Today's Top Alzheimer's News
August 23, 2013
Dr. David Perlmutter on the need to fight Alzheimer's, educating employers about early-onset dementia, and the study of "super agers" (read more).
- An August 22, 2013 Daily Beast opinion piece by Dr. David Perlmutter highlighted the need to find a cure for Alzheimer's. According to Dr. Perlmutter, "As a practicing neurologist dealing with Alzheimer’s patients and their devastated families on a daily basis, and as a caregiver for an afflicted parent, this current state of affairs is frustrating. But what’s so much more challenging is the recognition that to a very significant degree Alzheimer’s disease is preventable. Research clearly shows that up to 54% of Alzheimer’s cases in the U.S. could have been avoided if proper attention was given to various modifiable lifestyle factors, including diet and physical activity, as published in the journal The Lancet Neurology…Getting the word out that people can make simple changes that might well prevent a disease for which there is absolutely no meaningful treatment makes sense. The word doctor means teacher. And while physicians seem steeped in providing drug remedies, it certainly seems like the right time to take a step back, review current science, and get the word out that the patients for whom we care can make choices, today, to remain healthy."
- An August 22, 2013 The Guardian (UK) article reported on the importance of educating employers about early-onset dementia. According to the Alzheimer's Society, "in many jobs employees have no legal obligation to tell their employer, but this does vary depending on the nature of the job and type of contract…However, with a lack of research into dementia in the workplace, it seems there is a long way to go. McNamara agrees. "There is a lack of understanding and a stigma still exists around this illness – the government and businesses cannot ignore this. There are a number of challenges to overcome, but we have some way to go in educating employers on the how to support those with young-onset dementia."'
Research and science
- An August 22, 2013 Associated Press article (via CBS) reported on the efforts of researchers to study "super agers" - "men and women who are in their 80s and 90s, but with brains and memories that seem far younger." According to the article, "Researchers are looking at this rare group in the hope that they may find ways to help protect others from memory loss. And they've had some tantalizing findings: Imaging tests have found unusually low amounts of age-related plaques along with more brain mass related to attention and memory in these elite seniors."
- An August 21, 2013 UPI article reported on the importance of Alzheimer's prevention versus restoring memory. According to the article, "Treating Alzheimer's isn't going to be about restoring people with dementia to normal cognitive function, it's about prevention...Dr. Clifford R. Jack Jr., a professor of radiology at Mayo Medical School, says physicians already have developed effective methods of testing for Alzheimer's disease, often turning up signs of its pathology a decade or two before the patient develops any clinical signs of dementia. Through advanced brain imaging and spinal taps that test for the presence of beta-amyloid in the cerebrospinal fluid, it's possible to find and identify definitive evidence of the disease, Jack says."
- An August 22, 2013 Classichitsandoldies.com article reported on the LA reading of Surviving Grace. According to the article, "The productions will feature various stars reading the first act of the play, which was penned by comedy writer Trish Vradenburg and was based on her experiences caring for her Alzheimer’s-stricken mother. In addition to Reddy, the cast of the L.A. event will include Carol Burnett, Marilu Henner, Louis Gossett Jr. and Loni Anderson, while the San Diego production will also feature Henner and Robert Foxworth." Also mentioned here.