The Sunday Puzzle

I recently subscribed to the New York Times — Sundays only. Not really as a way to keep up with my old stomping grounds — I find the idea that New York is still considered by some to be the center of the cultural universe no longer convincing, but more as a way to stay connected with ideas and my roots. I grew up in New Jersey, and my newspaperman dad bought the local papers as well as some from farther afield. But he was born on 14th Street and grew up in the Bronx, and the Times must have made him feel connected to his roots, too....more

Alzheimers: Waiting for Forgetting

I read an article in the online New York Times and suddenly find myself crying. Although I cry easily and have come to accept that as part of who I am, something about this crying jag disturbs me. I sit for a moment and let that feeling wash over me, trying to identify it. Ah: Terror. ...more
How utterly terrifying. I don't know if I have this horrid disease in my family, I really don't ...more

4 Things that appear to stave off/delay Alzheimer's

I ran across this headline today:"Alzheimer's numbers to triple by 2050"(http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/06/16872274-alzheimers-numbers-t...)What's particularly scary is that the numbers are already pretty big and we're nowhere near a cure (that I know of, anyway)....more

Brain pacemakers for Alzheimer's?

You read it correctly. What's good for the heart is (possibly) good for the brain. Scientists are now trying out the pacemaker idea on a patient with Alzheimer's, hoping to slow its effects.Kathy Sanford is only 57, but already she has early onset Alzheimer's and knows it's gradually getting worse. She still lives alone but can't work anymore and has to post reminders to herself....more

MRI scan can tell if it's Alzheimer's or dementia

A new piece in the journal "Neurology" tells about a new noninvasive method to test if a patient has Alzheimer's or some other kind of dementia.The old tests often resulted in delayed treatment. The method, which was accurate but unpleasant for patients, included combining the results of three tests (MRI, FDG-PET and a lumbar puncture test). Using software, researchers can diagnose Alzheimer's in 10 to 20 months....more

AC253 (diabetes drug) appears to restore memory in people with Alzheimer's

I've mentioned before that my grandfather died of Alzheimer's (yes, that's what was actually on his death certificate) and although this isn't a cure, it's nice to know that there's a glimmer of hope for people who suffered like my grandfather (and our family) when he lost his memory.A diabetes drug called AC253 - which never made it to market - was found to restore memory in animal brain cells. It works by blocking the effects of amyloid protein, which exists in high volumes in Alzheimer's patients - in the part of the brain that controls memory and cognition....more

Falling Off the Cliff: Moving My Mother Into Assisted Living

Deep down, we knew it would happen, but we didn't really have any other choice. It was no longer safe for my mother to continue to live alone in her senior-living apartment.  She needed more care, more activities, more everything. My sister and I were exhausted and we'd reached that tipping point, where if you don't take action, life could spiral out of control very quickly....more
I'm so sorry it must have been such a tough call for both you and your sister. But it is an ...more

Screen for early signs of dementia at home

Did you know there's a test you can do at home to test your loved one (or yourself) for early signs of dementia? Georgia Tech created computer software that's similar to the paper version of "The Clock Drawing Test," something health care providers often use to screen for cognitive impairment.The ClockReader test is taken with a computer or tablet and a stylus pen. The test-taker is given a set amount ot time to draw a clock (with numbers) and the correct hour and  minute hands. ...more

Using mental imagery training to strengthen memory

There are two very cool things that came out of this new study from Sandia National Laboratories. ...more

Daily brushing might lower your dementia risk

You might have heard there's a correlation between gum disease and heart problems (think plaque x 2), but did you know that brushing your teeth daily appears to lower your risk of developing dementia?A new study analyzed the brushing habits of older Californians (average age was 81) and found that the women who didn't "practice daily brushing" had a 65% greater risk of developing dementia. The men who didn't brush daily had a 22% greater risk.It's important to note that this doesn't mean cause and effect necessarily. ...more