Sep 052012
 
To Fight Stigma, I Speak Up

I was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2009 at the age of 56. Prior to my diagnosis, I was the senior vice president of operations for M&T Bank, overseeing hundreds of employees across the Maryland and Delaware regions. I still run into those people — former employees or co-workers — at the grocery store or out at restaurants. I remember faces, but not always their names. Often, I notice that people make eye contact [...]

May 312012
 
Why Berries May Delay Memory Decline

Berries, they’re not just for breakfast anymore. In a study published last month in the Annals of Neurology, researchers  reported that consumption of berries and flavonoids showed a slower rate of cognitive decline in women aged 70 and older.* Using data from the long-running Nurses’ Health Study of 122,000 registered nurses, the researchers conducted assessments on 16,010 women. The Nurses Health Study began in 1976. Every four years they were questioned on their eating habits. [...]

Mar 272012
 
Joey McIntyre's Story: My Mom May Not Know Who I Am...

But she does a pretty good job of making me feel like she does. I believe she knows there is a connection. She keeps it very simple when she talks to me. Partly I think because she knows that she can’t quite remember but is still witty enough to know that she doesn’t want to make it any more confusing than it already is for her. I think she is past the most scary part— [...]

Mar 092012
 
Caregiver Facts and Figures: A Bittersweet Reality

This post originally appeared on the ChicagoNow blog, “Ask Dr. Chill: Practical Answers to the Toughest Caregiving Questions.” It is being reposted here with the author’s permission. Almost eight years at the Alzheimer’s Association — five at the Utah Chapter and close to three at the National Office right here in Chicago — left equally enduring imprints on my mind and heart. The mental imprint is analytical, bridging science and people in the shape of a fervent belief [...]

Apr 212011
 

Dear Readers, In a recent post this month, I focused on a study from Korea that examined whether the cardiovascular risk factors had similar effects on dementia risk in the Korean population as compared to Western populations. In this blog post, I discuss the latest data from Korea that examines the association of APOE e4 and depression to incident (development of ) dementia in elderly Koreans. This study used data from the 10/66 International Dementia [...]

Mar 112011
 

I recently attended an event hosted by the American Heart Association and Go Red Chicago, where a panel of physicians and healthcare providers discussed the effect of diet, hormones and cardiovascular risk factors on the heart and brain. The physicians also touched on emerging data that suggest there may be racial/ethnic differences in the prevalence and effects of cardiovascular risk factors to the development of heart disease and brain functioning in these diverse populations. Thus, [...]

Mar 012011
 
Depressive Symptoms in Women Aged 65 Years and Older Associated with MCI and Dementia

Dear Readers, As I discussed in an earlier blog post this month, the association between behavior and/or personality traits to developing dementia is a growing topic of interest that I am asked to discuss frequently. Depression, in particular, arouses a lot of interest, as many studies have shown an association between depression and poor physical, social and cognitive functioning. The latest study from the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS) examined whether depressive symptoms in post [...]

Feb 102011
 

Dear Readers, I often am asked about whether behavioral or personality “traits” are related to cognitive functioning. Specifically, can they “predict” if someone will transition from mild memory trouble ( i.e. Mild Cognitive impairment-MCI) to dementia? Part of this question was addressed in a recent article by Chan and colleagues in the American Journal of Psychiatry. Participants in this study came from an ongoing epidemiological survey on MCI and dementia conducted in Hong Kong. In [...]

Jan 162011
 
Dietary Vitamin D and Cognition in Older Women

Dear Readers, I was recently on a conference call with women physicians discussing the latest in Women’s Health and was asked about vitamin D and its effect on cognition. Indeed vitamin D has received a lot of media attention lately; attention focused on its potential effect on cardiovascular and bone health, in addition to its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects. Thus, it was not a surprise to me when the discussion turned to “cognitive health” and [...]

Nov 022010
 
Women, Stress and Alzheimer's Disease

Dear Readers, Whenever I give a presentation about the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and discuss the known risk factors for the disease, I am asked this question . . . ( 90% of the time by the women audience members) . . . “Dr. A, is stress a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease?” Well, based on research findings from a variety of studies, the short answer is “Yes.” Let’s consider the latest finding [...]

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