March 8, 2019

Alzheimer's Daily - Today's Top Alzheimer's News


A March 4, 2019 Medscape article spotlighted a new sensing device, “Emerald,” which utilizes radio wave sensing and signal processing to collect detailed data on a person’s movements, to help inform treatment decisions for dementia patients with agitation. “It can detect gait, so based on gait and gait speed, we can map out pacing, agitation, and restlessness. We can detect periodic limb movements in sleep, which has important implications,” said study investigator Ipsit V. Vahia, MD of Harvard Medical School.


A March 4, 2019 Forbes article spotlighted the research coming out of Israel on the use of medical cannabis to treat the elderly. Tikun Olam, a medical cannabis company, is recruiting for a new trial to treat severe behavior disorders in patients with dementia. According to the article, “Extreme and sometimes violent behavior in individuals with dementia can make life miserable for themselves and their families, [principal trial investigator] Dr. [Vered ] Hermush notes. But while the assumption is that cannabis would have a sedating effect on these patients, it actually seems to improve mental functioning as well. Dr. Hermush has seen patients who were completely non-communicative begin to engage with their family members after cannabis treatments.”


A March 4, 2019 The Seattle Times article looked at the prevalence of people taking dietary supplements, without medical guidance, to try and ward off or treat dementia. The FDA estimates that 80 percent of older adults use dietary supplements. However, more than taking supplements, doctors recommend the following lifestyle interventions to address brain health: increased physical activity, blood pressure management and cognitive training. “The same things we recommend for heart health turn out to be important for cognition. It’s a blossoming field,” said Dr. Kristine Yaffe of University of California, San Francisco.


A March 7, 2019 WSLS 10 NBC News broadcast video broached the challenging subject of how to talk to children about Alzheimer’s disease. Carilion Children's Pediatrician Dr. Ryan Fulton stressed the following keys: honesty and openness with the child, helping them figure out how to interact with the loved one who has dementia, and helping them prepare for future changes they may see in their loved one.


A March 7, 2019 Medical Xpress article referenced a study out of Australia which shows that participants who adhered to the MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet reduced their risk of developing cognitive impairment. The study followed people over age 60 for twelve years and found those who followed the diet experienced 19% reduced odds of developing clinically diagnosed mild cognitive impairment or dementia. MIND is based on the Mediterranean diet, but also incorporates brain healthy foods like green leafy vegetables and whole grains. According to study team lead Professor Kaarin Anstey of UNSW Ageing Futures Institute, “This study has shown for the first time, outside of the United States, that the MIND diet reduces the risk of dementia.”


Join the Women’s Brain Health Initiative’s “Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds” event on April 29, 2019 in Toronto. The event will feature moderator Inez Jabalpurwala of Brain Canada Foundation, and panelists Gillian Einstein, PhD, Beth Abramson, MD, MSc, FPRCP, FACC and Kelly Metcalfe, PhD, all of University of Toronto, and with WBHI Founder, Lynn Posluns. “Because your grey matter, matters.” Purchase tickets here.