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

No One Taught Me To Be A Caregiver, but I Learned

I am the only child of two highly successful and independent parents. When my father started to get a bit forgetful, I just attributed it to his absent minded professor mystique. He had a very prominent career as a president of the international division of a heavy truck and equipment manufacturer. He traveled frequently to over 130 countries and regularly met with heads of state. After he retired from this position he began his second career as a graduate school professor in international trade and finance. His IQ was off the charts and I could always count on his rational mind to see through any perceived intellectual difficulty. One day that all started to change....more
Great article!  Most people cannot begin to comprehend the time and effort required to be a ...more

Have I Lost My Mom? Is It Too Late?

It came all of a sudden. Watching my mom drawing her blood to check her glucose level every morning before breakfast starts my everyday. She would then unfold a piece of paper where she normally notes down her numbers and would visibly relax, indicating that no insulin injection was needed. She was so good at this and I trusted her diligence completely. It was by chance that I reached out for that piece of paper to check how her diabetes was getting controlled. I was confused at what I saw. The numbers she had written were scratchy and unreadable, her dates were wrong, and they were going in all directions, totally missing the grid lines on the paper. I looked at her last legible entry. It was one month before....more
It sounds like you're doing everything that you can, so you shouldn't feel bad about that. ...more

Changing your drinking habits might be bad for the aging brain

We've been told for years that red wine is good for us, but new evidence points to the idea that large quanitites of any alcohol - or just CHANGING your drinking habits (even from more to less!) - may actually be bad for the aging brain.http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2012/07/18/alcohol-ma...Researchers studied 1,300 women over 20 years and found that:- nondrinkers who became drinkers had 200% higher risk of "diminished mental skills"...more

Jigsaw puzzles made specifically for dementia/Alzheimer's patients

We already know puzzles are good for kids' cognitive skills. ...more

Dementia: When the Book and Its Cover Don't Match

Looks can be deceiving.  Mary, a slight, sweet woman, moved into my mother's independent living home about six months ago.  Mummy can't remember her name and instead calls her "the little young gal."Mary's actually 83, so while she is no spring chicken, she might be considered young by many of the residents....more
Oh, that is my grandmother to a tee.  She was pleasant and social and nodded and agreed and ...more