Memory Feed

Proper Dementia Diagnosis May Require Referral to Specialist

GrandparentDaughterDear Carol: My 81-year-old grandma has been healthy all of her life. Her only doctor is a family physician who is very nice but nearing retirement himself. Grandma has been getting forgetful and has had a few episodes of confusion. She is much closer to me than she is to my mother, who is her daughter. Mom tells me that the family doctor says Grandma is just getting older but she’s fine. I’d like Grandma to see a specialist. How do I convince them both that Grandma’s reliable family doctor who has been fine all of these years may not be the person to diagnose dementia? Niki

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Managing Diabetes Helps Prevent Cognitive Decline

BlueberriesHugeAn article on the UCSF website reports on a 9-year long study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the San Francisco VA Medical Center. The Health, Aging, and Body Composition (Health ABC) Study enrolled 3,069 adults over 70 at two community clinics in Memphis, TN and Pittsburgh, PA beginning in 1997. All the patients provided periodic blood samples and took regular cognitive tests over time. 

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Protein Produced During Exercise May Prevent Alzheimer's

RunningWoodsResearchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School have reported that they have isolated a protein called irisin that is produced in the brain during endurance exercise. The scientists introduced the protein to sedentary mice who were then tested for changes in how their brains functioned. What they found is that the protein activated the genes that promote brain health and encourage the growth of new nerves involved in learning and memory. 

Read more on HealthCentral about protein that is produced during exercise and the effects on Alzheimer's risk:

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Challenging Hobbies Help Maintain Brain Health

PoolAlthough there’s a long way to go before Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia are well understood, studies have shown that keeping the body and brain active throughout life may at least delay dementia symptoms. Happily, staying active is not all work. Hobbies can be healthy.

View slide show on HealthCentral about how hobbies can help maintain brain health:

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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


The Broken Jar: A Video Of Alzheimer's and Art

This video showcases chronologically-arranged samples of the watercolors of Alzheimer's artist Lester E. Potts, Jr. (1928-2007). The art was created over a 4 year period while Potts was a patient at Caring Days, a dementia daycare center in Tuscaloosa, AL (now The Mal and Charlotte Moore Center). Prepare for a few tears.

 

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5 Ways To Help Your Loved One Smile

. FriendlyOlderWoman..There are many potential sources of a senior's bad mood. For starters, your elders may suffer from physical and emotional pain. Arthritis and other chronic pain can lead to snappish behavior. Losing life-long friends to disease or death is depressing for most people. Memory issues and cognitive glitches are frustrating and even frightening. Additionally, it's not easy being forced to give up the parental role and let your adult child make decisions for you.

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Caregiving Journey Continues After Death of Loved One

CountryPathThe month of May marked the second anniversary of my mother’s death. Five months before, my dad had died. May also brought Mother’s Day; June – Father’s Day. All of these “days” jumbled together have affected me differently, this year, than they did in the last two years. I’ve found myself wondering why.

Read more on HealthCentral about a caregiver recovering:

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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


Younger On-set Alzheimer’s Symptoms Surprisingly Different

Hands2When we think of Alzheimer’s symptoms we think of memory loss, yet this is not necessarily the case with younger on-set Alzheimer's. Younger on-set Alzheimer’s may present symptoms such as poor judgement and skewed thinking patterns before memory loss becomes evident.

Read more on HealthCentral about the differences in beginning Alzheimer's symptoms for younger people:

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When One Parent Dies the Other May Need a Caregiver

YoungwomanolderwomanLong-term marriages generally evolve into a support system so efficient that even adult children hardly notice changes in their parents. If Dad's hearing is poor, Mom becomes his ears. If Mom's arthritis is bad, Dad becomes her muscle. If one of them has memory loss, the other fills in the gaps so smoothly that it's barely noticeable to onlookers.

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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


Mom Has Dementia and Is Lying About Me

WoodstreesHave you ever looked for something you are sure you left in a particular spot and found it missing? Most of us have. Sometimes, we even wonder if someone in the family moved the object, since we are so sure we left it in that spot. Later, we find the missing object, and then remember when we moved it. If we're lucky, we didn't actually confront a family member for "messing with our stuff," and our minds are presumably normal.

Read more on Agingcare about parent's telling "lies" about caregiver:

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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