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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. Read more →

In 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. Read more →

Dear Carol: My parents had been married nearly 60 years when my mother abruptly died from a heart attack. Dad held up well during the first weeks. He’d say that he was glad that she didn’t have to suffer a long time like so many people do. But after a couple of months, Dad started to develop strange habits like humming tunelessly to himself and mumbling gibberish. He also seems to have lost his appetite and has had several falls. I notice more memory lapses than before, as well. I know that spouses of long marriages have a tough time adjusting to their loved one’s death, but this is not at all what I expected. Could these happenings be from something else or does this stem from my mother’s death? RCD Read more →

Recently, I wrote about how playing in an orchestra has helped people living with dementia renew their confidence in themselves. Another twist on music has now come in a recent report from the British Psychological Society's Division of Clinical Psychology in London. The researchers describe how both the people in their study who had dementia, as well as their caregivers, benefitted from group singing.This exercise seemed to have much the same effect on the people with the dementia as the orchestra experiment Read more →

Join us at Eventide for "Living with Alzheimer's" presented by Hospice of the Red River Valley and the Alzheimer's Association of Minnesota/North Dakota. The event will be held September 13th from 7:00 to 8:30. There's lots of time for questions. Hope to see you there! Read more →

Twenty-five years ago, my aunt and uncle moved from the Washington, D.C. area to be with my family here on the Great Plains. One of the few complaints that I heard from my aunt about the move was that when she went to their new bank, the tellers called her by her first name. To someone of her generation, a younger person should have been calling her Mrs. Kelly. Yes, she understood their intent and she now lived in a more open, friendlier community than before, but she felt that first names lacked dignity. Additionally, while she was obviously aging, her mind was quick and her memory accurate. All she wanted was a little respect. Read more →

Exhausted 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. Read more →

It’s far too easy for onlookers to view someone with dementia as unable to feel pain. Since the disease eventually renders most people helpless and cognitively inexpressive, they can't articulate what hurts or why they are upset. Read more →