Aging

Caregiver corner: Pleasant Events tool can aid overtaxed caregivers

A demoralizing effect of Alzheimer’s disease and similar dementias is the gradual loss of ability to engage in enjoyable and meaningful activities. This loss affects the whole family and can lead to depressive symptoms in the care recipient with dementia. Overtaxed family caregivers know that activity engagement is important, but they often tell me they are exhausted and can’t think of another activity. To address this concern, Teri and Logsdon (1991) developed the Pleasant Events … Read More

A strong neuroscience program is about to get stronger—meet leaders and researchers at the forefront

Today, neuroscience at OHSU is poised for dramatic growth, driven by emerging areas of research strength in the fields of neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration and a planned investment of at least $100 million. Led by long-time campus leaders and new luminaries, the university is doubling down on its quest: contribute in a major way to understanding the mystery between our ears and, above all, improve brain health. Leadership On the faculty since 1982, Dennis Bourdette, M.D., F.A.A.N., chairs neurology in the … Read More

Researcher and neurologist grateful for early-career grant

The Oregon Charitable Tax Checkoff grant was the first research grant I ever received. I was a neurology resident at the time, and with guidance from Dr. Jeff Kaye, the OHSU Layton Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Center director, I applied for funds to complete a clinical study of a commonly used “outcome measure” in clinical trials with Alzheimer’s disease. That was also my first clinical research study.  We were able to publish the results in an … Read More

Holiday Travel Tips

As the holidays approach, many of us look forward to traveling to visit friends and family. Many families ask me about traveling with family members with dementia. Here are my top tips. Plan your trip carefully. If flying, give yourself extra time at the airport to avoid stress. The airports can be busy and overwhelming over the holidays, so pace yourselves. Give yourself a cushion of time for extra bathroom and meal breaks. Consider asking … Read More

Alzheimer’s and the brain game challenge

The efficacy of brain games has come under scrutiny in the wake of a recent two million dollar settlement between the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Lumos Labs, parent company of the “Lumosity” program. While the brain game industry makes billions in revenue, substantive evidence to validate these games’ effectiveness for preventing dementia remains to be seen. Lumos Labs’ heavily promoted claims that individuals who used its software could delay age-related cognitive decline and protect … Read More

Teaching the next generation of doctors about community care for people with dementia

Delivering quality medical care for persons with Alzheimer’s disease is, and will increasingly be, one of the most challenging responsibilities for physicians. An estimated 5.3 million Americans currently suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. By the year 2050, this number is estimated to be 13.8 million (2016 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts & Figures, published by the Alzheimer’s Association). In communities across the U.S., services available to persons with dementia and their families may include a confusing array of … Read More

Help us understand how to better design health technologies

Currently, there are many claims and promises of how electronic medical records, fitness bands, smartphone apps, telemedicine and many related technologies will become mainstay components of healthcare. Yet despite this promise, there is a dramatic lack of knowledge of how such innovations are or may be used among the diverse members of our community. Most importantly, we don’t know when, where, or even whether they may work. Please consider joining us as a research volunteer in a … Read More

Is there a connection between stress and Parkinson’s disease?

Most neurology text books will state that stress seems to exacerbate Parkinson’s disease symptoms and persons with Parkinson’s disease often describe the worsening of their tremor when having to speak publicly or the worsening of dyskinesias while watching a suspenseful movie scene. In spite of this observation there has not been a lot of research really examining the interplay of stress and the development or exacerbation of Parkinson’s. We know that stress can have effects … Read More

Research links infrequent daily computer use and common early signs of Alzheimer’s disease

A new study sheds light on a powerful tool that may detect signs of Alzheimer’s disease before patients show any symptoms of cognitive decline: the home computer.   OHSU researchers have found a significant correlation between infrequent daily computer use and brain imaging signs commonly seen in early-stage Alzheimer’s patients. The researchers have been following a group of volunteers in Portland for nine years through a suite of embedded technology in their homes. These tools allow the … Read More

Study hopes to clarify the link between sleep problems and Alzheimer’s disease

An upcoming study led by Jeffrey Iliff, Ph.D. and Bill Rooney, Ph.D. hopes to clearly determine the relationship between a lack of sleep and Alzheimer’s disease. The team received funding from the Paul G. Allen Foundation to test their approach. They hope to begin scanning the brains of participants within a year, using a 7-Tesla MRI (pictured below). Iliff and Rooney recently spoke to Jon Hamilton at NPR’s Morning Edition about the upcoming study and the importance of adequate sleep. Listen to … Read More

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