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About.com Alzheimers Disease



Get the latest headlines from the About.com Alzheimer's / Dementia GuideSite.



 



Would You Want to Know if You Were Going to Get Alzheimer's?

Sun, 25 May 2014 14:52:01 +00002014-05-25T14:52:01Z

Recently, researchers presented information about a blood test that was able to fairly accurately predict if someone would develop Alzheimer's disease in the next two to three years. The test measures levels of lipids in a person's blood and was approximately 90% accurate in its predictions.

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Margie's Tribute to Her Mother with Alzheimer's Disease

Sat, 10 May 2014 22:27:44 +00002014-05-10T22:27:44Z

A while back, a reader wrote to me about the loss of her mother. I asked her if  she would be willing to share her journey of watching her mother battle dementia, and she said she would. Her hope was two-fold: one, that by reading her story, others would know that they weren't alone and they wouldn't despair in the depths of the disease. Her other motivation was simply- she also wanted to tell others how much she loved her mother, and that she missed her.

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Does Alzheimer's Affect Men & Women Equally?

Sun, 20 Apr 2014 20:50:02 +00002014-04-20T20:50:02Z

Do you know the statistics regarding who (men or women) develops Alzheimer's disease? A common sense guess might be that half of people who get dementia are women and half are men, but common sense is wrong here. Or, perhaps you're aware that the average lifespan for a women is longer than for a man, and you guess that the breakdown is 55% women to 45% men. Closer, but not there yet.

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Young Children + People with Alzheimer's Disease = Victory

Sun, 13 Apr 2014 20:11:19 +00002014-04-13T20:11:19Z

Have you ever seen the reaction of someone with dementia when a young child comes near? This is one of my favorite interactions to observe. Why? Because the vast majority of time, the dementia takes a back seat to the presence of the child. For me, the type of interactions I witness between someone with Alzheimer's disease and with children is one of those victorious moments in the battle against dementia.

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Vitamin D: Good for More than Just Your Bone Health

Sun, 06 Apr 2014 21:17:59 +00002014-04-06T21:17:59Z

When it comes to vitamin D, most of us are familiar with the thought that it's helpful in keeping our bones strong. But did you know that it has many ...

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Friendships- Good for Your Heart and Your Brain?

Sun, 30 Mar 2014 20:34:57 +00002014-03-30T20:34:57Z

I recently wrote an article about the benefits of social interaction, specifically outlining what research says about how friendships and the act of socializing and interacting with others impacts our risk of developing dementia. Here's the article: Does Social Interaction Prevent Dementia?

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Coping with the Challenges of Being a Long-Distance Caregiver

Sun, 23 Mar 2014 21:18:06 +00002014-03-23T21:18:06Z

Ask caregivers about the ups and downs of their role, and you'll hear a variety of responses. In addition to a list of challenges, you may also hear some positives, including the feeling that it's a privilege and that they wouldn't want to have it any other way. What you probably won't hear is the phrase, "It's easy."

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Is There a Time When Alzheimer's Medications Should Be Stopped?

Sun, 16 Mar 2014 20:41:13 +00002014-03-16T20:41:13Z

A friend of mine recently wrote to me with a question regarding her mother's medications. Her mom's caregivers had suggested that she consider reducing or discontinuing her mother's medication that she takes for her Alzheimer's disease. Her mom has been gradually declining in her overall functioning and they wondered if the medicine really was still benefiting her.

So, what should she do? How should she make this decision? What's the best course of action?

Others in this situation have struggled with these questions as well. Some have debated whether medications are really helpful in the later stages, or they become concerned that the medicine prolongs the late stages of Alzheimer's longer than they otherwise would last without the interventions, and they question if that is a good thing. Yet, they don't want to hasten the decline of their loved one or feel like they're giving up on him. There's also the dilemma of continuing a medicine that has the potential for ongoing side effects, drug interactions and cost, while providing questionable benefits.

Many of you have been there, in my friend's shoes. What suggestions or advice would you give her? Please feel free to share by commenting below.

For more information and to read a summary of what research has concluded thus far, here's the article I recently wrote on this topic: Should Alzheimer's Drugs Be Discontinued in the Late Stages?

Also, here's some more information about the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, including the medications that have been approved by the FDA to treat Alzheimer's: Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease

 




Dementia with Lewy Bodies vs. Parkinson's Dementia: Same or Different?

Sun, 09 Mar 2014 21:14:08 +00002014-03-09T21:14:08Z

Parkinson's disease dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies... Are they the same thing?

I remember the first time I wondered about this question:  Were there two different disorders with two different names, or one disorder that could be called both PDD and DLB? This question came about as I was reading through the medical history of a patient and noticed that in some places in his chart he had a diagnosis of PDD, and in other areas of his records, his diagnosis was listed as DLB.

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Study: Should Antidepressant Celexa Be Used for Agitation in Dementia?

Sun, 02 Mar 2014 22:19:38 +00002014-03-02T22:19:38Z

Agitation- including restlessness, wandering, combativeness and calling out- is a common challenge in Alzheimer's disease and other kinds of dementia. So, what to do about it?

A study was recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, outlining a trial of the antidepressant medication citalopram (brand names: Celexa and Cipramil) to treat agitation in dementia. Here are the results, which are both positive and negative:

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