Driving with dementia; Should you take away a loved one's keys?

When my grandfather started developing Alzheimer's, we knew when it was time to take away the keys. He hit a parked car as he was driving by, taking off the side mirror.For other people, it's not so obvious. And as you can probably guess, trying to take away someone's ability to drive is often taken as a form of repression; you're taking away their freedom in their eyes. Although few seniors probably feel they're perfect drivers (and many will willingly give up driving at night or in busy areas they don't know well), many still want the OPTION....more

New test seems to help distinguish between Alzheimer's and normal age-related memory decline

If you've ever wondered if the memory loss you're experiencing is early Alzheimer's or just typical age-related cognitive decline, take note: A new simple cognitive test seems to be able to distinguish between the two.Researchers at the University of Illinois designed a test based on relational memory. That's the "ability to bind together various items." One particular example that stands out for testing those with Alzheimer's is connecting a person's name to their face....more
redheadedjen Jen, I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. I constantly think about my grandfather, ...more

Young blood reverses age-related cognitive decline

Maybe vampires are on to something! I heard about this on NPR this weekend. Researchers at the Stanford School of Medicine put the plasma (blood stripped of cells)from young mice into older mice and found that their brain function improved! The older mice began performing better in spatial memory tests (compared to older mice who received no plasma or older mice who received plasma from other older mice).A study from 2011 found just the opposite is true when you put blood from old mice into young mice; the young mice have decreased brain function....more

KLOTHO gene variant may be a game-changer for Alzheimer's

I'd never heard of "KLOTHO" until I read this article. It's a gene with a variant so strong that it may negate the notorious E4 variant of the APOE gene, which is a major factor in contributing to Alzheimer's.The variant also seems to have major cognitive benefits for the young brain, improving learning and memory in those with higher levels of KLOTHO.In a recent study, researchers looked at the results of 700 people who participated in aging studies. They found that those with variants of the KLOTHO gene scored better on cognitive tests....more

Dementia is Hard ... Especially Now

I invited my friend Joy DeKok to share her experiences with us and to speak about her mom who suffers from Dementia ... in honour of both caregivers and those affected by this terrible disease - especially on Mother's Day....more

Fade to Black: Death After Dementia

  It seems very wrong to write a eulogy for someone who is still alive. That's what I've been doing today. But instead of putting my scattered ideas onto paper, I'm writing this. It's one thing to eulogize in your head and another thing entirely to commit those thoughts to sentences and paragraphs....more

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