Dementia in the News

Today, the House Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee proposed a $350 million increase for Alzheimer’s research at the NIH. This bipartisan effort was led by Alzheimer’s champion Chairman Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and comes just weeks after the Senate Appropriations Committee proposed a historic $400 million increase. The full House Appropriations Committee may take action on the House Appropriations bill as early as next week.

Pat Summitt's death at age 64 was caused by an uncommon kind of Alzheimer's

Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, is usually a disease of the elderly. Symptoms generally first start to appear when people are in their mid-60s. Rarely, Alzheimer’s also affects people much younger, sometimes people in their 40s and 50s. It struck Pat Summitt, the renowned basketball coach who captured the most wins ever in Division 1 basketball, at age 59.

Starting in July, a massive open online course (MOOC) will translate recent population-based findings into practical advice on how individual people might lower their risk of dementia. Called “Preventing Dementia,” the course will summarize factors reported to increase risk, such as hypertension and diabetes, and protective factors such as education and physical activity. The course targets an audience of health professionals, elder care service providers, policy makers, and anyone else interested in brain health.

Walking is one of the best ways for older adults to stay active. But purposeful walking can turn into restless wandering when someone develops dementia. Escaping the watchful eyes of caregivers is dangerous, exposing vulnerable seniors to hazards from street traffic, unfamiliar terrain and opportunistic strangers. Even when family members and caregivers are on constant alert, 24/7 vigilance isn't always possible.

Suzanne Corkin and Henry Molaison shared more than just a research relationship, though that collaboration put them in the history books. When experimental surgery left him unable to form long-term memories, he became arguably the world’s most studied brain patient. For the rest of his life, Molaison completely forgot almost everything within a minute. “Studying how Henry forgot gave us a better understanding of how we remember,” wrote Dr.

Today, the call for increased Alzheimer's research funding from Alzheimer's Association advocates reached a critical milestone, as the Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee announced a proposed $400 million increase for Alzheimer's research at the NIH. This bipartisan effort was led by Alzheimer's champions Chairman Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who also oversaw last year's historic funding increase.

Could it be that Alzheimer’s disease stems from the toxic remnants of the brain’s attempt to fight off infection?

Provocative new research by a team of investigators at Harvard leads to this startling hypothesis, which could explain the origins of plaque, the mysterious hard little balls that pockmark the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.

Dorene Rentz, one of 
the local neuropsychologists behind a pioneering Alzheimer’s study, spends her days searching for 
answers in the mysterious plaques that invade the brains of those suffering from the incurable disease.

And Rentz’s search will take on a new sense of urgency in the coming months, as the study gains a key participant: her husband.

“He sees some of his own forgetfulness, and it’s frustrating for him,” Rentz said of her 70-year-old husband, Ray Berggren. “It happens almost daily.”

MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL IS THE MOST PROLIFIC HEALTHCARE ORGANISATION PUBLISHING IN TOP JOURNALS

Epilepsies are a spectrum of brain disorders in which surges of electrical activity in clusters of brain cells cause seizures. At least 2.3 million adults and nearly 500,000 children in the U.S. live with some form of epilepsy. Partial, or focal, seizures occur in just one part of the brain. In temporal lobe epilepsy, the most common form of the disorder in adults, seizures usually begin in the hippocampus, a brain structure essential for memory. People with this form of epilepsy often experience memory impairments.

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