Dementia in the News

El 21 de septiembre es el Día Mundial dedicado a la enfermedad de Alzheimer.

Una enfermedad que consume los sueños y las oportunidades de millones de pacientes y sus familias en todo el mundo, que golpea de forma especial en una de las etapas más vulnerables de la vida, cuando nuestra piel se empecina en arrugarse y más necesitamos la compañía de nuestros recuerdos de lo vivido.

Una enfermedad que, de momento, nos lleva ventaja en la partida y hoy figura entre las principales causas de mortalidad en nuestro país.

Pioneering brain imaging that can detect the build-up of destructive proteins linked to Alzheimer's has been developed by Japanese scientists.

It could lead to new ways of diagnosing the condition and of testing the effectivenewss of new drugs.

The technology, reported in the journal Neuron, can identify inside a living brain clumps of a protein called tau that is closely linked to the disease.

Alzheimer's Research UK said it was promising work.

The Alzheimer's Association announced that Massachusetts is the first state in the nation to join with the Alzheimer's Early Detection Alliance (AEDA), an Alzheimer's Association program that provides information and resources to employees of organization. All state employees will be able to access information about warning signs of Alzheimer's as well as resources to cope with living with the disease or caring for someone affected.

Scientists have known for decades that people with Down syndrome were at increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, but they didn't know why. Some researchers now believe that understanding the connection between the two conditions might help us unravel the Alzheimer's puzzle and point towards therapies that might slow, or even halt, the dreaded disease.

In the summer of 2006 Harvard professor emerita Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz, '44, RI'69 - long revered for her work on the history of public health and for promoting women at Harvard (she was among the earliest full female professors and the first female House master) - called her daughter, baffled. "She was having trouble making a salad," recalls Debby Rosenkrantz. Was it a case of low blood sugar, or maybe related to a recent arm rash? "I came over with some orange juice and helped her finish making the dinner."

Massachusetts nursing homes that advertise specialized Alzheimer's and dementia care units will be required to provide workers with at least eight hours of initial training to care for such residents, and four additional hours annually, under proposed rules unveiled Wednesday by state regulators.

The rules would also required all licensed nursing homes, and not just those with special dementia units, to provide dementia-specific training for all direct-care workers, which include medical directors, nurses, social workers, dietary aides, therapists and activities staff.

There are many reasons to keep your blood sugar under control:  Protecting your arteries and nerves are two of them. Here's another biggie: Preventing dementia, the loss of memory and thinking skills that afflicts millions of older Americans.

Some people with Alzheimer's disease - characterized by a loss of brain tissue - have trouble sleeping and/or nighttime wandering.

The National Sleep Foundation suggests how to improve sleep in people with Alzheimer's:

- Make sure the sleep environment is as cool and dark as possible

- Create a consistent schedule of waking and going to bed

- Expose the person with Alzheimer's to bright light soon after waking

- As bedtime nears, keep lighting dim

- Establish regular and simple routines to complete daily chores

When high school Spanish teacher Joyce Botti started complaining about memory problems a few years ago, doctors dismissed her concerns as normal signs of aging.

But new research being presented Wednesday at an international Alzheimer's conference suggests that Botti's worries - like those of others suffering so-called "senior moments" - could be the earliest indicators of devastating brain disease.

A new study has found that dementia rates among people 65 and older in England and Wales have plummeted by 25 percent over the past two decades, to 6.2 percent from 8.3 percent, the strongest evidence yet of a trend some experts had hoped would materialize.

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