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Related terms: Chronic Brain Syndrome, DLB, Memory Loss

Dance Your Way to a Healthier Aging Brain

Posted 5 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 12, 2017 – Dance classes may beat traditional exercise when it comes to improving older adults' balance – and it might enhance brain areas related to memory and learning along the way. That's the finding of a small study that compared dance lessons against standard exercise – including brisk walking – among 52 healthy seniors. Over a year and a half, older adults who took weekly dance classes showed gains in their balancing ability. There were no such improvements in the traditional exercise group. Researchers also found hints that all those mambos and cha-chas had extra brain benefits. Seniors in both groups showed growth in the hippocampus – a brain structure that's involved in memory and learning. But the dancers showed changes in more areas of the hippocampus. Patrick Muller, one of the researchers on the study, suggested an explanation: The "multimodal" nature ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Drug-Induced Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia

Health Tip: Identifying Vascular Dementia

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

-- Vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia, behind Alzheimer's disease. Vascular dementia typically occurs after a stroke, but it can occur for other reasons. The U.S. National Institute on Aging identifies three common forms: Multi-infarct dementia – This occurs after a series of small strokes that damage brain cells. Cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL) – This inherited form results in a thickening of the walls of small- and medium-sized blood vessels, eventually stemming the flow of blood to the brain. Subcortical vascular dementia, also calledBinswanger's disease – This rare form involves extensive damage to the small blood vessels and nerve fibers that make up white matter, the part of the brain believed critical for relaying messages between regions. Read more

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

One Type of Dementia Is Especially Costly

Posted 12 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 5, 2017 – A type of early onset dementia known as frontotemporal degeneration appears to take an even more punishing toll on family finances than Alzheimer's disease, a new report suggests. Frontotemporal degeneration (FTD) is the most common type of dementia to strike men and women under 60, the study team noted. The investigation revealed that families caring for a patient with FTD face an annual bill of nearly $120,000, on average. That's roughly twice the cost of caring for a senior with Alzheimer's, the researchers said. "For years, we have known about the extraordinary economic burden shouldered by FTD caregivers, but now we have the numbers to prove it," said Susan Dickinson, CEO for the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration. "This study shows that the financial toll of FTD is even more devastating than we imagined." The study was led by Dr. James Galvin, of ... Read more

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

High Blood Pressure in 40s a Dementia Risk for Women?

Posted 13 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4, 2017 – Women who develop high blood pressure in their 40s could be much more vulnerable to dementia later in life, a new study suggests. That increased risk could run as high as 73 percent, the researchers reported, but the same did not hold true for men. These new findings suggest that high blood pressure can start playing a role in brain health even earlier than previously thought, said lead researcher Paola Gilsanz, a postdoctoral fellow with the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research in Oakland. Prior studies have linked high blood pressure with dementia, but "it wasn't clear if hypertension before one's 50s was a risk factor," Gilsanz said. A healthy circulatory system is key to a health brain, said Keith Fargo, director of scientific programs and outreach for the Alzheimer's Association. "The brain is a very metabolically active organ in the ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Diagnosis and Investigation, Hypertensive Heart Disease, Dementia with Depressive Features, Lewy Body Dementia, Alcoholic Dementia

Failing Sense of Smell Tied to Dementia Risk

Posted 19 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 29, 2017 – Older adults who've lost their sense of smell appear to have an increased risk of dementia, a new study suggests. The long-term study included nearly 3,000 participants, aged 57 to 85, who were tested on their ability to identify five common odors. At least four of the five odors were correctly identified by 78 percent of the participants, the researchers found. In addition, 14 percent identified three of the odors, 5 percent identified only two of the odors, 2 percent identified only one, and 1 percent could not identify any of the odors. Five years after the test, the participants who weren't able to identify at least four of the five odors were more than twice as likely to have dementia, compared to those with a normal sense of smell, the researchers said. Nearly all of the participants who couldn't identify a single odor had been diagnosed with dementia, ... 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

Exercise, Not Vitamin D, Recommended to Prevent Falls

Posted 27 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 27, 2017 – Falls and fractures are a major cause of disability in old age. An influential U.S. medical task force is recommending exercise and, in some cases, medical evaluation to help seniors stay on their feet. But the new draft recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) say there isn't enough evidence at this time to either endorse or advise against taking vitamin D or calcium supplements to prevent broken bones. And based on current evidence, the panel recommends against taking vitamin D solely to prevent falls. For Americans 65 and older, falls are the leading cause of injuries and injury-related deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On average, one older person falls every second in the United States, the CDC says. "Fortunately, there are things we can do to help prevent falls," said Dr. Alexander ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Vitamin D Deficiency, Fracture, bone, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Caltrate 600 with D, Calcium/Vitamin D, Citracal + D, Citracal Petites, Oysco 500 with D, Rickets, Calcarb with D, Calcium 600 D, Prevention of Falls, Citracal Creamy Bites, Calcet, Oyster Shell Calcium, B-Nexa, Citracal 250 mg + D

High, Low Levels of Magnesium Linked to Dementia Risk

Posted 20 Sep 2017 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

Many May Get Hospice Care Too Late

Posted 12 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 12, 2017 – Despite a growing list of debilitating symptoms during the final months of life, most seniors never receive end-of-life hospice care – or they delay doing so until their last few weeks of life, new research finds. "The main message is that the duration of hospice is very short," explained lead study author Dr. Thomas Gill. This, despite the fact that his team "documented high rates of distressing symptoms well before the start of hospice." Gill is the director of the Yale University Program on Aging. "Since hospice is designed to help alleviate distressing symptoms – including pain, nausea and anxiety, among others – our findings suggest that health care providers might need to consider discussing referrals to hospice sooner with older persons who are approaching the end of their lives," Gill added. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Dementia, Prostate Cancer, Alzheimer's Disease, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Solid Tumors, Lewy Body Dementia

Heath Tip: Myths About the Aging Brain

Posted 11 Sep 2017 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

Is Dementia Declining Among Older Americans?

Posted 5 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 5, 2017 – Here's some good news for America's seniors: The rates of Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia have dropped significantly over the last decade or so, a new study shows. The analysis of nearly 1,400 men and women 70 and older found that the number of dementia cases dropped from 73 among those born before 1920 to just 3 among those born after 1929. The reasons for the decline aren't clear, researchers said. But one factor stands out: The rates of stroke and heart attack decreased across generations. The rate of diabetes, however, has increased. "It may be that we are seeing the benefits of years of success in cardiovascular disease prevention," said lead researcher Carol Derby, a research professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. That doesn't appear to account for all of the decrease in dementia rates, however. Although the rate of ... Read more

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

New Clues to Why Yawns Are Contagious

Posted 31 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 31, 2017 – The "contagiousness" of yawns may be rooted in primitive brain reflexes, British researchers report. Echophenomena is the term for contagious movements such as yawns. Humans tend to yawn when they see others yawn, and so do chimpanzees and dogs. Researchers at the University of Nottingham wondered where the roots of this type of echophenomena are located. They examined 36 adults as they looked at video clips of people yawning. The participants were told to either try to stop themselves from yawning or just let it happen. The researchers found that it's hard to resist yawning when you see someone yawn, and the urge to yawn gets stronger when you're told not to do it. The researchers also found that people differ in their vulnerability to yawns. "We suggest that these findings may be particularly important in understanding further the association between motor ... Read more

Related support groups: Epilepsy, Dementia, Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Tourette's Syndrome

Do Fewer Nightly Dreams Mean Higher Dementia Risk in Seniors?

Posted 23 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 23, 2017 – Seniors who spend less time each night in the dream stage of sleep may be more likely to succumb to dementia as they age, new research suggests. Known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, this critical phase "occurs in intervals throughout the night, and is characterized by more dreaming and rapid eye movements," explained study author Matthew Pase. He is a senior research fellow with Swinburne University of Technology in Australia, and a visiting researcher in the department of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine. "We found that persons experiencing less REM sleep over the course of a night displayed an increased risk of developing dementia in the future," Pase said. He noted that for every 1 percent drop in REM sleep, the seniors in his study saw their dementia and Alzheimer's disease risk go up by about 9 percent. While prior research has ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Head Imaging

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

Lower Blood Pressure Best for Seniors' Minds

Posted 21 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 21, 2017 – For seniors and particularly blacks with high blood pressure, lowering it may help keep their minds sharp, a new study suggests. The association between high blood pressure and the risk for mental decline is well-documented. But the ideal systolic blood pressure for older adults has been less clear-cut, with recommended targets ranging from 150 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) to 120 mm Hg. Systolic blood pressure, the amount of pressure exerted by the heart as it pumps blood throughout the body, is the top or first number in a blood pressure reading. Recent evidence has suggested that while people in general benefit from a systolic blood pressure of 120 mm Hg or less, older adults might fare better with a higher systolic pressure. But this latest study found that lower systolic pressure was best for seniors. "Lower blood pressure levels are safe and probably ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Lisinopril, Hypertension, Losartan, Benicar, Dementia, Diovan, Ramipril, Cozaar, Enalapril, Valsartan, Micardis, Benazepril, Avapro, Atacand, Irbesartan, Perindopril, Candesartan, Telmisartan, Mild Cognitive Impairment

'Confusion' Complicates Hospitalization of Elderly

Posted 19 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 18, 2017 – Older adults with confusion are more likely to remain in the hospital longer once they are admitted, and are more likely to die, a new study finds. "People with confusion – or cognitive spectrum disorders – make up over one-third of the population over 65 [in the U.K.] who are admitted as an emergency to the hospital, and half of patients over the age of 85 years," said the study's lead researcher, Prof. Emma Reynish. These patients seem to do badly, and are at an increased risk of a hospital stay nearly two weeks longer than those without confusion, said Reynish, chair of dementia studies at the University of Stirling in Scotland. "It's unclear whether this is as a result of the care that they are given or the disease process itself, or a combination of both," she said. Researchers looked at data from more than 10,000 emergency-admitted hospital patients, 65 ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Agitated State, Mild Cognitive Impairment, ICU Agitation, Drug-Induced Dementia, Alcoholic Dementia

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