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Aerobic Exercise May Help Guard Against Dementia

Posted 10 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 30, 2016 – Aerobic exercise may strengthen memory and thinking skills in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a small study suggests. People with mild cognitive impairment are at increased risk for Alzheimer's disease. The study included 16 people, average age 63, who did aerobic workouts such as on a treadmill, stationary bike or elliptical training. They worked out four times a week for six months. There was also a control group of 19 people, average age 67, who did stretching exercises four times a week for six months but no aerobic activity. All of the participants had mild cognitive impairment. After six months, brain scans revealed that those in the aerobic exercise group had greater increases in brain volume than those in the stretching group, the researchers said. Those in the exercise group also showed significant improvement in thinking and ... Read more

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

Brain Scans May Improve Dementia Diagnosis, Treatment

Posted 8 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 8, 2016 – Tens of millions of people worldwide suffer from memory loss and mental impairment due to dementia. While there's no cure, medication may temporarily improve some symptoms. Proper treatment, however, depends on identifying the type of dementia and early detection. A new study shows that MRI brain scans can help doctors tell which people with certain thinking and memory problems might go on to develop dementia with Lewy bodies rather than Alzheimer's disease. The researchers found that scans from people who eventually developed Lewy body dementia showed a lack of shrinkage in a portion of the brain related to memory, known as the hippocampus. "Identifying people with mild cognitive impairment at risk for dementia with Lewy bodies is critical for early interventions with the potential treatments emerging in the field," said study author Dr. Kejal Kantarci. She's a ... Read more

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

Study Links Disasters to Dementia

Posted 25 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 25, 2016 – Earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters may raise dementia risk for seniors forced to leave their homes, a new study suggests. "In the aftermath of disasters, most people focus on mental health issues like PTSD," said study author Hiroyuki Hikichi, a research fellow at Harvard University's School of Public Health, in Boston. "But our study suggests that cognitive decline is also an important issue," Hikichi said in a university news release. Relocation to a temporary shelter after a disaster may have the unintended effect of separating people not just from their homes but from their neighbors – and both may speed up mental decline among vulnerable people, Hikichi's team noted. Researchers looked at nearly 3,600 survivors of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. All were 65 and older. The rate of dementia in this group was 4.1 percent before the ... Read more

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

High Blood Pressure May Hike Dementia Risk

Posted 10 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 10, 2016 – High blood pressure, particularly in middle age, might open the door to dementia, the American Heart Association warns in a new scientific statement. Dementia affects some 30 million to 40 million people worldwide. That number is expected to triple by 2050, as the world's population ages and treatments remain elusive, the association noted. "People with high blood pressure tend to have more dementia," said statement author Dr. Costantino Iadecola. He is a professor of neurology and neuroscience at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. Whether controlling high blood pressure ("hypertension") reduces the odds of developing dementia, however, has not been scientifically proven, he said. "There are a lot of small observational studies that looked at people who were treated for blood pressure and, generally, there was an improvement in cognition [thinking ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Hypertensive Heart Disease, Lewy Body Dementia, Drug-Induced Dementia

Study Finds Fault With ICU Treatment of Dementia Patients

Posted 10 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 10, 2016 – A new study raises red flags about the use of ventilators among dementia patients in intensive care units. Researchers analyzed data from about 635,000 hospitalizations of U.S. nursing home patients with advanced dementia. Between 2000 and 2013, ventilator use among these patients, whose average age was 84, nearly doubled at the 2,600 hospitals studied. But more than 80 percent of the patients died within a year, the study found. The results suggest ventilators are being overused, leading to unnecessary patient suffering and higher health care costs, according to the authors of the study published Oct. 10 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. "These findings call for new efforts to ensure that the use of mechanical ventilation is consistent with patient's goals of care and their clinical condition," said corresponding author Dr. Joan Teno. She is a professor of ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Assisted Ventilation Therapy, Lewy Body Dementia, Drug-Induced Dementia

Fallout From 9/11 May Include Early Dementia

Posted 30 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 30, 2016 – The 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center continues to the ravage the minds of those who responded to the Twin Towers collapse, new research shows. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) experienced by many rescuers and other first responders now appears linked to mental decline and dementia, the study authors found. "People with PTSD, regardless from where they get it, are more likely to have cognitive impairment earlier," said lead researcher Sean Clouston, referring to memory and thinking abnormalities. About one-fifth of the World Trade Center responders developed PTSD, according to background notes with the study. "World Trade Center PTSD is associated with potential cognitive impairment, and cognitive impairment is a risk factor for dementia," said Clouston, an assistant professor of family population and preventive medicine at Stony Brook University in ... Read more

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

Even a Little Exercise May Help Stave Off Dementia

Posted 26 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 26, 2016 – Couch potatoes have a higher risk of developing dementia in old age, a new study reports. Seniors who get little to no exercise have a 50 percent greater risk of dementia compared with those who regularly take part in moderate or heavy amounts of physical activity, the researchers found. Moderate physical activity can include walking briskly, bicycling slower than 10 miles an hour, ballroom dancing or gardening, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "It doesn't require intensive physical activity to decrease risk of dementia," said senior researcher Dr. Zaldy Tan. He is medical director of the Alzheimer's and Dementia Care Program at University of California, Los Angeles. "Even moderate amounts are fine." Study participants aged 75 or older gained the most protective benefit from exercise against the onset of dementia, the findings ... Read more

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

Acupuncture May Slow Pre-Dementia Memory Loss: Study

Posted 5 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 4, 2016 – Acupuncture may benefit people who have memory loss, but don't yet have dementia, suggests a review by Chinese researchers of five earlier studies. Nothing has yet been proven to halt the progression to dementia in those who are destined to progress. But, acupuncture used alone or along with another treatment, such as the medication nimodipine, might help retain some memory function, the researchers said. But several doctors not involved with the review said it was too soon to say that acupuncture might be effective against dementia. For the study, Min Deng and Xu-Feng Wang, from Wuhan University in China, reviewed five previously published studies done in 2012 and 2013. The trials included nearly 600 people with mild cognitive impairment, a type of memory loss that's considered pre-dementia. About 5 percent to 10 percent of people with mild cognitive ... Read more

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

Deep Brain Stimulation Tested for Early Alzheimer's

Posted 28 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 28, 2016 – Deep brain stimulation appears safe for people with early Alzheimer's disease – and might even slow down memory loss in some, a preliminary study suggests. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is already used to treat some cases of Parkinson's disease and certain other brain-based disorders. It involves implanting electrodes in specific areas of the brain, then connecting them to a pulse generator placed under the skin of the chest. Once the generator is programmed, it delivers continual electrical pulses that alter the activity in specific brain "circuits." While it's far too early to know whether deep brain stimulation helps those with early Alzheimer's, the initial findings suggest the technique is worth further study, said lead researcher Dr. Andres Lozano. He is a neurosurgeon at Toronto Western Hospital, in Canada. In his small pilot study of people with early ... Read more

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

2 in 10 Alzheimer's Cases May Be Misdiagnosed

Posted 26 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 26, 2016 – Alzheimer's disease is often misdiagnosed, possibly causing undue stress for those who don't have the disease but are told they do, and delays in treatment for others, two new studies reveal. Although no cure or effective treatment for Alzheimer's disease exists, a correct diagnosis is essential because some drugs can delay its progress and help preserve quality of life for as long as possible. An early diagnosis also gives patients time to plan for their end-of-life care, experts say. "There are drugs that are beneficial for at least a short amount of time that can be given at a very early stage and possibly boost memory," said Dean Hartley, director of science initiatives, medical and scientific relations at the Alzheimer's Association. "Planning your care and finances is extremely important," he said. "With a correct diagnosis people can also be put into a ... Read more

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

Does Dementia Diagnosis Have Silver Lining for Some?

Posted 26 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 26, 2016 – Is it possible that a diagnosis as devastating as dementia could have some positive effects? Yes, a small study suggests. Researchers asked 48 people with early dementia or mild cognitive impairment to complete a questionnaire that measured their quality of life and personal outlook after getting their diagnosis. The "Silver Lining Questionnaire" was designed to measure how much patients believe their illness has a positive impact in areas such as: relationships, appreciation for life, positive influence on others, inner strength and life philosophy. The questionnaire has been used before with cancer patients. But, this was the first time it was used with dementia/mild cognitive impairment patients, the researchers said. "The overall assumption is that this diagnosis would have a uniformly negative impact on a patient's outlook on life, but we were surprised to ... Read more

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

'Managing' Elderly Patients Without Powerful Antipsychotics

Posted 26 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 25, 2016 – About 25 percent of dementia patients in U.S. nursing homes are still quieted with risky antipsychotic medications. Now, a small study suggests that managing these difficult patients, instead of medicating them, could obtain better results. "Drugs have a place, but should not be first-line treatments. They don't work well, and there are side effects," said study author Dr. Henry Brodaty, a professor of aging and mental health at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Antipsychotic drugs such as Risperdal (risperidone), Abilify (aripiprazole) and Seroquel (quetiapine) are approved to treat serious psychiatric conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. But in seniors, they're often used to calm aggressive or violent behavior linked to dementia. "They're basically a sedative," said Dean Hartley, director of science initiatives with the ... Read more

Related support groups: Bipolar Disorder, Seroquel, Abilify, Schizophrenia, Mania, Latuda, Zyprexa, Risperdal, Risperidone, Schizoaffective Disorder, Dementia, Geodon, Saphris, Quetiapine, Seroquel XR, Alzheimer's Disease, Olanzapine, Invega, Clozapine, Rexulti

Health Before a Stroke Is Big Predictor of Second Attack

Posted 15 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 14, 2016 – Stroke survivors who had high blood pressure or other heart risk factors before their stroke may be at greater risk for another stroke and dementia years later, a new Dutch study finds. "We already know that stroke patients have an increased risk of recurrent stroke and dementia," explained study senior author Dr. M. Arfan Ikram. "What we didn't know was whether this increased risk persists for a long time after stroke, and whether heart disease risk factors present before the first stroke influenced the risk of recurrent strokes or dementia," he added. "Our study found these risk factors influence future stroke and dementia, and the risks persist for an extended period in some patients," Ikram said in an American Heart Association news release. He's associate professor in the department of epidemiology, neurology and radiology at Erasmus University Medical ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Transient Ischemic Attack, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Intracranial Hemorrhage, Drug-Induced Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia

Why Some Seniors Don't Take Their Meds

Posted 1 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 30, 2016 – Anyone who's helped care for an aging loved one knows that managing their daily medications can be a challenge. Now, new research suggests that the problem of missed pills rises with age and failing memory, especially for men. The problem can have serious consequences, the study's lead author noted. "Health conditions may worsen or not improve if older adults skip or don't take their medications properly," said Brenda Jamerson, of the Center on Biobehavioral Health Disparities Research at Duke University, in Durham, N.C. "Serious side effects may also occur from taking medications at the wrong time or in the wrong dose," Jamerson said in a news release from the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, which published the findings earlier this month. The research involved more than 4,100 North Carolina residents aged 65 and older. All had health conditions ... Read more

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

Type of Disease May Dictate End-of-Life Care

Posted 27 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 27, 2016 – Patients who have cancer or dementia tend to receive more end-of-life care than those dying from other conditions, a new study of Veteran Affairs hospitals finds. The study also found that fewer cancer and dementia patients died in intensive care units, because these patients had more palliative care and end-of-life planning, such as do-not-resuscitate orders, than people with other serious illnesses. Those other illnesses included end-stage kidney disease, heart failure, lung disease or frailty, researchers said. "Historically, efforts to improve end-of-life care have focused on cancer and more recently on dementia," said lead researcher Dr. Melissa Wachterman. She is an assistant professor of medicine at the VA Boston Healthcare System and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston. "We really do need to expand efforts to improve care to other patients that haven't ... Read more

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

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