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Dementia Blog

Related terms: Chronic Brain Syndrome, DLB

Could Too Much Medication for Irregular Heartbeat Raise Dementia Risk?

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, Nov. 16, 2014 – People with atrial fibrillation who are overtreated with anti-clotting drugs may be doubling their risk for dementia, a new study suggests. Atrial fibrillation causes the upper chambers of the heart to contract quickly and irregularly. These abnormal contractions allow blood to pool in the heart, forming clots that can cause a stroke if they break off and are carried into the brain. However, too much anti-clotting medication may raise the chances of tiny brain bleeds that, over time, might raise the risk of dementia, the researchers said. "In patients with atrial fibrillation, dementia risk is dependent on the efficacy and control of long-term use of anti-clotting drugs," said lead researcher Dr. Thomas Jared Bunch, director of electrophysiology at the Intermountain Heart Institute in Murray, Utah. Warfarin and Plavix, along with aspirin, are some of the most ... Read more

Related support groups: Coumadin, Warfarin, Plavix, Atrial Fibrillation, Dementia, Clopidogrel, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Jantoven

Brain Injuries in Older Age Could Boost Dementia Risk, Study Finds

Posted 27 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 27, 2014 – A mild concussion after age 65 might boost your risk of developing dementia, a new study suggests. Head injuries seem to pose special hazards for seniors compared to those in upper middle age, the researchers said. "This was surprising and suggests that the older brain may be especially vulnerable to traumatic brain injury, regardless of the traumatic brain injury severity," said study lead author Dr. Raquel Gardner, a clinical research fellow with San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center. "Or to spin it more positively, the younger brain may be more resilient to mild traumatic brain injury or may take longer to show symptoms of dementia," she added. Whatever the case, she believes the findings should spur efforts to prevent head injuries among older adults. "Most doctors and patients understand the importance of preventing falls in order to prevent bodily ... Read more

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Memory Slips in Senior Years May Signal Dementia Risk

Posted 24 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 24, 2014 – Healthy elderly people who begin reporting memory lapses are significantly more likely to be diagnosed with dementia roughly a decade later, new research suggests. Evaluating more than 500 seniors, scientists found that those with memory complaints were almost three times more likely to develop mild cognitive impairment (memory and thinking problems) – a potential precursor to Alzheimer's disease – within nine years. Additionally, 80 percent had full-blown dementia within a dozen years. "I would say if you're an elderly person and you're noticing serious changes in your memory, you should take it seriously, but it's certainly not a cause for immediate alarm," said study author Richard Kryscio, associate director of University of Kentucky's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging. "If you're a middle-aged person, I would sort of ignore this," he added. "The average ... Read more

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Not Everyone With Alzheimer's-Linked Protein Develops Dementia: Study

Posted 15 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 15, 2014 – The human brain may have a way to compensate for the build-up of a destructive protein associated with Alzheimer's disease. That could help explain why some older people who have beta-amyloid deposits do not develop dementia, California researchers report. "This study provides evidence that there is plasticity or compensation ability in the aging brain that appears to be beneficial, even in the face of beta-amyloid accumulation," said the study's principal investigator, Dr. William Jagust. He's a professor with joint appointments at University of California, Berkeley's Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, the School of Public Health and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The study, published Sept. 14 in Nature Neuroscience, involved 22 healthy young adults and 49 older adults who showed no signs of mental decline. Using brain imaging technology, known as ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease

Advanced Dementia Patients Often Given Unhelpful Meds: Study

Posted 11 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 11, 2014 – A new national analysis of U.S. nursing home prescription patterns says that more than half of people with advanced dementia are prescribed medications that are of questionable benefit. "The main concern centers on the under-appreciated burden and personal cost of using questionably beneficial meds," said study lead author Dr. Jennifer Tjia. She's with the department of quantitative health sciences at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester. "Giving many daily medications to these patients, who often have difficulty eating and swallowing, is often uncomfortable [for the patient]," she noted. "Further, giving so many medications is not consistent with the goals of care for these patients, which is typically comfort," she added. And, "many of these medications have very real health risks, such as nausea, sedation, arrhythmias [irregular ... Read more

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Study: Rare Blood Type May Slightly Raise Dementia Risk

Posted 10 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 10, 2014 – Your blood type may play a small role in your risk for dementia, a new study finds. People with blood type AB, which includes about 4 percent of the population, appear to have an increased risk for memory problems as they age. Over about three years, individuals with blood type AB were almost twice as likely to show memory problems as those with type O blood, the most common blood group, the study found. But experts cautioned that those with AB blood shouldn't panic because other circumstances play a bigger part in their risk for mental impairment. "If you were to do the same study and look at smoking, lack of exercise, obesity and other lifestyle factors, the risk of dementia is much, much higher," said Dr. Terence Quinn, a clinical lecturer in stroke and geriatric medicine at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. "People who are worried about dementia, ... Read more

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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

Related support groups: 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

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

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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