alzheimer’s

Apathy: The forgotten symptom of dementia

Apathy is the most common neuropsychiatric symptom of dementia, with a bigger impact on function than memory loss — yet it is under-researched and often forgotten in care. A new study has found that apathy is present nearly half of all people with dementia, with researchers finding it is often distinct from depression. Although common, apathy is often ignored as it is less disruptive in settings such as care homes than symptoms like aggression. Defined…

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A Brain Scientist Who Studies Alzheimer’s Explains How She Stays Mentally Fit

As a specialist in Alzheimer’s prevention, Jessica Langbaum knows that exercising her mental muscles can help keep her brain sharp. But Langbaum, who holds a doctorate in psychiatric epidemiology, has no formal mental fitness program. She doesn’t do crossword puzzles or play computer brain games. “Just sitting down and doing Sudoku isn’t probably going to be the one key thing that’s going to prevent you from developing Alzheimer’s disease,” she says. Instead of using a formal…

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Critical Care Recovery Center concept could benefit adult ICU survivors of all ages

A growing number of individuals of all ages are surviving intensive care unit hospitalization, however their mental and physical health problems persist. A new study from Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University researchers reports that a care model they originally developed for older adults with dementia could benefit ICU survivors of all ages. ICU survivors have high rates of persistent cognitive impairment similar to Alzheimer’s disease due to a combination of critical illness, medications administered during…

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Mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s diagnoses trigger lower self-ratings of quality of life

Researchers at Penn Medicine have discovered that a patient’s awareness of a diagnosis of cognitive impairment may diminish their self-assessment of quality of life. In a study published this month in the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences the researchers report that older adults who were aware of their diagnosis — either Mild Cognitive Impairment or mild stage Alzheimer’s disease dementia — reported greater depression, higher stress, and lower quality of life than those who were unaware. They…

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Protein build-up may trigger inflammation associated with Alzheimer’s and other conditions

A recent review article published online in The FASEB Journal points to the “trigger” for the inflammatory response, caused by the immune system, that precedes Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological conditions. Specifically, the authors show that an increase in aggregated, damaged proteins within neurons, which is a normal part of the aging brain, sets off these inflammatory responses. This observation was published online in The FASEB Journal. “We hope that the future development of therapies aimed at preventing…

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Can some types of fat protect us from brain disease?

An intriguing finding in nematode worms suggests that having a little bit of extra fat may help reduce the risk of developing some neurodegenerative diseases, such as Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. What these illnesses have in common is that they’re caused by abnormal proteins that accumulate in or between brain cells to form plaques, producing damage that causes mental decline and early death. Huntington’s disease, for example, is caused by aggregating proteins inside brain…

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Even mild depression puts a burden on Alzheimer’s family caregivers

Caregiving for an Alzheimer’s patient is especially burdensome for spousal and family caregivers who at the time of their near and dear one’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis suffer from depressive symptoms, according to a recent University of Eastern Finland study. The study analysed the psychological stress of family caregivers during a three-year period following the Alzheimer’s diagnosis. The study constitutes part of the ALSOVA project involving 236 persons diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and their family caregivers. The…

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Most misdiagnosed form of dementia leaves patients, doctors unprepared

Lewy body dementia (LBD) is the most misdiagnosed form of dementia, taking on average more than 18 months and three doctors to receive a correct diagnosis. Even though it is second only to Alzheimer’s disease as the most common cause of progressive dementia, affecting 1.3 million Americans, the symptoms of LBD are not well recognized by many physicians, especially primary care physicians and other general practitioners. Unfortunately, then, most people are not diagnosed until they…

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