Nov 212014
 
Still My Grammy, An Excerpt from Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living With Alzheimer’s & Other Dementias

Grandma always made you feel she had been waiting to see just you all day and now the day was complete. ~Marcy DeMaree My grandmother was diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease when I was in fifth grade. At that point in my life, I was a kid. I was selfish as all kids are, so I didn’t think twice about it. I had no idea how it would eventually affect my life, as […]

Sep 112014
 
Alzheimer's Awareness Comes to The Meredith Vieira Show

Television talk show host and journalist Meredith Vieira launched “The Meredith Vieira Show” earlier this month. On the second episode of her nationally syndicated daytime show, Meredith committed to bringing awareness to Alzheimer’s disease and the cause by welcoming actor Seth Rogen and his wife Lauren Miller. They spoke about how the Alzheimer’s diagnosis of Lauren’s mom affected their lives and how they have created awareness for the cause through their fundraising event Hilarity for Charity. Other notable […]

Sep 052014
 
The Journey Begins, An Excerpt from Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living With Alzheimer’s & Other Dementias

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. ~Henry Brooks Adams We had known for a little more than a month before we decided to let others in on the burden our family had been carrying. On the last day of school before Thanksgiving break, my husband, at age forty-six, stood before his beloved high school students and told them our horrific secret. We taught at the same high school, so I […]

Jun 212014
 
Twirling to End Alzheimer's

On The Longest Day, I will be fundraising for the Alzheimer’s Association doing something I love, baton twirling. I have worked hard to get the word out by making announcements at schools, handing out flyers and posting advertisements in my local newspaper, encouraging boys and girls age 6 and older to participate. Alzheimer’s disease is a rapidly-growing epidemic, and I think that kids need to understand what Alzheimer’s really is. Nearly 11 years ago, my […]

Jun 212014
 
Advocating for Early-Onset Alzheimer’s — One Letterbox at a Time

My family and I have set out for a great day of scavenger hunting, in the form of letterboxing, as our way of participating in The Longest Day, a summer solstice event where people around the world do activities  they love as a way to raise awareness and funds for the Alzheimer’s Association. I was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s and chorea, a movement disorder, around the age of 40. I also have two siblings and parents […]

Jun 202014
 
The Bridge Ladies Challenge the Motorcycle Club to Ride for a Good Cause

Today, just after the sunrise, a group of motorcycle riders met at a truck stop in West Monroe, La., to ride our Harley Davidson bikes down to New Roads, La., a historic district just outside of Baton Rouge, about three and a half hours away. Across the bridge in Monroe, a group of ladies gathered to play bridge from morning to night. You might be wondering what these two seemingly unrelated events have to do with […]

Jan 132014
 
A Year in Review

In this first blog of 2014, I would like to review some of the highlights from the world of Alzheimer’s disease research in 2013, as well as the new directions that we will likely be heading in 2014. Advances in Brain Imaging  Advances in brain imaging, specifically amyloid PET scans, have led the way towards earlier identification of Alzheimer’s. Their widespread use in larger studies has made it possible to visualize the presence of beta-amyloid […]

Feb 212013
 
Medicare's Decision on Whether to Cover Amyloid Brain PET Scans

Although the FDA approved florbetapir (Amyvid) in April 2012 as a tracer for PET scans in detecting brain amyloid, Medicare has not covered it. The test costs about $3,000 in total and some patients have been paying for it out of pocket. Last month, a Medicare advisory panel voted against medicare coverage for amyloid brain PET scans. Although the technology has been around for eight years, and numerous studies have shown its accuracy in detecting […]

Jul 152011
 
Recent Developments in Amyloid Imaging

The use of positron emission tomography (PET) imaging to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease (AD) appears to be closer to becoming a clinical tool, based on results from two articles published online in the Archives of Neurology. In one study, Adam S. Fleisher, M.D., from Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in Phoenix, and colleagues, evaluated PET imaging using the tracer florbetapir F 18. The study population included 68 individuals with probable Alzheimer’s disease, 60 individuals with mild cognitive impairment, […]

Apr 212011
 
MR Study Shows That Amyloid Deposits Occur Years Before Diagnosis

High-resolution magnetic resonance (MR) imaging studies have identified characteristic changes in brain structure — thinning of key cortical regions and reduced volume of structures such as the hippocampus — in persons with mild cognitive impairment, in individuals known to carry gene mutations that directly cause Alzheimer’s disease, and in diagnosed Alzheimer’s patients. The current study, published in the Annals of Neurology, involved 87 cognitively normal older individuals and 32 patients diagnosed with mild Alzheimer’s (matched […]

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