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High, Low Levels of Magnesium Linked to Dementia Risk

Posted 2 days 15 hours ago 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 11 days ago 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, Colorectal Cancer, Lung Cancer, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Solid Tumors, Lewy Body Dementia

Heath Tip: Myths About the Aging Brain

Posted 12 days ago 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

Remember This: A Healthy Body Keeps the Mind Sharp, Too

Posted 16 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 7, 2017 – Want to stay sharp as you age? A healthy lifestyle can help, according to a new American Heart Association/American Stroke Association advisory. In many people, blood vessels become narrowed or blocked over time. This is called atherosclerosis. And this condition increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. But a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. Collected data "convincingly demonstrates that the same risk factors that cause atherosclerosis are also major contributors to late-life cognitive [mental] impairment and Alzheimer's disease," advisory writing group chair Dr. Philip Gorelick said in an association news release. "By following seven simple steps – Life's Simple 7 – not only can we prevent heart attack and stroke, we may also be able to prevent cognitive impairment," he said. Gorelick is a vascular neurologist at Mercy Health ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Is Dementia Declining Among Older Americans?

Posted 18 days ago 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

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

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, Valsartan, Micardis, Enalapril, 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, Alcoholic Dementia, Drug-Induced Dementia

Powerful New Cholesterol Med Won't Harm Memory, Easing Concerns

Posted 17 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 16, 2017 – Despite some early concerns, a new study suggests the powerful cholesterol drugs known as PCSK9 inhibitors may not cause memory problems or other mental symptoms. The drugs, which include evolocumab (Repatha) and alirocumab (Praluent), were approved in the United States in 2015. That came after trials showed they can dramatically slash LDL cholesterol (the "bad" kind), including in people with a genetic condition that often causes premature heart disease. But early findings also hinted at a potential side effect: cognitive problems such as memory lapses and confusion. The risk was small, though, and it was not clear whether the drugs were actually causing the problems. Enter the new study. It's the first to actually follow PCSK9 patients over time, looking for new memory problems or other cognitive issues, said lead researcher Dr. Robert Giugliano. The study ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Pravachol, Livalo, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Red Yeast Rice, Repatha, Praluent, Lescol, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Lescol XL

Low Blood Sugar in Newborns Tied to Brain Problems Later

Posted 8 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 8, 2017 – Low blood sugar affects about one in six newborns, and new research suggests it could lead to brain difficulties in childhood. Babies who experience low blood sugar at or near birth are at least two to three times more likely to face problems with planning, memory, attention, problem-solving and visual-motor coordination by the age of 4.5, New Zealand researchers said. The low blood sugar (glucose) did not affect general thinking function or IQ, but it did affect problem-solving and other skills known as "executive functioning," and also eye-hand coordination, the findings showed. These are crucial for many tasks, said study leader Chris McKinlay. He is a neonatologist at the Liggins Institute at the University of Auckland. "We don't know fully what this means for learning," McKinlay said. "We think this may have an effect on educational achievement." Low blood ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Diabetes, Type 1, Hypoglycemia, Delivery, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Diabetes Mellitus, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance, Gestational Diabetes, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Can Video Game Playing Cost You Gray Matter?

Posted 8 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 7 2017 – A new study suggests – but doesn't prove – that certain players of action video games may lose gray matter in a part of the brain that's linked to mental illness. On the other hand, the Canadian study suggests, other players may actually benefit from the games. And a psychologist not involved with the study said there's no evidence that video games are harmful to the brain. The results indicate that the reported benefits of playing shooting-style video games – such as improved attention and short-term memory – "might come at a cost" in terms of lost brain matter in some players, said the study's lead author, Gregory West. He is an assistant professor with the department of psychology at the University of Montreal. The difference may be the style of playing, the researchers noted. The new study aimed to better understand the brain effects of so-called ... Read more

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

Blood Pressure Fluctuations Tied to Dementia Risk in Study

Posted 7 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 7, 2017 – If your blood pressure varies from day-to-day, you may be at higher risk for dementia or Alzheimer's disease, new research from Japan suggests. People whose systolic blood pressure (the top reading) fluctuated from day-to-day were more than twice as likely to develop any type of dementia or Alzheimer's disease compared to those with more stable day-to-day blood pressure, the researchers found. And the study – which was based on home-monitorings – also reported that the participants were nearly three times more likely to develop vascular dementia, caused by hardening of the arteries. "Our main findings suggest that increased day-to-day blood pressure variability, independent of average home blood pressure, is a significant risk factor for the development of all-cause dementia, vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease in the general elderly Japanese population," ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Ischemic Stroke, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Hypertensive Congestive Heart Failure, Hypertensive Heart Disease, Lewy Body Dementia, Alcoholic Dementia

Midlife Behaviors May Affect Your Dementia Risk

Posted 7 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 7, 2017 – Your heart health in midlife may determine your risk of developing dementia in old age, a new 25-year study suggests. Middle-aged folks who smoke or have diabetes or high blood pressure are more likely to have dementia as they grow older, said lead researcher Dr. Rebecca Gottesman. "All of those risk factors were associated with increased risk of dementia overall in this study," said Gottesman, a professor of neurology with Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Moreover, the dementia risk associated with diabetes is nearly as high as the risk that comes from carrying the APOE-e4 gene, a known genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, Gottesman said. The investigators tracked nearly 15,800 participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. This is a U.S. National Institutes of Health-funded project designed to track the effect of hardened ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Type 2, Hypertension, Smoking, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Insulin Resistance, Pre-Diabetes, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Diabetes Mellitus, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance

Study Links Moderate Drinking to Reduced Risk of Dementia

Posted 6 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, Aug. 6, 2017 – Moderate drinking may be associated with a reduced risk of dementia in seniors, a new study suggests. But the study authors stressed that the findings shouldn't be interpreted as a signal to drink freely. The study only found an association between some alcohol consumption and mental sharpness, not a cause-and-effect link. Researchers followed more than 1,300 adults from 1984 to 2013. They lived in a white-collar, middle- to upper-middle-class suburb in San Diego County, California. Most were white with at least some college education. Their thinking and memory (cognitive) skills were assessed every four years. Among men and women 85 and older, those who drank moderate amounts of alcohol five to seven days a week were twice as likely to show no signs of dementia than non-drinkers, according to the study in the August issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Alcohol Dependence, Alcoholism, Hangover, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, Alcoholic Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia, Dementia with Depressive Features

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