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Dementia Blog

Related terms: Chronic Brain Syndrome, DLB

Scientists Shed Light on Link Between Depression, Dementia

Posted 30 Jul 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 30, 2014 – Older people with depression are more likely to develop dementia, but researchers have been unable to explain the exact nature of the relationship between the two. Specifically, they haven't been able to figure out the direction in which the relationship works – does depression help bring on dementia, or does dementia cause people to become depressed? A new study published online July 30 in the journal Neurology sheds more light on the mystery. Depression is a risk factor for dementia, researchers report, and people with more symptoms of depression tend to suffer a more rapid decline in thinking and memory skills. While the study found an association between the two, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship. Depression accounted for about 4.4 percent of the difference in mental decline that could not be attributed to dementia-related damage found in ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Dementia

Gardens a Center of Calm for People With Dementia

Posted 30 Jul 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 30, 2014 – Spending time in a garden might help soothe the agitation that commonly strikes people with dementia, a new review suggests. Looking at 17 past studies, British researchers found evidence that watering plants, or sitting or strolling in a garden can help soothe some dementia patients' anxiety. The study authors cautioned that the effects of gardens on dementia patients are a tough subject to study – and the evidence of a benefit is limited. But experts said it's encouraging that there is ongoing research into the potential calming power of outdoor space. As dementia progresses, it's common for people to become anxious, restless and agitated, according to the Alzheimer's Association. Sometimes there is a medical reason – such as chronic pain – that the person with dementia just can't explain, said Dr. Mark Stecker, chairman of neurosciences at ... Read more

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Pacemakers Common for Those With Dementia and Irregular Heartbeats

Posted 29 Jul 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 28, 2014 – People who have dementia and heart rhythm irregularities are more likely to get a pacemaker than people without dementia, new research has found. In fact, the study of more than 16,000 people found that those with dementia were up to 80 percent more likely to get a pacemaker than those without the memory-robbing condition. What isn't clear from this study is why folks with dementia are so much more likely to be treated with a pacemaker, said the study's lead researcher, Nicole Fowler, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. Perhaps the more important question, though, is whether some patients with dementia – a progressive condition without a cure – should get a pacemaker at all, Fowler said. "We really need to take into account the whole picture and make sure patients understand the implications of the decisions they are making," ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Cardiac Arrhythmia

A Healthy Lifestyle May Deflect Dementia

Posted 15 Jul 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 15, 2014 – Seniors at risk for dementia may help safeguard their memory and ability to think by adopting a healthier lifestyle, a new study from Finland suggests. Older people who began eating right, exercising, playing "brain games" and socializing more often performed better on memory and problem-solving tests than people who maintained their habits, the researchers said. Earlier studies have observed that each of these lifestyle changes might help fight dementia. But this is the first randomized clinical trial to put those findings to the test, said Keith Fargo, director of scientific programs and outreach for the Alzheimer's Association. "This is the first study to definitively show that changing your lifestyle will reduce your risk for cognitive decline," Fargo said. The study involved 1,260 people aged 60 to 77 at risk for dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Half of ... Read more

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High Blood Pressure May Protect the Very Old From Dementia

Posted 14 Jul 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 14, 2014 – New research suggests high blood pressure may not be all bad. Elevated levels might help to stave off mental decline among the extreme elderly, the study suggests. The finding follows a decade spent tracking high blood pressure and dementia among 625 men and women aged 90 and up. Those with the highest blood pressure levels were the least likely to have dementia, the researchers found. But that doesn't mean older people shouldn't try to control elevated blood pressure, they said. "On the basis of this work we are absolutely not recommending that high blood pressure not be treated among the elderly," said study co-author Maria Corrada, an associate adjunct professor in the department of neurology at the University of California, Irvine. "What we are saying is that from observing a group of very old people we now have some evidence that developing high blood ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Dementia

Widowhood May Delay Dementia in Some Seniors, Study Finds

Posted 14 Jul 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 14, 2014 – Losing a spouse may be linked to multiple health issues, but dementia isn't one of them, according to a new study. For certain seniors, widowhood may even delay dementia, the researchers found. "For those who had a mild memory problem, losing the spouse was associated with a later age of developing full-blown dementia compared to those who stayed married," said study researcher Dr. Bryan Woodruff. Woodruff, an assistant professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., can only speculate on the reasons for this perceived association. Widowed men and women may get more outside support and attention, he said. "It may be that social support, that network trumps the widowhood effects we see in other conditions," he said. "We don't know that for sure." The difference in brain functioning was significant: Among seniors starting to slip mentally, those ... Read more

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Widowhood May Delay Dementia in Some Seniors, Study Finds

Posted 14 Jul 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 14, 2014 – Losing a spouse may be linked to multiple health issues, but dementia isn't one of them, according to a new study. For certain seniors, widowhood may even delay dementia, the researchers found. "For those who had a mild memory problem, losing the spouse was associated with a later age of developing full-blown dementia compared to those who stayed married," said study researcher Dr. Bryan Woodruff. Woodruff, an assistant professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., can only speculate on the reasons for this perceived association. Widowed men and women may get more outside support and attention, he said. "It may be that social support, that network trumps the widowhood effects we see in other conditions," he said. "We don't know that for sure." The difference in brain functioning was significant: Among seniors starting to slip mentally, those ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia

Staying Active May Help Prevent Dementia

Posted 14 Jul 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 14, 2014 – Being physically active in middle age appears to help reduce your risk for Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia, suggest the findings from two new studies. "In our studies, we found that physical exercise at various levels, especially in midlife, is beneficial for cognitive function," Dr. Yonas Geda from the Mayo Clinic, said in an Alzheimer's Association news release. "These are intriguing results, but they are not yet conclusive. More research is needed to determine the extent and nature of physical activity in protecting against MCI [mild cognitive impairment] and dementia," Geda added. One study included 280 seniors who were asked about their physical activity levels over their lifetime. The median age of the study volunteers was 81, which means half were under that age and half were older than 81. All of the study participants had early signs of ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease

Cataract Surgery a Plus for Someone With Dementia, Study Says

Posted 14 Jul 2014 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, July 13, 2014 – Along with improving vision, cataract surgery may slow mental decline in people with Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia, a new study suggests. Better eyesight also improves their quality of life, the researchers said. "These preliminary results indicate that improved vision can have a variety of benefits for people with dementia and their loved ones, both visual and non-visual," said Dr. Alan Lerner, of Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Case Medical Center, in Ohio. Cataract surgery involves removing the eye's cloudy natural lens and replacing it with a clear artificial lens. The study included 20 dementia patients who had cataract surgery and a control group of eight patients who did not have the procedure. Six months after the surgery, the patients in the surgery group had significantly improved vision and quality of life, ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Cataract

Veterans With Brain Injury May Be at Risk for Dementia: Study

Posted 25 Jun 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 25, 2014 – Military veterans who have experienced a traumatic brain injury may be more prone to developing dementia, new research suggests. In fact, they were 60 percent more likely to be diagnosed with dementia sooner than those who never had a brain injury. ""Our results suggest that [brain injury] may increase the risk of developing dementia in older veterans, with an age of onset about two years earlier. So clinicians may want to keep an eye out for signs of cognitive impairment in older veterans with a history of [brain injury]," said study author Deborah Barnes, an associate professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine. However, the study was only able to point to an association, not cause-and-effect. The researchers evaluated almost 190,000 veterans who were 68 years old, on average, and ... Read more

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Lifetime of Learning Might Thwart Dementia, Study Suggests

Posted 23 Jun 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 23, 2014 – A lifetime engaging in intellectually stimulating pursuits may significantly lower your risk for dementia in your golden years, new research suggests. Even people with relatively low educational and professional achievements can gain protection against late-life dementia if they adopt a mentally stimulating lifestyle – reading and playing music and games, for example – by the time they enter middle-age, the new study contended. "In terms of preventing cognitive [mental] impairment, education and occupation are important," said study lead author Prashanthi Vemuri, an assistant professor of radiology at the Mayo Clinic and Foundation in Rochester, Minn. "But so is intellectually stimulating activity during mid- to late life," she added. "This is very encouraging news, because even if you don't have a lot of education, or get exposure to a lot of intellectual ... Read more

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Yoga, Meditation May Help Dementia Patients and Caregivers Alike

Posted 5 Jun 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 5, 2014 – Life with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias can be difficult for the affected individual and his or her caregiver. But a small British study suggests that a "holistic" program involving yoga, meditation and other interventions can ease the burden for both. "This is an activity that caregivers and patients can do together," said study lead author Yvonne J-Lyn Khoo, a researcher with the Health and Social Care Institute at Teesside University in Middlesbrough, U.K. "Because everyone is doing the program together, caregivers have peace of mind to at least allow themselves to 'let go' and do some exercise." One expert in the United States said programs like this are sorely needed. "Caregivers for people with dementia are under so much stress," said Catherine Roe, an assistant professor of neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease

Schizophrenia May Raise Dementia Risk in Older Adults

Posted 30 May 2014 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, May 30, 2014 – Older adults who have schizophrenia appear to face a higher risk of getting dementia, new research suggests. "The rates of dementia in those with schizophrenia in the study were twice that of non-schizophrenic patients," said lead researcher Hugh Hendrie, a Regenstrief Institute investigator and a scientist at the Indiana University Center for Aging Research. On the other hand, while those with schizophrenia were also more likely to develop other health problems, they were less likely to get cancer. The study is published in the May issue of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. As the diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia have improved, those with the mental illness are living longer, researchers noted. But there has been little information about how they fare with other conditions, such as heart problems and dementia, as they age. So Hendrie's team, ... Read more

Related support groups: Schizophrenia, Dementia

Cynics at Higher Risk for Dementia? Yea, Right

Posted 29 May 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 28, 2014 – Cynical, distrustful people may be more prone to dementia, a new Finnish study contends. Those traits have been linked with other health problems, such as heart disease, the researchers noted. "Our personality may have an impact on our brain health," said study author Anna-Maija Tolppanen, from the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio. Tolppanen cautioned that this study finding only shows an association between cynicism and dementia, not necessarily a cause-and-effect link. "This is the first study showing the link, so it is not possible to say yet whether this is causal or if the association is explained by something else," she said. One explanation could be that people who are more wary of others may be less socially active, which in turn may increase their dementia risk, she said. There are many ways personality may affect brain health, Tolppanen said. ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia

A Failing Mind May Mean Lower Cancer Death Risk, Study Suggests

Posted 9 Apr 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 9, 2014 – The scourge of dementia may come with a silver lining: Those with declining memory and thinking skills may be significantly less likely to die from cancer, new research indicates. Analyzing more than 2,600 Spaniards over the age of 65, scientists found that people experiencing the fastest decline in mental skills were about one-third less likely to die of cancer over an average of 13 years. The results echo those of numerous prior studies done worldwide suggesting an inverse relationship between Alzheimer's disease and cancer. Having one appears to markedly lower the odds of developing the other, though scientists don't yet know why that may be. "I wasn't surprised by the results since there were other papers that suggested dementia decreased the risk of cancer," said study author Dr. Julian Benito-Leon, a staff physician in neurology at Hospital ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Dementia

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Related Condition Support Groups

Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Lewy Body Dementia, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Central Nervous System Disorders

Related Drug Support Groups

Haldol, haloperidol, Haldol Decanoate, Hydergine, Gerimal, Hydergine LC, ergoloid mesylates