Sep 242013
 
There Are Many Reasons I Walk to End Alzheimer's

The first change I noticed in my dad was his inability to write out checks.  I stopped by his office one day, and he was sitting at his desk with the checkbook open.  Several balled-up checks were scattered on his desk. He was slow to speak, but finally admitted that he could not write out the check correctly. On one check, he had transposed the numbers for the amount to be paid.  On another check, [...]

Aug 302013
 
Why I Walk to End Alzheimer’s

Why do I Walk to End Alzheimer’s? Good question. I don’t do it for me. I walk because I have a husband who has younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease. I walk because my husband’s brother passed away from younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease. I walk because their Mom passed away from younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease —and possibly their Grandmother and Uncle. My husband is 51. His brother was 52. I walk because I have two children, a 9-year-old son and [...]

Aug 232013
 
Alzheimer’s, Nana and Me

I was 9 when I saw my mom and my Da crying, and I thought my Nana must be sick.  When I asked no one would tell me anything. Then one weekend, when Nana and I were going to watch movies all night and eat popcorn, I asked her if she was sick.  She explained to me that her body was not sick, but her brain was. It was the first time I had ever [...]

Aug 152013
 
Can Chocolate Reduce the Risk of Alzheimer’s?

Like most people, I love chocolate and would be thrilled if it could be the next healthy brain food! And in fact, a new study claims chocolate — cocoa specifically — might help improve cognitive functioning. As delicious as these results sound, there are some serious flaws in the methodology. Background This study looked at neurovascular coupling (NVC), which is a term for the close relationship between brain activity and brain cerebral blood flow. As different areas of [...]

Aug 132013
 
 Dietary Saturated Fat & the Risk of Alzheimer's

In a study published online in JAMA Neurology, researchers found that dietary saturated fat reduced the body’s levels of apolipoprotein E, also called ApoE, which helps remove amyloid beta proteins out of the brain. Essentially, people who received a high-saturated-fat, high-sugar diet showed a change in their ApoE, such that the ApoE would be less able to help clear the amyloid. ApoE4 status is associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline and elevated brain amyloid deposition. [...]

Jul 242013
 
Highlights From the World’s Largest Conference for Dementia Research

As a scientist and administrator, and as immediate past chair of the Alzheimer’s Association Medical and Scientific Advisory Council and a current member of the Association’s Board of Directors, I have seen the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC®) grow into the world’s largest and most prestigious conference of its kind. It brings together more than 5,000 researchers from around the world to report and discuss groundbreaking research and information on the cause, diagnosis, treatment and prevention [...]

Jun 242013
 
300 Miles to Remember

When my friend Kim and I first heard about The Longest Day last year, we immediately knew what activity we wanted to do: Run! We both had been running and participating in road races for several years and the event seemed like a perfect opportunity to use our hobby to raise funds for an important cause.  For the second year in a row, we ran during the entire 16 hours of daylight as a two-person [...]

Jun 212013
 
With Hope and Strength for Margie

My wife of 32 years, Margie, started showing symptoms of Alzheimer’s at age 50. Three years later, we met with her primary care physician who ran down the list of warning signs. He was sure it wasn’t Alzheimer’s because “she was way too young for that.” He was wrong. Now at age 57, Margie is in the late stages of younger-onset Alzheimer’s. Margie’s mother died of Alzheimer’s in 2010 and her sister, now in her [...]

Jun 212013
 
For the Love of LuLu on The Longest Day

My mom, whom we lovingly call LuLu, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2008. We have been through quite the journey ever since.  There have been challenging and scary times when we didn’t know what might lie ahead, and there have also been incredibly inspiring times, when we’ve been touched by others who readily jump in to help based on their own experiences with Alzheimer’s.  When I heard about The Longest Day, a 16-hour Alzheimer’s Association [...]

Jun 212013
 
Raising Awareness About Dementia With Every Step

More than 3,000 days have passed since I noticed something was wrong with my mom. At first, I didn’t believe the subtle changes could be dementia-related; after all, she was only in her mid-60s and had recently retired. I thought,  “Retirement is a huge adjustment. This will pass. It has to pass.” Besides, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias affect other people, other families. Not mine. That was in 2004; I was 27 years old. Turns [...]

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