May 1, 2016 |
Mark Karasow and his wife, Connie Bastek-Karasow, are part of a giant national experiment to determine whether more precise diagnoses can help patients with hard-to-diagnose dementia symptoms even though there still is little medical help for them. Karasow has joined a $100 million clinical trial backed by the Alzheimer's Association and funded largely by Medicare. The unusual effort, which began this year, is measuring the impact of expensive PET scans that reveal clumps of amyloid, a protein found in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease.
April 7, 2016 |
Vickie and Jack Farber, longtime supporters of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, are giving the Center City institution $20 million to expand the Vickie and Jack Farber Institute for Neuroscience. The institute, which was founded in 2002 with a $10 million lead gift from the Farber Family Foundation, will unite Jefferson's departments of neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry, and neuroscience, said Robert Rosenwasser, president of the institute. "It breaks down the silos that exist in every university and every medical center," said Rosenwasser, who also is chair of neurological surgery at Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University.
March 29, 2016 |
PAM TRIPALDI'S father, John Schatz, was an articulate man who retained his social and verbal skills long after his memory could not be trusted. This created a problem that Tripaldi saw repeatedly during his hospital stays in his last years. Once, as she stood just outside his room in the emergency department, she heard a radiology technician preparing for an X-ray ask, "Are you diabetic?" This matters because insulin pumps can be damaged by X-rays. "No," her father said. "I yelled, 'Wait a minute,' " Tripaldi said.
March 24, 2016 |
Dissension over a new direction for the Alzheimer's Association has left the Philadelphia-based chapter, one of the nonprofit group's largest, with an even bigger territory. Wendy Campbell, chief executive officer of the Delaware Valley chapter, is now temporarily in charge of all of New Jersey in addition to Southeastern Pennsylvania and Delaware. Her staff will be competing - in a friendly way, she says - with former allies. Six of 81 local affiliates - based in North Jersey; New York City; Austin, Texas; San Diego; Los Angeles; and Orange County, Calif.
March 10, 2016 |
The world lost one of its highest-profile Alzheimer's advocates on Sunday when Nancy Reagan died. Whatever you think of the first lady or her late husband, you have to give her props for supporting embryonic stem-cell research following his 1994 Alzheimer's diagnosis. That's the thing with many of us. Often, we are one diagnosis away from becoming similarly energized. Take former restaurateur B. Smith. Back in the 1970s, she was a pioneering fashion model who was the first African-American ever featured on the cover of Mademoiselle.
March 10, 2016 |
In the battle to cure Alzheimer's disease, the two hallmark proteins that clog the brains of people with the deadly dementia - amyloid and tau - have received most of the attention. But dementia experts have long known that some people whose brains were riddled with these misfolded proteins still had good cognitive function throughout their lives. What if something was protecting them? Bruce Yankner, a Harvard University professor of genetics and neurology, came to the University of Pennsylvania recently to talk about a gene regulator called REST that he believes may help explain why human brains are able to work as long as they do, and why some of us stay sharp into our 90s while others begin having thinking and memory problems much earlier.
March 8, 2016 |
Nancy Davis Reagan, 94, the powerful and devoted wife of President Ronald Reagan, principal caregiver during his decadelong twilight with Alzheimer's disease, and the primary architect of his legacy, died Sunday morning at her home in the Bel-Air section of Los Angeles. The cause was congestive heart failure. She will be buried at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., next to her husband, who died on June 5, 2004. Mrs. Reagan is widely viewed, by admirers and detractors alike, as one of the most powerful first ladies in history.
February 22, 2016 |
Edwin "Ed" Bomba, 61, of Philadelphia, an advocate for the disabled, people with AIDS, and those with alternative lifestyles - especially as they aged - died of complications from surgery Wednesday, Feb. 17, at Pennsylvania Hospital. Mr. Bomba was "there from the very get-go" for those fighting AIDS, said longtime friend Heshie Zinman. Diagnosed with HIV in the 1980s, Mr. Bomba had hearing loss and was partially blind. He used a cane to get around and in the last year was aided by a service dog named Cooper.
January 31, 2016 |
Expect to say "I'm sorry" a lot if you decide to try one of the trendier ways to communicate with people who have Alzheimer's. There was a time when caregivers tried orienting people with dementia to reality. That often feels like the natural thing to do. "No, Mom, I actually did tell you that. Like, five times. " But at Daylesford Crossing, an assisted-living facility in Paoli, workers are more likely to just go with it if a resident has some strange ideas. Let's say Mom or Grandma is furiously accusing her neighbor of stealing something.