June 25, 2018

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


(ICYMI) In an April 4, 2018 On Pluto Podcast, Journalist Greg O'Brien recalls the painful moment when he finally told his oldest son, Brendan, the truth about his diagnosis. O’Brien was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s when he was 59 years old. The Podcast series chronicles Greg’s journey with the disease. On Pluto is a production of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s and the A-LIST.


According to a June 25, 2018 The San Diego Union-Tribune article, ex-NFL offensive guard Ed White has Alzheimer’s disease. The link between playing football, concussions, and CTE and dementia has been a hot news topic of late. According to White, “After all the head-knocking, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I was diagnosed two months ago. I was driving home after that and the doctor called. He already knew what I had…. Four years ago I went to Minnesota and 10 of us who played in Super Bowls got together. Everybody had something going on, so it’s pretty wide spread. Keith Fahnhorst (a terrific player on the same line with Ed on the Vikings) died last week of Alzheimer’s.”


A June 25, 2018 Today feature looked at why women are at higher risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease than men. Research shows that menopause may be a trigger. Lisa Mosconi of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medical College/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is leading several studies to address this issue. According to the article, “The findings suggest perimenopause — the period when a woman starts to produce less estrogen, usually in her 40s — may be a critical point in whether she’ll go on to develop Alzheimer’s or not.”


A Future of Personal Health article highlighted the growing need for family caregivers as the baby boomer generation ages, family sizes shrink and people have less children (who could potentially provide care). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been gathering information about family (unpaid) caregivers since 1984 to create snapshots of caregiving in the U.S., including the health of caregivers, in order to understand the burden of caregiving. Their Alzheimer’s Disease and Healthy Aging Program data portal can help anyone create a custom report on caregivers. 


A June 23, 2018 Miami Herald article focused on former University of Missouri football coach Warren Powers, who has Alzheimer’s disease. His wife Linda Powers is his primary care partner. According to Linda, "If you cannot afford to take someone to day care or have someone come in to let you have some time off, it's exhausting. It really is exhausting." 


A June 24, 2018 Tennessean article featured the story of Abe Shmerling, a former physician who had Alzheimer’s disease for 10 years and lived in five different memory care facilities. Because his family could never find the right facility for him, his kids created their own, the non-profit Abe's Garden in Nashville. Glen Campbell resided there prior to his death from AD. According to the article, ““Our mission isn’t mass care,” says Mike Shmerling, one of Abe's four children, and the founder of Abe's Garden. “We can't change the world that way. What we have done is created a center focused on excellence and best practices. We are here for that reason.””