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Alzheimer's

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

USA Today Story Brings New Attention to legal and Medical Decisions for Alzheimer’s Patients


USA Today has now written multiple articles about restaurateur and lifestyle guru B. Smith. While she struggles with her Alzheimer’s, her husband has brought a companion for himself into their home.

Many people have reacted negatively to this living situation, and obviously, at this point, it is impossible to know how Smith would have felt about this new living arrangement.

This situation has resulted in new discussions about the importance of families discussing the wishes and desires of older family members or even younger members in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.
Read more . . .


Monday, October 8, 2018

The Financial Costs of Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s


If you are caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s, you already know the emotional toll for such a task. And of course, there are the financial costs that continue to increase at an alarming rate, according to a new report.

A recently released study from the University of Pennsylvania determined that the day-to-day costs of caring for a family member or loved one with Alzheimer’s ranges from $144,000 to $200,000 over a two-year period.

This article, recently published in HealthDay, provides a detailed explanation of the staggering financial burden falling on families caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s.

Almost $200,000 over the course of two years.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Some Good Funding News on Fight Against Alzheimer’s


The 2018 budget approved recently by Congress calls for a $414 million increase in funding for Alzheimer’s and dementia research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). If there are no changes before the budget is signed into law, Alzheimer’s and dementia research funding at the NIH will reach $1.8 billion. 

This marks the third consecutive year that Congress has approved an appeal by the Alzheimer’s Association for historic funding increases to enable research to fight these devastating diseases.

That’s the good news.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Reducing Dementia Risk


A study recently presented in London at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference suggests that lifestyle changes can help prevent dementia, according to a report published by the BBC.

It was also reported at the conference that it is estimated that 47 million people globally suffer with some form of dementia currently and, left untreated, that number can grow to 131 million by 2050.

The scientists who presented the study suggest that these nine preventable factors cause 35 percent of dementia risk, and that with behavioral change, this part of the dementia risk can be significantly reduced or eliminated.

The nine factors and their percentage of the risk are:

  • Mid-life hearing loss – 9%
  • Failing to complete secondary education - 8%
  • Smoking - 5%
  • Failing to seek early treatment for depression - 4%
  • Physical inactivity - 3%
  • Social isolation - 2%
  • High blood pressure - 2%
  • Obesity - 1%
  • Type 2 diabetes - 1%

Unfortunately the remaining 65% of the causes of dementia are what the scientists describe as “non-modifiable.”

So while research continues for a cure for Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related diseases, there is action individuals can take to help with prevention.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A New Focus on Preventing Alzheimer’s


For the longest time the treatment focus on Alzheimer’s has been to find ways to treat it effectively. But in the last year or so, there has been an increased effort on preventing Alzheimer’s and other related dementias.

While there was much media coverage in 2016 about a highly touted experimental drug that failed in its effort to prevent the disease, that has not changed the current push to find a cure.

The Alzheimer’s Association launched a campaign last year to promote the concept of the first Alzheimer’s survivor.

And while the results of the recent drug testing were disappointing, that has not deterred other scientists from finding a medicine that can slow or stop the progress of brain degeneration.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Alzheimer’s Research Funding Could Get a $300 Million Boost

In what has to be considered good news and an important step, the U.S. House Labor, Health and Human Services (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee this week proposed a $300 million increase for Alzheimer’s research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). If this historic step increase becomes law, it will be the largest annual increase ever in federal Alzheimer’s research funding. And it is not a minute too soon.

Credit for this sorely needed proposed increase in funding goes to the Alzheimer’s Association, the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM) and advocates across the country. Back in March more than 1,000 advocated went to Washington to ask for the $300 million increase. Some of them testified about this critical need to members of the subcommittee.

While this is a significant first step, it is part of a year-long appropriations process that will only end successfully with a bill passed by Congress and signed into law. So advocacy must continue.


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Alzheimer’s Disease: The Facts

Alzheimer’s disease is a growing epidemic in the United States. Alzheimer’s is the only top 10 leading causes of death that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed, and nearly one in three seniors develops Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia.

As the population of the U.S. grows, so will the number of older adults with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. The number of people with Alzheimer’s in adults over the age of 65 is estimated to reach 7.1 million by 2025. By 2050, the numbers could reach nearly 14 million, almost triple what they are today with 5.1 million people afflicted with Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s and dementia are devastating to victims and their loved ones. Oftentimes, friend and family become caregivers, and in 2014 friends and family of Alzheimer victims provided an estimated 17.9 billion hours of unpaid care. Nearly half of caregivers for victims of dementia reported a household income of less than $50,000 a year. Nearly 40 percent of caregivers for persons with Alzheimer’s suffer from depression.

Alzheimer’s is also one of the costliest diseases to American society. Nearly one in five Medicare dollars is spent treating Alzheimer’s or other dementias. As the population grows, those costs could become one in three dollars. An estimated $226 billion will be spent on Alzheimer and dementia treatments in this year alone.

While medical researchers continue to work tirelessly for effective treatment and cures for Alzheimer’s disease and other devastating dementias, America is still dealing with an aging population. Unfortunately, these issues are not going away anytime soon; it’s important that your family talks about how to deal with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. 


Monday, March 16, 2015

New Alzheimer’s Study with Shocking Results

The results of a new study reveal the presence of the brain plaque buildup related to Alzheimer’s disease in the brains of individuals as young as 20. And that means it’s never too early to plan for the future.

The study’s co-author, Changiz Geula, explained that he and his colleagues analyzed the brain tissue of 48 deceased people, ranging in age from 20 to 99. The buildup in victims of Alzheimer’s is referred to as plaque and involves an abnormal protein that surrounds specialized neurons in the individual’s brain tissue.

While experts still aren’t sure of the exact mechanism by which the plaque causes damage or even if the buildup is the sole cause of Alzheimer’s, the discovery of the plaque in brain tissue so young is groundbreaking.

Ultimately, the information from the study has demonstrated that doctors and experts might have to intervene to prevent Alzheimer’s much earlier than they would have imagined.  Since researchers now realize that the proteins involved in the buildup linked to Alzheimer’s can be present in some brains as early as age 20, researchers now realize that treatment for the disease will have to be much more preventative than originally thought.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Medicare Covers Dementia Screening, But be Careful About the Screening?

Medicare covers a variety of medical services for the elderly, but with something as common and severe as dementia, one would think that screening services are detailed and accurate. According to recent research this is not the case at all.

Screening for dementia allows patients to recognize the problem at its early signs and effectively take preventative and treatment actions after diagnosis. In order for this to be the case, screenings must be detailed and should essentially leave the patient with more answers rather than more questions.

For the elderly, risk of dementia increases with age and could lead to conditions such as Alzheimer’s. Unfortunately there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but there are ways of treating it before it gets out of hand.

Medicare covers dementia screenings, but these screenings consist of about 30 basic questions that can easily be completed in about 10 minutes. According to the U.S Preventative Services Task Force, a group of medical experts, this simple test gives off insufficient results because the test shows indications of latter signs of dementia rather than early signs.

The recommendations for people who want to be tested for early signs of dementia is to undergo the initial screening that is covered by Medicare and then later on have regular follow-up assessments in order to see how the problem is developing.


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