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Health Tip: Exercise Your Brain Every Day

Posted 7 hours ago by Drugs.com

-- Challenging your brain helps keep you sharp and preserve memory as you age. So just as you exercise your body, take time to exercise your brain. The American Academy of Family Physicians reminds seniors to: Play online games designed to sharpen memory. Play board games and puzzles, such as crosswords and Sudoku. Memorize to-do lists, or write down and memorize lyrics to a new song. Draw maps of routes you take regularly. Read a book. Do daily activities in a new way, such as stirring coffee with the less-dominant hand. Learn a new language, hobby or musical instrument. Take classes that challenge you. Read more

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

Alzheimer's Deaths Jump 55 Percent: CDC

Posted 1 day 6 hours ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 25, 2017 – As more baby boomers age, deaths from Alzheimer's disease have jumped 55 percent, and in a quarter of those cases the heavy burden of caregiving has fallen on loved ones, U.S. health officials report. "Alzheimer's disease is a public health problem that affects not only people with Alzheimer's disease, but also the people who provide care to them, which is often family members," said report author Christopher Taylor. He's an epidemiologist at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. The number of Americans over 65 is growing rapidly, and age is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, Taylor noted. One Alzheimer's expert described the news as dire. "This is an enormous problem that is only growing, it's only going to get worse – we are staring at a tsunami of Alzheimer's disease," said Keith Fargo, director of ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Lewy Body Dementia, Alcoholic Dementia

Study Looks at Parkinson's Effect on Life Span

Posted 11 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 15, 2017 – People with brain diseases such as Parkinson's and dementia with Lewy bodies die about two years earlier compared with people who don't have these conditions, a new study suggests. The report provides new clues about the survival of patients with degenerative brain diseases, researchers at the Mayo Clinic said. "Our results may be helpful to guide clinicians counseling patients and caregivers," Dr. Rodolfo Savica and colleagues wrote in the report published May 15 in JAMA Neurology. The study initially looked at all residents of Minnesota's Olmsted County. The investigators then compared survival rates between 461 people with certain degenerative brain diseases and 452 healthy people in the general population. The study participants with degenerative brain diseases were diagnosed between 1991 and 2010. Just over 300 had Parkinson's disease; 55 had Parkinson's ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Parkinsonian Tremor, Parkinsonism, Lewy Body Dementia, Parkinson's Disease Psychosis

Blood Thinners May Prevent Dementia in Atrial Fibrillation Patients

Posted 12 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, May 12, 2017 – Blood thinners are often prescribed to prevent strokes in people with the abnormal heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation. But a new study suggests these drugs may also help keep dementia at bay. The researchers said that the key is to start blood thinners, such as warfarin, soon after atrial fibrillation is diagnosed. That's true even for people at low risk of a stroke who wouldn't normally be given blood thinners. "We found that people who are on warfarin – the most common blood thinner used to prevent stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation – experienced very low rates of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease," said lead researcher Dr. T. Jared Bunch. He's director of heart rhythm research at Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Murray, Utah. Atrial fibrillation is a common heart abnormality that affects nearly 3 million American adults. ... Read more

Related support groups: Aspirin, Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Ischemic Stroke, Xarelto, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Eliquis, Excedrin, Transient Ischemic Attack, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Aggrenox, Alka-Seltzer, Fiorinal, Rivaroxaban, Excedrin Migraine, Arthritis Pain, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Ecotrin

Thin People Not More Prone to Alzheimer's, Study Finds

Posted 17 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 9, 2017 – A study of nearly 100,000 people overturns the notion that being thin somehow raises a person's odds for Alzheimer's disease. Instead, the Danish research suggests, people with early stage Alzheimer's disease can have less appetite and lose weight. So, it's the illness that may be causing the thinness, not the other way around. "Although prior studies found an association between Alzheimer's disease and [being thin], the new findings suggest this is not a causal relationship," study senior author Dr. Ruth Frikke-Schmidt said in a news release from Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Her team published its findings in the journal on May 9. According to the researchers, there's long been uncertainty over any link between a person's BMI – a measure of weight combined with height – and their risk of Alzheimer's disease. To help settle the issue, the ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment

Wives, Daughters Shoulder Most of Alzheimer's Care Burden

Posted 17 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 9, 2017 – When it comes to the daily care of Americans with dementia, most of the responsibility is still falling on family members, according to a new report. And women handle the lion's share of that responsibility, said Nicholas Bott, a postdoctoral research fellow at Stanford University, in California. That's not news, Bott pointed out: It's well-known that family members provide most of the care for dementia patients in the United States – 83 percent, by Alzheimer's Association estimates. But Bott said he and his colleagues wanted to shine a light on the issue, with an editorial published online May 8 in JAMA Neurology. "One of the challenges in this country is that we have not adequately appreciated the full social impact of dementia," Bott said. "It's not just the patient who is diagnosed with dementia – it's the family." The number of Americans with dementia is ... Read more

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

Seniors Often Have Trouble Managing Money, Medicines

Posted 28 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 28, 2017 – Have you ever wondered when it might be time to step in and help your aging parents manage their finances? Or, their ever-growing list of prescription medications? Researchers from the Netherlands did, and found that the vast majority of seniors over age 85 needed help with finances. And many also said they needed help managing their drugs. But even younger seniors may need assistance. About one in 10 seniors aged 65 to 69 said they needed help managing medications, and nearly one-quarter reported needing help managing money. The true incidence of these problems is likely even higher, experts in geriatrics said, considering the study's reliance on self-reported responses. "I think geriatricians and geriatric psychiatrists are very aware that age is an important risk factor for developing greater difficulty managing medications or making financial decisions," ... Read more

Related support groups: Mild Cognitive Impairment

'Brain Age' May Help Predict When You'll Die

Posted 27 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 27, 2017 – When the brain ages faster than normal, people are at heightened risk for brain disease and impairment, as well as early death, a new British study suggests. The study authors said the finding may introduce a way to use imaging of the brain as a biomarker – a way to measure a biological condition or process. "Such biomarkers could potentially identify those at risk of age-associated health problems years before symptoms appear, and be used as outcome measures in trials of therapeutics aimed at delaying the onset of age-related disease," said study lead author James Cole, from Imperial College London. The researchers conducted brain scans of almost 700 adults in Scotland who were all born in 1936. Those whose brains appeared older on imaging scans than their chronological age tended to have weaker grips, poorer lung function, slower walking speed and more ... Read more

Related support groups: Mild Cognitive Impairment, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital

Science Uncovers a True Meeting of the Minds

Posted 27 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 27, 2017 – Students' brainwaves sync up and show similar patterns when they pay attention in class, according to a new study. Researchers used portable devices to simultaneously record brain activity of a class of high school students as they did regular classroom activities. The study spanned a full semester. "We found that students' brainwaves were more in sync with each other when they were more engaged during class," said co-lead author Suzanne Dikker, a research scientist at New York University and Utrecht University in the Netherlands. "Brain-to-brain synchrony also reflected how much students liked the teacher and how much they liked each other. Brain synchrony was also affected by face-to-face social interaction and students' personalities. We think that all these effects can be explained by shared attention mechanisms during dynamic group interactions," she ... Read more

Related support groups: Mild Cognitive Impairment, Diagnosis and Investigation

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, Zyprexa, Risperidone, Risperdal, Dementia, Quetiapine, Geodon, Saphris, Seroquel XR, Alzheimer's Disease, Olanzapine, Invega, Rexulti, Clozapine, Aripiprazole, Clozaril, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Fanapt

Could a Zap to the Brain Jog Failing Memory?

Posted 20 Apr 2017 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 20 Apr 2017 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 19 Apr 2017 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 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

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