Tips, news bites, product reviews, and people in the news for professional and family caregivers who want to keep up with the world of dementia care. This is a companion blog to www.dementiatoolbox.com, a product line which provides education to caregivers while supporting dementia and caregiving causes worldwide.
There is constant research going on both ways to prevent Alzheimer's disease or dementia and methods to test for it. Updates on research on blood tests and genes were sent to me that I thought I'd pass along.
Knowing that quilts warm and nurture the body and soul, a related group to the ADCS called The Alzheimer's Study Quilt Project, began collecting lap sized quilts to donate to the volunteers with cognitive impairments who participate in the Alzheimer's disease trials. The project started in January 2010 and plans to continue indefinitely.
If you quilt or know a quilter who would like to donate a quilt to the project, here are the guidelines for the quilts:
must be new
lap size: 40" wide x 45-50" long
100% cotton or flannel materials
any color or theme
Quilts should be mailed to:
Jeffree Itrich Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study University of California San Diego 8950 Villa La Jolla Dr, Ste C-227 La Jolla, CA 92037-1712
The Alzheimer's Association has recently launched a free service called TrialMatch that will provide those with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias a way to connect confidentially with all the clinical trials that are in progress or planned. In addition, the service will have a matching tool to allow participants to find trials that best fit their needs.
Once in a while, we have a guest blogger who shares a different viewpoint. Today, Alexis Bonari, one of our readers, put together this post on environmental factors that you should be aware of in dementia prevention. Read on.....
A new series of studies are highlighting evidence that caffeine consumption my help slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.
I'm sure many of you caregivers, like me, who are coffee addicts, welcome news such as this. For years, most of us have loved the taste of coffee and loved its ability to keep us alert through rough days of caregiving. To hear that moderate consumption of coffee may help slow the advancement of these two diseases is great news indeed.
The researchers suggest that caffeine may be responsible for the helping to reduce the production of amyloid-beta proteins which can impair nerve signals in the brain.
To read more about the studies which appear in a special section of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, visit the Journal's homepage at www.j-alz.com and click on "Therapeutic Opportunities for Caffeine..."
Now I've heard everything. The dreaded cell phones that were supposed to be causing everything from cancer to Alzheimer's disease have suddenly been exonerated. A new study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's disease are predicting that the electromagnetic waves in cell phone use may one day be a non-pharmaceutical alternative treatment to Alzheimer's disease.
As you may have guessed, the announcement of this research is just not sitting well with everyone since it goes contrary to our thinking for years. We, the general public, had been warned repeatedly of all the dangers of cell phone use. Now, we have not just a reversal of that but we have to accept that the cell phones will help us? I don't know about you, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around this one.
Now, in fairness to the Journal of Alzheimer's disease, who published this study in their January 7th edition, the neuroscientists, electrical engineers and neurologists who conducted the studies state that they were "surprised" to find out that long periods of cell phone exposure may actually increase the memory of mice who did not have dementia. They are not clear how this actually may work and if it may even work in humans at all but it is another glimmer of hope for dementia caregivers.
A study in the journal called Neurology reported that playing many of our favorite cognitive activities such as games and puzzles could help us slow down the onset of dementia.
We've discussed this type of research before but I love any research that gives us something we can do NOW to possible prevent dementia. Most of us are in the midst of handling dementia now so this proactive view is always good to hear.
The study centered on a large group of elderly persons and looked at how frequently they participated in these 6 activities:
reading magazines, books or newspapers
doing crossword puzzles
playing board games
having group discussions
What they found supports other studies that we have seen over the last few years: keeping active with cognitively stimulating tasks such as the ones above, may help delay the signs of memory loss. The study focused on both the number of activities the participants did as well as the frequency.
The study is called, "Cognitive Activities Delay Onset of Memory Decline in Persons Who Develop Dementia" and a summary can be found in the Neurology archives.
A recent study published in the journal, Neurology,suggests that infections pose a new concern for persons with Alzheimer's disease.
The study was conducted by a group of scientists from a number of academic settings in the UK. In conducting cognitive testing and blood sampling on 300 community members who had mild to severe Alzheimer's disease, they discovered that those subjects who had "systemic inflammatory events" (mild or moderate infections) showed a greater increase in cognitive decline that those who did not have infections.
According to their findings, inflammations of the body produce a particular factor which appears to be associated with more cognitive loss. This has a great impact on dementia caregivers who try so hard to keep their loved ones infection-free. Obviously, any vaccinations that are recommended should be done quickly and dementia caregivers should seek early treatment for their family member when symptoms develop.
Has anyone noticed any "non-scientific" trends in their own situations--where a person with dementia seems to have a greater cognitive decline following an infection? Please share with us.
A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine identifies advanced or end stage dementia as a terminal illness. Hard for dementia caregivers to believe, but up to this point advanced dementia was not thought of as a true terminal disease.