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America's Dementia Caregivers Cite Stresses, Rewards

Posted 25 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25, 2017 – It's tough, often thankless work done by millions of Americans every day. And people who tend to a loved one with dementia say they're often overburdened, but the task has its rewards, too. Those are just some of the findings from a new University of Michigan survey, the National Poll on Healthy Aging, which tallied the experiences of dementia caregivers. About 5.5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer's disease, according to the Alzheimer's Association. It estimates that the bulk of their care – 83 percent – falls on unpaid family members. Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia. It's no secret that family caregivers face heavy demands. However, the new survey turned up some surprises, said Erica Solway, of the University of Michigan's Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation. A striking finding, she said, was that 45 percent ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Dementia with Depressive Features, Drug-Induced Dementia

Dance Your Way to a Healthier Aging Brain

Posted 13 Oct 2017 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, Lewy Body Dementia, Drug-Induced Dementia

Failing Sense of Smell Tied to Dementia Risk

Posted 29 Sep 2017 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, Lewy Body Dementia, Dementia with Depressive Features, Alcoholic Dementia, Drug-Induced Dementia

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, Lewy Body Dementia, Dementia with Depressive Features, Alcoholic Dementia, Drug-Induced Dementia

'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

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, Lewy Body Dementia, Dementia with Depressive Features, Arteriosclerotic Dementia w/ Depressive Features, Drug-Induced Dementia

A Healthy Diet May Help Ward Off Dementia

Posted 17 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 17, 2017 – Eating right may help protect your brain health in old age, a group of new studies show, according to four new studies. In particular, the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet lowered people's risk of dementia, two studies concluded. The MIND diet is a hybrid of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets, both of which were originally designed to help improve heart health. Seniors who carefully followed the MIND diet had a 35 percent lower risk of declining brain function as they aged. Even people who halfheartedly adhered to a MIND diet reduced their risk of brain decline between 18 to 24 percent. "We've always been saying that a healthy heart is a healthy brain," said Dean Hartley, director of science initiatives for the Alzheimer's Association. "Your brain uses 20 percent of your ... Read more

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

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, Lewy Body Dementia, Dementia with Depressive Features, Drug-Induced Dementia

Persistent Pain May Lead to Memory Troubles

Posted 6 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 6, 2017 – Pain that continues, day in and day out, may trigger an unexpected and unwanted side effect – a bigger risk of mental decline and dementia, a new study suggests. The findings suggest that chronic pain may be related to changes in the brain that contribute to memory problems. The findings may also point to new ways to protect age-related mental decline, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) researchers said. However, it's important to note that the study wasn't designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship. It can only show an association between pain and memory issues. The study included information on more than 10,000 people. All of the study participants were 60 and older. Those who had moderate or severe chronic pain in both 1998 and 2000 had more than a 9 percent faster decline on memory tests over the next 10 years than those who didn't ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Tramadol, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Chronic Pain, Codeine, Lortab, Neuralgia, Ibuprofen, Opana, Naproxen

'Making the Best of It': Families Face the Heavy Burden of Alzheimer's

Posted 2 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 1, 2017 – For Marilyn and Tom Oestreicher, their golden years were within reach. After more than four decades of marriage, the Illinois couple had fashioned a comfortable daily routine. The parents of two grown children, she was a bank teller, while he was a school teacher and a published Civil War scholar. But in 2013, Tom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's at the age of 65. And all of their plans were thrown into disarray. "It's certainly not how we saw the end of our journey," admits Marilyn. "My grandma died at 93 with dementia. And my mom has it now at 93. But it's a whole different ballgame when it's your spouse. You just have to go forward and do what you can do." For Marilyn, that meant coming to terms with her new and often daunting role as the caregiver for a loved one struck by progressive dementia. She has plenty of company. "When you look at Alzheimer's ... Read more

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

Mid-Life Exercise Could Jog Your Memory

Posted 25 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 24, 2017 – Can a new exercise regimen boost your brain health if you're over 50? Possibly, suggests a new research review that found middle-age folks can improve their thinking and memory skills by adopting regular moderate-to-vigorous routines involving aerobic and resistance exercise. "When we combined the available data from [39 previous] studies, we were able to show that undertaking physical exercise was able to improve the brain function of people aged 50 and over," said study lead author Joseph Northey. He's a doctoral candidate and teaching fellow at the University of Canberra Research Institute for Sport and Exercise in Australia. The review included 18 studies that looked at the impact of aerobic exercise – such as walking, running and swimming – on thinking, alertness, information processing, executing goals and memory skills. Resistance training, such as ... Read more

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

Nursing Home Program Offers Alternatives to Antipsychotic Drugs

Posted 20 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 20, 2017 – Hoping to cut the use of antipsychotic drugs in nursing home residents, researchers tried training staff on new ways to meet the needs of residents with dementia. Although antipsychotics are often given to people with dementia, the drugs are only minimally effective at controlling behavioral problems and have been shown to increase the chances for stroke and death, the researchers said. "This intervention focused on treating the residents as human beings with needs, not as patients with problems," said lead author Dr. Jennifer Tjia. The new study included 93 nursing homes in Massachusetts. Staff – including nurses, nursing assistants, dietary staff and receptionists – were trained to recognize that difficult behavior by residents with dementia is a sign that they have unmet needs. The program, called OASIS, provides employees with the knowledge, skills and ... Read more

Related support groups: Seroquel, Abilify, Latuda, Risperidone, Zyprexa, Dementia, Quetiapine, Risperdal, Geodon, Saphris, Seroquel XR, Alzheimer's Disease, Olanzapine, Rexulti, Invega, Clozapine, Aripiprazole, Clozaril, Vraylar, Mild Cognitive Impairment

Xanax, Valium May Boost Pneumonia Risk in Alzheimer's Patients

Posted 10 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 10, 2017 – Alzheimer's patients given sedatives such as Valium or Xanax may have an increased risk for pneumonia, a new study warns. People with Alzheimer's disease are often given these drugs, called benzodiazepines, over the long term, the researchers said. Examples of benzodiazepines include alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), and lorazepam (Ativan). "An increased risk of pneumonia is an important finding to consider in treatment of patients with Alzheimer disease. Pneumonia often leads to admission to hospital, and patients with dementia are at increased risk of death related to pneumonia," Dr. Heidi Taipale, of Kuopio Research Center of Geriatric Care at the University of Eastern Finland, and co-authors wrote. For the study, the researchers reviewed data from nearly 50,000 Alzheimer's patients in Finland. The patients' average age was 80 and ... Read more

Related support groups: Xanax, Klonopin, Clonazepam, Ativan, Valium, Lorazepam, Alprazolam, Diazepam, Pneumonia, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Xanax XR, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Klonopin Wafer, Alprazolam Intensol, Niravam, Diastat, Valrelease, Lewy Body Dementia, Lorazepam Intensol

Dizzy Spells in Middle-Age Tied to Dementia Risk Later

Posted 10 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 10, 2017 – Middle-aged adults who get dizzy when they stand due to a temporary drop in blood pressure may be at increased risk for dementia when they're older, new research suggests. These episodes of sudden low blood pressure – called orthostatic hypotension – may leave lasting damage due to reduced blood flow to the brain, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. For the study, the investigators analyzed data from more than 11,500 adults, average age 54, who were followed for 20 or more years. People with orthostatic hypotension at the outset were 40 percent more likely to develop dementia than others. They also had a 15 percent increased risk of cognitive (mental) decline, the findings showed. However, the study could not prove a cause-and-effect relationship. "Even though these episodes are fleeting, they may have impacts that ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia, Drug-Induced Dementia

Is Need for More Sleep a Sign of Pending Dementia?

Posted 23 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 22, 2017 – Seniors who begin sleeping more than nine hours a night may face a higher risk of dementia down the road, a new study suggests. The researchers estimated that the risk of dementia grew by almost 2.5 times for those who found themselves recently needing extra sleep. The chances of dementia rose sixfold for people without a high school degree who suddenly needed to sleep nine hours or more, the study contended. The study authors said this finding hinted that education might somehow offer a bit of protection from dementia. People with dementia often suffer from disrupted sleep, "but we don't know much about whether these changes come first," said study co-author Matthew Pase. He's a neurology fellow at the Boston University School of Medicine. Dementia "is by no means a certain fate" in those who find themselves sleeping longer as they age, Pase said. The new ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Sleep Apnea, Drowsiness, Hypersomnia, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome, Diagnosis and Investigation, Shift Work Sleep Disorder, Lewy Body Dementia, Drug-Induced Dementia

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