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Alzheimer's & Mental Health News for Seniors

Alzheimer's & Mental Health News

Alzheimer’s slams senior women much harder, more often than men

Almost two-thirds of American senior citizens with Alzheimer’s disease are women

worried womanJuly 21, 2015 – As women enter the ranks of senior citizens at age 65, their chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease are much greater than that for men. And, those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) have two times faster decline in cognition than men with MCI, according to new research reported at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2015. More...

Alzheimer's & Mental Health News

Boomers may break Medicare if expected 28 million get Alzheimer’s

Ignites urgent need for treatments to delay or prevent AD

piggy bank on booksJuly 20, 2015 - If there are no significant advances in Alzheimer's treatment or prevention, as the baby boomers with Alzheimer's age, there will be a shift toward more severe forms of the disease, leading to greater Medicare costs, says new analysis. More...

Alzheimer's & Mental Health News

Future Alzheimer’s victims may be detected by new affordable, non-invasive test

Dr. Hsueh-Sheng ChiangDr. John Hart, Jr.Researchers hope to identify those with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI)

July 15, 2015 - Individuals with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) are at twice the risk of others in their age group of progressing to Alzheimer's disease and researchers think they are on the trail of an affordable, easy way to do this. More...

Alzheimer's & Mental Health News

Memories slip away when stressed after losing half a night of sleep

man trying to sleep in bedAre many seniors too quick to blame memory loss on dementias

By Tucker Sutherland, editor

July 13, 2015 - Significant problems among senior citizens are memory loss and inability to sleep. A new study has found a clear link between the two. Many seniors may be too quick to blame their memory problems – particularly when stressed - on Alzheimer’s and other dementias. More...

Alzheimer's & Mental Health News

Alzheimer’s research funding nears historic levels in Congressional action

Key Senate and House committee pass 60% increase to $350 million to fight AD

capitol at nightJune 29, 2015 - The TV box was over flowing with news last week and generally pushed out of the headlines a very big story for senior citizens – record shattering funding for Alzheimer’s disease research was sailing through Congressional committees. More...

Alzheimer's & Mental Health News

Seniors with long-term depression double their risk of stroke

Depressed womanReducing the depression symptoms does not lower stroke risk, especially fore older women

May 23, 2015 – Research with seniors over age 50 has determined that persistent depression doubles the risk of stroke for older people and this danger remains high even if the symptoms of depression go away. This is particular true for women. More...

Aging & Longevity

Senior citizens need to understand Cognitive Aging – not Alzheimer’s or dementia

New free report from Institute of Health is a good source for understanding the mental challenges of aging

By Tucker Sutherland, editor-publisher, SeniorJournal.com

April 23, 2015 –As one who for years nursed a mother as she faded into the abyss of Alzheimer’s and has written extensively on senior citizen topics, I am stunned at how little we know about “cognitive aging.” Still, AD and memory problems come up almost every time two or more senior citizens get together. A new book that is available free from the Institute of Medicine has already made me a whole lot better informed on cognitive aging and I hope it gets wide distribution. More...

 

Alzheimer's, Dementia News Online


 

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Alzheimer’s study points finger of blame at immune system

Search for treatment, cure seems headed in new direction today after Duke study

April 15, 2015 – The search for a cure or treatment of Alzheimer’s disease appears to being going in a new direction today. New research points the finger of blame away from "plaques" and "tangles" and toward a failure of the immune system. More...

Parkinson's, Alzheimer's & Mental Health

Tango may not cure Parkinson’s but puts new step in their walk

Study looked at changes in patients’ motor abilities following a 12-week tango course

April 14, 2015 – A little tango dancing for patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD), who are usually senior citizens over 60, may not have improved their motor functions but it did significantly improve their balance and functional mobility. Maybe most importantly, it seemed to encourage greater appreciation of their therapy, improve cognitive functions and reduce fatigue. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Most Alzheimer’s victims not being told dreaded diagnosis by doctors

5.1 million senior citizens have Alzheimer’s, two-thirds are women, less likely to be told than cancer victims

doctor discussing diagnosis with female patientMarch 24, 2015 – Wow, what a month in the fight against Alzheimer’s – well recognized as the affliction senior citizens fear most. It is such a dreaded diagnosis that only about 45 percent of patients or caregivers are being told the diagnosis by their doctor, according to the 2015 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report released today. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Fight against Alzheimer’s produces 19 significant discoveries this month

Many reports on studies suggesting better treatments, moving closer to cure for Alzheimer’s

March 24, 2015 – It has been an incredible month of news about Alzheimer’s disease and most of it has been encouraging for senior citizens, who fear the mind-altering disease more than any other. Among the most positive are news of a diet and a gene variant that may protect against AD, restoration of memory by an epilepsy drug, discovery about inherited AD, and new diagnostic techniques. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Senior citizens with a purpose in life have less brain damage

Positive psychological factors such as a purpose in life, emerging as very potent determinants of health for elderly

March 20, 2015 — Having a strong sense that your life has meaning and direction may make you less likely to develop areas of brain damage caused by blockages in blood flow as you age. At least that is what was found in a study of senior citizens with an average age of 84. More...

Alzheimer's News from other media

Alzheimer’s patient at 90 still lights up his dementia home with piano music

March 17, 2015 – It is hard to find a story about Alzheimer’s disease that makes you smile. But, it is hard not to feel pleasure when you hear the piano music by Bert Rose, a 90-year-old AD patient who was once a celebrated pianist. He is now bringing the pleasure of music to the home for dementia patients where he lives and plays almost daily. By Bonnie Miller Rubin, Chicago Tribune… also video.

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Experts call for end to behavior-calming drugs for Alzheimer’s patients

Caregiver-based approaches would work better – if they were used & paid for as often as anti-psychotic drugs targeted by new federal report

dice in pill bottleMarch 5, 2015 - Doctors write millions of prescriptions a year for drugs to calm the behavior of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. But non-drug approaches actually work better, and carry far fewer risks, experts conclude in a new report. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Seniors face high risk of Alzheimer’s, dementia from anticholinergic drugs

Senior citizens often take anticholinergic drugs, which are commonly prescribed for a wide range of common health conditions

senior woman looking in her medicine cabinetFeb. 17, 2015 – There is nothing that strikes fear in the hearts of senior citizens more than the risk of dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease in particular. A recent study found, however, a significantly increased risk for developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease from taking commonly used medications with anticholinergic effects, which are taken frequently by older adults, often unknowingly. They even include nonprescription medicines like Benadryl. More...

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Human stem cells restore cognitive function after chemotherapy damage

First solid evidence that transplantation of human neural stem cells can reverse chemo induced damage of healthy tissue in the brain

Feb. 16, 2015 - Human nerve system stem cell treatments are showing promise for reversing learning and memory deficits after chemotherapy, according to UC Irvine researchers. More...

Mental patients have higher death risk but seldom die from this condition

Approximately 8 million deaths each year, are attributable to mental disorders

Feb. 11, 2015 – This is one of those cases where a massive study of a large number of research reports raises more questions than it answers. It does conclude that people with mental health disorders or two times more likely to die than those without such disorders. This link between mental problems and mortality is complicated by the reality that most people with those disorders do not die of their condition. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Meditation may give us more years with healthy brain as we age

Incidence of cognitive decline and dementia has increased substantially as elderly population has grown

Feb. 9, 2015 - People are living longer and most of us take that as good news. But in the world of reality, the news is not so good, if those extra years of living are plagued with mental torment. New research of adults up to age 77, however, has found that the practice of meditation may give us more years in older age with less of the brain damage associated with aging. More...


Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Elderly delirium patients improve without drugs, complicated programs

Improvement in cognitive function, less falls for older hospital patients result from practical interventions

Feb. 2, 2015 – Prescription drugs and programs with multiple components are not necessary to reduce delirium and prevent falls in hospitalized older patents, according to an article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine. Delirium is a confused state that is marked by inattention and global cognitive dysfunction (impaired memory and thought). More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Blood vessels in older brains break down, possibly leading to Alzheimer's

USC study finds breakdown in brain's memory and learning center can be detected before cognitive loss begins, important implications for dementia patients

Jan. 21, 2014 – Another puzzle to preventing risks that can lead to Alzheimer's disease may have been solved by neuroscientists at the University of Southern California. The brain's protective blood barrier becomes leaky with age, starting at the hippocampus, a critical learning and memory center that is damaged by Alzheimer's disease. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Possibility for restoring memory found by UCLA study

Memories not stored where many think, may not be destroyed early by Alzheimer’s

Dec. 20, 1024 - Most neuroscientists have long believed that memories are stored at the synapses - the connections between brain cells, or neurons - which are destroyed by Alzheimer's disease. A new UCLA study, however, challenges the idea that long-term memory is stored at synapses. This indicates memories may be restored, offering new hope for patients in the early stages of AD. More...

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Senior’s ability to balance on one leg may detect brain health, stroke risk

One-leg standing test is easy way to determine early signs of being at risk for a stroke and cognitive impairment

By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com

Dec. 19, 2014 – You know how they warn you on TV when they are about to show something gruesome. We need to use that same type of warning on this report. It is about a new study that finds senior citizens - average age of 67 - that have trouble balancing on one leg for at least 20 seconds may have increased risk of small blood vessel damage in the brain - stroke - and reduced cognitive function. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Most seniors with memory loss, dementia skip free testing from Medicare

Free dementia clinical testing now available to all senior citizens in Medicare

Dec. 17, 2014 – Alzheimer’s disease and the associated loss of memory and cognitive ability is usually found to be the top fear of senior citizens. Yet, despite clear evidence that memory and cognitive abilities are sliding down hill, the majority of seniors with these symptoms have not been to a doctor for evaluation. More...

Aging & Longevity

Senior citizens have special brain spot to help with holiday shopping

Senior shoppers use additional brain area to remember competing consumer products and choose the better one

Dec. 16, 2014 – Okay, the holiday season is in full swing but you still have shopping to do. Will that old senior brain be up to the task? It will, says new research, but the senior citizen will call on an additional brain area where it will find extra brainpower to make shopping decisions - especially those that rely on memory. More...

Alzheimer's News – Other Media

Nursing Homes Rarely Penalized For Oversedating Patients

Dec. 10, 2014 - An NPR probe finds many nursing homes are still prescribing schizophrenia drugs to calm dementia patients — despite FDA warnings — but only 2 percent of excessive-medication cases result in penalties.

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Protecting brain health of seniors is goal of new campaign

Nearly 13% of seniors, age 60 plus, reported increased confusion and memory loss in last 12 months

Dec. 5, 2014 - A national campaign has been launched by the Eldercare Locator to better educate the public about the risks to brain health for senior citizens and simple strategies to help mitigate those risks. More..

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Dance helps people with Parkinson’s, maybe healthy senior citizens, too

Ballroom dancing could help people with Parkinson’s improve their balance and mobility, and maybe do the same for other seniors

By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com

Dec. 4, 2014 – Researchers at the University of Southhampton, UK, recently announced that participants in their study who had Parkinson’s and took part in ballroom dance lessons improved their balance, confidence and posture. They are not the first to discover that dancing can make life better and safer for Parkinson’s patients, who are also almost exclusively senior citizens. Maybe seniors without PD should also consider how this exercise reduced falls in the PD group. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

New Alzheimer’s Disease Fighter may be Protein that Awakens Brain

Eliminating protein called orexin made mice sleep longer and strongly slowed the production of brain plaques

Nov. 24, 2014 - Scientists at Washington University, who earlier established links between sleep problems and Alzheimer's, now say a protein that stimulates the brain to awaken from sleep may be a target for preventing Alzheimer's disease. More...

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Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Anxiety Hastens Alzheimer's for Seniors with Mild Cognitive Impairment

Late-life depression has been identified as a significant risk marker for Alzheimer's

Nov. 10, 2014 – A new study has identified anxiety as a condition that can hasten the development of Alzheimer’s disease in people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), who are at risk of slowly developing Alzheimer’s over a few years. Although this study focused on adults over age 54, the news may not be as distressing for senior citizens, who are considerably less likely than younger adults to suffer anxiety disorders. More...

Advanced Dementia Patients Given Medications of Questionable Benefit, High Cost

Questionably medications account for more than one third of their medication expenditures

Nov. 3, 2014 – A nationwide study of 5046 patients with advanced dementia – mostly white females and more than half age 85 or older – has found that most nursing home residents with advanced dementia receive medications with questionable benefit that incur substantial associated costs. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Discovery Opens Door for Possible Treatment of a Common Dementia

Damage to white matter in brain may be due to many unnoticed strokes

Oct. 30, 2014 - Brain scans find white matter damage in about half of all senior citizens, which is often harmless, but when the damage is severe, it can cause mental impairment. This has, however, been considered a natural part of aging. Now, researchers think this white matter disease (leukoaraiosis) may actually be the result of many tiny unnoticed strokes accumulating over time – a finding they say points to a potentially treatable form of dementia. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Elderly Men Reporting Sleep Problems at Higher Risk for Alzheimer's Disease

The later age the self-reported sleep disturbance was found the higher the risk was for developing Alzheimer's disease

Oct. 28, 2014 - In a new study, researchers from Uppsala University demonstrate that elderly men with self-reported sleep disturbances run a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease than men without self-reported sleep disturbances. The results are published in the scientific journal Alzheimer's & Dementia. More...

Aging & Longevity

Traumatic Brain Injuries to Seniors Linked to Higher Dementia Risk

Senior citizens are often warned of the risks associated with falls that are common for elderly – now add dementia to that risk

Oct. 27, 2014 – There are frequent warnings to senior citizens about the risk of falling. It has long been recognized as a high risk for serious bodily injury to aging bodies. Researchers have now found that one of the consequences of falling – traumatic brain injury (TIB) – is associated with an increased risk of dementia in adults 55 years and older, according to their report published online by JAMA Neurology. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Dramatic Memory Improvement in Seniors from Cocoa Flavanols

First evidence one component of age-related memory decline is caused by changes in a specific region of the brain, and can be improved

Oct. 26, 2014 - Dietary cocoa flavanols - naturally occurring bioactives found in cocoa - reversed age-related memory decline in healthy older adults, according to a study published today in the advance online issue of Nature Neuroscience. The study saw participants with the memory of a typical 60-year-old at the beginning of the study, improve to that of a 30 or 40 year old after only three months. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Frontotemporal Degeneration Dementia Draws More Attention, Research Funding

This early onset dementia strikes 10 years earlier than most; almost $6 million in research being funding by three agencies of the National Institutes of Health

 

Oct. 24, 2014 - Approximately 50,000 Americans live with frontotemporal degeneration, or FTD, which strikes people most often in their 50s or 60s, and causes severe behavioral changes and problems with language and cognition. The National Institutes of Health will award three large, five-year projects targeting this specific form of dementia, known as frontotemporal because of the areas of the brain that are affected. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Senior Citizens Drink Up! Moderate Alcohol Leads to Better Memory

Also linked with a larger volume in the hippocampus, a brain region critical for episodic memory

Oct. 23, 2014 – If you are a senior age 60 or older and do not have dementia, new research supports previous studies that have found moderate alcohol consumption improves your ability to recall memories of events – episodic memory. More...

Mental Health, Alzheimer's, Dementia

Mental Stress Impact on Heart Varies Between Men, Women

Women had greater increase in negative emotions, decrease in positive emotions

Oct. 13, 2014 — Researchers found that while men had more changes in blood pressure and heart rate in response to the mental stress, more women experienced myocardial ischemia, decreased blood flow to the heart. The women also expressed a greater increase in negative emotions and a greater decrease in positive emotions during the mental stress tests. Women also experienced increased platelet aggregation, which is the start of the formation of blood clots, more than men. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Memory Loss Associated with Alzheimer’s Reversed for First Time, Study Claims

Small trial from UCLA and Buck Institute claims success using systems approach to memory disorders

Oct. 7, 2014 - This study from the UCLA Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research and the Buck Institute for Research on Aging is the first to suggest that memory loss in patients may be reversed, and improvement sustained, using a complex, 36-point therapeutic program that involves comprehensive changes in diet, brain stimulation, exercise, optimization of sleep, specific pharmaceuticals and vitamins, and multiple additional steps that affect brain chemistry. More...Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Can Stimulating Curiosity Bring Aging Memories Back to Life?

New research says it's easier to learn if you are interested and this curiosity stimulates the brain’s hippocampus where memories form

By Tucker Sutherland, editor

Based on materials from Cell Press

Oct. 2, 2014 - The more interested we are in a topic, the easier it is to learn about that topic, according to new research published today in the journal Neuron. For most of us, it is surprising that it took a research study to make the discovery. But, then again, it could be a new direction for efforts to improve memory in the healthy elderly and to develop new approaches for treating patients with disorders that affect memory. More

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health - Opinion

Editor Disagrees with Study Predicting Mental Decline After Admitting Memory Problems

‘If noticing memory slip signals memory, cognitive decline, all my friends are on slippery slope’

By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com

Sept. 26, 2014 – Research from a reputable source finds that people who notice their memory is slipping are much more likely to develop memory and other cognitive problems. Well, there go all my senior friends and myself. At age 76, I mostly hangout with my tennis buddies and very “with it” old-time friends that I share with my wife. I don’t know of a one of us that does not occasionally complain about our memory.

Caregiver & Elder Care News

Complicated Grief Suffered by Senior Citizens May Be Treatable

Complicated grief is serious, debilitating mental health problem associated with functional impairment, increased suicide risk

Sept. 24, 2014 – Recent research has been pointing to grief suffered by senior citizens as often having more serious consequences that for younger people. This “complicated grief” carries serious consequences and strikes about nine percent of bereaved older women. A recent test of a treatment for CG achieved a reduction in symptoms and less disease severity.

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Simple Test May Detect Your Alzheimer’s Risk Before Dementia Shows Up

Alzheimer’s group had slower reaction, movement time, as well as less accuracy, precision in their movements

Sept. 18, 2014 — If you really want to know if you are at risk for Alzheimer’s disease, York University researchers say a simple test that combines thinking and movement may reveal your risk, even before any obvious signs of dementia are obvious.

Caregiver & Elder Care News

National Group Reduces Antipsychotic Drug Use in Nursing Homes, Sets New Goals

National Partnership, including CMS, seeks to optimize the quality of life in America’s nursing homes by improving care for all residents, especially those with dementia

September 19, 2014 – After two years of success in reducing the use of antipsychotic medications by patients in long-stay nursing home care, the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care today established a new national goal of reducing the use by 25 percent by the end of 2015, and 30 percent by the end of 2016. The public-private coalition includes the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), consumers, advocacy organizations, providers and professional associations.

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Many Senior Citizens Do Not Know How to Lower Dementia Risk

Alzheimer’s Society of U.K. emphasizes five simple things older people can do to avoid dementia

Sept. 14, 2014 - Alzheimer’s disease is the affliction feared most by a majority of senior citizens but a new study in the U.K. finds a surprisingly large number of seniors are unaware that it is possible to lower their risk of dementia.

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Do Not Upset Grandpa or Grandma Before Surgery, It Can Hinder Recovery

Family conflicts, other non-physical worries before colon cancer surgery raise patients’ complication risk; reducing stress speeds recovery

Sept. 2, 2014 - How well patients recover from cancer surgery may be influenced by more than their medical conditions and the operations themselves. Family conflicts and other non-medical problems may raise their risk of surgical complications, a Mayo Clinic study has found. Addressing such quality-of-life issues before an operation may reduce patients’ stress, speed their recoveries and save health care dollars, the research suggests.

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Marijuana May Halt or Slow Alzheimer’s Disease Says Florida Study

THC in marijuana known to be potent antioxidant with neuroprotective properties, first report that the compound directly affects Alzheimer’s pathology by decreasing amyloid beta levels

By Anne DeLotto BaierAug. 27, 2014 – Extremely low levels of the compound in marijuana known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, may slow or halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, a recent study from neuroscientists at the University of South Florida shows. More...

Caregiver & Elder Care News

New Report on Severe Hardship for Family Caregivers of Patients with Cognitive Conditions

‘All caregivers need training and support; caregivers who are responsible for people with challenging behaviors are among those most in need of assistance,’ AARP/United Hospital Fund

Aug. 20, 2014 - Family caregivers who provide complex chronic care to people who also have cognitive and behavioral health conditions face particularly demanding challenges, including high levels of self-reported depression. A majority of them (61%) reported feeling stress “sometimes to always,” between their caregiving responsibilities and trying to meet other work or family obligations, says a new report. More...

Aging News & Information

Robin Williams Death Highlights Increase in Suicide Among Middle-aged Men

Suicide rates in middle-aged are higher than for the elderly; male baby boomers are 1.6 times more likely to kill themselves than prior generation

Aug. 19, 2014 - The death of Robin Williams has once again renewed focus on a worrying trend:  middle-aged male baby boomers who increasingly take their own lives. Julie Phillips, professor of sociology at Rutgers, notes Williams seems to have had many of the risk factors – a 63-year-old man with a history of drug addiction, alcoholism and depression who was dealing with new physical health problems. More...

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Cognitive Problems in Senior Citizens Found as Risk for Stroke, Death

Declining memory and cognitive ability may increase the risk of stroke, death in seniors over age 65

Aug. 12, 2014 – Most senior citizens are well aware that poor cardiovascular health, including a stroke, is an important risk factor for developing cognitive impairment. New research, however, says the opposite is also true for senior citizens age 65 and older: cognitive impairment is a risk factor for having a stroke. More...

Senior Citizen Alerts

Senior Citizens Should Schedule Mentally Challenging Tasks in the Morning

Older adults have ‘morning brains’ finds study showing noticeable difference in brain function across the day

Aug. 6, 2014 - Senior citizens facing a challenge that will require their brain to be working at its best should schedule it for the morning hours. A new study finds older adults have “morning brains.” They not only perform better on demanding cognitive tasks but also activate the same brain networks responsible for paying attention and suppressing distraction as younger adults, according to Canadian researchers. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Link Between Frailty and Dementia Gets Closer Look by New York Researchers

‘Growing consensus in the field that frailty is at the core of geriatrics, and that frailty is associated with higher rates of cognitive deficit’

Ellen Goldbaum Senior Editor, Medicine, UB News

Aug. 5, 2014 – What is the relationship between frailty and dementia? Many studies acknowledge that frailty and dementia often coexist, but little research has been done on why that is the case. Read more...

Caregiver & Elder Care News

Simple Telephone Support a Great Relief for Caregivers of Dementia Patients

Program potentially less expensive than in-person treatment options, more convenient for many caregivers

July 30, 2014 – Caregivers for dementia patients must deal with enormous stress and many suffer depression. A new study has found, however, that a support program simply by telephone can significantly reduce depression and other problems for informal caregivers, such as family or friends, and is as effective as face-to-face intervention programs. Read more...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Early Life Experiences Influence Cognitive Ability in Senior Citizens

Challenges earlier research pointing to importance of demographic characteristics such as race and ethnicity

July 29, 2014 - An association between an increased risk of late-life cognitive impairment and dementia and the person’s race and ethnicity, is challenged by new research with senior citizens that finds early life experiences, such as childhood socioeconomic status and literacy, may have greater influence on the risk of cognitive impairment late in life. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

How Senior Citizens Function So Well Despite Declining Cognitive Ability

Can they really think well when they focus real hard? Psychology prof says it is ‘selective engagement’

July 28, 2014 - Senior citizens almost universally show decline in their cognitive ability as they age, but they often do not seem to suffer in their ability to cope with decisions in their work or daily life. A psychology researcher at North Carolina State University thinks it is something he calls “selective engagement.” More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Alzheimer’s, Other Diseases a Step Closer to Treatment with New Protein Structure

Stops harmful changes of body’s normal proteins into state linked to diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and Lou Gehrig’s disease

Michelle Ma, University of Washington

July 28, 2014 - There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, but University of Washington bioengineers are one step closer to finding a treatment. They have designed a peptide structure that can stop the harmful changes of the body’s normal proteins into a state that’s linked to widespread diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and Lou Gehrig’s disease. Read more...

Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, & Mental Health

Six New Genetic Risks Found for Parkinson’s Disease that Targets Seniors

Study shows power of combining big data analysis with cutting-edge genomic techniques

July 28, 2014 - Using data from over 18,000 patients, scientists have identified more than two dozen genetic risk factors involved in Parkinson's disease, including six that had not been previously reported. The biggest risk factor long established for PD is age: it usually attacks people at about age 60 and the risk factor continues to increase with age. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Senior Citizens Who Walk Slowly Can Expect Dementia to Catch Up with Them

Series of research reports in recent years have dire predictions for slow walking seniors, including a shorter life

July 25, 2014 – If you are a senior citizen and you walk very slowly, you have some things to worry about. The latest is a report from a study of 27,000 seniors age 60 or older that declares it can predict dementia in the future of those who walk slowly and have cognitive complaints. Another study early this year says slow walking seniors are less happy and have shorter longevity. In fact, a study of seniors in 2011 says how fast they walk is a better gage of how long they will live than trying to do a more complicated analysis of their medical condition and history. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

False Memories May Be Result of Not Getting Enough Sleep

Findings raise questions about reliability of eyewitnesses who may have experienced long periods of restricted or deprived sleep

July 23, 2014 - Numerous recent studies have grabbed the attention of senior citizens with results showing that lack of adequate sleep can cause people – seniors in particular – numerous problems with cognition, memory and even disease. Now the scientist say lack of sleep can even cause us to create false memories. The possible good news for seniors is this study was with college students. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Potential Found for Cancer Drug as Oral Therapy for Alzheimer’s Disease

Previous work with mice found cognition improved, nerve cell loss was reduced when microtubule protein stabilized

July 23, 2014 - Scientists are reporting new progress on a set of compounds initially developed for cancer treatment that shows promise as a potential oral treatment for Alzheimer's disease. Currently, no cure exists for the devastating neurological disease that affects more than 5 million Americans – primarily senior citizens. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Fish Oil May Help Protect Alcohol Abusers from Dementia

Up to 90% less inflammation, death in brain cells of drinkers after exposure to omega-3 DHA

July 21, 2014 – Anything that reduces the risk of dementia is of high interest to most senior citizens. New research says one way – at least for those who drink alcohol regularly - is to take omega-3 fish oil. The researchers discovered it will protect against inflammation and neuronal cell death that damages the brain in alcohol abusers and can lead to dementia. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health - Opinion

Alzheimer's Conference Offers Signs of Hope in Battle Against Mind-Crushing Disease

Below are some of the highlights from the Alzheimer's Association International Conference that are important to every senior citizen

By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com

July 16, 2014 – For the first time in the almost-20-years that I have closely followed the battle against Alzheimer’s disease, I am encouraged about our odds. As the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference for this year wraps up in Copenhagen, the researchers and other experts who made presentations convinced me we are finally getting our arms around this cruel killer, and have a chance to - someday - bring it under control. Below are the highlights and every senior citizen, the primary victims of the disease, needs to read them. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Exciting Glimmer of Hope in Fight Against Alzheimer’s in U.S. but World Epidemic Grows

New data on fewer new cases in U.S. and other developed nations suggests possibility of prevention and risk reduction; reports from Alzheimer’s Association International Conference

July 15, 2014 – Older Americans have become accustomed to assuming that Alzheimer’s disease in becoming more common among senior citizens and is destined to increase rapidly due to the increased incidence rate and the explosion in longevity. New reports today at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2014 suggest the possibility of reducing risk and maybe even preventing the disease most feared by most seniors. Some of the best news was found in studies from the United States.

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Seniors Almost Twice as Likely to Have Memories Affected By Environmental Distraction

‘Almost any type of memory test administered reveals a decline in memory from the age of 25 on’

July 14, 2014 - Seniors are nearly twice as likely as younger people to have their memory and cognitive processes impaired by environmental distractions (such as irrelevant speech or written words presented along with target stimuli), according to a new study from psychologists at Rice University and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Seniors See Brains Age Faster the Less They Sleep

Faster brain ventricle enlargement marker for cognitive decline; first study to look at impact of less sleep

July 2, 2014 – The less older people sleep, the faster their brains age, according a new study. The researchers see their discovery as opening the door for new studies on sleep loss and its contribution to cognitive decline in seniors, including dementia. More...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Intellectual Enrichment Again Proven to Delay Cognitive Decline in Seniors

Latest study from Mayo Clinic published in JAMA Neurology suggests even those with high risk gene can delay decline for years

June 23, 2014 - The evidence continues to mount that the way to protect against the common cognitive decline seen in too many senior citizens is to maintain a lifestyle of intellectual enrichment throughout life. A new study from the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging confirms it again in a report appearing in today’s edition of JAMA Neurology, and add that it may delay dementia as long as nine years, even in high risk seniors.

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Right Amount of Sleep Very Important to Cognitive Ability of Seniors Says International Study

University of Oregon-led research finds women sleeping longer and struggling with quality – see video

June 16, 2014 – Middle aged or older people who get six to nine hours of sleep per night think better that those who sleep fewer or even more hours, report researchers who were looking at cognitive decline and dementia as people age.

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Memory, Learning Problems More Likely Among Older People with Poor Cardiovascular Health

People with the lowest cardiovascular health scores were more likely to have impairment on learning, memory and verbal fluency

June 11, 2014 – A large study of older adults has concluded that developing cognitive impairment, especially memory and learning problems, is much greater for people with poor cardiovascular health. The best cardiovascular health was more common in men, the higher educated, and those with the highest incomes. Read more...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Seniors Will Cheer Researchers Who Have Proven How Memory Can Be Turned On and Off

NIH funded study is first to prove connections between neurons controls memory

June, 2014 – There is news out of the National Institutes of Health that should make seniors very happy or at least hopeful. The tantalizing image is of a switch that can turn memory or off. What these scientists have done is turn memory off and then back on using a flash of light in genetically engineered rats. It is the first clear cause-and-effect evidence that the connections between neurons in our brains are what make memory work. Read more...

Aging News & Information

Social Networks Usually Linked to Better Health for Older Adults, Studies Find

Special edition of Health Psychology packed with studies of senior citizens and their relationships

June 4, 2014 - Having regular positive interactions with family and friends and being involved in several different social networks can help older adults be healthier, according to numerous new research reports to be published by the American Psychological Association this month. However, negative social interactions can present health risks. Read more...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Simple Visual Test Can Distinguish Alzheimer’s Disease from Normal Aging

The brain’s hippocampus is important to relational memory - it binds information together

May 21, 2014 - Researchers have developed a new cognitive test that can better determine whether memory impairments are due to very mild Alzheimer’s disease or the normal aging process. The simple test asks subjects to determine if circles containing certain designs match each other, which exercises the hippocampus portion of their brain. Read more...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Seven Things You Can Do to Avoid Alzheimer's, Boost Brain Health

International researchers identify dietary and lifestyle guidelines for Alzheimer’s prevention; special feature in Neurobiology of Aging

May 16, 2014 – Seven points of advice on dietary and lifestyle guidelines that will boost brain health and lower your risk of Alzheimer’s were made available today by Neurobiology of Aging in advance of their publication of a special supplement on this advice. Read more...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Method to Better Manage Agitation, Aggression in Dementia Patients Introduced

Technique called DICE helps manage the most troubling symptoms of dementia, lessen use of drugs by building link between caregivers, patients and health providers; recommended by Medicare

April 21, 2014 - A new approach to handling agitation, aggression and other unwanted behaviors by people with dementia may help reduce the use of antipsychotics and other psychiatric drugs in this population, and make life easier for them and their caregivers, a team of experts says. It has already become a part of Medicare’s recommended toolkit for carrying for dementia patients. Read more...

Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Is Link Between Cognitive Decline and Vitamin D Deficiency in Seniors a Clue to Treatment?

Controlled trials are needed to determine whether vitamin D supplementation can prevent cognitive decline

April 15, 2014 – Vitamin D deficiency and cognitive impairment are common in senior citizens, but there isn't a lot of conclusive research into whether there's a relationship between the two. A new study out today, however, has found evidence of an association between low vitamin D levels and cognitive decline in seniors. The lead author is calling for clinical trials to see if vitamin D can prevent cognitive decline. Read more...

Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Green Tea Found to Enhance Cognitive Ability: Improves Memory, May Help Dementia

Subjects do much better on test after taking green tea extract; can it treat dementia?

April 7, 2014 – Green tea extract enhances the cognitive functions and in particular the working memory, say researchers from the University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland, who claim to be the first to prove this benefit in green tea. They see distant possibilities, too, for treating dementia. Read more...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Cognitive Decline in Older Men Linked to Poor Sleep

It was the quality of sleep that predicted future cognitive decline in this study, not the quantity

March 31, 2014 - A new study of older men found a link between poor sleep quality and the development of cognitive decline over three to four years. Results show that higher levels of fragmented sleep and lower sleep efficiency were associated with a 40 to 50 percent increase in the odds of clinically significant decline in executive function, which was similar in magnitude to the effect of a five-year increase in age. Read more...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Diabetes Drug Shows Promise in Reducing Alzheimer's, Restoring Memory in Test Mice

Potential as a test for diagnosis of AD and a therapy for the disease; improved learning and memory in tests

March 25, 2014 - Diabetic patients taking the drug, pramlintide, may be ahead of many of us in the battle against Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and preserving our memory. A new study found the synthetic version of amylin reduces amyloid-beta peptides, a major component of Alzheimer's in the brain. It also improves learning and memory, according to researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM). Read more...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Nasal Spray Delivers New Depression Treatment to Right Spot in Brain

20 million Americans, mostly women, suffer from depression

March 24, 2014 – A nose spray that uses new technology to deliver drugs directly to the brain is being hailed by researchers at Canada’s largest mental health and teaching hospital and the University of Toronto as a promising new way to treat depression. Read more...

 

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Latest Potential for Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease Analyzes Spinal Fluid

Other recent claims of success with early detection of Alzheimer’s have used blood test or eye abnormalities in lab rats

March 21, 2014 - Researchers announced this week they are close to being able to diagnose the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease by the detection of tiny, misfolded protein fragments in cerebrospinal fluid taken from patients. Just in a matter of days similar claims for early discovery of the disease has been made by scientists using a blood test and others studying eye abnormalities in lab rats. Read more...

Exercise & Fitness for Senior Citizens

Exercise for Seniors Becoming New Frontier in Battle Against Cognitive Decline

Wake Forest study to show whether high- or low-intensity exercising, or both, can help people with early cognition problems

By Les Gura, Wake Forest Baptist HealthWire

March 19, 2014 - Marcus Dobson, 60, first recognized the cognitive decline brought on by Parkinson's disease when he realized he no longer wanted to play with his grandchildren or even be in the same room with them. Bunny Fontrier, 63, wasn't having any cognition problems, but after caring for her mother with dementia she thought she should look at herself, too. Read more...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Senior Women Are Epicenter of Alzheimer’s as Most Likely Victims, Care Givers

Alzheimer’s Association reports senior women twice as likely as men to get Alzheimer’s; twice as likely to get AD as breast cancer

March 19, 2014 – Women are theepicenter of Alzheimer’s disease” according to a new report from the Alzheimer’s Association that finds senior women at age 65 almost twice as likely as senior men to develop the disease. And, women in their 60s are about twice as likely to get AD in older age as they are breast cancer. But, that is not all of the burden for women: they about 2.5 times more likely than men to provide full-time care for AD victims. Read more...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Early-Stage Alzheimer’s May Be Revealed by Variations in Eye Structure, Function

The quest continues to find earliest stages of Alzheimer’s for closer study, drug development

March 18, 2014 – Scientists are turning over every stone they can find hoping to discover a way to achieve an early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. Just recently a group claimed success with a blood test, at least in lab rats. A new group using lab rats, again, claim the discovery of eye abnormalities that may help reveal features of early-stage AD. Read more...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Dementia Symptoms May Not Be Alzheimer’s; Caregivers Unmask Lewy Body Dementia

The number two dementia often identified too late for thousands of seniors - see video by Whoopi Goldberg in story

March 17, 2014 – “You don’t even know the battle is upon you, until the invasion is well underway,” says Ms. J, a caregiver for a person with dementia. Ms. J is just one of many caregivers who learn that debilitating symptoms begin to take their toll on loved ones before they even discover their diagnosis. It’s Lewy body dementia (LBD), the second most common form of progressive dementia that affects 1.3 million Americans, primarily seniors. Read more...

Aging News & Information

UCLA Memory Program for Seniors Offers 'Gym For Your Brain'

UCLA Longevity Center helping both patients and caregivers live with diseases that fray their bond of shared memories.

By Anna Gorman, KHN Staff Writer,
This KHN story was produced in collaboration with The Washington Post

March 12, 2014 - Just as they had so many times during the past 60 years, Marianna and Albert Frankel stepped onto the dance floor. He took her hand in his, and smiling, waltzed her around the room. “I remembered how it used to be and we could really do the waltz and he would whirl me around until I got dizzy,” said Marianna Frankel, 82, who is 10 years younger than her husband. Read more...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Senior Citizens May Soon Have Blood Test to Predict Alzheimer’s Risk with 90% Accuracy

Report in Nature Medicine on discovery in study of seniors over age 70; NPR reports on consequences of knowing – see video in story

March 9, 2014 – If you are a senior citizens over age 70 a new blood test can predict with 90 percent accuracy if you will develop Alzheimer’s disease in the next two or three years. The new discovery still must go through clinical testing before being available for general use but now seniors will have to consider if this is information they really want to know. Read more...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Alzheimer’s Disease May Kill Many More in U.S. Than Currently Reported

Study finds death rate more than four times higher after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s in people age 75 to 84 and nearly three times higher in people age 85 and older

March 6, 2014 - A new study suggests that Alzheimer’s disease may contribute to almost as many deaths in the United States as heart disease or cancer, but the AD deaths are under-reported due to confusion by those completing the death certificates. Analysis of deaths among senior citizens points to vastly more deaths related to AD than reported, the study shows. Read more...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Risk for Senior Citizens of Depression and Dementia Increases After Hospitalization

Dementia and depression may impair ability to care for themselves, increasing their risk for hospitalization and re-hospitalization.

By Katherine Kahn, HBNS Contributing Writer

March 5, 2014 - People over age 65 who have been hospitalized are at significantly greater risk for dementia or depression, finds a new study in General Hospital Psychiatry. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Burst of Anger Greatly Increases Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke and Brain Aneurysm for Many

‘…Overall risk for people without other risk factors like smoking or high blood pressure is relatively small’

March 4, 2014 – Warning people they are going to have a heart attack if they don’t calm down is, perhaps, better advice than you have imagined. New research says the risk of a heart attack in the two hours following an outburst of anger is five times greater than when we are calm. And, the risk of a stroke jumps almost four times. Read more...

Exercise & Fitness for Senior Citizens

How You Rate Your Physical Fitness in Middle Age an Indicator of Dementia Risk

Rating yourself in poor physical condition at about 50 increases dementia risk by four

Feb. 26, 2014 - How would you rate your own physical fitness? Is it good, satisfactory or maybe even poor? Surprisingly, your answer may reveal your future risk of developing dementia. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Quick Screening on Electronic Pad in Waiting Room Tells Doctor if Patient Depressed

Seniors may need to brush up on their iPad skills if new device becomes popular tool for screening patients in waiting rooms

By Valerie DeBenedette, HBNS Contributing Writer

Feb. 25, 2014 – A quick screening on a electronic pad in the doctor’s waiting room appears to have the ability to easily recognize depression and anxiety in patients, who were actually there to visit the physician about another ailment. The results can be sent directly to the waiting doctor for immediate action. Read more...

Aging News & Information

Loneliness in Older People May Increase Chance of Death by 14 Percent

Retiring to a warmer climate among strangers isn’t necessarily a good idea, if it means you are disconnected from the people who mean the most to you

By William Harms

Feb. 18, Feeling extreme loneliness can increase an older person’s chances of premature death by 14 percent, according to research by psychologist John Cacioppo, one of the nation’s leading experts on loneliness. Read more...

Caregiver & Elder Care News

Elderly, Men, Minorities Not Getting Treated for Depression

70% who were depressed had received no treatment; those who were male, Mexican- or African-American or over 80 least likely to receive treatment

By Milly Dawson, HBNS Contributing Writer

Feb. 6, 2014 - A leading cause of disability, depression rates are increasing in the U.S. and under-treatment is widespread, especially among certain groups including men, the poor, the elderly and ethnic minorities, finds a new study in General Hospital PsychiatryRead more...

Aging News & Information

Your Memories Most Likely Created Using Paint from the Present

Our memory is no video camera; it edits the past with present experiences

Feb. 5, 2014 - Your memory is a wily time traveler, plucking fragments of the present and inserting them into the past, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study. In terms of accuracy, it's no video camera. Rather, the memory rewrites the past with current information, updating your recollections with new experiences. Love at first sight, for example, is more likely a trick of your memory than a Hollywood-worthy moment. Read more...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Memory Loss Prevented in Alzheimer’s Disease Mice by Antioxidant Fisetin

Daily dose of fisetin keeps mice - even those with genetic mutations linked to Alzheimer's - from experiencing memory and learning deficits as they age

Jan. 27, 2014 – Memory loss and learning impairments have been stopped in mice that normally develop these Alzheimer’s symptoms less than a year after they are born, according to scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. It was accomplished by a daily dose of fisetin, a flavonol compound, found in fruits and vegetables, which they say has already been proven to enhance memory. Read more...

Aging News & Information

Proof that Aging Brain is Sharp as Ever, Just Takes Longer to Process Years of Data

New research indicates senior citizen’s brain is like a computer with too much information gathered over decades of use, rather than cognitive decline

By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com

Jan. 21, 2014 – I have been telling my grandkids this for years – the reason it takes me awhile to recall information is that my brain just contains so much more information than it did when I was younger. Now, there is research to prove I am right. The study argues that the brains of senior citizens take longer to process “ever increasing amounts of knowledge,” and this has been misidentified as declining cognitive ability due to aging. Read more...

Cognitive Training for Senior Citizens Shows 10-Year Benefit in Reasoning, Speed

Clinical trial funded by National Institute on Aging aimed at enabling seniors to maintain cognitive abilities as they age

Jan. 16, 2014 - Training to improve cognitive abilities in senior citizens – average age of 74 - lasted to some degree 10 years after the training program was completed, according to results of a randomized clinical trial supported by the National Institutes of Health. The findings showed training gains for aspects of cognition involved in the ability to think and learn, but researchers said memory training did not have an effect after 10 years. Read more...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Seniors Expected to Rush to New 15-Minute Test of Cognitive Abilities, Dementia Risk

The easy-to-use test is available below and may be a faster download on SeniorJournal.com - Also see video on test

Jan. 14, 2014 – Seniors around the English speaking world are probably pounding on their computers today trying to download the new 15-minute test to evaluate their cognitive abilities. It was released yesterday by researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center after tests on older Americans. They declared it a simple but “reliable tool” that can be used without medical supervision or interpretation. It can be downloaded with link in this story below. Read more...


Link to Alzheimer's, Mental Health News

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