Annual Meeting in Liverpool that brain plaques dissolved in mice given high doses of curcumin and in younger mice, the spice appeared to prevent them forming in the first place.

Trials are currently under way that could lead to a curry pill, he said.

Boston Globe (July 27, 2009): Work Longer, Stay Sharper

Publication Date: 
Mon, 07/27/2009

Donna Agnew loves her job, which is a good thing, because the way the economy is gasping, the 64-year-old Boston art gallery owner says she may not be able to afford retirement for the foreseeable future.

She is hardly alone.

With 401(k)s looking more like 201(s)s these days, many baby boomers are putting off retirement to rebuild decimated nest eggs. But amid such uncertainty there may be hope:  A number of studies suggest that staying mentally and socially active may help starve off dementia and other dreaded declines associated with aging.

New York Times (July 15, 2009): Learning of Risk of Alzheimer's Seems to Do No Harm

Publication Date: 
Wed, 07/15/2009

A genetic test that can find an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease does no psychological harm to people who take it, even if they test positive for a risky gene, a new study finds.

The results challenge views long held by the medical establishment, which has discouraged poeple from being tested, arguing that the test is not definitive, that it may needlessly frighten people into thinking a terrible disease is hanging over them and that testing is pointless anyway because there is no way to cure or prevent the dementia caused by Alzheimer's.

Neurology Journal (May 13, 2009): The Late-Life Dementia Risk Index

Publication Date: 
Wed, 05/13/2009

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco and the University of Pittsburgh have recently published a late-life dementia risk index in the journal Neurology. Their objective was to develop a late-life dementia risk index that can accurately stratify older adults into those with a low, moderate, or high-risk of developing dementia within 6 years, using a sample group of 3,375 participants in the Cardiovascular Health Cognition Study.

New York Times (June 12, 2009): All-Night Care for Dementia's Restless Minds

Publication Date: 
Fri, 06/12/2009

The patients were on the loose again, moving their shrunken frames through the nursing home's shadowy halls, chattering and giggling like children sneaking out of camp. 

New York Times (June 11, 2009): Learning New Skills to Starve Off Dementia

Publication Date: 
Thu, 06/11/2009

At the age of 78, Bob Branham, a retired computer software developer in Dallas, Tex., took up quilting. It wasn't his idea, actually. He'd never dreamed of piecing together his own Amish diamond coverlet or rummaging around Jo-Ann Fabrics in search of calico prints.  But then he enrolled in a trial sponsored by the National Institute on Aging to assess whether learning a new skill can help preserve cognitive function in old age. By random assignment, he landed in the quilting group.

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