Exercise for a Healthy Brain

Senior Couple with Weights
Everyone knows how important it is to be physically active. Some of the many physical benefits of regular exercise include improved strength, flexibility, stamina, balance and coordination. Exercise can also help with managing weight and controlling risk factors for chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and stroke.On the other hand, lack of activity can have seriou...
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High Meat Consumption Linked to Increased Alzheimer’s Risk

The so-called “Western Diet” is associated with high intakes of red meat, salt, sweets, high-fat dairy and “junk” foods, along with low levels of fruits, grains and vegetables. This dietary pattern has been linked to a host of negative health effects – sometimes referred to as “Western Diseases” – which include heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.Now, a new report p...
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Alzheimer’s May Improve Creative Skills

Art Therapy at Holmdel
An interesting new study by researchers at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) confirms what those who care for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients have long observed.“Our study shows that individuals with dementia can display new creative behaviors and skills despite also experiencing the cognitive and functional decline that is typical of dementia,” says lead author Associate Professor...
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Alzheimer’s May Reduce Ability to Perceive Pain

brain power graphic
Researchers at Vanderbilt University recently reported in BMC Medicine that individuals with Alzheimer’s disease exhibited a reduced ability to detect and recognize pain.The three-year study at Vanderbilt examined two groups of adults aged 65 and older: one group diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and a second group with no signs of Alzheimer’s. Participants were asked to report pain levels re...
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Behavior Changes May Be an Early Indicator of Alzheimer’s

Senior and son on path
The onset of Alzheimer’s disease is typically characterized as increasing memory loss, growing forgetfulness, and difficulty with concentration and reasoning. While many people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease do exhibit these symptoms, some people present changes in personality or behavior before any memory-related issues are evident.Researchers from the University of Calgary in Can...
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Understanding the Progression of Alzheimer’s

Senior with caregiver
With Alzheimer’s disease now afflicting more than 5 million Americans, most people are familiar with the common characteristics of the disease which can begin as mild forgetfulness and progress to more serious symptoms such as difficulty with thinking, loss of language skills, mental confusion and severe memory loss.But a good deal of misunderstanding about the disease persists, including what...
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Challenges with Challenging Behaviors

Lonely senior man feeling very sad
Dementia care is becoming ever more needed in an increasing variety of settings including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, boarding homes, rehab centers and of course, in the homes of friends and neighbors. It is crucial to understand what the best care setting is for someone with behavioral dementia.In my support groups, I frequently meet caregivers who ask this very question. Many ...
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Psychiatric Care or the Right Care?

Shot of a young doctor comforting a sad senior man in a nursing house
In my 25 years of practice with geriatric populations suffering from dementia, I have learned that patience, proper timing of medications, close observation of immediate needs and an individualized approach are the keys to success in managing difficult cases of dementia. Families often ask me how we can manage 16 residents in one home, especially with so many having advanced dementia and exhibitin...
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Difficulties Diagnosing Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease can be challenging for physicians to detect at an early stage if patients themselves do not recognize the warning signs or are reluctant to communicate their concerns. Often, it is family members or friends who observe signs of dementia even before the patient is aware they have a problem.There is still no definitive test for detecting Alzheimer’s disease, so a careful medi...
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A “Sniff Test” May Enhance Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

Aging healthy
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine have found that using a simple “sniff test” could boost the accuracy of diagnosing cognitive impairment.Scientists are already aware that individuals in early stages of Alzheimer’s find their sense of smell quickly deteriorates. Researchers found that when administering standard cognitive tests, adding a sniff test in ...
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