I ran across this article about the connection between white matter and cognitive health. But what really fascinated me was the part about how people with Down syndrome are at "extremely high risk" for developing Alzheimer's after 40.The researchers did a study using 3 groups:1. people with Down syndrome but no dementia2. people with Down syndrome and dementia3. a healthy control groupThey used MRIs to study the brains of all three gouprs and found that:...more
Our family and friends recently descended on our parents’ house like a pack of swarming bees. Within a week, mom and dad were host to eleven adults, five dogs and one very spoiled grandson. Between visits from Santa (who had to use a door vs. the roof), the cutthroat games of Scrabble and the amazing smells coming non-stop from the kitchen, we were fortunate to notice that something wasn’t right with dad....more
It's finally here. A novel blood test developed at Georgetown University Medical Center can predict with 90% accuracy if a healthy person will develop Alzheimer's or dementia within three years.Although there is currently no cure for Alzheimer's, most scientists agree that the sooner it can be detected, the better the chances of treating it before symptoms progress....more
My Mom left me two years ago today.There is not a day that goes by that I don’t miss her and/or think of her. Perhaps it’s because my Brother Bob and I took care of her for close to five years after she slipped into dementia.There is so much I know she experiences from a higher vantage point: her children, her Philadelphia grandsons,her sister, her family,her church.I am sad because she never got down here with Jim and me,but am taking some comfort she’s up there,watching with my Dad....more
A Duke grad student just figured out something interesting.The posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), which is one of the first regions of the brain to deteriorate with Alzheimer's, is relatively quiet when the brain is performing well, but steps in to help out when the brain needs help with performance.Since it's one of the first areas to go with dementia, it makes sense that the person would start to have problems planning, learning, remembering and navigating (gets lost)....more
As we gather together to give thanks this week, don’t miss the opportunity to check in on elderly loved ones. While phone calls throughout the year are important, seeing mom and dad in person can be the best way to assess physical and mental issues.Give thanks this year by assessing how your mom and dad’s needs are being met:...more
My husband and I went to see a friend who had suffered a stroke during a routine heart surgery. The stroke happened over three weeks ago, but since my son graduated from the elementary school where I used to run into him during carpool duty, I didn’t find out about his condition until last week. I was catching up over lunch with another mom and she asked if I’d heard about what had happened to D. She thought my husband and I would be able to encourage him with a visit. So I texted his wife and she said we could go anytime to see him at the local Veteran’s hospital....more
My mother is on Coumadin to prevent blood clots. And which, evidently, can thin your blood to the consistency of tap water. I say “tap” because when turned on, the blood will flow.
And I say “evidently,” because when she fell and gashed the back of her head on the corner of an open bureau drawer, within minutes she gushed enough blood to saturate her blue bedroom carpet, paisley bedspread, fleece nightgown, even the medical alert button around her neck which she did still have the panicked presence of mind to activate.