New Facebook app gives users the dementia experience

A new Facebook app created by Alzheimer's Research UK lets users experience what it's like to have dementia. It's called "FaceDementia" (www.facedementia.org) and essentially makes a sort of overlay of your info then slowly starts taking it away to simulate how memories disappear. The creators said they wanted to illustrate "how those thoughts and memories can become confused or fogotten" as they do with dementia....more

Brain skills decline at 24, but there is good news

In the modeling world, 24 is practically ancient. When it comes to brain skills, we seem to be getting the same messages.I ran across this article about how our cognitive skills begin declining after age 24.http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/275645.phpMany people think of middle age as 45 or so, because that's when age-related declines start to show a bit more....more

Guide to Communicating with Dementia Patients

Understanding and patience are the keys to talking to someone suffering from dementia. Even if it is difficult, communicating with them allows you to build a connection with them and helps foster positivity. This can help you effectively care for individuals stricken with dementia.Image Source: dailymail.co.uk...more

New blood test predicts Alzheimer's and dementia with 90% accuracy

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

When does memory loss require a trip to the doctor?

There is a difference between age-related cognitive decline (which isn't necessarily inevitable!), dementia and Alzheimer's. But for us non-medical folks, it's often cause for concern when we walk into a room only to forget what we were going to do.Some researchers wanted to help, so they created some videos to help you understand the differences and what can be done. You can find them at: www.freedemliving.com. (Yes, it's "Free dem" not "Free dom" - presumably for dementia.)...more

Hearing loss tied to faster brain shrinkage

A new study from Johns Hopkins University in Maryland found that seniors (56-86 years old) with hearing loss are more likely to develop  brain shrinkage--and at a faster rate.The research followed 126 older adults who underwent hearing tests and yearly MRIs to see how their brains changed. At the start of the research, 71 of the participants had normal hearing and 51 had impaired hearing (min. loss of 25 decibels)....more

Brain training has long-lasting benefits for seniors' cognition and everyday function

If you or someone you love is a senior, take note: A new study found that brain training can create lasting improvements to things like processing speed and reasoning, which also helps the quality of daily living.The new study out of Johns Hopkins University did a 10-year follow-up on 2,832 people who had an average age of 73.6 at the start of the study. The participants had been split into 4 groups at the start of the 10-year study.Group 1 was a memory training group. They were taught strategies for remembering word lists, text, sequences and story ideas and details....more

More proof of a link between Alzheimer's and concussions

You've likely heard about the NFL players concussions possibly causing Alzheimer's-like symptoms in retirement.But a new study looked at adults age 70 and older to determine if Alzheimer's-like symptoms were related to earlier concussions.The Minnesota study scanned the brains of 589 people. Of those, 448 had no signs of memory problems, and 141 had MCI (mild cognitive impairment) causing memory and thinking problems. All 589 participants were asked if they'd ever a brain injury that involved loss of consciousness or memory.The results?...more

Why dementia causes learning and memory problems, poor navigation and trouble planning

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

Resolve to follow a brain-healthy diet in 2014

New Year's resolutions are often the result of guilt or shaming. But what if this is the year you focus on health instead of weight loss? I ran across this article on brain health, which we're discovering is more and more tied in to diet and nutrition.Here are some of the highlights:1. Yes to dark chocolate, dried blueberries (and I'd argue fresh blueberries as well) and pumpkin seeds.2. The brain uses 20% of the body's metabolic fuel even though it only makes up 2% of your body's weight....more