December 5, 2013
NEUROLOGIST David Perlmutter has hit the top of the New York Times best-seller list for his provocative nutrition book, Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar - Your Brain's Silent Killers . He argues that carbohydrates (even the whole-grain carbs that we think of as the good ones) are linked to a range of modern-day maladies, including Alzheimer's, depression, headaches, epilepsy and ADHD. Since we already know the havoc that carbs can wreak on our waistlines, could he be on to something?
November 27, 2013 |
When I opened The Geography of Memory (Center/Hachette, 320 pages, $22), by Jeanne Murray Walker, I expected beautiful writing. After all, she is a local poet and playwright whose work I knew and admired. I knew the book was a memoir of her care for her mother, Erna Murray Kelley, through the frustrations and losses of Alzheimer's disease. Erna started to show symptoms in the late 1990s ("but the thing is, you don't know what it is at first," says Jeanne by phone). By 2000, it became clear she would have to move from her apartment into assisted living.
September 23, 2013 |
Alzheimer's disease has become the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. In recent years, scientists have ramped up efforts to find a cure. But what about the family members who witness a loved one's memory slowly fading away? Written by award-winning poet Jeanne Murray Walker, The Geography of Memory makes us keenly aware of the emotional toll of the illness. Walker chronicles the experience of her mother's memory loss. At first, the signs seem insignificant, even odd: An overstuffed freezer full of items she would never ordinarily buy. A desk drawer full of old receipts.
September 23, 2013 |
Carol Burg loves them all, but all of them would gladly go back to the lives they had before meeting her. Before Alzheimer's. "They're my angels," she says, voice pure Brooklyn, enthusiasm equally audible. "I love, love, love them. " Burg, 47, is assistant activities director in the Wellspring Memory Care building at Juniper Village, an assisted-living complex in Williamstown. The Voorhees resident has worked for three years at Wellspring, home to 36 people between the ages of 59 and 99. All have been diagnosed with end-stage dementia and are at risk of "elopement," a genteel euphemism for running away.
September 6, 2013
D ALLAS - I attended Bishop T.D. Jakes' MegaFest conference over the Labor Day holiday weekend, in which I participated on a panel about faith, family and finances. During the discussion, a woman asked a question that so many others are asking. She wanted to know what to do about her aging parents. They have little money and many health issues. She didn't think they could continue to afford living on their own. The woman is sandwiched between taking care of her children and her parents.
August 21, 2013 |
Accompanied by her two grown children and a granddaughter, Fredricka Rosa was brought into a Mount Holly courtroom in a wheelchair Monday to learn her fate for fatally shooting her husband of 54 years. The 77-year-old Pemberton Township woman in the jogging suit stared straight ahead and said nothing as the hearing began. Cedric Edwards, her public defender, said "three or four" psychiatric reports had determined she suffers from Alzheimer's disease and is no longer aware she killed Valpa C. Rosa Sr., a retired postal worker, the night of July 19, 2012.
August 17, 2013 |
Carmen Torres used the simplest of words, but the way she had to stop and steady herself before she could speak - the way her voice shook when she finally spoke of her Alzheimer's disease - gave them an emotional richness that cut to the heart of why she and a group of politicians, advocates, caregivers, and researchers had come to a hearing at the University of Pennsylvania on Thursday. The Pennsylvania Alzheimer's Disease Planning Committee has been traveling around the state gathering information about the state of dementia care in Pennsylvania in preparation for producing a plan in February.
July 29, 2013 |
Ilene Triest found the group a decade ago while caring for her husband, who had been seriously disabled in a car crash. Bob Mastrogiovanni attended his first group dinner in Cherry Hill in 1992, after a psychologist suggested a support group to help him and his wife, Kathy, handle her multiple sclerosis. Patrice Dupois connected with the Well Spouse Association in 1996, when she was caring for her husband in his early 40s as he was declining quickly with ALS. "I had no life," Triest said of the time she walked into her first Well Spouse dinner meeting in Manalapan, N.J. "I am married but not married.
July 22, 2013 |
Physicians have been saying for years that what is good for your heart is also good for your head. A large new study from University of Pennsylvania researchers suggests that maxim could be especially true when it comes to Alzheimer's disease. Autopsies revealed that victims of Alzheimer's were significantly more likely than other people to have "vascular pathology" such as hemorrhaging and arteries clogged with plaque. Moreover, patients who had suffered strokes and other forms of cerebrovascular disease had a lower "threshold" for dementia caused by Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
July 17, 2013 |
After 14 years of Alzheimer's, Martha Fletcher doesn't really know her husband anymore. But Don Fletcher still knows his wife. And his new book, Martha and I , gives readers a deep sense of the beloved spouse, mother of six, and accomplished musician with whom he has shared a life for 71 years. "I want them to see Martha as she was: totally warm, very extroverted, and self-giving," says Fletcher, 94, a mostly retired Presbyterian minister. Still lovely at 91, his wife has lost the use of language and spends much of her day asleep or in a wheelchair in their cozy home at Lion's Gate in Voorhees.