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High, Low Levels of Magnesium Linked to Dementia Risk

Posted 2 days 21 hours ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 20, 2017 – Having magnesium levels that are too high or too low may put you at risk for Alzheimer's and other dementias, Dutch researchers report. In a study of more than 9,500 men and women, the highest or lowest levels of magnesium appeared to increase the chances for dementia by as much as 30 percent. "At this moment, magnesium levels are not routinely measured in daily clinical practice," said lead researcher Dr. Brenda Kieboom, of Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam. "If our study results are replicated, magnesium levels could be used to screen for dementia, especially in people at risk for low magnesium levels." But she cautioned that "we cannot prove that low or high magnesium causes dementia on the basis of our data. For that, we need studies to see if supplements will reduce the risk." Kieboom said she also wants to study whether low magnesium ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Diagnosis and Investigation, Dementia with Depressive Features, Lewy Body Dementia, Alcoholic Dementia

Heath Tip: Myths About the Aging Brain

Posted 12 days ago by Drugs.com

-- Scientists are uncovering new information about the human brain every day. But misinformation still abounds. The Global Council on Brain Health recently examined and disproved these myths about the aging brain: MYTH: Older people can't learn new things. TRUTH: Something as simple as meeting new friends and remembering their names is enough to simulate the brain and keep it active. Going back to school or trying a new hobby are other ways to improve brain health. MYTH: You're stuck with the brain you were born with. TRUTH: While many pathways for learning are created before birth, new pathways can be created in the parts of the brain that handle memory and learning. MYTH: Experts don't have a clue about how the brain works. TRUTH: The brain is one of the human body's most complicated organs. But scientists are learning a tremendous amount about the brain all the time. New treatments ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Diagnosis and Investigation, Lewy Body Dementia, Dementia with Depressive Features

Dementia Care: A Huge Financial Burden for U.S. Families

Posted 22 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 22, 2017 – Caring for a family member with a neurological disorder such as dementia is vastly more expensive than caring for a senior who is dementia-free, a new study finds. The average yearly cost of caring for a dementia-free senior is roughly $137,000. But the price tag rises to $321,000 for care of those struggling with dementia. And about 70 percent of that yearly cost ultimately falls on the shoulders of the family members rather than insurance, the researchers said. The rest of the cost typically splits evenly between Medicare and Medicaid. "A lot of people, I think, believe that Medicare will pay for their long-term care," said lead author Eric Jutkowitz, an assistant professor at Brown University's School of Public Health. "That's not the case. Private long-term care insurance may help, but benefits can be exhausted and few families have policies. For a disease ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Drug-Induced Dementia, Dementia with Depressive Features, Lewy Body Dementia, Alcoholic Dementia

Study Links Moderate Drinking to Reduced Risk of Dementia

Posted 6 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, Aug. 6, 2017 – Moderate drinking may be associated with a reduced risk of dementia in seniors, a new study suggests. But the study authors stressed that the findings shouldn't be interpreted as a signal to drink freely. The study only found an association between some alcohol consumption and mental sharpness, not a cause-and-effect link. Researchers followed more than 1,300 adults from 1984 to 2013. They lived in a white-collar, middle- to upper-middle-class suburb in San Diego County, California. Most were white with at least some college education. Their thinking and memory (cognitive) skills were assessed every four years. Among men and women 85 and older, those who drank moderate amounts of alcohol five to seven days a week were twice as likely to show no signs of dementia than non-drinkers, according to the study in the August issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alcohol Dependence, Alzheimer's Disease, Alcoholism, Hangover, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, Dementia with Depressive Features, Alcoholic Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia

Traveling With Dementia: Tips for Family Caregivers

Posted 3 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 2, 2017 – Traveling with a loved one who has dementia requires special preparation. The Alzheimer's Foundation of America has some advice. "Traveling is a fun and enjoyable way to reenergize your body and mind. It can be beneficial to people living with dementia and their family caregivers under the proper circumstances," said Charles Fuschillo Jr., foundation president and CEO. "Before going on a trip, there are important steps family caregivers should take to ensure that their loved ones will be safe, comfortable and able to make the journey," he added in a foundation news release. First you should talk with the person's doctor to find out if travel is recommended or safe. In the early stages of dementia, travel may still be enjoyable. But it can become overwhelming as dementia progresses, the foundation said. When deciding how and where to travel, make choices that ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Dementia with Depressive Features, Lewy Body Dementia, Alcoholic Dementia, Head Imaging

Moving From 'Stroke Belt' Doesn't Undo Higher Dementia Risk

Posted 31 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 31, 2017 – Health problems for people born in the so-called Stroke Belt of the United States also include a higher risk of developing dementia – even if they move elsewhere, a new study suggests. Researchers who calculated data on thousands of adults living in northern California found dementia risk was roughly 26 percent higher for those born in nine states, nearly all in the Southeast. Blacks, in particular, were at an increased risk for dementia if they started life in: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, South Carolina and West Virginia, said study author Paola Gilsanz. "We already know that living in certain states in the U.S. is associated with poorer health outcomes," said Gilsanz, a research fellow at Kaiser Permanente Northern California division of research in Oakland. "This study contributes to a growing body of evidence that ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Ischemic Stroke, High Cholesterol, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Transient Ischemic Attack, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Hypertensive Heart Disease, Lewy Body Dementia, Dementia with Depressive Features, Alcoholic Dementia

Targeting 9 Risk Factors Could Prevent 1 in 3 Dementia Cases: Study

Posted 20 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 20, 2017 – One-third of dementia cases worldwide might be prevented by paying attention to nine risk factors throughout life, researchers say. These measures include: staying in school until you're at least over the age of 15; reducing hearing loss, obesity and high blood pressure in mid-life (ages 45 to 65); and reducing smoking, depression, physical inactivity, social isolation and diabetes in later life (65 and older). Taking care of these risk factors would possibly prevent 35 percent of dementia cases, the study findings suggested. In comparison, targeting the major genetic risk factor – known as ApoE – would prevent less than one in 10 dementia cases (7 percent), the study authors said. The three risk factors that could potentially make the most difference in preventing dementia include: staying in school (which would reduce dementia cases by 8 percent); reducing ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Diabetes, Type 2, Major Depressive Disorder, Hypertension, Smoking, Dementia, Smoking Cessation, Alzheimer's Disease, Insulin Resistance, Dysthymia, Pre-Diabetes, Diabetes Mellitus, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Hearing Loss, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance, Hypertensive Heart Disease, Dementia with Depressive Features, Lewy Body Dementia

Can Daily Crossword Protect You From Dementia?

Posted 17 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 17, 2017 – Doing a crossword puzzle every day may help keep your brain sharp as you age, researchers report. The British study of people aged 50 and older found the more often they did word puzzles, the higher they scored on attention, reasoning and memory tests. "We found direct relationships between the frequency of word puzzle use and the speed and accuracy of performance on nine cognitive tasks assessing a range of aspects of function including attention, reasoning and memory," said researcher Keith Wesnes. He's a professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University of Exeter in England. Performance was consistently better in those who reported engaging in puzzles, and generally improved incrementally with the frequency of puzzle use, he said. "For example, on test measures of grammatical reasoning speed and short-term memory accuracy, performing word puzzles was ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Drug-Induced Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia, Dementia with Depressive Features, Arteriosclerotic Dementia w/ Depressive Features

One Social Hour a Week Can Help Someone With Dementia

Posted 16 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, July 16, 2017 – Just a slight increase in social interaction benefits older adults with dementia and lowers health care costs, a new British study suggests. "People with dementia who are living in [nursing] homes are among the most vulnerable in our society," said study leader Clive Ballard. He's a professor at the University of Exeter Medical School in England. "Our outcomes show that good staff training and just one hour a week of social interaction significantly improves quality of life for a group of people who can often be forgotten by society," Ballard said in a university news release. The study included more than 800 dementia patients living in 69 nursing homes in the U.K. Two staff members at each home were trained to engage in simple social activities with the patients. This included talking to them about their interests and decisions about their care. When combined ... Read more

Related support groups: Social Anxiety Disorder, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Drug-Induced Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia, Dementia with Depressive Features

Severe Head Injury May Raise Dementia Risk Years Later

Posted 5 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 5, 2017 – A severe head injury, especially during middle age, could dramatically boost the risk for developing dementia later in life, new research from Finland suggests. The investigation tracked dementia risk among people who had suffered a traumatic brain injury [TBI] at 65 or younger. Ultimately, the researchers determined that not only did the risk go up for those who had a TBI, but the worse the initial head injury, the greater the risk of dementia. "The study showed that 3.5 percent of persons with moderate-to-severe TBI [were] diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease [such as dementia] later in life," said study lead author Dr. Rahul Raj. He's an associate professor of experimental neurosurgery at Helsinki University Hospital. "This is substantially higher compared to age-matched peers with no history of brain injury," he noted. By comparison, "only 1.6 ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Head Injury, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Head Injury with Intracranial Hemorrhage, Head Injury w/ Intracranial Hemorrhage and Loss of Consciousness, Lewy Body Dementia, Arteriosclerotic Dementia w/ Depressive Features, Head Injury with Loss of Consciousness, Dementia with Depressive Features

Lifestyle Changes Might Prevent or Slow Dementia

Posted 22 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 22, 2017 – Simple changes to your lifestyle might delay the start of dementia or slow its progression, a new report suggests. Some scientific evidence indicates that keeping your mind active through "cognitive training," controlling your blood pressure and exercising more may pay dividends in terms of brain health, researchers determined. Although not yet proven to thwart the cognitive decline that accompanies aging or dementia, the public should have access to this information, said Alan Leshner. He led the committee at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine that compiled the report. "There are a few domains where the evidence that does exist suggests they might have an effect," said Leshner. "At least two of those, we know, are good for a whole lot of other things that people do or that they could suffer from. That's controlling your blood ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Hypertensive Emergency, Hypertensive Heart Disease, Lewy Body Dementia, Dementia with Depressive Features, Arteriosclerotic Dementia w/ Depressive Features

Seniors' Well-Being May Get a Boost From Green Spaces

Posted 17 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 17, 2017 – Green spaces in cities benefit residents of all ages. Now, British researchers say, they may also boost older people's mental well-being. "We found that older participants experienced beneficial effects of green space whilst walking between busy built urban environments and urban green space environments," said study author Chris Neale. "Indeed, this work is the first to be published in a series of papers understanding the impact of green and urban spaces on brain activity in older adults," said Neale, a research fellow at the University of York's Stockholm Environment Institute in England. The small study included eight people, 65 and older, who wore portable devices that recorded their brain activity as they walked in both busy and green urban locations. They were also interviewed before and after their outings. The participants experienced changes in levels ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Dementia with Depressive Features

Study: Gene Test Needed Before Using Alzheimer's Drug 'Off-Label'

Posted 8 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 7, 2017 – A drug used to treat Alzheimer's disease should not be prescribed to people with milder mental impairment without first giving them a genetic test, a new study urges. The drug is donepezil (brand name: Aricept). Donepezil could speed mental decline in someone with mild cognitive impairment who has a specific genetic variation, according to Sophie Sokolow, an associate professor at the UCLA School of Nursing. She and her colleagues found that patients with the K-variant of the butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) gene who took donepezil deteriorated faster than those who took a placebo. Donepezil is approved in the United States to treat Alzheimer's disease but not mild cognitive impairment – the stage between normal age-related decline and dementia. However, doctors often prescribe it "off-label" for patients with mild cognitive impairment, the study authors said. For ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Aricept, Donepezil, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Namzaric, Donepezil/memantine, Dementia with Depressive Features, Head Imaging, Aricept ODT

Unhealthy in Middle Age, Dementia in Old Age?

Posted 23 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 22, 2017 – Middle-aged men and women at risk for heart disease may also face a higher chance of dementia later in life, a new study suggests. Risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure and diabetes might boost the odds of dementia almost as much as carrying the gene that raises the risk of Alzheimer's disease, the researchers reported. "Most of these risk factors are treatable or preventable. And it is important to treat these vascular [circulatory system] risk factors starting at least in middle age, if not earlier," said lead researcher Dr. Rebecca Gottesman. She's an associate professor of neurology and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Know your blood pressure, so it can be treated if it's high. Also, know if you have diabetes, so you can control and treat it. And stop smoking, Gottesman said. "These are important risk factors not only ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Smoking, Heart Disease, Dementia, Smoking Cessation, Alzheimer's Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Ischemic Heart Disease, Lewy Body Dementia, Dementia with Depressive Features, Drug-Induced Dementia

Staying Socially Active Nourishes the Aging Brain

Posted 20 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 20, 2017 – Socializing with lots of relatives and friends may help you stay mentally sharp as you age, a new report co-sponsored by AARP finds. "It's not uncommon for our social networks to shrink in size as we get older," said Marilyn Albert, professor of neurology and director of cognitive neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. "This report provides many helpful suggestions about the things we can do to improve the quality of our relationships with family and friends, which may be beneficial in maintaining our mental abilities," Albert said in an AARP news release. The report also discusses the social benefits of having pets, how age-friendly communities boost social ties, how close relationships benefit both physical and mental health, and how social media (including Facebook and Skype) helps older adults maintain social connections. The report is from ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Performance Anxiety, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Lewy Body Dementia, Dementia with Depressive Features

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