Dementia in the News

“The number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias will grow each year as the size and proportion of the U.S. population age 65 and older continue to increase. The number will escalate rapidly in coming years as the baby boom generation ages.”  2015 Alzheimer’s disease Facts and Figures

Marty and Matt Reiswig, two brothers in Denver, knew that Alzheimer’s disease ran in their family, but neither of them understood why. Then a cousin, Gary Reiswig, whom they barely knew, wrote a book about their family, “The Thousand Mile Stare.”

When the brothers read it, they realized what they were facing.

When award-winning author Lisa Genova's grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, she just wanted to understand what she was going through.

So she read … and read … and read.

"I read the scientific literature, I read some textbook stuff on Alzheimer's and then I read a lot of the self-help books, the non-fiction books on Alzheimer's," she tells Jane Hutcheon on One Plus One.

The blood-brain barrier at the interface between the brain’s blood vessels and nerve cells acts as a vital gatekeeper to the brain, allowing essential nutrients and fluids to pass into the central nervous system and the web of our brain’s neurons while keeping out harmful toxins and bacterial infection. Yet this barrier is so effective that it can also block the delivery of therapies for treating neurological diseases or brain injury.

When John Ellsworth was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2013, he could already recognize his words just weren't coming out right. The former marketing and design professional and avid gardener struggled to identify flowers and plants, and later the names of close friends. But it wasn't until his wife, Karlene, had to begin finishing his sentences that John felt the gravity of the disease take hold. ​

The prevailing wisdom about dementia is simple: Keep your mind active as you age to lower the risk of cognitive decline. But is the same true for Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common form of dementia? New research suggests that the answer is no.

What is good health? I think it’s safe to say that the answer to that question is not the same for everyone. To some it may mean the absence of disease. For others it may be effectively managing a chronic condition. But for many of us, good health involves a combination of physical, psychosocial and emotional well-being and the interplay between all three.

Family and other unpaid caregivers perform many activities on a regular basis as they help an older adult. These include making appointments, ordering and keeping track of medicines, assisting with personal care, shopping, doing housework, and providing transportation. Such caregivers play a crucial role in helping manage disabled adults, but are often invisible in the health care system.

Some forms of exercise may be much more effective than others at bulking up the brain, according to a remarkable new study in rats. For the first time, scientists compared head-to-head the neurological impacts of different types of exercise: running, weight training and high-intensity interval training. The surprising results suggest that going hard may not be the best option for long-term brain health.

A mysterious brain disorder can be confused with early Alzheimer's disease although it isn't robbing patients of their memories but of the words to talk about them.

It's called primary progressive aphasia, and researchers said Sunday they're finding better ways to diagnose the little-known syndrome. That will help people whose thoughts are lucid but who are verbally locked in to get the right kind of care.

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