June 9, 2014 |
For several years, Sylvia Gentry noticed that her husband, Louis, was behaving oddly, but she didn't suspect he might have a brain disease. Their saga began about 10 years ago. He left the table midway through dinner with guests he'd liked for 30 years - they were boring, he told her. One Thanksgiving, he threw an artificial log in the fireplace, still wrapped in plastic. Oddest of all, he began to cross social boundaries. He'd ask embarrassing questions and hug strangers. He became overly flirtatious with young women.
May 25, 2014 |
Can antidepressants help ward off Alzheimer's disease? That's the tantalizing question raised by new research from a University of Pennsylvania psychiatrist. She's says it's way too early to answer it. "I am not advocating that people take [antidepressants] at this point in time for anything other than depression," said Yvette Sheline, a professor of psychiatry, radiology, and neurology and director of the Center for Neuromodulation in Depression and Stress. Her latest work explored the link between amyloid beta, one of the hallmark proteins in Alzheimer's disease, and the antidepressant citalopram (Celexa)
May 24, 2014 |
Richard R. "Dick" Nicolai, 81, of Philadelphia, promotion director for Fairmount Park and spokesman for the Fairmount Park Commission for 27 years, died Sunday, May 18, of Alzheimer's disease at Nazareth Hospital Hospice. Mr. Nicolai retired in the mid-1990s after a career as the public information officer for the 8,900-acre parkland and its governing panel. In that role, he encouraged visitors to tour the parkland's offerings, reported on the illegal activities of tree rustlers in the park, and sat in on the official meetings of the Fairmount Park Commission.
April 16, 2014 |
Dementia is terrible for everyone, but elderly people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) face extra problems, says Ed Bomba, communications chair for the LGBT Elder Initiative in Philadelphia. Many have spent much of their lives in the closet and fear discrimination by medical or social service providers or even the people they might live with in nursing homes. "We don't have children, as a rule. We don't have partners, as a rule, as we age," Bomba said. Many older LGBT people were rejected by their families and have created support systems of friends.
April 2, 2014
MY NEIGHBOR across in the next valley got himself elected to the U.S. Senate a while back. Folks around here were as proud as peacocks and busting their buttons over Neighbor Pat Toomey's success. But sometimes it makes you wonder . . . Now recently, neighbor Pat got up in front of the news cameras to celebrate his vote to tell the Post Office to issue a fundraising postal stamp for Alzheimer's research, just like the one they did for breast cancer. Those stamps have brought in $5 million a year over the last 15 years for research.
March 12, 2014 |
If a simple blood test could predict whether you would develop Alzheimer's disease within three years, would you take it? That hypothetical question got a bit closer to reality with a study published Sunday in the journal Nature Medicine. A team of researchers reported that they had developed just such a test, and that it was 90 percent accurate in determining the neurological fate of 30 men and women ages 70 and up, based on the level of fatty molecules in their blood. The authors, led by a Georgetown University physician scientist, acknowledged that their patient sample was small and said the results need to be reproduced by other labs to make sure they are as promising as they seem.
January 18, 2014 |
Nancy Gordon Lipton, 81, of Penn Valley, former owner of Two by Four Antiques & Collectibles, died Saturday, Jan. 11, of complications from Alzheimer's disease at Arbor Terrace at Chestnut Hill. Mrs. Lipton was one of a few Philadelphia-area women who owned small businesses in the 1960s. She also was a wife, mother, teacher, musician, painter, dancer, jewelry maker, and volunteer. "She had an energetic, independent spirit," her daughter Amy said. "She was a great role model for us, as women growing up in the latter 20th century, that you could be a wife and mother and still have a career.
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.