Research Feed

Alzheimer's Sleep Issues Challenge Exhausted Caregivers

Caregiver6Exhausted 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 full article on HealthCentral about how sleep problems with loved one can exhaust 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


Fitness and Aging Well: A Vital Correlation

BicyclingHow vital is fitness to aging well? Very. A recent study of participants in the 2015 National Senior Games, also known as the Senior Olympics, revealed that the typical participant had a fitness age of more than 20 years younger than his or her chronological age. According to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, fitness age is determined by a measure of cardiovascular endurance and is a better predictor of longevity than chronological age.

Read full article/interview on HealthCentral about staying healthy to age well:

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Predicting Alzheimer’s: Biological Age Overrides Chronological Age

Research6Increasingly, Alzheimer’s specialists and researchers stress the importance of early detection. In fact, most drugs now considered as possible methods for holding off Alzheimer’s symptoms seem to be dependent on starting the drug early – as much as a decade earlier than symptoms appear. 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.

Read full article on HealthCentral about how biological age can make a huge difference in your AD risk:

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Brain Games: Do They Offer Brain Protection or Simply Entertainment?

BraingamesDo brain games make a difference in staving off brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s or are they just harmless fun? While studies have been all over the map on this issue during the last few years, lately they indicate that at least formal brain training may help, which indicates to me that well designed informal brain training would have at least some validity. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) has this to say:

Read full article on HealthCentral about the effectiveness of brain games:

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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


Alzheimer's Disease Impairs Insulin Signaling, May Increase Diabetes Risk

Exercise6According to the latest research, the long-held theory that diabetes may cause Alzheimer’s could prove to be the reverse, at least in some cases. In the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia, scientists from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai published study results suggesting that Alzheimer’s disease (AD) impairs insulin signaling in the area of the brain that is responsible for regulating metabolism. The study finds this impaired signaling makes a person with Alzheimer’s disease more susceptible to diabetes.

Read complete article on HealthCentral about how AD impairs insulin:

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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


Using Walker to Prevent Falls Better Choice Than the Alternative

Olderwoman2Dear Carol: My mother has severe spine and knee problems and should be using a walker but she refuses. She’s only in her 60s and she says a walker makes her look old. She also complains that a walker keeps her from getting close enough to the cupboards and sink to cook, which is something that she loves. I admit that they are bulky and get in the way. They also keep her from carrying dishes around and I understand that. Still, she’s taking a terrible chance. When she’s having a lot of trouble she will use a cane, but that doesn’t do enough. Her mind is fine but, apparently, her ego just can’t take this blow. I know that she fights pain, but the worst seems to be her bitterness over her disability being seen by others as well as the inconvenience of using a walker. How do I convince her that safety is more important than some inconvenience or presenting a youthful look? CD

Read full column on Inforum about making the accepting limitations and a new walker design:

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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


Surprising Changes that May Indicate Dementia

Caregiverstress3When 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 the changes than could indicate dementia (other than memory):

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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


Depression: How Big of a Risk Factor for Alzheimer’s Is It?

Depression7It seems that there’s always something new popping up in a headline stating that this condition or that disease increases our risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. While the constant barrage of negative information can be frustrating, it’s simply a byproduct of the intense research being done to discover the cause or causes of Alzheimer’s. That’s all good. For people with depression, however, seeing their illness on lists for traits that make them more likely to develop AD is worrisome. How seriously should people with depression take this information about which they can do little?

Read more on HealthCentral about how depression can increase your dementia 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


C. Diff: Elders Can Be Especially Vulnerable to Potential Deadly Infection

InfectionPatients are supposed to leave the hospital healthier than when they arrived and long-term care is intended to enhance residents’ quality of life through increased care and supervision, but these care settings can also pose some risks. One of the biggest threats lurking in these facilities is Clostridium difficile. This type of bacteria, often referred to as C. difficile or C. diff, can spread easily in these environments and turn into a very serious infection for older individuals and those whose health is already compromised.

Read full article on Agingcare about C. Diff infection in hospitals and nursing homes:

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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


Caffeine May Lower Risk for Cognitive Decline, Study Suggests

Coffee1Throughout the last several decades, caffeine has been alternately touted as hero or villain. For a time, caffeine was blamed for birth defects in children, and healthy eating, in general, meant eliminating food or beverages containing caffeine. Still, one of the most explosive new trends we’ve seen over the last dozen years has been designer coffee shops and kiosks, which show that people will not always follow where health gurus lead. Now the coffee drinkers may be vindicated.

Read full article on HealthCentral about new study showing caffeine may lower risk for dementia:

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