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, …

New Alzheimer’s Movie Inspires and Entertains

It’s hard to imagine that a movie about Alzheimer’s could be realistic and uplifting, but A Short History of Decay, by first-time writer/director Michael Maren, manages both.  This indy film, arriving in theaters today, explores the ripple effect of the disease on the sufferer’s partner, grown children and friends, all the while encouraging viewers to empathize, laugh and cry. In the end, this is a movie not so much about a devastating illness that affects memory, thinking and behavior, but …

Sleep Disorder Linked to Brain Disease

Thrashing about while you’re asleep may be a sign of something more troubling than mere restlessness: It could be a predictor of brain disease. A new study suggests that 80 to 90 percent of people who suffer from rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder will eventually develop Parkinson’s or another brain disease. What’s REM sleep behavior disorder? It’s a condition that causes people to act out vivid, intense, even violent dreams. People who have it often yell, punch and kick …

She Was His North Star

His shoulders slump and his head bows as if his very life force has been suddenly drawn out of him. His face reflects the pain and confusion that his mind and heart are toiling with, struggling to grasp a wisp of reality and understand that the impossible has indeed happened. “I just can’t believe it; I can’t fathom it,” he says. “Are you telling me the truth? She’s not available anymore?” This happens every time my dad asks about my …