Alzheimers

New Study Looks at Caregiving and Twins

Posted on 02/4/2014 by | Caregiving | Comments

Bulletin Today | CaregivingDoes caregiving cause stress? Most research shows that it does — in spades.  But a small study on a limited sample suggests how family caregivers handle distress is influenced more by their genes and family history than by the difficulty of the caregiving role. Those are the findings of Peter Vitaliano, a professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Washington, and his colleagues after studying more than a thousand female twins, some of whom were caregivers. According to Vitaliano, how your parents …

Hard of Hearing? Your Brain May be Shrinking

Posted on 01/29/2014 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Brain Health | Bulletin TodayWe’ve known for several years that hearing loss is linked to dementia and decline in memory and thinking skills, but we don’t yet understand why they are connected. A new study from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore may provide an explanation: Older adults with hearing problems appear to have a greater rate of brain shrinkage as they age. Researchers used information from the ongoing Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging to study 126 adults ages 56 to 86 who had yearly MRI brain scans …

Simple test for Alzheimer’s? Get Out Pen and Paper

Posted on 01/22/2014 by | Personal Health and Well-being | Comments

Brain Health | Bulletin TodayCould a 15-minute test you take with pen and paper provide an early warning of Alzheimer’s or other cognitive problems? Researchers at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center say the simple 22-question test, called the Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination, or SAGE, can’t diagnose Alzheimer’s, but it can reveal cognitive impairments at an early, more treatable stage. (To take the test, click here to download.) These impairments “could be related to many conditions like medications, ministrokes, dementia or sleep apnea to …

Reducing the Stigma of Dementia Through Song

Posted on 01/6/2014 by | Caregiving | Comments

CaregivingHaving college students and older adults with Alzheimer’s sing together can change younger choir members’ perceptions of dementia and reduce social isolation in those with the disease and their family caregivers. These are the findings of a pilot study conducted last spring at the John Carroll University in Ohio. (The study will be published this April in the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias.) The dementia study is part of a worldwide effort to try to normalize the …

Vitamin E May Slow Alzheimer’s Progression

Posted on 01/3/2014 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Brain Health | Bulletin TodayWe haven’t discovered a cure for Alzheimer’s, or a drug that reverses the ravages of the disease, but researchers may have found a treatment to slow disease progression that’s simple, cheap and safe. Among more than 600 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, a daily high dose of vitamin E slowed the decline in the ability of patients to perform everyday tasks, such as dress or bathe independently, by about six months on average. And, perhaps more tellingly, those taking …

Why the Risk of Dementia May Be Declining

Posted on 12/5/2013 by | Caregiving | Comments

CaregivingExercise. Keep learning. Avoid obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Treat depression and cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol. Stay socially active. Retire later. Have an educated mother. That prescription may prevent or postpone dementia, according to an analysis, just published in the New England Journal of Medicine, of five studies from 2005 to 2013. Experts on aging have found that the risk of dementia for individuals seems to have gone down over the last 20 years, and …