Robin Williams’ Suicide Triggered by Type of Dementia?

A gossip website has attributed actor Robin Williams’ suicide to Lewy body dementia, a devastating disease that affects an estimated 1.4 million Americans, most of them men over age 60. Sources told TMZ that Williams’ doctors agree that the dementia was a “key factor” that drove him to suicide, though neither the diagnosis nor the doctors’ statements have been confirmed. >> Famous People We’ve Lost in 2014 Lewy body dementia is the second or third most common type of progressive dementia, according …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. For $50,000, the Dallas Zoo will sell you naming rights for a baby giraffe. (Learn more at CBS DFW) 2. More than $2 billion in lottery prizes went unclaimed in 2013. (Learn more at Yahoo! Finance) 3. Some male hummingbirds use their sharp, curved beaks to stab rivals’ throats. (Learn more at University of Connecticut) >>  Best Small Towns in America 4. Carlos Santana became a guitarist because his first instrument, the violin, sounded like an “alley …

Lost in My Memory System

I was absolutely certain we were in the right neighborhood, on the right street, in the right city of the right county and in the right solar system, but I was wrong. It is difficult for me to admit that because it is a confession that will haunt me for the remainder of my wretched life. It was the right area on the right planet, all right, but the street we had been looking for during the past hour and …

Elder Financial Fraud Just Keeps Getting Worse

A new survey is bringing renewed attention to the hideous crime of elder financial fraud — and the results show just how underreported it is. In a survey of 2,000 people, only 5 percent of people age 65 and up admitted to being swindled. Yet 19 percent of younger respondents (ages 40 to 64) said they knew of a family member or friend who’d been a victim of elder financial fraud, according to the survey by the Minneapolis-based life insurance …

When the World Disappears

A few years ago, I wrote about a lawyer in his 40s who was in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. We met for lunch at an oceanside restaurant  and watched a restless surge of waves breaking in eternal conversation with the man about to lose his history. “It’s all fading away,” he said to me. And indeed it was. Names and faces were vanishing in what he described as a blue mist that was ever deepening around him, allowing …

MRI Scans Could Detect Alzheimer’s Early

An MRI scan can detect signs of cognitive decline in the brain before symptoms of memory loss appear, according to a new study published in the online journal Radiology. This new use of a well-known technique has the potential to be used in the very early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers in Switzerland gave MRI brain scans to 148 healthy older men and women — average age, 76 — as well as 65 people with mild cognitive impairment. The researchers then …