Dementia in the News

October 18, 2017

CBS News (October 18, 2017): Alzheimer’s Disease: How to Manage Personality Changes In The Elderly

It’s unfortunate, but a common symptom of Alzheimer’s disease includes personality changes in the elderly. As the disease deteriorates the brain, the initial behavioral changes in Alzheimer’s disease can provoke a previously calm loved one to have outbursts or cause a shy, withdrawn person to become uninhibited suddenly.

It can be challenging for a family member to manage personality changes in the elderly. It can also be emotionally upsetting for a loved one to witness these changes without knowing how to address them.

Three personality changes in the elderly

October 6, 2017

Los Angeles Times (October 6, 2017): Knowing the Signs of Lewy Body Dementia May Help Speed Diagnosis

Lewy body dementia reached the public eye in 2014 after reports that Robin Williams died with diffuse Lewy body disease.

But, despite the fact that Lewy body dementia is the second most common dementia, it remains frequently unrecognized.

In one study, almost 70 percent of people diagnosed with Lewy body dementia saw three consultants before receiving the diagnosis. For a third of people with the disease, getting the correct diagnosis took more than two years.

September 21, 2017

New York Times (September 21, 2017): Patient Voices, Alzheimer's Disease

When someone is told that he or she has Alzheimer’s disease, it affects the entire family. Beyond the basic memory decline, there are concerns about maintaining independence, long-term care and holding on to special moments. Here, people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and loved ones who care for them speak about living with the disease.

September 12, 2017

Boston Globe (September 11, 2017): A Family with an Astonishing Rate of Alzheimer’s Disease May Harbor a Powerful New Gene

Louise Lowman Lee remembers stories about her great-grandmother being put in a fenced area in the backyard, so she could wander safely. She watched her mother patiently care for her grandmother, who lost her reason, inhibitions, and ability to care for herself. Then Alzheimer’s disease gradually eroded the brain of her devoted mother, too.

But when Lee and two of her sisters brought their mother, Mildred Chastain Lowman, to Emory University in Atlanta in 2006, they weren’t thinking about the family tree. They were just looking for the best possible treatment.

August 17, 2017

Harvard Gazette (August 17, 2017): Brain May Be Far More Flexible Than Thought

The human brain has a region of cells responsible for linking sensory cues to actions and behaviors and cataloging the link as a memory. Cells that form these links have been deemed highly stable and fixed.

Now, the findings of a Harvard Medical School (HMS) study conducted in mice challenge that model, revealing that the neurons responsible for such tasks may be less stable, yet more flexible than previously believed.

August 17, 2017

Japan Times (August 16, 2017): Japanese researchers Tap AI to Parse Regional Dialects, Work Toward Early Dementia Diagnosis

People in Aomori Prefecture, especially in the western Tsugaru area, are known for their strong dialect, often leading outsiders to joke about needing a translator.

But for health care professionals, the issue is no laughing matter. Misunderstanding patients could lead to incorrect medical decisions, and the longer it takes for doctors and nurses unfamiliar with the dialect to deal with patients, the longer the wait will be for others.

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