Alzheimer’s Disease

Holiday meals

Holiday meals can be very stressful for caregivers for persons with dementia. Here are some tips to keep the meals pleasant. Tell your guests about the dementia diagnosis ahead of time. If can be very confusing for all if the diagnosis is kept as a secret. Consider the timing of the main meal. If your family member with dementia typically is anxious or agitated in the afternoon or evening, consider having a brunch for your … 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

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

Year in review: The most popular “On the Brain” posts of 2015

As we welcome in the new year, here’s a look back at the brain-related news you may have missed; a round-up of our most read blog posts of 2015: 1. Acupuncture and diet changes to treat neuropathic pain Peripheral Neuropathy is a common neurologic condition, which affects the peripheral nerves. The most common symptoms associated with peripheral neuropathy are burning, tingling pain, which often feels like sharp electric sensation. More… 2. Dietary and lifestyle modifications for migraine … Read More

Cleaning while we sleep: A novel approach in Alzheimer’s research

Every 67 seconds, an American develops Alzheimer’s disease. It affects 5.3 million people in the US and if no medical breakthroughs to prevent or cure the disease are found, this number will triple by 2050. In 2013, Jeffrey Iliff helped discover how our brains flush out toxic waste as we sleep. This is waste that builds up in our brains during the day – including the Alzheimer’s-linked protein, amyloid beta. His findings, which he’s advancing by the … Read More

Five things you should know when caring for a loved one with dementia

Caregiving for a loved one with dementia can be challenging to your family dynamics, your finances, and more. But did you know, it can also be hard on your emotional and physical health? Research shows that caregivers for persons with dementia are more vulnerable to health problems such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, anxiety and insomnia. It is important that caregivers take care of themselves as well as their care-recipients. 1. Find, and attend, a support group. It … Read More

Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is key goal for OHSU researchers

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Symptoms include memory loss, personality changes and trouble thinking, and the disease typically worsens over time. Current treatments cannot stop the disease from progressing, but they can slow the development of symptoms temporarily. Clinical diagnosis is determined by noting the degree of a patient’s mental decline, which is not obvious until there is severe … Read More

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