Today’s Top Alzheimer’s News
An August 4, 2017 NPR article looked at the efforts to develop better biomarker tests for earlier detection of Alzheimer’s, including the ability to more accurately distinguish it from other cognitive conditions. More accurate, cheaper, and less invasive tests may give more people access to testing. According to Dr. Gil Rabinovici of the University of California, San Francisco Memory and Aging Center, “We can develop a much more rational care plan with this biological information.”
An August 4, 2017 The New York Times article reported on the social isolation of caregivers, particularly those caring for people with dementia. Isolation and loneliness is linked to heart disease and stroke, and depression and higher mortality in older people. According to Dutch researchers, lonely old people are more likely to develop dementia. Support groups and counseling can help caregivers lower their stress and depression levels, and have better physical and mental health.
An August 4, 2017 Medical Xpress article focused on Adaptive Interaction, a non-verbal "language" reciprocating movements and vocalizations of people with advanced dementia to help improve communication. According to Dr. Maggie Ellis of the School of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of St. Andrews, “Although they cannot speak, these people are still there, and they are left with a set of fundamental communication skills that we can use to communicate with them."
An August 3, 2017 KHOU obituary celebrated the life and work of literary editor, Judith Jones, who died of complications from Alzheimer's. Notably, she published Julia Child’s cookbook, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” in the 1960’s, as well as “The Diary of Anne Frank” in English, amongst other publishing accomplishments.
An August 3, 2017 CNBC article spotlighted Glenner Town Square, opening in San Diego next spring. Based on reminiscence therapy, it represents a new kind of day care, a faux mini-town with a 1950’s and 1960’s look, designed for people with dementia. Reminiscence therapy utilizes past activities, events and experiences with other people, including music and tangible, visual prompts from earlier years, such as photographs and familiar items. It triggers positive past memories and can help people with dementia feel calmer and need fewer drugs. The entire “town” is staffed with trained caregivers.