October 2, 2018

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


A September 29, 2018 UsAgainstAlzheimer’s press release spotlighted the “Forget Me Not” stage play, a story about the toll of Alzheimer’s disease in the African American community. African Americans develop AD twice as frequently as non-Hispanic Whites. According to AfricanAmericansAgainstAlzheimer’s Executive Director Stephanie Monroe, “We are bringing these performances directly to cities like Dumfries to provide a realistic perspective of how Alzheimer’s disease impacts a full community and to empower individuals and families with knowledge to get more involved.” 


An October 8, 2018 (print edition) The New Yorker Magazine feature looked at pros and cons of the use of “psychological placebos” in dementia care. Is it OK to lie to someone with dementia to keep them contented? According to the article, “…When it comes to people with dementia there is no consensus. To lie is to violate the respect that one person owes another; but lying to a person with dementia can protect them from awful truths that they have no power to alter… And is direct lying different from various forms of passive lying—encouraging delusions, or allowing existing delusions to persist? What is more important—dignity or happiness?”


An October 1, 2018 MD Magazine article focused on the looming rise in Alzheimer’s disease in the African American and Latino communities in the U.S. The new CDC study broke down predictions by race and ethnicity. According to Lead Author, Kevin Matthews, PhD, “When I started researching the topic, I noticed several other forecasts were available, but none accounted for differences in prevalence by race and ethnicity.”


An October 2, 2018 ABC News article looked at two major clinical trials enrolling healthy older adults in order to develop methods of preventing Alzheimer’s disease. To participate, people must first join GeneMatch, where they are checked for the APOE4 gene, a major hallmark of AD. According to the article, “The goal is to try to block the earliest steps of plaque formation in healthy people who show no symptoms of dementia but are at higher risk for it because of age and a gene that makes it more likely.”


A September 30, 2018 NBC 15 WMTV broadcast segment featured the Amazing Grace Chorus, a Milwaukee-based group comprised of 26 singers who have Alzheimer's  disease or are AD caregivers. “Many suffer from isolation, they have difficulty with memory and language. This provides an opportunity to be socially engaged and do a brain-healthy activity as well,” said Stephanie Houston of the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Institute. Also covered by Channel 3000


According to an October 1, 2018 Being Patient interview, women are more likely than men to develop Alzheimer’s disease based on several risk factors, above and beyond longer lifespan. Seven modifiable risk factors include: diabetes, midlife hypertension, midlife obesity, smoking, depression, cognitive inactivity or low educational attainment and physical inactivity. Watch Dr. Marie Pasinski of the Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General’s Institute for Brain Health discuss the issue with Being Patient’s Deborah Kan.