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The learning journey of experiencing Alzheimer’s disease or another kind of dementia is a challenging one for the person with the disease and their loved ones, especially caregivers. The diagnosis often takes you by surprise, even if you have suspected something might be wrong. Autumn Leaves understands the need for a wide variety of information and resources for anyone dealing with Alzheimer’s or dementia. We are committed to providing you with resources to support you and your family on the journey, to be a trusted partner whether or not you or your loved one reside in one of our communities. We welcome your feedback and suggestions about new articles, links and information, via our contact page. Thank you!

CAREGIVING

  • Family Checklist of Alzheimer’s Symptoms
    Each person’s experience with Alzheimer’s or dementia is unique. This tool was designed to help the family caregiver track the type and frequency of the symptoms your loved one is exhibiting. Click here to read more.
  • 5 Ways For Caregivers To Feel Cared For
    ABC News is focusing on caregivers in the month of November in honor of National Caregivers Month. A caregivers journey can often times include stress, sorrow and difficulty while caring for a loved one. Click here to read a great article by ABC News that gives five ways in which caregivers can feel cared for.
  • Cost of Family Caregiving Skyrockets
    The cost of caregiving in the United States is skyrocketing.   Informal caregiving is now estimated to be $522 billion a year which is more than some states entire economy. Click here to learn more about this story.
  • 5 Problems Associated With Caring For Someone With Mid-To-Late Stage Alzheimers
    Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease often presents unique challenges. When someone is caring for a loved one with mid-to-late stage Alzheimer’s, additional challenges can arise. Click here to read this story that talks about five problems associated with caring for someone with mid-to-late stage Alzheimer’s.
  • 11 Inspiring Quotes For Caregivers Caregivers often times need to find inspiration as they continue to care for a loved one living with various illness and disease. Here are 11 inspirational quotes that can help any caregiver get that boost they need.
  • The Future Of Robot CaregivingIn the near future, according to various studies, caregivers will be in short supply and there will be a large need to care of those in need. An associate professor at The University of California wonders if robot caregiving might not be part of the future. Click here to learn more about this story.
  • What I Learned About Caregiving: Caregivers across the country face challenges on an everyday basis. These wonderful people consistently are learning something new about themselves and what they are capable of. Read one woman’s account of her caregiving journey as she cared for her friend, Ed. Click here to read more.
  • Things To Consider If Traveling With A Loved One Living With Alzheimer’s: Year-end holiday travel is often times the most stressful period of the year. Caregivers are often accompanying those loved ones living with Alzheimer’s as they visit family members. This article talks about steps you can take as a caregiver to ensure that your loved ones trip is a safe and pleasant experience.
  • 4 Rules To Prevent Problems For Your Aging Parent: As parents age, it often becomes the responsibility of the adult child/caregiver to make certain that their mother or father’s affairs are taken care of. This article gives four rules to prevent problems for your aging parents.
  • Caring For Your Parents From A Distance: There are many instances where an adult child simply cannot move to be close to a parent ensuring that they are getting quality care. However, there are steps that can be taken to make certain that a loved one is still taken care of even if someone is far away. Click here to learn four things that can be done even if you don’t live close to your loved one.
  • Sharing Alzheimer’s Diagnosis: Tips For Caregivers: So you’ve just learned the diagnosis that your loved one is living with Alzheimer’s disease. How do you tell them? How do you put them at ease once you give them the diagnosis? This article gives caregivers some tips on how they can make the conversation as easy as possible.
  • Slow Dancing With A Stranger: A Caregivers’ Account Of Alzheimer’s Cost: A new book recently published speaks to the toll Alzheimer’s takes on families. The book also specifically talks about women and how they often are the prime caregivers of those in need. Learn more about this story, and book, by clicking here.
  • Tending To The Emotional Needs Of Those Living With Alzheimer’s Disease: A new University of Iowa study shows that Alzheimer’s caregivers have a profound effect on the emotional state of those living with the disease. Researchers were able to discern a clear pattern of the emotional state of someone living with Alzheimer’s disease based upon their reactions to clips of happy and sad movies they were shown. To learn more about this study, please click here.
  • A New Study Shows The Startling Cost Of Caregiving: In a recently completed study, the startling cost of unpaid caregiving was examined. Amongst the highlights of the study was a statistic that showed only 30 percent of caregivers have had an open and honest discussion with their loved one on how to pay for associated caregiving costs. To find out more about this study, please click here.
  • Wandering Solutions For Alzheimer’s Caregivers: One of the biggest fears of Alzheimer’s caregivers is the possibility that their loved one might wander at some point. This article gives some solutions that caregivers can immediately implement to help stop this from occurring.
  • When Angry Loved Ones Resist Caregiving: It is difficult to see a loved one living with Alzheimer’s disease undergo challenging behavioral swings. It’s even more difficult when attempting to care for your loved one and they strongly resist. This article offers some great steps you can take to manage these behavioral challenges.
  • New Study Released On Caregiver Impact When Caring For A Loved One: A new study was recently released that details the immense impact on caregivers of those with complex medical needs.  The study mentions depression and stress as two huge health issues for caregivers. Click here to learn more about this study.
  • Elderly Caregiving:  Daughters, Not Sons, Stepping Up: As people age they rely on their loved ones to care for them as they experience various medical conditions.  A new study recently released shows that daughters are giving significantly more of their time to care for their adult parents vs. their male counterparts.  To find out more about this study, please Click here.
  • AARP Attempting To Spread Word About Impending Caregiver Crisis: In the coming years the elderly population in the United States is expected to skyrocket.  In fact, the ratio of potential informal caregivers to people ages 80 and older is likely to fall to about 3 to 1 by 2050, from a ratio of about 7 to 1 today.  AARP is attempting to spread the word about this impending crisis.  To learn more about this story, please Click here.
  • Communication Is Key For Caregivers: As loved ones care for someone who is ill with dementia, communication becomes of utmost importance.  Learning how to communicate both with your own family members as well as the person you’re caring for becomes an art that must be learned. Click here to learn about one caregiver’s tips on what is most important.
  • 5 Facts That Show What Life Is Like For Caregivers Who Are Also Working: One of the biggest challenges for caregivers is balancing caring for a loved one with holding down a full time occupation. Click here to learn the facts from people who are attempting to juggle both of these responsibilities.
  • 10 Things Caring For A Loved One Living With Alzheimer’s Taught Me: Every caregiver has their own stories and challenges as they care for a loved one living with Alzheimer’s disease.  This caregiver gives a list of 10 things she learned from caring for her husband as he lived with the disease. Click here to read more.
  • Test Your Caregiving Knowledge: Caregivers are the unsung heroes of millions of people living with different ailments across this country.  Here’s a quiz that tests your caregiving and health knowledge. Click here to find out more.
  • Coping With Dementia Or Alzheimer’s At Home:  A Checklist For Daily Ritual: Many caregivers across the country head into people’s homes on a daily basis to care for someone they love.  Every person being cared for has their own rituals and things they enjoy doing or not doing.  However, there are daily things that every caregiver should keep in mind.  Find out more about this by clicking here.
  • How Can Technology Help Family Caregivers: For over a decade the caregiving community has been teased by potential digital breakthroughs that would help caregivers across the country.  However, very little has been actually completed and is currently being used by those caregivers.  This past Spring a conference was held to determine how best technology could help caregivers.  The results of that study were recently released. Click here to learn more about this story.
  • Smart Ways To Beat The Stress Of Caregiving: Caring for someone who is living with Alzheimer’s disease can be quite stressful.  The daily challenges that a caregiver faces are not only challenging but can cause physical ailments for the caregiver. This article speaks about ways in which a caregiver can beat the associated stress that comes with caring for a loved one.
  • 5 Tips For People Caring For Someone Living With Alzheimer’s Disease: FOX News recently wrote an article that speaks to tips that caregivers gave other caregivers who are caring for someone living with Alzheimer’s disease. Learn more about these tips by Clicking here.
  • Casey Kasem And A Lesson About End-Of-Life Care: The legendary Casey Kasem recently passed away after having lived with a form of dementia called Lewy body dementia for years. In the end, here was much press about an internal family feud in regards to his end-of-life care. Learn more by clicking here about lessons caregivers, and families, can take in caring for a loved one.
  • Stories of Caregivers Dealing with Alzheimer’s: Huffington Post recently had a Google hangout of various industry leaders who spoke about caregivers and how they can deal with caring for someone living with Alzheimer’s disease. Click here to watch the video on the hangout.
  • How Your Facebook Friends Can Help You With Caregiving: Social media is an active part of everyone’s life, including caregivers. A new Facebook app seeks to tame caregiver angst by making it easier for caregivers to receive help, and for family and friends to give it. And, although it won’t solve all of the problems that caregivers face, it’s an ingenious approach that could bring relief to many people. And it’s free. Learn more here.
  • When Laughter Is The Only Medicine For Caregivers: Caregiving is full of stressful times, difficult decisions, and long hours with a loved one.  However, the old adage that “laughter is the best medicine” is often times something caregivers must learn.  Here’s a great article about how caregivers use humor even in the most difficult of situations.
  • How To Convince A Loved One With Alzheimer’s Symptoms To Go See A Doctor: Many people have been there: You know your loved one is experiencing Alzheimer’s symptoms, but how do you convince them to go see a doctor?  This blog has some great advice on how to approach the topic.  Learn more by clicking here.
  • The Tipping Points That Turn People Into Caregivers: One in three American households includes a caregiver, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving.  There are many trigger points that make someone turn from an occasional helper to a regular caregiver.  Click here to learn more about what those tipping points are.
  • Social Media Dangers For The Modern Caregiver: Social media is used by millions of Americans on a daily basis to keep loved ones up-to-date on what’s going on in their lives.  Loved ones often have great anger when someone posts something about a loved one who recently was diagnosed with a sickness or just passed away prior to you telling anyone.  Click here to see three tips for caregivers and their friends.
  • 10 Heartbreaking Challenges Caregivers Of People With Disabilities Face: Huffington Post recently ran a blog from a woman whose husband has a disability.  Her story and specific challenges she faces as a caregiver are both unique and interesting.  Learn more about her 10 heartbreaking challenges by clicking here.
  • How This Wife Unlocked Her Husbands Dementia: The film ‘Hansl’ is a movie made by an adult child of a father who was living with Alzheimer’s disease.  The movie is a moving tribute to those facing this disease but also to his wife who cared for him.  Learn more about this movie by clicking here.
  • Students Develop Products For Adults With Dementia: The Stanford Center on Longevity Design Challenge was put together to help aid both caregivers and people living with dementia with inventions that will help them live independently longer.   The seven designs that were chosen as finalists included a mobile-based application, gaming experience and a device to notify someone that something is hot.  Learn more about this challenge here.
  • Wholl Provide Care When Military Caregivers Cannot?: There are 5.5 million military caregivers in the United States.  Many of these caregivers are Boomer parents who are taking care of their son or daughter that were in combat often coming home with varying injuries.  The White House recently held a press conference to announce new government and private policy efforts to help assist these military caregivers.  Learn more here.
  •  Ten Real-Life Strategies For Dementia Caregiving: The Family Caregiver Alliance has some real/practical advice on how to care for a loved one living with Alzheimer’s disease.  Far too often no lessons or advice are given to those suddenly thrust into a caregiving responsibility role.  Click here to find out what ten real-life strategies they suggest.
  • For Caregivers, Alzheimer’s Can Be A Lifelong Journey. Caregiving can be a daunting and very challenging position for your loved one to be in.  Newsweek recently ran an article showing some of the challenges caregivers face on a daily basis and outlets they are seeking away from their daily responsibilities.  Find out more about this by clicking here.
  • iPods Awaken Memories Through Music For Those With Alzheimer’s. Could caregivers simply turn on an iPod and have their loved one suffering with Alzheimer’s disease remember things from the past?  A social worker in New York came up with the idea in 2006 to take used iPods and make them available for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia.  Click here to find out more about this program.
  • Alzheimer’s Buddy Program Engages Patients, Teaches Students. Northwestern University in Chicago has come up with an interactive way in which soon-to-be doctors can engage with dementia patients.  They’ve created a “buddy” system that allows those living with dementia a sense of purpose while allowing these soon-to-be doctors handson experience with a disease they certainly will experience upon graduating.  Find out more about this program by clicking here.
  • Caring for the Alzheimer’s Caregivers. The New York Times recently ran an article about how people need to care for the caregivers who are caring for those living with Alzheimer’s disease.  The article focuses on a new book “Support for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregivers: The Unsung Heroes,” by Judith L. London which includes the story of 54 caregivers.  To find out more about this book click here.
  • JAMA Study Offers Hope to Caregivers of Alzheimer’s Patients. One of the main reasons a caregiver moves a loved one from a home setting to higher levels of care is agitation.  Caregivers see their loved ones become more agitated, short tempered, resistant to help and many other similar symptoms.  However, a recent study published by the Journal of the American Media Association shows that a high dose of a common antidepressant drug (citalopram) significantly reduced agitation in patients participating in the study.  Find out more about this study here.
  • Rev. Dale Susan Edmonds Answers Your Questions About Caregiving.NBC News recently hosted an online chat with Rev. Dale Susan Edmonds, a hospice chaplain and founder of the caregiving website Talk Early Talk Often.  Find out what was discussed by clicking here.
  • Tips for Making Family Caregiving Easier.As a family caregiver, one can find themselves with many stressors and new situations that they otherwise hadn’t expected.  Click here to find out some great tips on making caregiving easier.
  • Caregiving:  Supporting the Supporters.CNN wrote an article that speaks to caregiving and supporting those that support and care for loved ones in this country.  Find out more about this article.
  • Do Caregivers Need Special Employment Protection. There are legislators in California and New York crafting legislation to protect employees balancing work and caring for a loved one.  Far too often employers cut caregivers hours, shift their schedules or even fire them because of their family responsibilities.  Click here to find out more about this pending legislation.
  •  Dr. Nancy Snyderman:  My Life as a Caregiver. NBC News’s Chief Medical Editor, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, describes how she slowly began taking on more responsibility while helping care for her parents, and the difficult conversations that arise from end-of-life discussions.  Find out more about Dr. Synderman and her experience.
  • 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s. Are you concerned about memory impairment – either for a loved one or for yourself? The first step is to understand what might be happening. Autumn Leaves recommends that you click this link to read an important article about the “10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s” from the Alzheimer’s Association.
  • Caregiver burnout happens. Caring for a loved one living with a memory-impairing disease is a challenge that often results in stress and burnout. Autumn Leaves believes it’s important to understand your stress level when caregiving and to contact your doctor when you feel overwhelmed.Click here to read more.
  • Free guide to caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. The National Institute on Aging offers an excellent, easy-to-use, free guide, “Caring for a Person with Alzheimer’s Disease”,which can be downloaded or ordered at no cost to you.
  • Millions of people are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Watch a short video from CBS about a man caring for his wife who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at age 68 and learn more about how to avoid caregiver burnout.
  • Learn about early-stage Alzheimer’s care. Caring for someone with early stage Alzheimer’s disease is more about being a “care partner” than a caregiver. Your loved one may still be driving, working and enjoying social activities.  The most important thing you can do together is learn about the disease and plan for the future. Click here to read more on this topic.
  • 13 Tips for Caregivers. Anyone caring for a person with a memory disorder can benefit from the learning experiences of others who have done the same.Click here for 13 great tips from Marguerite Manteau-Rao, LCSW, who writes for Huffington Post.
  • Best Alzheimer’s Blogs of 2016. Blogs are a great source of information about caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia. These blogs are written by people who are truly in the trenches offering “answers, empathy, encouragement, companionship and an occasional hit of entertainment.” Click here for Healthline’s recommended “25 Best Alzheimer’s Blogs of 2016″.
  • Get help with financial planning. Millions of Americans are managing finances for a loved one who is unable to pay bills or make decisions about money or property. This can be overwhelming, but it’s also an opportunity to help someone you care about and to protect them from fraud. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers a free downloadable guide, “Managing Someone Else’s Money”. Find it by clicking here.
  • Watch Maria Shriver’s Google Hangout about Alzheimer’s care. Alzheimer’s advocate and award-winning reporter Maria Shriver hosted a 2013 Google Hangout following a Today Show segment about Alzheimer’s care and raising money for Alzheimer’s prevention and treatment. Watch it here.
  • Meeting the challenges of bathing. Bath time for someone with Alzheimer”s disease or dementia can be challenging and often causes stress for the caregiver. In fact, bathing is often the most difficult personal care activity that caregivers face. It’s important to understand behaviors during bathing and to help your loved one feel in control. Click here to read more.
  • What is sundowning? Caregivers need to know! Click here to read more about sundowning, including ways to make it less severe for your loved one.
  • Coping with grief and loss as your loved one’s disease progresses.Everyone caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia will face the grief process. How you face it is up to you. Join a support group. Talk to your doctor or a family therapist. The Alzheimer’s Association has some excellent tips for how to cope with loss. Click here for more information.

CLINICAL NEWS & INFORMATION

  • New Alzheimers-Related Memory Disorder IdentifiedA new multi-institutional study was recently released and has defined and established criteria for a new disease that closely resembles Alzheimer’s. The disease, called primary age-related tauopathy (PART), is almost indistinguishable from Alzheimer’s. However, PART lacks amyloid plaques that are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. Click here to learn more about this story.
  • Anxiety Speeds Cognitive Impairment, Alzheimers DiseaseIt’s well known that various health factors such as stress, high blood pressure and diabetes contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. A new study recently published shows that people with mild cognitive impairment and high levels of stress have a greater risk for developing Alzheimer’s. Click here to read more about this study.
  • Vitamin B May Not Reduce Memory Loss Risk After AllIn the past, research has shown a link between increased Vitamin B intake and a reduction in the risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease. However, a new study indicates that taking supplements may not actually reduce the risk after all. Click here to learn more about this study.
  • Models Show That Alzheimers Will Double In 40 YearsNew, startling research suggests that Alzheimer’s might become an even bigger societal issue than previously once thought. In a newly released study, those people living with Alzheimer’s is expected to increase by 153 percent in the next 40 years with costs expected to quintuple in that same timespan. Click here to read more.
  • Special Cocoa Drink May Improve Age-Related Memory LossA new lab-created cocoa drink has shown promising results in a small study in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. After three months of taking the drink, someone with the typical memory of a 60-year-old improved their memory to that of a 30- or 40-year-old, the researchers reported. Click here to find out more about this study.
  • Scientists Win Nobel Prize For Discovering Brain’s “Inner GPS”: The Nobel Assembly in Sweden recently announced that three scientists were awarded the prestigious Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. They were able to discover the brain’s “inner GPS”, how it gets from point A to point B, and store information for future reference. Learn more by clicking here.
  • New Front In War On Alzheimer’s, Other Protein-Linked Brain Diseases: Researchers recently had a surprise discovery that overturned decades worth of studies in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. The research was on how the body fixes proteins and should help expand development of treatments to prevent Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. Find out more by clicking here.
  • Aluminum Poisoning May Trigger Alzheimer’s Disease: Researchers believe that aluminum poisoning may trigger the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. The professor who spearheaded the study believes that aluminum is in almost everything we we eat, drink, inject or absorb. His assertion is that there is a direct correlation between the two. Click here to find out more
  • Gene Therapy Could Protect Against Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease: Researchers at the Gladstone Institutes recently found that low levels of a certain protein in the brain can increase the formation of plaques that are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. The same researchers were able to prove by that using a gene therapy approach to elevate the levels of this protein one could eliminate these abnormalities. Click here to find out more about this study.
  • Genetic Testing For Alzheimer’s-Without Revealing The Results: Doctors are uncovering ways in which they can shield patients from information about their odds of getting Alzheimer’s disease. This is done through testing for other health issues such as infertility. By working with patients on other health issues, doctors are able to determine genetic markers that could include gene mutations that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Click here to learn more about this story.
  • Wonder Drug To Fight Cancer And Alzheimer’s In 10 Years: Could a drug that could fight Alzheimer’s, cancer, and diabetes be on the market within 10 years? Imperial College has discovered an enzyme which is driving many incurable diseases. This breakthrough might lead to a whole new class of drugs to help fight a wide range of diseases. Learn more about this study by clicking here.
  • Is Alzheimer’s Disease Brain Diabetes?: Researchers have known for quite some time that frequent exercise helps fight many different health conditions. However, a growing group of scientists believe that Alzheimer’s disease might just be a different form of diabetes. Recent research suggests that brain cells stop making and responding to insulin and, as a result, brain cells starve to death. Find out more about this story by clicking here.
  • Brain May “Work Around”Early Alzheimer’s Damage: A new study recently published by Nature Neuroscience indicates that in some older people, the brain has a way of compensating for damage done by Alzheimer’s disease by recruiting extra brain circuits. Previous to this study, researchers were unsure why this was occurring. Learn more about this exciting breakthrough by clicking here.
  • The Young Brains Of City Dwellers Harmed By Air Pollution: Large cities across the world have always had issues with air pollution and other environmental concerns. According to a new study completed by a professor at the University of Montana, children who live in these megacities are at an increased risk for brain inflammation and neurodegenerative changes (such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease). Learn more about this study by clicking here.
  • Alzheimer’s Prevention For 30-Somethings With No Symptoms: Researchers studying Alzheimer’s disease continue to seek ways to stunt the disease or eradicate it entirely. However, a new treatment method is being discussed in more doctor’s offices around the country. Doctors are beginning to counsel their young patients on dementia prevention and the steps they can take early in life to ward off the potential for developing dementia related diseases as they age. Learn more about this by clicking here.
  • Pomegranate Compound May Treat Alzheimer’s And Parkinson’s: We all know the many benefits of eating fruits on a regular basis.  Researchers in the U.K. believe they’ve found yet another benefit via a compound in pomegranate that may help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.  To find out more about this exciting new study, please click here.
  • A Place Beyond Words:  The Literature Of Alzheimer’s: Alzheimer’s disease and its effects are still relatively an unknown in American society.  The New York Times recently ran a fantastic article that speaks about this and offers some solutions for people who want to learn more about the disease.  Find out more about this by clicking here.
  • The Alzheimer’s Cure That Worked On Mice: In a study published in the open access journal, PLOS Biology, researchers at Yale School of Medicine announced the discovery of a drug compound that reverses the effects of Alzheimer’s disease in mice.  This study identifies the compound as TC-2153, which prevents the protein STEP (STriatal-Enriched tyrosine Phosphatase) from destroying the brain’s ability to learn and retain new things.  Find out more about this study here.
  • Looking At Origins Of Alzheimer’s Disease To Find A Cure: Scientists at the Stanford School of Medicine are looking at the origins of Alzheimer’s disease in an attempt to find a cure.  In a recently released article scientists look at multiple reasons why they believe Alzheimer’s disease starts and some possible clues for further research. Click here to find out more.
  • Human Brain Deficits Of PKCe Being Targeted In Further Alzheimer’s Disease Research: Researchers at the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute recently announced findings that reveal human brain deficits of PKCe (a protein found in the brain).  The findings show that PKCe epsilon were found to be deficient in areas of the brain known to be affected early in Alzheimer’s disease. Click here to find out more about this study.
  • Cancer Drug May Prove Effective In Treating Alzheimer’s: Recent research suggests that a cancer drug might have positive effects in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.  While the testing showed promising results on mice, researchers plan on extending the test to humans.  Click here to learn more about this study.
  • Simple Eye Test Detects Alzheimer’s Disease: New research is showing that Alzheimer’s disease might be able to be detected through a simple eye test.  Researchers used two different techniques to identify a protein that is a hallmark of the disease.  Learn more about the study by clicking here.
  • Caffeine Might Delay Alzheimer’s Disease: Caffeine has a varying degree of effects on the body.  Researchers have recently found a new one, believing that caffeine might have a positive effect on preventing Alzheimer’s disease.  Click here to learn more about this new study.
  • Zinc Supplements Maintain Cognitive Function In Alzheimer’s Disease: A new test is showing that zinc supplements may help overcome some of the negative effects of Alzheimer’s disease.  In fact, patients with Alzheimer’s disease are often times found to be zinc deficient.  Find out more about this study by clicking here.
  • Walnuts May Reduce Alzheimer’s Disease Risk: Could something as simple as eating more walnuts reduce your risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease?  Researchers from NYS Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities in Staten Island, NY, recently reported that eating walnuts may help reduce the risk of getting Alzheimer’s.  Click here to find out more about this new study.
  • How A New Approach To Funding Alzheimer’s Could Pay Off: There is a desperate need for more funding in regards to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. A recent paper penned by an MIT professor suggests a revamped way to fund research could spur the development of new drugs. Find out more about this story by clicking here.
  • 6 Foods That Can Keep Your Brain Sharp: There are foods you can eat, especially those that are high in antioxidants, that can help ward off dementia and improve your memory. U.S. News & World Report recently ran an article that speaks to six specific foods you can eat. Learn more here.
  • Blocking Brains “Internal Marijuana” May Trigger Early Alzheimer’s Deficits: The Stanford University School of Medicine recently released a new study that has implicated the blocking of endocannabinoids — signaling substances that are the brain’s internal versions of the psychoactive chemicals in marijuana and hashish — in the early pathology of Alzheimer’s disease. Find out more about this study by clicking here.
  • The Brain Has Latent Potential To Orchestrate A Self-Repairing Response: According to scientists at the University of Southampton, new research shows that neurogenesis, the self-repairing mechanism of the adult brain, can help preserve brain function in conditions such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. Learn more about this study here.
  • Rite Aid Memory Test Triggers Needless Fear Of Alzheimer’s, Say Doctors: The national pharmacy chain, Rite Aid, recently began giving memory tests with the hope to diagnose or warm people of the potential of having early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. However, doctors say they don’t work well and may cause unwarranted fear among people who simply don’t have the disease. Click here to find out more about this story.
  • Health Law Requires Medicare To Cover Dementia Evaluation: Health laws now require Medicare to cover a screening for cognitive impairment during annual wellness visits.  However, in a recent study showed that there wasn’t enough evidence to recommend dementia screen for asymptomatic people over the age of 65.  Find out more about this topic by clicking here.
  • Dementia Risk Higher If Heart Medicine Dosage Is Not Optimal: A recent study by the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute found that if heart medication is not taken within the ideal range, it can increase the risk of dementia.  Specifically, atrial fibrillation (AFib) patients who are on blood thinning medications are at a higher risk of developing dementia if their doses are not in the optimal range.  Click here to find out more about this study.
  • New Clues To Cognitive Decline: A recent study by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis showed that certain types of brain cells may be “picky eaters” seeming to prefer one specific energy source over others.  Learn more about this study by clicking here.
  • The Genetics Behind Alzheimer’s Resiliency: Autopsies have shown that some individuals develop the cellular changes that are hallmarks of an individual having Alzheimer’s disease without ever developing the clinical symptoms in their lifetime.  Vanderbilt University Medical Center memory researchers have discovered a potential genetic variant in these asymptomatic individuals that may make brains more resilient against Alzheimer’s.  Find out more about this interesting story by clicking here.
  • Can Young Blood Reverse Aging In Old Mice?: Could blood be the answer to the “fountain of youth?”  A recent study done on mice indicates that when older mice are injected with younger mice’s blood, the older mice improved their cognition abilities.  In addition, the older mice saw new neuron growth in their spinal cords.  The obvious next step would be to learn how this impacts adult humans.  Learn more about this study by clicking here.
  • A New Approach To Treating Alzheimers Disease: Researchers from Brandeis University, Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and Weill Cornell Medical College have devised a new approach to the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease that significantly increases retromer levels while decreasing amyloid-beta levels in neurons, without harming the cell.  This novel approach is something that has never been tested before and shows promising results.  Learn more here.
  • Physical Activity Protects Brain Against Alzheimers: Research has shown for years the benefits of being physically active.  New research by the University of Maryland shows that moderate physical activity may preserve the hippocampus-the brain region responsible for memory and spatial orientation that is attacked first in Alzheimer’s disease.  Find out more about this study by clicking here.
  • Dementia Facebook App To Raise Awareness Of the Disease: Facebook users are being asked to participate in a new app that allows a user to experience what it might be like to live with dementia.  The FaceDementia app, by Alzheimers Research UK, “takes over” a users Facebook page and temporarily erases important memories, mimicking how dementia affects the brain.  Find out more about this new application here.
  • Alzheimers Disease Could Be Linked To Fungal Infections: Fungal infections could be linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.  Test on brain samples from deceased Alzheimer’s patients showed they contained fungal proteins.  Learn more about this interesting study here.
  • A Silly Putty Ingredient Helps Stem Cells Grow; Could Help Alzheimer’s Disease: Could the chief ingredient used to make silly putty help stunt Alzheimer’s disease?  A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan shows how the environment on the surface of this ingredient influences how stem cells grow and what they grow into.  Learn more about this study by clicking here.
  • Alzheimer’s Puzzle Piece Found Using Giant X-Ray Facilities. Researchers have always known that protein fragments that comprise Alzheimer’s lesions are a hallmark of the disease.  However, they didn’t know why they accumulate or cause brain cells to die.  Now researchers have used giant x-ray centers to investigate and find the biological reasoning behind it.  Click here to find out more about this breakthrough.
  • Eye Movement Could Predict Alzheimer’s Disease. According to a new study, researchers have identified another indicator of Alzheimer’s disease that involves the movement of your eyes.  In this study, researchers surveyed 18 people who had a probable diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and recorded their eye movements.  To find out more about this study click here.
  • New Gene Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease Identified. Scientists believe they have identified a gene thought to play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.  This gene affects the accumulation of amyloid-beta, a protein believed to be one of the main causes of the damage that underpins Alzheimer’s in adults.  Read more about this study and story here.
  • Cooked Meats Allegedly Linked to Increased Alzheimer’s Risk. A new study has concluded that advanced glycation endproducts (AGE’s) which occur in heat-processed meat and animal products, can cause brain changes similar to those found in Alzheimer’s disease or metabolic syndrome, a pre-diabetic state.  To find out more about this interesting study, click here.
  • Alzheimer’s Patients’ Brains May Ignore Biological Clock. One of the hallmark signs of Alzheimer’s disease is being awake at night while dozing during the day.  How those disease disrupts our natural biological clock has always been a mystery.  Scientists from the University of Cambridge, UK, have discovered in fruit flies with Alzheimer’s the biological clock is still ticking but has become uncoupled from the sleep-wake cycle it usually regulates.  Read more about this study here.
  • Eating Grilled Meat “Increases Risk of Alzheimer’s and Diabetes”. Recent figures state that 62 percent of Americans use grills on a yearly basis.  However, a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that consuming heat-processed animal products may increase your risk of Alzheimer’s disease or diabetes.  Learn more about this study.
  • High-Carb Diets May Increase the Risk of Alzheimer’s. A new theory suggests that even small increase in blood sugar caused by a diet high in carbohydrates can be detrimental to brain health.  These studies take high-carbohydrate intake a step further linking it with brain shrinkage, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.  Click here to find out more about this story.
  • Two Parents With Alzheimer’s Disease May Show Up Decades Early on Brain Scans. Do you have two parents who have suffered with Alzheimer’s disease? A new study published in the online issue of Neurology suggests that people who are free of dementia but have two parents who have had the disease may show signs of Alzheimer’s in brain scans decades before the present with symptoms.  Find out more about this study here.
  • Phone That Sends Smells Could Help Treat Alzheimer’s Disease. Researchers have always known smells are a strong stimulant of memory.  A new device called the oPhone, enables odors, called oNotes that are sent via email, tweet or text to other oPhone users.  Scientists at the Harvard Business School of Engineering believe that this may help treat those with Alzheimer’s disease and other mental disorders.  Find out more about this innovative breakthrough.
  • High Estrogen Levels Plus Diabetes May Boost Dementia Risk in Women. French researchers recently concluded a test on 5,600 postmenopausal women aged 65 or older.  Their conclusion was that older women with high levels of the hormone estrogen might be at greater risk for dementia, especially if they have diabetes.  Click here to learn more about this study.
  • Concussions Linked to Alzheimer’s disease? Results published in the journal Neurology suggest that there is a potential link between a history of head trauma and later cognitive decline and the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN studied 589 elderly residents administering a battery of cognitive and memory tests. Learn more about this study.
  • Texas researchers develop a blood-based test for Alzheimer’s. Texas researchers from the Texas Alzheimer’s Research and Care Consortium have developed a blood test to screen for Alzheimer’s disease. To further validate the screening test and demonstrate it’s accuracy the University of North Texas Health Science Center was awarded a $625,000 federal grant. Click here to find out more about this exciting discovery.
  • World’s first Alzheimer’s prevention trial for healthy people. The Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative (API) announced a groundbreaking new study that will be the first –ever prevention trial in cognitively healthy individuals who are more at risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease because of their genetic background. This study will span two countries with $100 million dollars being allocated to this specific study. Learn more about this trial and what powerhouse organizations are involved.
  • New Alzheimer’s drug possibly by 2017. Danish pharmaceutical company Lundbeck is hoping to launch a new Alzheimer’s medicine by 2017. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease this particular drug is designed to ease some of the symptoms of the disease and also improve cognitive function. To find out more about this drug and how it might work click here.
  • Enzyme BACE1 may be important in predicting onset of Alzheimer’s disease. The January issue of The American Journal of Pathology released results indicating that scientists have now found increased levels of BACE1 in brains with mild cognitive impairment. Scientists previously had known that the critical enzyme was elevated in brains with sporadic Alzheimer disease (AD). Find out more about this exciting development.
  • New Alzheimer’s treatment on the horizon? UT Southwestern researcher believes so. An estimated 135 million people around the world will have dementia by 2050, according to a new report by Alzheimer’s disease International (ADI). Dr. Roger N. Rosenberg, M.D., and a Professor of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics and Physiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, believes treatment is on the horizon. Find out more about Dr. Rosenberg’s devotion to finding a cure.
  • Faulty receptor in the brain ‘muddles memories’. Scientists have discovered that by deactivating a major switch in the brain that is linked to learning and memory, memories become jumbled, like “hitting random notes on a keyboard,” and lose their sense of association. According to the study published in the journal PLOS One, these findings could possibly determine why aging humans lose their memory. Click here to learn more about this recently released study.
  • Dementia Risk Greatest for Older Native-Americans, African-Americans with DiabetesNative Americans and African-Americans with type 2 diabetes are significantly more at risk to develop dementia according to a recently released study. In the first ever study looking at racial and ethnic differences it also showed that the lowest risk were Asian Americans. To find out more about this study, click here.
  • Merck moves Alzheimer’s drug into big trials after safety review. Merck & Co will begin two late-stage trials of an Alzheimer’s drug they hope will slow the memory-robbing disease. The medicine works by blocking an enzyme called beta secretase that is involved in production of beta-amyloid, a protein that creates brain plaques considered a major cause of the progressive disease. Such medicines are known as BACE inhibitors. Find out more about this drug and test.
  • Exercise improves memory, attention in dementia patients. A new University of Alberta study has found that exercise may improve cognitive function and the ability to perform activities of daily living in people with dementia. These results show that people with dementia related illnesses should be exercising more. Click here to find out more about this report.

Books of Interest

Avadian, Brenda. “Where’s My Shoes?”: My Father’s Walk through Alzheimer’s. North Star Books, 2005

Bell, Virginia. A Dignified Life: The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer’s Care, A Guide for Family Caregivers. Michigan: Eastern Michigan University, 2007

Boss, Pauline. Loving Someone Who Has Dementia: How to Find Hope while Coping with Stress and Grief. Jossey-Bass, 2011.

Brackey, Jolene. Creating Moments of Joy: A Journal for Caregivers, Fourth Edition. West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Press, 2008

Callone, Patricia (and others). A Caregiver’s Guide to Alzheimer’s Disease: 300 Tips for Making Life Easier, First Edition. Demos Health, 2006

Calo-yo, Starr. Caregiving Tips A-A: Alzheimer’s & Other Dementias. Orchard Publications, 2008

Coste, Joanne Koenig. Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s: A Groundbreaking Approach for Everyone Dealing with the Disease. Mariner Books, 2004.

Dunn, Hank. Hard Choices for Loving People: CPR, Artificial Feeding, Comfort Care, and the Patient with a Life-Threatening Illness, Fifth Edition. A&A Publishers, 2009.

Feil, Naomi. The Validation Breakthrough: Simple Techniques for Communicating with People with ‘Alzheimer’s-Type Dementia’, Third Edition. Baltimore, Maryland: Health Professions Press, 2012.

Fortanasce, Vincent. The Anti-Alzheimer’s Prescription: The Science-Proven Plan to Start at Any Age. New York: Gotham, 2009

Genova, Lisa. Still Alice. New York, New York: Pocket Books, 2010

LeBlanc, Gary Joseph. Managing Alzheimer’s and Dementia Behaviors: Common Sense Caregiving. Outskirts Press, 2012

Lock, Margaret. The Alzheimer Conundrum: Entanglements of Dementia and Aging. Princeton University Press, 2013

Lunden, Joan and Amy Newmark. Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Caregivers: 101 Stories of Love, Sacrifice and Bonding. Chicken Soup for the Soul, 2012.

Mace, Nancy L. and Peter V. Rabins. The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People with Alzheimer Disease, Other Dementias and Memory Loss in Later Life, 5th Edition. Grand Central Life & Style, 2012.

Richards, Tom. An Alzheimer’s Surprise Party: Unveiling the Mystery, Inner Experience, and Gifts of Dementia. Interactive Media, 2009

Shriver, Maria. Alzheimer’s in America: The Shriver Report on Women and Alzheimer’s. Free Press, 2011

Shriver, Maria. What’s Happening to Grandpa? New York, New York: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2004

Smith, Patricia B. Alzheimer’s for Dummies. New York: John Wiley & Son, 2003

Strauss, Claudia J. Talking to Alzheimer’s: Simple Ways to Connect When You Visit with a Family Member or Friend. Oakland, California: New Harbinger Publications, 2002

Twichell, Karen. A Caregiver’s Journey: Finding Your Way. Indiana: iUniverse, 2002

Wexler, Nancy. Mama Can’t Remember Anymore: Care Management of Aging Parents and your Loved Ones. Wein & Wein Publishers, 1996

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