Caregivers often grieve while watching their aging or ill loved ones push away food because of digestive issues or a lack of appetite. We know that they need nutrition and calories in order to maintain and improve their health, but how do we make this happen when they don’t want to eat?
In an example of ancient meets modern, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, and their colleagues, tested whether or not yoga and meditation could alter the brains of some people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) enough to help them think more clearly. MCI is often a very early stage of Alzheimer's disease. In short, the answer was yes.
If the risk of a stroke or heart attack doesn’t scare you into controlling your blood pressure, surely a heightened risk for vascular dementia should. While Alzheimer’s is thought to be the most common form of dementia, vascular dementia follows closely behind in ranking. The two mixed together are also common, so consider yourself at risk for dementia unless you have a healthy vascular system.
My first exposure to this phenomenon happened when my parents were in a nursing home. I visited daily and knew the staff and many of the residents. One elderly man on their floor had later stage Alzheimer's disease. His wife of many decades visited him at least once a day until she was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. Even during the worst of her treatment, she visited as often as she could. Then, she died.
According to new research, the long-held theory that diabetes may cause Alzheimer’s could prove to be the reverse, at least in some cases. Scientists from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai published, in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia, their study results that suggest that Alzheimer’s disease (AD) impairs insulin signaling in the area of the brain that is responsible for regulating metabolism. This, in turn, makes a person with Alzheimer’s disease more susceptible to diabetes. Until now, an abundance of studies, including one that lasted nine years, concluded that diabetes significantly increased a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, while avoiding diabetes or keeping it under control lowered one’s risk.
For years the Alzheimer's Association has made good use of the catch phrase "what's good for the heart is good for the brain." As additional research is conducted in both areas, that simple phrase is proving to be solid thinking.The startling admission of notable researchers who attended the 2014 Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Copenhagen that a healthy lifestyle is, at this point, the best hope that we have to prevent or delay Alzheimer's symptoms underscores this concept. Not surprisingly, the lifestyle recommended for preventing Alzheimer’s disease is also the lifestyle that is recommended for staving off heart attacks and stroke.
Dr. Joseph Banker is a veteran cosmetic dentist who has contributed to several media outlets including Newsweek, Shape Magazine and DentalTown. He studied at the prestigious University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and trained at The Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies and the Rosenthal Institute of New York University. When I learned that Dr. Banker was interested in the relationship between gum disease and Alzheimer’s I requested an interview with him. Below are Dr. Banker’s answers to my questions on the relationship between oral health and Alzheimer's disease.
For many reasons, some identified and others still a mystery, women seem to be more at risk of developing Alzheimer's than men. A recent study, led by Dr. Laura Ekblad, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, has discovered one physical issue that could be added to the list of Alzheimer's risks for women. That of insulin resistance.
Throughout decades of study, hormone therapy (HT), often but not always the same as hormone replacement therapy (HRT), has been glorified and demonized in turn. The information that doctors receive has come from ongoing studies that seemed to offer over time radically conflicting results. A new study may add more confusion since this study has found that not only does HT given near menopause create changes in a woman’s brain, but motherhood itself creates changes.
Whether we are taking an elderly person to a family reunion or a backyard picnic this summer, we need to be aware that summer heat can become deadly as people age. From less efficient cooling systems to more illnesses and medications, elders have many issues that can make them vulnerable to extreme temperatures. Don’t let the heat stop you from taking your elder out for some fun, but prevent problems by finding a shady place for your loved one to sit and check frequently to see if he or she is comfortable.