February 23, 2021 by
With a great deal of negative news in the forefront of 2020, it is worth reflecting on a few of the remarkable achievements the year brought – including the advancements in dementia research. Katie McDonough, director of programs and services at the Alzheimer’s Association, shares, “There are many things that we’re learning and it’s an exciting time for Alzheimer’s research.”
Listed below are just some of the milestones reached that are leading us ever closer to a cure:
- Identification of Alzheimer’s risk factors. Understanding the leading risk factors for dementia, including pollution, excessive alcohol consumption, and traumatic brain injury (among others), is estimated to lower cases of Alzheimer’s worldwide up to 40%.
- Falling rates of Alzheimer’s cases. Over the previous three decades, dementia diagnoses in North America and Europe have declined by 13% per decade – most likely the result of lifestyle changes.
- Advancements towards earlier diagnosis. The Early Detection of Neurodegenerative diseases initiative (EDoN) has been started, in which digital devices are increasingly being developed to diagnosis dementia much earlier – as early as 10 – 15 years before symptoms begin.
- Greater awareness of MCI. Mild cognitive impairment, or MCI, is now being evaluated more thoroughly, making it possible for earlier strategy, diagnosis and treatment.
- Dementia blood tests. Predictors for the risk of Alzheimer’s disease have become more sophisticated, and in a recent study from Sweden, medical researchers uncovered blood-based proteins that anticipate future thinking and memory problems.
- Review of antipsychotic drug treatments. A recent study conducted by the University College London reported an elevated rate for the prescription of antipsychotic drugs for people with Alzheimer’s disease – potentially from the greater dependence on delirium management as well as agitation and anxiety from COVID-19 restrictions. These medications are recommended only when no alternative is available, and ways to decrease their use are being further explored.
- Artificial intelligence. At a faster pace and less expensive, an innovative new AI solution is equipped to determine the form of proteins in the brain, helping scientists design therapeutics to help remove these proteins.
- Aducanumab. The FDA accepted this promising medication in 2020 for a priority review process, meaning that sometime early in 2021, we should be finding out if it’s approved for use within the general population.
With At Home Independent Living, exceptional providers of dementia care in Fayetteville, NY and nearby areas, we are focused on following the most current dementia research, and on offering the cutting-edge, highly skilled care that helps those with dementia live to their greatest potential. Whether the need is for full-time care, or just a couple of hours weekly for dependable respite services, contact us for more information about how we can help.
January 15, 2021 by
Primary caregivers for those with Alzheimer’s disease are often all too experienced with the difficulty of trying to take a quiet moment or two alone – to use the bathroom, get a brief shower, or even walk into another room without your loved one becoming anxious. Those diagnosed with dementia can experience increased fear when a member of their family is out of sight – a condition known as dementia shadowing. And the resulting behaviors can be extremely challenging to manage: crying, anger and meanness, or continuously asking where you are. (more…)
December 22, 2020 by
“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” – Dr. Seuss
Memories are the glue that bind together our past experiences with who we are today; and for someone with dementia, confusion around these memories can have a profound impact. One of our goals in caring for seniors with dementia is to help them hold onto and share memories in order to make sense of daily life. (more…)
December 17, 2020 by
In spite of its reputation for being a season of joy, for some seniors, the holidays are a time of profound sadness. Longing for holidays past, grief over the loss of loved ones, and aging-related changes to health can intensify during the holiday season, and it’s important to take steps to prevent the downward spiral into depression in older adults. (more…)
December 9, 2020 by
Think of the most perfect holiday season you can imagine. While that image may vary a bit for each of us, it might include gifts, lights, good food, and traditions passed down through the generations. Yet what most certainly rings true for all of us is the joy in spending the holidays with seniors and other family members we love. (more…)
November 5, 2020 by
You completely forgot about the doctor’s appointment scheduled for last Wednesday, misplaced your glasses for the umpteenth time, and can’t recall the name of your new neighbor for the life of you. Is all of this just a normal part of growing older, or could it be the start of Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia? (more…)
October 14, 2020 by
Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia requires creativity, patience, and empathy, being able to step away from your individual logic and reasoning and realize why a specific behavior is occurring, and then to know just how to effectively deal with dementia behaviors. That is certainly the case with an older adult who will not change his or her clothing, no matter how dirty or unkempt an outfit has become. (more…)
September 18, 2020 by
Disbelief. Shame. Awkwardness. Discomfort. Each one of these feelings can cycle through a family caregiver’s mind when a senior with dementia showcases disinhibited behaviors, such as:
- Rude or tactless comments
- Inappropriate sexual remarks or advances
- Removal of clothes at improper times
- Other socially unacceptable actions
August 27, 2020 by
Researchers at the UC San Diego School of Medicine who thought they were examining connective tissue cell protein got quite a shock when they instead stumbled upon a treatment to eradicate the observable symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in mice. Not only that, but the treatment could potentially be useful in many different conditions that call for the need to replace damaged tissue: diabetes, spinal cord injuries, even coronary disease. (more…)
August 20, 2020 by
It can come seemingly out of the blue: you put your loved one’s favorite tuna sandwich on the table – light on the mayo, no onions – something which usually brings her happiness. But this time, she pushes the plate away and refuses to take a bite, insisting that you’ve poisoned the meal. (more…)