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Old movies, Old Music: Not Just Nostalgia

Open-mind-10021499Old movies via DVDs, as well as CDs of big band music or other favorites of our elders’ generation have long been used as a diversionary tactic. Now, Artists for Alzheimer’s (ARTZ) is spotlighting a new way that movies can be used to enhance the lives of people with Alzheimer's disease. ARTZ is a nonprofit based in Woburn, Mass. that creates cultural opportunities for people with dementia and their caregivers. 

Continue reading on HealthCentral about the value of old movies and old music:

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Alzheimer’s Symptoms Delayed by Life-long Learning

NorthernLightsNearly all of us know that if we don’t use our muscles as we age, we’ll lose muscle mass. The same theory seems to hold true when it comes to keeping our minds sharp. Computer games, word games, crossword puzzles, Sudoku and other challenging mental pursuits have been advised as methods of keeping the mind healthy as we age. Now, a recent study has shown that by pursuing life-long learning, even people who are genetically at risk for Alzheimer’s disease may be able to stave off symptoms for years.

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Reversing Alzheimer’s: Non-drug Approach Shows Promise

A small study at UCLA has shown evidence that a strict protocol concentrating on lifestyle changes can reverse Alzheimer’s symptoms. We frequently hear about some promising new potential drug breakthrough, yet there is at this time no medical cure and it’s not likely that there will be one anytime soon. Thus the interest in exercise, diet, vitamin and herbal remedies, and brain exercise.

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“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer 


Interview with Dr. Jonny Bowden AKA “The Nutrition Myth Buster”™

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, is widely known as "The Rogue Nutritionist" and has now trademarked the name “The Nutritional Myth Buster.” He’s out to tell the truth about nutrition and health the way he sees it. 

Dr. Bowden is a nationally known expert on weight loss, nutrition and health. He is a board-certified nutritionist with a master’s degree in psychology and the author of fourteen books on health, healing, food and longevity. I feel fortunate that Dr. Bowden took time to answer some of my questions on health, memory issues and Alzheimer’s so that I can share his answers with you.

Read more on HealthCentral about Dr. Bowden and his advice on maintaing our brain:

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Healthy Aging and World Alzheimer’s Month Good Pairing for September

It seems fitting that Healthy Aging Month and World Alzheimer’s Month share September for their awareness campaigns. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, and no guaranteed way to avoid it, scientists have begun endorsing a healthy lifestyle as a possible way to at least delay Alzheimer’s symptoms for one in three people who develop the disease. Therefore it seems that a dedication to healthy aging can not only be a good idea in general, it may be helpful in the battle against Alzheimer’s disease. 

Read more on HealthCentral about healthy aging and World Alzheimer's Month:

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“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”


Cognitive Training, Novel Reading Offer Lasting Payoff

A report from the Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE) study has shown that training to improve the cognitive abilities of older people has lasting effects. The ACTIVE study is one of many ongoing research projects supported by the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). 
The findings of this randomized clinical trial showed that training involving the ability to think and learn lasted as long as 10 years after the training program was completed.
 

Mental Enrichment Can Delay Alzheimer's Symptoms

For years researchers have tried to understand the impact and significance of a person's education level on the development of Alzheimer's disease. Many studies have shown that people who often challenge themselves to learn complex tasks will show Alzheimer’s symptoms later than those who don’t. Scientists theorized that people who work to enrich their minds, whether through formal means or through a mentally challenging lifestyle, have more cognitive resources at their disposal to mask symptoms of AD.
  
 

Delaying Alzheimer's with Mental Enrichment Possible

...Scientists don’t yet know exactly when Alzheimer’s disease begins to develop in each individual, but studies are increasingly offering the theory that the disease begins decades before symptoms are exhibited. Therefore, it’s quite possible that people who’ve lived a life full of creative mental challenges have had the disease for decades, but symptoms didn’t become obvious because they had an increased ability to mask the symptoms. Or, it could be that they simply developed the disease at a later age because of the protective power of an enriched environment. It will likely take much additional research before there is certainty about this issue.

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Reminiscing Powerful “Drug” for People with Dementia

I love stories. When I was a teenager, I’d encourage grandparents to relate stories of their young years struggling to survive on the wind-swept prairie. When I grew older, I was fascinated by the stories my parents and in-laws told of their early years of growing up during the Great Depression. Little did I know at the time that peoples’ stories would become the springboard for my life’s work. Now there is mounting evidence that encouraging our elders to reminisce about their past is therapeutic as well as enjoyable.

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When Caregivers Fear They Are Developing Dementia

If you find yourself exhibiting disturbing symptoms that you notice yourself, or friends and family gently bring up to you, don't immediately decide that you, too, have dementia. Other issues that can make you feel as though you are having dementia symptoms are medication reactions or interactions, infections and lack of sleep. But you should still see your doctor, and perhaps get a referral to a specialist who diagnoses dementia daily, since some of the symptoms are tricky.

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