Archive for the ‘Health / Disease Prevention’ Category

New Alzheimer’s Stats: More caregivers, higher costs, higher death rate, growing prevalence

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

The United States is entering a time of significant growth in Alzheimer’s Disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association 2011 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures

15 million people provide care for someone with Alzheimer’s Disease – a 37% increase from last year.

5.4 million people have Alzheimer’s Disease.

Every 69 seconds someone new develops Alzheimer’s, which will increase to every 33 seconds by 2050.

The amount spent on Alzheimer’s (and other related dementias) is $183 billion, and $11 billion increase over 2010.

Most caregivers are family members, who give financially, emotionally, physically. 80% of care provided in the home is by unpaid caregivers. The personal toll of this disease is

Alzheimer’s is the only top 10 cause of death that has no effective prevention or cure.

Making early financial and long term care decisions can help families deal with the details of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s.

Geriatric Care Managers can assist with assessment, planning, education, referrals and support. They are your trusted ally, and can help decrease the stresses associated with caring for someone with dementia.

Mental decline starts years before Alzheimer’s is diagnosed

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Mental decline may start years before Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is diagnosed. Rapid cognitive decline 5-6 years before AD becomes evident is not seen in people who do not develop the disease.

Spinal-Fluid Test Is Found to Predict Alzheimer’s

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Alzheimer’s Disease promising new research: The presence of three specific proteins in spinal fluid may accurately predict Alzheimer’s disease (AD) prior to the onset of any symptoms:  Read the whole story here or here

This is NOT a cure – this is a way to predict if you might get or have AD.

The question then is: What do you do if the test reveals you have AD or may get it? There are some medications out now that MAY slow the progression of the disease, but much more research is needed in this area. Some people will not want to know if they may get AD.

Good brain health through physical exercise, brain exercises, and healthy diet may be beneficial in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia.

Take good care!

Reduced Social Activity Linked to More Rapid Loss of Motor Function in Older Adults

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Loss of muscle strength, speed and dexterity is a common consequence of aging, and a well-established risk factor for death, disability and dementia. Yet little is known about how and why motor decline occurs when it is not a symptom of disease.  Motor functions enable us to act and move.

Researchers at Rush University Medical Center have found that, among the elderly, less frequent participation in social activities is associated with a more rapid decline in motor function.   “It’s not just running around the track that is good for you,” said Dr. Aron Buchman.  “Our findings suggest that engaging in social activities may also be protective against loss of motor abilities.”

These results raise the possibility that motor function decline can be slowed by encouraging people to engage in social activities, such as doing volunteer work, visiting friends or relatives, or attending church or sporting events. 

“There is gathering evidence that physical activity is only one component of an active and healthy lifestyle. Studies have shown, for example, that increased cognitive and social activities in the elderly are associated with increased survival and a decreased risk of dementia,” Buchman said. “Our study extends these findings, showing that social activity late in life is closely linked with healthy motor function.”

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