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Infections May Speed the Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease

Last December, a team of scientists working collaboratively under the guidance of the University of Bonn and the University of Massachusetts discovered a new signaling pathway in mice associated with the death of brain nerve cells from chronic inflammation. Their discovery led them to theorized that this chronic inflammation could possibly lead to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. A new study now underway is focusing on a similar theory. Read more →

Alzheimer’s Drugs to be Compared Side by Side in New Trials

Researchers leading the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer's Network (DIAN) recently announced that two pharmaceutical companies have agreed to donate investigational drugs to use in side by side trials. The trials will concentrate on people who appear to be destined by genetics to develop early-onset Alzheimer's disease. The companies have agreed to at least partially fund a five-year therapy trial, as well. Read more →

Alzheimer’s Symptoms Often Manageable without Drugs

Alzheimer’s disease cannot as yet be prevented or cured. While there are some medications that may help some people with the symptoms of the disease, they have drawbacks. With this in mind, some experts feel that many symptoms of the disease are better treated with behavior interventions. Read more →

Green Tea, Grape Skin Extracts May Interrupt Alzheimer's Path

Green tea and red wine have both been shown in numerous studies to contain antioxidants thought to increase overall health and possibly prevent some diseases. Now, a recent study, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, has shown that purified extracts from green tea and red wine (specifically, the resveratrol in the red grape skins) have been shown in early animal studies to interrupt the pathway that may lead to Alzheimer’s disease. Read more →

When a Loved One Can't Understand Valentine's Day

I knew Dad, if he could make that decision, would want to give Mom flowers and a card. I knew Mom would want to do the same for him. The only problem was, neither of them was capable of choosing a card or arranging for flowers to be delivered. And Dad couldn't even understand what the celebration was about. How do we celebrate special occasions when one or more of the people involved can't participate? Do we follow through, or do we pretend the special day doesn't exist? Read more →

Valentines Day, Anniversaries Can Be Painful for Caregivers

One thing that we caregivers should remember is that Valentines Day is about love. Yes, it's about romantic love. But love is love. You, who are the foundation of your elders' lives, are showing some of the greatest love this world knows. Maybe you should send yourself a card? I don't think Hallmark has a special Valentine card for a caregiver yet, but considering our numbers, that may yet come. Read more →

Dementia Aggression Difficult to Control

Dear Carol: My 79-year-old mother is on mediation for aggression due to her dementia, but she still has periodic violent outbursts where she kicks and hits me. Her psychiatrist has tried several drugs in small doses to avoid side effects, but most of them leave her sleepy and have had little positive effect. Zyprexa has helped her the most, but that only means the outbursts have been cut in half. We haven’t found any specific triggers. Her physical aggression is wearing me out and I’m tired of this medication rollercoaster that’s been going on for three years. Am I expecting too much from these drugs? - Jeannine Read more →

Elders’ Loss of Appetite Complicated

Adult children often worry about their aging parents’ eating habits. Sometimes the elders live alone and don’t feel like cooking or even going out to buy groceries. They may have pain issues that keep them from enjoying food, or dentures that make chewing uncomfortable. Depression can be a factor for some people, as can medication side effects. Loneliness, especially for people who have lost a spouse to a nursing home or death, can make eating seem unimportant or unattractive. Read more →

Alzheimer’s Can Dramatically Change Financial Future

Alzheimer’s organizations, as well as the National Institutes of Health, have provided us with an abundance of statistics highlighting the financial effect of Alzheimer’s disease on the family of someone with the disease. A person who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s can be expected to live with the disease anywhere from six to 20 years. For many of those years, the person with Alzheimer’s will likely require paid outside help, and the cost of that help can be financially devastating. Read more →

Existing Psoriasis Drug May Treat Alzheimer’s

Researchers working in Switzerland and Germany have found evidence strengthening the concept that the immune system plays a role in the development of Alzheimer's disease. The study was done on mice using the drug ustekinumab, which is a biologic drug already approved by the Food & Drug Administration for the treatment of plaque psoriasis, an auto-immune disease Read more →