June 24, 2012 |
As baby boomers age, the cost, both emotional and monetary, of a flood of Alzheimer's disease looms as one of the nation's biggest public-health problems. The University of Pennsylvania's medical and nursing schools hosted a conference Thursday and Friday that asked 50 national and international dementia experts to set priorities for future research and treatment. Among the key needs the group identified were: Better data on how normal and diseased brains age. Better tests to alert doctors to problems before brains are irreparably damaged.
June 20, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - For people with Alzheimer's disease, a hospital stay may prove catastrophic. A new study highlights the lingering ill effects: Being hospitalized seems to increase the chances of Alzheimer's patients moving into a nursing home - or even dying - within the next year, Harvard researchers reported Monday. The risk is higher if those patients experience what's called delirium, a state of extra confusion and agitation, during their stay. It's not clear exactly why, although specialists say delirium is especially bad for an already damaged brain.
June 1, 2012 |
P HIL MICKELSON withdrew from the Memorial in Dublin, Ohio, after a 79 on Thursday because of mental fatigue. Mickelson said it was more important for him to be rested for the U.S. Open in 2 weeks than to finish Jack Nicklaus' tournament. He attributed the fatigue to playing 3 straight weeks, and then going to Europe to celebrate his wife's 40th birthday. He returned home to play a corporate outing Tuesday in New York, flew to Ohio for the pro-am and found his head wasn't in the game.
May 17, 2012 |
An $80 million national research plan to attack Alzheimer's, a mind-robbing malady that may affect as many as 16 million Americans by 2050, will start this year with U.S.-sponsored studies on ways to prevent the disease in high-risk people and treat it with an insulin nasal spray. The National Institutes of Health will spend $7.9 million researching the spray and $16 million on the first study to focus on growth of the disease in high-risk patients, according to a statement today by Department of Health and Human Services.
April 23, 2012 |
Question : Do puzzles and memory exercises really help to stave off getting Alzheimer's disease? Answer : Using the brain by doing various "cognitive activities" like puzzles, reading newspapers and books, watching television or playing cards and board games does help stave off Alzheimer's. Research does indeed show that more frequent activity to stimulate memory and learning is associated with a slower rate of cognitive decline compared to older folks who spend little time stimulating their brain.
April 10, 2012 |
A radioactive compound that lights up plaques in the brain to help diagnose Alzheimer's disease has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in patients being evaluated for Alzheimer's and other causes of cognitive decline. The imaging agent, Amyvid, was developed by a Philadelphia biotech start-up, Avid Radiopharmaceuticals Inc., now owned by Eli Lilly & Co. It can show amyloid deposits in the brain that are visible on positron-emission tomography (PET) scans.
April 9, 2012 |
Several large studies have shown that people with diabetes are at especially high risk for Alzheimer's disease. Steven Arnold, director of the University of Pennsylvania's Memory Center, said diabetics are 50 to 100 percent more likely to get the fatal, memory-destroying disease. This has made researchers increasingly interested in the role that insulin, the hormone that's out of whack in diabetes, might play in Alzheimer's. In the brain, Arnold said, insulin is important for cell growth and releasing neurotransmitters that allow cells to communicate.
April 8, 2012 |
William B. McNamee told his grandson a secret about memory, even as he was losing his own memory to Alzheimer's. One day, we'll be strangers . . . but you can remember the way we held hands when the wind moves through your fingers. McNamee, an orthopedic surgeon from Drexel Hill, died in 2003. Six years later, as Matthew Ross Smith drove along the Schuylkill - with a hand out the window in the early-spring breeze - his grandfather's words came back to him. Thus was born the Spaces Between Your Fingers Project, which offers people across America a chance to connect by tracing their handprints on postcards.
March 31, 2012 |
TREXLERTOWN, Pa. - A Lehigh County man who had written in the New York Times about his love for his Alzheimer's-stricken wife killed her and himself in what their family called an act of "deep devotion. " The bodies of Charles Snelling and his wife, Adrienne, both 81, were found Thursday in their home in Trexlertown. "Our father ended our mother's life and then took his own life as well," the family said in a statement. "This is a total shock to everyone in the family, but we know he acted out of deep devotion and profound love.
March 2, 2012 |
Dementia and its evil twin, Alzheimer's, may have moved ahead of cancer on the list of most feared diseases, especially among baby boomers, who have begun to believe it is their inescapable fate if they have the bad luck to live too long. So we grasp at any news about aging, hoping that medical science has indeed found a way to preserve that most essential part of who we are - our memories. Do we protect our minds by doing the New York Times crossword puzzle or by doing aerobics?