News and Research Feed

Gene Therapy Delivered by Modified Virus Provides Hope for Alzheimer's Cure Prior to Symptoms

BRain15We can’t keep these facts buried. Dementia, of which Alzheimer’s is the leading variety, is a family disease in that it affects family dynamics, family income, and family health. It turns couples into care partners. It turns adult children into caregivers for their parents often during the time that they also are caregivers for their young children, which has created the term “sandwich generation.” In continuing efforts to find a genetic route to cure Alzheimer’s, the findings of one study could revolutionize the numbers given above. This study involves a treatment that delivers a modified virus to a gene in the brain that could wipe out the damage being done by developing Alzheimer’s before any symptoms occur.

Read full article on HealthCentral about this genetic road to curing AD:

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Negative Thinking Is Risky for Health

Brain4Most of us know that positive thinking is supposed to enhance our lives but thinking positively, especially for some personalities, can be easier said than done. Life can be hard. If you have dementia or another terminal illness, or if you provide care for someone who does, thinking positively can seem impossible.Yet, many studies have shown that negative thinking can cause havoc with our health.An article from a University of Minnesota newsletter about how negative thinking affects the body states:

Read full article on HealthCentral about how negative thinking impacts our 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

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Surprising Changes that May Indicate Dementia

CaregiverOlderWomanWhen the average person thinks of dementia, generally Alzheimer’s disease comes to mind. At the same time, the person will likely think of memory loss. Both of these conclusions are understandable since Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and memory issues are often, though not always, the first symptom of that disease. Surprising then, to many people, is the fact that there may be earlier indicators of potential Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia than frequent memory lapses.

Read full article on HealthCentral about changes other than memory that could indicated dementia:

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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

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5 Positive Effects of Long-term Caregiving

MomDaughterAfter decades of caregiving I’ve experienced some negative effects as noted in 5 Negative Effects of Long-term Caregiving. However, I've also experienced positive effects that continue to give me pleasure and enhance my life. I saved the positive aspects of caregiving for the second article because, having recently written about the ill effects on our health caused by negative thinking,  it seemed more authentic to me as a writer.  Also, as a person, when possible I like to concentrate on the positive. Below are a few of the many things that I feel I have gained, and still am gaining, from long-term caregiving.

Read full article on HealthCentral about the positive effects on the caregiver of long-term caregiving:

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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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Sleep Deprivation May Contribute to Alzheimer’s

Brain8A study published in JAMA Neurology reports that participants with evidence of preclinical Alzheimer's experienced worse sleep efficiency than those with no evidence of potential Alzheimer’s. One hundred forty five people between ages 45 and 75 took part in the study conducted by researchers at the Charles F. and Joanne Knight Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, Washington University School of Medicine. While none of the study participants had any cognitive concerns, once their spinal fluid was analyzed test results showed that about one-third of them were very likely to have Alzheimer's-linked Amyloid plaques in the brain. Amyloid plaques are generally considered to be a sign of preclinical Alzheimer's.

Read more on HealthCentral about how sleep deprivation may affect our Alzheimer's risk:

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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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Dementia as a Disability: Mental Health Foundation (UK) Advocates for Inclusion

Brain5...For those with younger onset Alzheimer's disease (YOAD), the fact that brain disease would develop in someone who is not “old” makes the adjustment even harder. Many, in their 40s and 50s, are still raising children and are at the peaks of their careers. Younger onset Alzheimer’s, as well as other dementias that can strike people still in their prime, can be even more devastating than the traditionally developed dementia that presents symptoms in one’s older years. Considering that dementia at any age is devastating, it’s hard to place values on what is harder. However, the younger the person, the more years of normal life have been lost.

Read more on HealthCentral about how the UK is beginning to look at dementia:

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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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


New Screening Methods for Alzheimer’s Disease Improving Diagnoses

DoctorPatientIn the not too distant past, being tested for Alzheimer’s disease was expensive, time consuming and too often resulted in a misdiagnosis. Recently developed methods of testing that are working their way toward mainstream care should help alleviate these concerns. These new methods are, or should become, less expensive, much faster and often more accurate than previous methods. The following slides provide a preview of some new tests for early Alzheimer’s detection that are making their way toward your doctor’s office.

View slideshow on HealthCentral about more new screening methods for improving Alzheimer's diagnosis:

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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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Alzheimer's Sleep Issues Challenge Exhausted Caregivers

StressedManExhausted caregivers often say that one of the hardest things for them is that they can’t get quality sleep. Even caregivers who have loved ones outside of their homes can have problems since they are still on call day and night for frequent emergencies. However, it’s the Alzheimer’s caregivers who have the hardest time since Alzheimer’s disease can cause severe sleep disruption. Experts still aren’t sure about all of the reasons for the poor sleeping patterns of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Doctors feel that there may be some change in the brain, perhaps the same as with other aging people but more intense, that cause this distressing situation.

Read more on HealthCentral about exhausted caregivers:

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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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Predicting Alzheimer’s: Biological Age Overrides Chronological Age

Research6...The question that travels hand in hand with these studies is who should start these drugs if they do prove to be effective? It’s not prudent to simply give the drugs to the whole aging population.We may soon have an answer to that question. A study that shows differences in biological aging vs. chronological aging could help us find a way to differentiate between those for whom early treatment should be considered and those who aren’t likely to require the drugs.

Read more on HealthCentral about the differences between biological age and chronological age:

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Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Alzheimer’s Risk Higher for Women: Why?

ComfortingIt’s been known for years that women are more at risk for Alzheimer’s disease than men.  Now there’s even more evidence of gender differences. A new study has found that among those who've been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), women show a much faster rate of memory loss than men.

Read more on HealthCentral about why Alzheimer's is more prevalent in women than in men:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

“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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling