July 3, 2019

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


A July 3, 2019 Reuters article and video segment showed a new robotic puppy dog that is helping comfort people living with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia. Residents of a Thousand Oaks (CA) nursing home got a sneak peak of the “Tombot,” a realistic looking and moving Labrador puppy. The mother of creator Tom Stevens had AD. "“Of the many bad days that we had early on, by far the worst was when I had to take away her dog,” Stevens said. His mother had “a beautiful two-year-old Goldendoodle” but Stevens said the dog ended up being aggressive toward her caregiver.”


A July 3, 2019 OZY Fast Forward article looked at the burgeoning field of dementia care technology in the U.K. The $25 million Care Research and Technology Centre, launched at Imperial College London, takes aim at this issue. According to Centre head David Sharp, “When asked, 85 to 90 percent of people say they want to live for as long as possible in their own homes and to avoid moving into a care home. Our vision is to use patient-centered technology to help people affected by dementia live better and for longer at home.” Technology monitors behavior and tracks sleep, which will be combined with AI to alert caregivers to potential issues.


A July 1, 2019 The Washington Post article and video spotlighted “delivery day” for Pearl's Memory Babies, where Sandy and Wayne Cambron, along with Shannon Gray Blair, delivered baby dolls to residents with dementia at Sayre Christian Village. The dolls provide comfort and companionship, and spark positive memories. According to the article, “When Alzheimer’s patients hold their dolls close, they receive therapy and comfort in a way that cannot be measured, said Elise Hinchman of Sayre Christian Village, a nonprofit retirement community in Lexington, Ky.... “The way they light up is like taking a step back in time. You can imagine them holding their own children.” While dementia takes away memories, it does not rob people of their ability to love, she said."


(ICYMI) A June 24, 2019 Web MD article reported that a new British study found that anticholinergic drugs may increase the risk of dementia in older patients. These medicines, which contract and relax muscles, span from Benadryl to antipsychotics. According to the article, “The researchers noted that this was an observational study, so it cannot prove that anticholinergic drugs help cause dementia. For example, it's possible that the drugs were prescribed to dementia patients to help treat very early symptoms of the disease. However, if anticholinergics do help cause dementia, about 10% of dementia cases might be attributable to the drugs, the study authors said.”Also covered by USA Today, and others.


(ICYMI) A June 19, 2019 Worcester Business Journal article highlighted a gathering of Massachusetts Alzheimer’s disease advocates and lawmakers to report on progress made since the creation of an “integrated state plan to address and assist in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.” According to House Speaker Robert DeLeo, “Alzheimer's affects more than half a million people in Massachusetts. It is complicated to treat and the cost of care is high. With our aging population, we need to be prepared for the growing impact that Alzheimer's will have on our lives. The number of people here today in support of this work gives me tremendous hope.”


Alzheimer's Dailies will take a short hiatus in observance of the 4th of July Holiday, and return on Friday, July 5, 2019.