Thursday, October 30, 2014

"I Remember Better When I Paint" Scheduled to Appear Nationwide on PBS


By Max Wallack
Alzheimer's Reading Room


The article below first appeared on the Alzheimer's Reading Room in January of 2010. It was in response to a wonderful film I had seen, depicting how huge the benefits of artistic endeavors can be to those with dementia.

The film, "I Remember Better When I Paint" is now scheduled to air Nationwide on PBS this November. You may click on the following link to read more and find broadcast listings. http://bit.ly/1nQr6IZ

This is a film definitely worth watching!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Blood Vessel Damage Plays Key Role in Alzheimer's Dementia


About half of patients (50 percent) with an Alzheimer's diagnosis also have brain damage resulting from insufficient blood flow, indicating that the blood vessel alterations that contribute to stroke also could accelerate Alzheimer's decline.

By Alzheimer's Reading Room

Blood Vessel Damage Plays Role in Alzheimer's Dementia

For many years, scientists have known that degeneration of neurons — nerve cells that transmit signals to and from the brain — caused Alzheimer's dementia, an incurable disease afflicting more than 35 million people worldwide and approaching epidemic proportions.

Now, a new study from Weill Cornell Medical College reveals that changes occurring in blood vessels also play a major role —

by limiting the supply of oxygen and glucose to the brain and contributing to the neuronal damage causing Alzheimer's.

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Toy Improves Behavior and Mood in Alzheimer's Patient


Can a simple toy improve the behavior, mood, and level of awareness in a person living with Alzheimer's or a related dementia?

Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Toy Parrot Improves Behavior and Mood in Alzheimer's Patient

This article is about Alzheimer's disease, Pete the Repeat Parrot, and my mother Dotty who lived with Alzheimer's disease.

I wrote the original version of this article with some feelings of trepidation. On one hand, I didn't want to raise the spirits of Alzheimer's caregivers unduly. On the other hand, I believe I stumbled on to something that could prove to be an important Alzheimer's caregiving tool.

I'll start by mentioning, I tried to determine if their was any other variable that could be causing the behavior and mood improvement in my mother. As far as I could tell, the only thing that changed was the purposeful introduction of  Pete the Repeat Parrot into our lives.

For those of you that know me from this blog, you know that I was always trying to do things that improved my mother's behavior and interaction with others and me.

For the most part, everything I tried came from simple observations, or from something that I read and then reconnoitered to make it work in an Alzheimer's filled environment.

In the case of Pete the Parrot is was part design but mostly luck.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Age Related Memory Loss Reversed by Cocoa Flavanols


Dietary cocoa flavanols— naturally occurring bioactives found in cocoa— reversed age-related memory decline in healthy older adults, according to a study led by Columbia University Medical Center scientists.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Braon Mars

This latest study on memory and dietary cocoa flavanols is being heavily covered in the media and shared in social media. This indicates that the aging public is becoming increasingly aware and worried about memory loss, and brain related disorders like Alzheimer's disease.

Research on memory and cocoa flavanols is not new. We first covered this research here in the Alzheimer's Reading Room during 2008 - Researchers link cocoa flavanols to improved brain blood flow.

The 2008 study found that:
Older adults ages 59 to 83, Harvard medical scientists found that study participants who regularly drank a cocoa flavanol-rich beverage made using the Mars, Incorporated Cocoapro® process had an eight percent increase in brain blood flow after one week, and 10 percent increase after two weeks.

Another and newer study which we covered in 2012 - Cocoa Flavanol Consumption Shown to Improve Memory, Brain Function - found:
New evidence that the regular consumption of cocoa flavanols may improve cognitive function in elderly subjects with early memory decline.
And now the latest research on cocoa flavanols presented below indicates that
Dietary cocoa flavanols— naturally occurring bioactives found in cocoa— reversed age-related memory decline in healthy older adults, according to a study led by Columbia University Medical Center scientists.
Please note: The researchers point out that the product used in the study is not the same as chocolate, and they caution against an increase in chocolate consumption in an attempt to gain this effect.