Sweet Dreams for Grandma Marty

I began hearing the dog’s squeaky bark after a few days of being transferred from West Hills Hospital to the nearby Topanga Terrace complex for physical therapy. I was to undergo a healing program after a bout with pneumonia and other potentially fatal problems. It was a faint yap that emerged out of the dim shadows down the hall at about 2 in the otherwise muted sounds of a quiet morning.  The slightest noise awakens me, especially unexpected disturbances, and …

New Test Could Predict Whether Memory Problems Will Become Alzheimer’s

A blood test that can predict whether someone with memory problems will develop Alzheimer’s disease may be available in as little as two years, British researchers announced today. By analyzing more than 1,000 patients – and performing MRI brain scans on 467 – researchers at King’s College in London discovered a combination of 10 proteins that seem to predict with 87 percent accuracy whether people with mild cognitive impairment will develop full-blown Alzheimer’s within a year. Because the research, which was published in …

IPod + Alzheimer’s = Miracle! (Plus More New Documentaries)

  Alive Inside (Theaters, July 18) Can music do more to help Alzheimer’s patients than any medication? Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit Music & Memory, makes his case for the affirmative in this deeply moving film in which  patients-some of them unresponsive for years-flicker to life (and sometimes explode into song) the moment they hear music from their past. You’ll rush from the theater to buy an iPod for someone you know.     Life Itself (Theaters, July 4) …

Diabetes, Alzheimer’s Top 2 Areas for Drug Research

Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and heart disease top the list for the most new drugs in development to treat the common chronic diseases of older Americans, according to a new drug- industry report. The report, by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), an industry trade association, says 435 medicines that primarily target seniors are currently either in clinical trials or under review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). >> Get travel discounts with your AARP Member Advantages. Diabetes …

Restaurateur B. Smith Reveals She Has Alzheimer’s

Former model and restaurateur Barbara Smith, better known to her fans as B. Smith, has revealed that she has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Smith, 64, has been called “the black Martha Stewart” because of her wide range of home-decor, restaurant and lifestyle enterprises . In 1976 she became one of the first African American models on the cover of Mademoiselle magazine. Ten years later, she opened the first of three B. Smith restaurants: two in New York and one, which …

Enticing Dad to Eat When Alzheimer’s Interferes

When I was a kid, my sisters and I used to call Dad the “human garbage disposal” because he was happy to finish off anything we had left on our plates. He’s always had a healthy appetite, but since my mom died seven months ago, Alzheimer’s disease has begun to erode many aspects of Dad’s daily functioning, including his hunger and enjoyment of food. When Dad refuses ice cream, true panic fills my heart. If he doesn’t want his favorites, …