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Nursing Home Program Offers Alternatives to Antipsychotic Drugs

Posted 3 days ago 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, Zyprexa, Risperidone, Risperdal, Dementia, Geodon, Quetiapine, Saphris, Seroquel XR, Alzheimer's Disease, Olanzapine, Invega, Rexulti, Clozapine, Aripiprazole, Clozaril, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Zyprexa Zydis

Could a Zap to the Brain Jog Failing Memory?

Posted 3 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 20, 2017 – Can a slight charge of electricity improve an ailing memory? Maybe, according to new research from the University of Pennsylvania. Timed correctly, deep brain stimulation can help people whose memory is lapsing. The treatment can restore the normal flow of "traffic patterns" in the brain, the study authors said. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a procedure that provides a mild electrical stimulation to certain areas of the brain. It is commonly used in people with Parkinson's disease. In DBS, a wire to deliver the stimulation is placed in the brain. The device that generates the charge is usually implanted underneath the collarbone, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. "Technology based on this type of stimulation could produce meaningful gains in memory performance," one of the study authors, Daniel Rizzuto, director of cognitive ... Read more

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

Stronger Muscles May Pump Up Kids' Memory Skills

Posted 4 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 19, 2017 – Here's yet another reason to make sure your kids are active: New research shows those with stronger muscles may have better working memory. Evaluating 79 children between the ages of 9 and 11, scientists said they found that muscle fitness was directly related to a more accurate memory. The results also reinforced established research linking kids' aerobic fitness to better thinking skills and academic performance. "There are multiple ways children can derive benefit from exercise ... to build healthy bodies as well as healthy minds," said study co-author Charles Hillman. He's a professor of psychology and health sciences at Northeastern University in Boston. "We know that kids are becoming increasingly inactive, overweight and unfit," Hillman added. "So, it's important to take studies like these ... to basically indicate the benefit of physical activity and ... Read more

Related support groups: Muscle Pain, Frozen Shoulder, Mild Cognitive Impairment

Could Young Blood Boost the Aging Brain?

Posted 4 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 19, 2017 – A new study hints that young blood may harbor clues to a "fountain of youth" for older brains. Researchers say blood from human umbilical cords appears to have helped reverse memory loss in aging mice. The findings suggest that something in young blood is important in maintaining mental acuity. No one, however, is saying that cord blood could be a magic bullet against Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia. For one, any effects seen in elderly rodents may fail to translate to humans. Instead, the findings might set the stage for new drugs that target the dementia process, said study lead author Joseph Castellano. He's an instructor in neurology at Stanford University School of Medicine. "Part of what makes this exciting is that it suggests there's more communication between the blood and brain than we've thought," Castellano said. The study builds on earlier ... Read more

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

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

Posted 6 days ago 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

Seniors' Brain Changes Could Make Them Vulnerable to Scams

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 13, 2017 – A pair of key differences in the brain may help distinguish which seniors are at risk of falling prey to financial scams, a small new study suggests. The first-of-its-kind study found a biological basis – rather than poor decision-making skills – underlying financial exploitation in the elderly. These findings might lead to a way to predict which seniors are susceptible to scams, the researchers said. Such scams affect about 5 percent of older adults after age 60, said study author Nathan Spreng. He's director of Cornell University's Laboratory of Brain and Cognition. "We suspect these are brain changes that occurred prior to [seniors] being exploited that rendered them vulnerable to exploitation... It could have been something that emerged as they were aging," Spreng said. "We think it's probably more of an age-related change to the brain," he added. "We ... Read more

Related support groups: Mild Cognitive Impairment, Diagnosis and Investigation, Head Imaging

Hockey Doesn't Seem to Hit Players' Thinking Skills: Study

Posted 10 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 13, 2017 – The pounding that professional hockey players take on the ice doesn't seem to damage their thinking skills in retirement, a small study suggests. But they do appear to struggle with high levels of behavioral and emotional problems, the researchers added. For the study, Carrie Esopenko of the Rotman Research Institute in Toronto, and colleagues looked at 33 retired pro players and a "control group" of 18 men of the same age who had not played professional contact sports. Compared to the men in the control group, the ex-players had similar scores on memory and attention tests, and slightly lower scores on measures of executive and intellectual functioning, the study findings showed. The scores on these tests were associated with the number of concussions the players had sustained. But the study did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship. Overall, there was ... Read more

Related support groups: Head Injury, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Head Injury with Intracranial Hemorrhage, Head Injury w/ Intracranial Hemorrhage and Loss of Consciousness

A Healthy Middle-Aged Heart May Protect Your Brain Later

Posted 12 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 11, 2017 – Healthy aging of the brain relies on the health of your heart and blood vessels when you're younger, a new study reports. People with risk factors for heart disease and stroke in middle age are more likely to have elevated levels of amyloid, a sticky protein known to clump together and form plaques in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease, the researchers said. MRI scans revealed larger deposits of amyloid in the brains of seniors who smoked, had high blood pressure, were obese, diabetic or had elevated cholesterol levels when they were middle-aged, said lead researcher Dr. Rebecca Gottesman. She's an assistant professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. All of these risk factors can affect the health of a person's blood vessels, otherwise known as vascular health, leading to hardening of the arteries and ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Hypertriglyceridemia, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Diabetes Mellitus, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Ischemic Heart Disease, Head Imaging

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

Posted 13 days ago 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, Diastat AcuDial, Valrelease, Diazepam Intensol

Drug Tied to Dementia Risk Overprescribed to Seniors: Study

Posted 31 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 30, 2017 – A drug linked to a raised risk of dementia is taken by millions of older Americans who have an overactive bladder, researchers say. More than one-quarter of patients with the urinary problem had been prescribed the drug oxybutynin (Ditropan), an international team of investigators found. Yet, "oxybutynin is a particularly poor drug for overactive bladder in elderly patients," said study lead author Dr. Daniel Pucheril, a urologist at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. Prior studies have linked the drug to thinking problems and increased risk of dementia in older people, possibly because of the way it affects brain chemicals, he said. "It's a great and effective drug for younger patients, but is a risky drug for older patients," Pucheril said. It boosts dementia risk even when not taken indefinitely, he said. Alternatives exist but they're more expensive and may ... Read more

Related support groups: Overactive Bladder, Dementia, Urinary Incontinence, Alzheimer's Disease, Oxybutynin, Ditropan, Oxytrol, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Gelnique, Ditropan XL, Urotrol, Anturol, Lewy Body Dementia

Vitamin E, Selenium Supplements Won't Curb Men's Dementia Risk

Posted 20 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 20, 2017 – A daily dose of vitamin E or selenium supplements won't keep dementia at bay in older men, new research reveals. "After an average of five years of supplementation, and up to 11 years of follow-up, we did not observe fewer new cases of dementia among men who took any of the supplements compared to neither supplement," said study co-author Frederick Schmitt. He's a professor with the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging and the department of neurology at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. "Based on these results, we do not recommend vitamin E or selenium supplements to prevent dementia at these doses," he added. Approximately 5 million American seniors are now living with Alzheimer's, the study authors noted. Selenium is an essential antioxidant, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). It's involved in promoting hormone metabolism, as well as ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Vitamin E, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Selenium, Aquasol E, Alpha E, Addamel N, Amino-Opti-E, Selenium TR, MTE-7, Pediatrace, Vita-Plus E Natural, Multitrace-5, Chromic Chloride Hexahydrate/Copper Sulfate/Manganese Sulfate/Selenium/Zinc Sulfate, E Pherol, E-Gems, Nutr-E-Sol, MTE-5, NeoQ10

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

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, Aricept ODT, Donepezil/memantine, Dementia with Depressive Features, Head Imaging

Annual Death Toll From Alzheimer's Nearly Doubles in 15 Years

Posted 7 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 7, 2017 – Alzheimer's disease claims nearly twice as many American lives annually as it did just 15 years ago, a new report shows. "And that's frankly alarming," said Keith Fargo, director of scientific programs and outreach at the Alzheimer's Association, which produced the report. "Now, a lot of people will think it's because we're living longer," he added. "And there is some truth to that. But there's also an assumption that we should just expect to get Alzheimer's disease as we get older. And that's not true. "Most people do not get Alzheimer's, even if they live into their 80s or 90s. It's not normal. It's not something that we should accept. We've definitely got to do something about it," Fargo said. The report also found that more than 5 million American seniors aged 65 and older now live with the memory-robbing disease. That represents approximately 10 percent of ... Read more

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

For Stroke Survivors, Exercise Is Good for the Brain: Review

Posted 23 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 22, 2017 – A structured exercise program can help stroke survivors recover not only physically but mentally as well, a new review says. The analysis of 13 clinical trials found that exercise therapy was generally good for stroke patients' "cognition." Cognition refers to vital mental processes such as thinking, learning, understanding and remembering. A stroke, which cuts off blood flow to the brain, can impair those abilities. The findings bolster what experts have long believed: Exercise can aid stroke recovery in multiple ways. "This isn't new," said Daniel Lackland, a spokesman for the American Stroke Association who was not involved in the research. "We've known that exercise is good after a stroke." But, he said, the findings offer more clarity on exactly what works. They suggest, for example, that a combination of moderate aerobic exercise and training in ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Transient Ischemic Attack, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Diagnosis and Investigation, Intracranial Hemorrhage

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