May 31, 2010

Keeping The Love Alive: Not The Brady Bunch

The words fell awkwardly from her mouth, but she told me, "I know you tried. You did the best you could do."....
By Sheryl Lynn
Alzheimer's Reading Room

My mother was able to live alone until she fell on Christmas Eve of 2006. I brought Eleanor to live with me and Laila, my dog, as soon as I felt she was strong enough to make the drive, thinking she'd be spending her remaining days in my home.

Alzheimer's Reading Room New Look

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

I hope you like the new look on the Alzheimer's Reading Room website.

You will notice that the comments box is now at the bottom of the article. This should make it easier for everyone to comment.

If you go to and set up a profile your comment will also include your picture. You can also log in if you have a Twitter or Facebook account and accomplish this. It is always nice to associate a face with the comment.

May 30, 2010

Alzheimer's Artists Paint Impressive History (Video)

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

For those with Alzheimer's, the world has grown confusing, overwhelming, and maybe even a little frightening. Alzheimer’s Association Memories in the Making® (MIM) is an art program for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias that brings comfort and joy through the process of creating watercolors.

Popular Google Searches Leading to the Alzheimer's Reading Room

Protein Regulates Enzyme Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer's Reading Room
“We have identified the protein that takes this enzyme to the cell’s garbage disposal for removal. Increasing levels of the protein allows more of the enzyme to be eliminated, possibly preventing the high levels seen in people with Alzheimer’s disease,” said senior author Giuseppina Tesco, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the department of neuroscience at Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM).

May 29, 2010

Eat Nuts, Lower Cholesterol, Lower Triglycerides, Improve Health

A simple change of eating nuts regularly can make a big difference in people’s health.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

My mother has suffered from high cholesterol and high triglycerides for as long as I can remember. I wonder all the time if we had gotten control of this problem if it would have made a difference in her eventual Alzheimer's.

Nothing can be done for her now. However, you and I can do something, and I think we should. These research finds are worthwhile reading and worth considering.

Eat Nuts, Lower Cholesterol, Lower Triglycerides, Improve Health
Eating an average of 2.3 ounces of nuts daily (67 g, about 1/3 cup) produced the following healthful reductions: blood total cholesterol was lower by 5.1 percent, LDL (bad) cholesterol by 7.4 percent, the LDL/HDL cholesterol ratio by 8.3 percent, and the total cholesterol/HDL ratio by 5.6 percent. In people with higher than normal blood triglycerides—greater than 150 milligrams per deciliter—nut consumption reduced triglyceride levels by 10.2 percent.

Dotty Says, I Did? I Was?

By Dorothy DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Dotty Says, I Did? I Was?

Bobby says I wrote on this so called blog before. I did?

He says my fans want to hear from me. They do?

Then he shows me all these nice comments from people that read this so called blog. Well, thank you for your kind words and prayers.

I'm hungry.

Study Reveals Unique Way Capillaries Clear Blockages and How Process Slows in Aging Brain

Surprisingly, they discovered that the blood vessel cells next to the blockage grew a membrane that completely enveloped the debris. Then the original wall of the blood vessel opened up and spit the debris into the brain tissue, rendering it harmless. The envelope covering the clot became the new vessel wall. This resulted in complete restoration of blood flow and salvaging of the tiny vessel and surrounding brain cells.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

This is interesting science and research. In the long run it could be important for Alzheimer's, dementia, and patients suffering from strokes.

“These are intriguing findings,” said NIA director Richard J. Hodes, MD. “They open new avenues of basic research that may increase our understanding of microvascular maintenance in the brain and throughout the body.”

Elderly woman held captive for months

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Luigi Amalfitano offered 65-year-old dementia sufferer Anna Turner a place to stay and a tender hand when she was close to losing her home.

Instead, Madison County prosecutors said, Amalfitano forced her to live in a locked supply closet, 8 feet by 8 feet, that one police officer said was "barely fit to contain an animal, let alone a human being."

Malnourished and beaten, Turner was discovered Thursday in a 105-degree supply closet in Amalfitano's Anderson home, where she had been held captive for several months, police said.

To read the full article go here.

Senior Lost and Found While Driving 125 Miles from Home

By Bob DeMarco Alzheimer's Reading Room

Dealing with seniors who wander off. (Blair Thornley / For the Los Angeles Times)

Imagine this.

May 28, 2010

Dotty Quick Update

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

As a result of a CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis it appears that Dotty has some kind of pneumonia. I learned this on the phone from the doctor's office. We are heading into the doctor this afternoon to get the full blown diagnosis.

May 27, 2010

My Little Dotty Is Still Here

Comedy, Tragedy, Think, Feel, you get to decide.....
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Today I get asked, does Dotty know who she is? Yes.

The more important question, is Dotty the person I always knew? Yes.

Not once, not for a single second did I ever think -- this is not the person (Dotty) I always knew.

Cindy Wonders If Others Experienced Similar Behaviors?

I started thinking about the subtle difference between memory and behavior in Alzheimer's patients about two months ago. This happened because Dotty was starting to act in a way that I could never have expected or envisioned.

For the longest time, I really wasn't thinking about Dotty's memory. It was worsening and I had accepted this as the normal and usual course of events.

When Dotty started talking to me about the newspaper and giving me that little Dotty smile back every time I smiled at her, I really thought to myself, I would take this over memory improvement every time. I mean Dotty seemed genuinely happy day after day for the first time in ten years. -- Bob DeMarco
By Cindy Ward

I'm so glad you have brought this up! This difference between their memory and their behavior/personality.

My own parents were both highy indignant and mostly non-cooperative at first. After all, their kid walked in and just took over. Who died and left the daughter in charge of the parents, anyway?

May 26, 2010

We Beat Alzheimer's

I don't really understand how or why, but those stars bring me strength. They fill me with an energy and a resolve that is hard to describe.....
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

In order to be an effective Alzheimer's caregiver you must be willing to learn. One of the interesting and trying aspects of taking care of someone with Alzheimer's is that they keep changing. They keep changing the rules. Every time the rules change there is more to learn.

Dotty Update Wednesday

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Right now we are waiting for the calls from Delray Imaging. Dotty is going to get her abdomen - pelvis, etc. scanned.

Just so everyone knows and understands. Since May 10, Dotty had multiple blood and urine tests, EKG, head scan, neurologist check-up, and three doctor check-ups. This along with the standard check you get during an office visit.

May 25, 2010

Dotty As Clean As A Hounds Tooth -- New Milestone for Alzheimer's Caregiving

Life. You just never know what is going to happen.

Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

New Milestone for Alzheimer's Caregiving

Excuse me for chuckling throughout this article. I just gave Dotty what can best be described as a "monster" shower. She is cleaner then a "hounds tooth".

Dotty, Tuesday Morning Update

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

There is nothing significant to report here on Tuesday morning.

Dotty is eating and drinking. Yesterday, she even ate some potato chips.

May 24, 2010

Pfizer Medivation Dimebon Connection Study Results

When Pfizer Medivation released the disappointing results of its Dimebon Connection study it was a real set back for the Alzheimer's community....
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

So far the news from Medivation on the Dimebon Connection study is limited. This is understandable. Both Pfizer (PFE) and Medivation (MDVN) will need time to analyze the results and determine where to go from here with Dimebon.

Those currently enrolled in the three additional Dimebon clinical trials are feeling sad and confused.
"The results from the CONNECTION study are unexpected, and we are disappointed for the Alzheimer's community," said Dr. David Hung, president and chief executive officer of Medivation. "We are working with our colleagues at Pfizer to better understand the CONNECTION data and we plan to present these data at an upcoming medical meeting."

Reflections on Dotty and Dimebon

Let me make this clear. I am not angry. It is not my intention to blame or vilify Medivation (MDVN) or Pfizer (PFE).

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

I am sitting here reviewing my notes on Dimebon. I am looking at the company press releases. I am also reviewing the many articles I wrote about Dimebon, Aricept, and Namenda.

I am reviewing my notes that I started taking on the Dimebon clinical trial that Dotty entered on January 6, 2010.

May 23, 2010

Dotty Update --Sunday

Manna, gum drops, pennies from Heaven, keep shooting them in.....
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

It is somewhat difficult to say where we are right now. Dotty is still complaining of headaches and a stomach ache from time to time. More or less, comes and goes during the day.

Alzheimer's Support -- Like Manna From Heaven

By +Bob DeMarco 
+Alzheimer's Reading Room
Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will vain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law or no.

And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground. And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat.

Related Content
Bob DeMarco is the editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. Bob has written more than 4,600 articles with more than 335,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.
Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room

May 22, 2010

Dotty Update

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Many of you are emailing asking how Dotty is doing. Right now, I don't have anything new or different to report.

She can't walk and is continuing to refuse to eat and drink. Fortunately, I was able to get some food into her and she is drinking some water. Unfortunately, I am not having much success with the juice.

Sometimes It Just Takes A Good Cry

By Debbie Schultz

I wrote this just before I left in March. I am posting it now, so that others will know caregiving, like life has many different kinds of moments. None last very long. You just have to go with the flow.

Alzheimer's Care Color Me Purple

I think to myself, am I purple? Not like Barney. More like, do I have a purple aura surrounding me right now?

Bob DeMarco Founder the Alzheimer's Reading Room
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Not so long ago I was in the Banana Boat with Dotty.

There was a man sitting a few seats away and he kept turning and looking down at me. Over and over.

I thought it was a bit strange.

He wasn't looking at me like he knew me. In fact, I couldn't figure out what he was doing.

How to Get Answers To Your Questions About Alzheimer's and Dementia

May 21, 2010

Alzheimer's Trying To Drag Me Into the Darkness Once Again

Once again, Alzheimer's is trying to drag me into the darkness. Alzheimer's wants to claim me as a -- Victim...

Alzheimer's Reading Room

Bob DeMarco
Right now I am undergoing a new and different experience as an Alzheimer's caregiver.

One half of my brain keeps telling me -- its your fault.

Part of my brain keeps trying to convince me that if I had done something different, my mother wouldn't be in the dire circumstance she is right now.

May 20, 2010

Dotty is Not Doing Well Right Now

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Previously, I asked for information and advice about wheelchairs. If you think you can help, please use the comments box below this article -- Wheelchair Advice, Insight, and Help

After reading that article I am sure many people are wondering -- What is up with Dotty?

Wheelchair Advice, Insight, and Help

By Bob DeMarco
+Alzheimer's Reading Room

This time around I am the one looking for help, advice and insight. I would like to get an education about wheelchairs.

It appears I will be in the market for a wheelchair soon. I am interesting in a light, comfortable wheelchair with good brakes.

My question, can you buy a used wheelchair? If so where is the best place to look?

I would like to get as much education about all the features of a wheelchair as is possible. Any information and advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

For those of you that have been here for a while, you might be thinking Uh Oh. I know I am going to get asked so I will address the issue. Next up.

APOE Genotype Modulates Alzheimer's Disease Phenotype

On the basis of prior work, "we expected memory and the hippocampus to be most vulnerable in carriers of the APOE ε4 allele," Dr. David Wolk....
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

The ε4 allele of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene, which is the major genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD), may also influence the actual expression of the disease, even in its mildest stages, and account for some of the heterogeneity in the types of cognitive problems seen in patients with AD, a new study suggests.

Visceral Fat (Big Belly) Linked To Higher Rates of Dementia and Lower Brain Volume Later in Life

Researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine determined that excess abdominal fat (big belly) places otherwise healthy, middle-aged people at risk for dementia later in life. An earlier study of 6,583 people showed a similar result.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Bob DeMarco
People with high levels of visceral fat (big belly) could be at a greater risk of developing dementia according to a new study conducted by researchers at University School of Medicine in Boston.
"Our results confirm the inverse association of increasing BMI with lower brain volumes in older adults and with younger, middle-aged adults and extends the findings to a much larger study sample," noted Dr. Sudha Seshadri.

May 19, 2010

Gene Testing For Alzheimer's APOE ε4 -- Worth It?

It might be interesting if ABC Nightline did another program with Terry Moran and Meryl Comer to find out a year later how they are feeling and how they changed their lives since receiving the test results. I believe many Alzheimer's caregivers would be interested in learning from their experience.

Bob De Marco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Gene Testing For Alzheimer's APOE ε4 -- Worth It?

From time to time I receive emails asking me about gene testing and Alzheimer's disease. Often people want to know if I think they should get testing. Sometimes they ask me how they can get tested.

Changing the Trajectory of Alzheimer’s Disease: A National Imperative

“Given the magnitude and the impact of this disease, the government’s response to this burgeoning crisis has been stunningly neglectful,” said Harry Johns. “Alzheimer’s is an unfolding natural disaster. The federal government has sent a token response and has no plan. Immediate and substantial research investments are required to avoid an even more disastrous future for American families and already overwhelmed state and federal budgets,” continued Johns. “For the human effects and the country’s fiscal future, we must change the trajectory of the Alzheimer crisis.”....

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Alzheimer's a National Crisis (Video)

“The impact of Alzheimer’s disease - both in terms of lives affected and costs of care – is staggering. As government leaders contend with the best approaches to rein in Medicare and Medicaid costs, we know Alzheimer’s will place a massive strain on an already overburdened health care system,” said Robert J. Egge, Vice President of Public Policy for the Alzheimer’s Association.

“This report highlights that while we strive for the ideal – a treatment that completely prevents or cures Alzheimer’s disease – even more modest, disease-modifying treatments would provide substantial benefits to families and contribute to the solvency of Medicare and Medicaid.”

May 18, 2010

The Dimebon Experience -- Patrice's View

I can’t imagine how devastated many patients and caregivers will feel if they discontinue the medicine and a rapid decline in functioning becomes apparent, knowing that there is something available that will help.....

Patrice wrote,

I am a caregiver for my father who has been participating in Phase III of the Dimebon trial; he was on Aricept when he started this trial.

He was in the 3 month 50/50 cohort; starting the real drug in October 2009.

Although it took approximately a month, I started observing notable changes.

Dotty Says, Louise is Sweet

When we get to Australia, Bobby can go look for women. I would like to try one of those Emu eggs. Are they big?....
By Dorothy DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

You know what, this none paying so called blog gig is not all bad. You won't believe what happened this morning. I received a birthday card and gift from Louise. Louise lives in Australia.

Louise is sweet. I can't believe it.

The Dimebon Experience -- Marion's View

I would do it all again in a minute to follow in the direction of HOPE.....

Marion wrote:

My Dad was diagnosed in January 2008 with Alzheimers. He started the Dimebon Connection study in January 2009 ending July 2009. He has been open label since then. Less than a week after he started the drug we saw positive changes.

May 17, 2010


By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Kim asks:

My father suffers from alzheimer's, and his wife is constantly SCREAMING at him!!! What should I do??

The Dimebon Experience -- Sunshine's View

The more I think about it, the angrier I get.....
Sunshine wrote:

Many of us feel our loved ones have done better on Dimebon (Pfizer (PFE), Medivation (MDVN)). Mine was in the safety study that Pfizer trumpeted as having been so successful, at the same time they had to report that the CONNECTION study was a failure.

The more I think about it, the angrier I get.

May 16, 2010

The Dimebon Experience -- Skericheri's View

In spite of the fact that the cost of black-market Dimebon is equal to more than one half of my income...I will probably end up purchasing it....

Skericheri wrote:

I’m the 24/7 caregiver for Charles. Charles received his Alzheimer's disease diagnosis late in 2005. He was enrolled in the Dimebon clinical trial and began the open label portion of the clinical trial in late February or early March of 2009.

Dementia takes away the meaning of flavors

Flavor is literally the spice of life and for many people life without the pleasures of the table would be unthinkable.

Yet just this aspect of everyday life is vulnerable in certain degenerative dementias, with patients developing abnormal eating behaviours including changes in food preferences, faddism and pathological sweet tooth. New research has revealed evidence that these behaviours are linked to a loss of meaning for flavours, as reported in the June 2010 issue of Elsevier's Cortex.

Alzheimer's Reading Room

May 15, 2010

Art Museums Offer Programs for Alzheimer's Patients

By Max Wallack
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Art Museums Offer Programs for Alzheimer's Patients | Alzheimer's Reading Room

Thankfully, as it becomes more and more evident how beneficial programs in the arts are to Alzheimer's patients, more and more museums are stepping forward to provide these programs.

Below I have listed a sampling of these programs, offered by art museums for the benefit of Alzheimer's patients. Anyone living near these museums could benefit from these programs. If you don't live near the museums listed below, I would suggest calling your local museums. They may also have such programs or may decide to institute new similar programs.

The New York Stem Cell Foundation Receives $27 Million Grant

By Bob DeMarco Alzheimer's Reading Room

The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) has received a grant of $27 million from the Robertson Foundation, established by Julian and Josie Robertson.

The Robertson Foundation gift, in addition to other support, will provide funding for NYSCF-Robertson Investigators in NYSCF's new Early Career Investigator Awards Program and the creation of the NYSCF-Robertson Stem Cell Prize.

Cure for Alzheimer's Disease? UC Irvine Opens Stem Cell Research Institute

Last year, I wrote about how it is my belief that a cure for Alzheimer's disease could come from stem cell research.

Bob De Marco +Alzheimer's Reading Room

I get asked all the time, when do I think there will be a cure for Alzheimer's disease. That is a question that is difficult to answer right now.

May 14, 2010

Keeping The Love Alive: The Magic of Water

I've found that giving my mom some water can work wonders. The act of drinking water stimulates her dehydrated brain to wake up. She forgets why she was yelling. She feels calmer. She's happier.....
By Sheryl Lynn
Alzheimer's Reading Room

I always sensed I'd someday be a caregiver for my mom. I don't know why that was. My parents' parents demonstrated only slight memory loss before suddenly dying of strokes or heart attacks when I was a child or a teenager. None of their aunts or uncles died of dementia. My mom's older brother was the first family member on either side of my family to receive a diagnosis of Alzheimer's. I don't know why I did this, but I began storing information I'd hear about dementia when I was 29 years old.

Dotty, Keep Singing Bobby's Songs!

Yes, Alzheimer’s patients can still learn and remember! We just need to help them learn and remember by using the less affected portions of their brain.....

By Max Wallack
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Researchers from Boston University Medical School have found what Bob, as a caregiver, has been sharing with us all along:
“patients with Alzheimer’s disease are better able to remember new verbal information when it is provided in the context of music even when compared to healthy, older adults.”

May 13, 2010

Is it Time?

This all sounds so sensible so why do I feel like I am convincing myself? Why am I so uneasy?.....

By Kerry Runyeon
+Alzheimer's Reading Room

Is it Time?

The last couple of weeks I have been preoccupied, worried, and out of sorts. I actually wrote this piece over a week ago and am now just finding the courage to post it.

I feel I am letting my mother down, myself, my children, and all who read my blog.

Any comments or feedback regarding this issue would be appreciated. I am sure many of you have had to make this same decision.

Dotty Says, Who the Hell is David Hung?

So who's the dog. Bobby or me?....
By Dorothy DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

I wish you could be here to see this. When Bobby talks to one of his Wall Street buddies he paces up and down the entire length of the house while he talks on the phone.

Here he comes...........There he goes...........Here he comes.

Bobby should write a book, How to Lose Ten Pounds While Talking on the Phone. Can you believe he has one of those phone things he puts in his ear and he actually uses it to talk on the phone while he is walking around -- inside or outside.

Reader Says, Dimebon Improved Cognition and Behavior

Pfizer Medivation Dimebon working well for this patient......
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

I received this information via email from our reader, Peg. She wanted everyone to hear about her experience.

Bob, I am so sorry to hear about your Dimebon trial experience, in terms of it being terminated.

While I've been reading about some of the improvements in Dotty, I wondered if it were due to Dimebon, because I've seen so much improvement in my husband since he completed the Connection trial and went on the 20 mg 3x a day extension phase (since August '09).

May 12, 2010

Walgreens won't sell over-the-counter genetic test after FDA raises questions

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

"In light of the FDA contacting Pathway Genomics about its genetic test kit and anticipated ongoing discussions between the two parties, we've elected not to move forward with offering the Pathway product to our customers until we have further clarity on this matter," Jim Cohn, a Walgreens spokesman, said.

At issue is whether or not Pathway Genomics needs FDA approval or clearance to sell the DNA test direct to consumers.

To read more about this on the Washington Post website -- go here.

As I am writing this I am listening to the local news station promoting the test and saying it will be sold at Walgreens on Friday. Big opps coming tomorrow.

More About the Alzheimer's Reading Room

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room

Kerry Runyeon Asks about Dimebon

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

In the comments section below -- Medivation (Dimebon) Gives Dotty the Axe -- Kerry Runyeon asked,
Is there any other way to get your hands on Dimebon and if you could would you based on what you have observed.

I hear you can buy Dimebon on the Internet. I have never looked into the possibility because my guess is it would be hard to determine the quality and the formulation of a generic version.

I'll answer your question this way. If Dimebon makes it to market and if Dotty is still around, I'll be standing at the door of pharmacy, prescription in hand, waiting for them to open -- on day one.

I will be writing a thorough and detailed description of our 18 weeks in the Dimebon clinical trial soon.

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Memory Moments (Video, Lori La Bey)

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Tip of the hat to Laurence Harmon for sending this video to us. To view additional video's from Brilliant Image Video's -- go here. You can also watch an interview with Judy Berry.

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Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Awards Grant to University of Colorado School of Medicine

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Cure Alzheimer’s Fund recently awarded Dr. Nicholas Seeds, with the
University of Colorado School of Medicine, a $100,000 grant for novel research
on Alzheimer’s disease, which affects 5.2 million Americans and their families
and is the most common cause of dementia in the elderly.

Five Ways to Reduce Alzheimer's Risk

National Institutes of Health Panel says there's no sure way to prevent Alzheimer's but that it is possible to reduce risk.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

A panel convened by the National Institutes of Health says there's no sure way to prevent Alzheimer's disease or other forms of mental decline related to aging.

A close read of the report also showed that the panel said,
it's possible that people can reduce their risk by exercising, staying mentally active, and watching their diets.

Medivation (Dimebon) Gives Dotty the Axe

Medivation pulls the plug on moderate to late stage Alzheimer's patients.....
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

As many of you know, on January 6, 2010, Dotty was enrolled in one of the two Dimebon clinical trials for patients in the moderate to severe stage of Alzheimer's disease.

On Monday, May 10, Pfizer (PFE) and Medivation (MDVN) announced that they were canceling both later stage trials for Dimebon.

Dotty got the Axe.

May 11, 2010

Gammaglobulin Treatment May Slow Alzheimer’s Disease

The research is jointly funded by Baxter International (BAX) and the National Institute on Aging. ....
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego Alzheimer’s program have begun a Phase III clinical trial testing a new approach to slowing down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease using Intravenous Immune Globulin (IVIg), also known as gammaglobulin. IVIg has been used to treat primary immunodeficiency disorders for more than 20 years, but is not currently approved for treating Alzheimer’s, one of the leading forms of dementia.

Is a Cheap Genetic Test for Alzheimer's Coming on the Market?

I bring this up because I receive many emails asking me how to get a genetic test for Alzheimer's disease.....
Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Personal DNA testing kits will become available at Walgreens on Friday (except in New York). The expected retail price is around $30. This might be interesting to people predisposed to heart disease, breast cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and Alzheimer's.

It is unclear to me after reading the many articles available and the Pathway Genomics website if the $30 test will include testing for predisposition to Alzheimer's disease. It appears that test will require a more expensive test that runs $179 (or more).

I bring this up because I receive many emails asking me how to get a genetic test for Alzheimer's disease. Those related to someone with Alzheimer's are particularly interested in being testing. Many parents also want to test their kids.

Lakeview Ranch for Specialized Dementia Care Is Fulfilling a Promise One Patient at a Time

Judy’s mother was labeled as an “aggressive-behavior” patient because she would trip caregivers and patients when they walked by. In 7 years her mom was thrown out of 12 separate facilities because of her behavior.....
By Tom Ratcliff

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine spending the rest of your life surrounded by a thick, towering glass wall.

You can see the people around you but you can’t understand what their saying.

You try to speak out and tell them you’re scared and feel like you’re going crazy but you can’t remember the words even though you still feel the emotional pain.

Months and even years go by and nothing has changed except the people outside no longer bother to look at you. Even your children give you an emotionless stare implying you’re probably already dead but your body just doesn’t know it yet.

May 10, 2010

Alzheimer's Caregiver Asks for Advice and Suggestions

I am his lifeline to sorting out what confuses him or just to share thoughts.....
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Sharon wrote and asked?
I just joined the Alzheimer's Reading Room and I'm new to blogging in general so bear with me.

I am 55 and the primary caregiver of my father, age 81, who is in the moderate stage of dementia.

Unlike many of the messages I've read elsewhere and on the public page of this blog, my father lives in a wonderful dementia care unit which is basically assisted living with security.

He has a big single room that is set up primarily as a living room with a bed towards the back and his own bathroom. He was in regular assisted living for about 1 1/2 years before making this move for security reasons.

I'm interested in learning from others about how to best respond to dad's time confusion (believes he is living in different periods in his life).

I do not have any where near the stresses of others who are caring for loved ones at home but I'm feeling many of the same feelings of sadness along with wanting to make life as good as possible for dad.

I didn't know if there are others on this blog who have their parents in a dementia care facility and could share how they work successfully with the staff, plan visits to compliment other activities, and deal with the sadness of their parents condition.

I may not see/feel dad all day like the care at home folks but he calls a lot...I am his lifeline to sorting out what confuses him or just to share thoughts.

Are there any tips/suggestions for a caregiver in my situation?

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More About the Alzheimer's Reading Room

Bob DeMarco is the editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. Bob has written more than 1,400 articles with more than 9,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

The Alzheimer's Action Plan
300 Tips for Making Life Easier

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room

May 6, 2010

She replied I am getting out of here.....

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Marcus Bennett wrote:

"Could Walmart make an impact on the lives of Alzheimer's patients and caregivers? You bet they could." Wal~Mart is one of the biggest givers to the Alzheimer's Association if not the biggest.

Spouses Who Care for Partners with Dementia Six Times More Likely to Develop Memory Impairment

We know that the declines in memory we saw were real and persistent, not just a point in time where they weren’t performing well on tests.....
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Husbands or wives who care for spouses with dementia are six times more likely to develop the memory-impairing condition than those whose spouses don’t have it, according to results of a 12-year study led by Johns Hopkins, Utah State University, and Duke University. The increased risk that the researchers saw among caregivers was on par with the power of a gene variant known to increase susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease, they report in the May Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

World Champion Quilt Challenge: Eight Go Head-to-Head to Fight Alzheimer’s

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative ( is a national, grassroots effort to raise awareness and fund research. It auctions and sells donated quilts through the Priority: Alzheimer's Quilt project and sponsors a national tour of quilts about Alzheimer's.

May 5, 2010

Save the Children — Join an Alzheimer's Clinical Trial

Research has shown that Alzheimer’s patients in clinical trials -- whether they receive the drug or the placebo -- do better. Often, Alzheimer's disease progresses more slowly in those in a clinical trial than it does in those who are not in a clinical trial. If you volunteer you will help yourself and science.....
By Carol Blackwell
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Most of us would do anything to save our children if they were in danger -— run in front of a train (at least I think I would do that!), donate a kidney, run into a burning building, etc.

And yet, there is a critical shortage of people with Alzheimer’s to volunteer for clinical trials. Without involvement in clinical trials, research won’t go forward and, if that happens, there will be no cure for this awful, horrible, disease.

So, you may be asking, what does this have to do with the children? The sad fact is your children are more likely to develop this disease if you have it.

Dotty Says, Pay Me in Money Not Linguine

I still think I deserve to get paid for all my work on this so called blog.....
By Dorothy DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Bobby says, I am falling down on the job on this so called blog. He says, you are not writing enough.

I'm retired. I get to do what I want when I want.

Walmart and Alzheimer's Caregiving

Point? This endeavor makes the life of the caregiver easier, happier, and more productive....
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Walmart and  Alzheimer's Caregiving | Alzheimer's Reading Room

I am always looking for ways to keep my mother active and attached to the "real" world. One way I do this is by going to Walmart (WMT).

I am sitting here wondering if Walmart understands the wonderful positive role they could play with the Alzheimer's patient and caregiver? Not likely. Would they do something if they did? Good question. They wouldn't make more money but the PR value would be enormous. For a company that could use some good public relations Alzheimer's could be an answer.

Specifically, I am wondering what would happen if Walmart CEO Mike Duke came down here to the Delray Beach Walmart store and watched me "wag" my mother from our car, through the parking lot, into the store, and then watched my mother drive around the store in one of those motorized shopping carts.

May 4, 2010

“Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am?" (HBO) To Be Honored

Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am? was part of the HBO documentary series The Alzheimer's Project....
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

The annual Television Academy Honors spotlights shows that exemplify "television with a conscience." This year the academy will honor “Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am?" with Maria Shriver.

The award recognizes achievements in programming that present issues of concern to our society in a compelling, emotional and insightful way.

If a Doctor Looks at His Watch During a Doctor's Appointment Should You Fire Him?

Are your sure you have the best personal care physician in your immediate area?....
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

We have a neighbor, he is 84 years old. Every time time he has an ache or a pain or a stomach ache he goes to the doctor. When he returns home he usually has two new prescription medications. Two. Not one, two.

It mystifies me.

Research Explores the Connection between Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus and Alzheimer's Disease

It is estimated that as many as 250,000 people in the U.S. who are experiencing symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and, may actually have related conditions such as NPH ....
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH) is a neurological condition which typically affects adults ages 55 and older. This condition was first described in the 1960s as a triad of gait disturbance, dementia, and bladder incontinence.

The ventricles of the brain appear enlarged although the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure remains normal. Once properly diagnosed, the progression of NPH can be delayed through the surgical implantation of a shunt, a device that channels CSF away from the brain to another part of the body where it can be absorbed.

Keeping The Love Alive: Crossing Dimensions

I left the room, pausing in the hallway to watch what the residents would do. They stared at the front of the room for a good ten minutes.....
By Sheryl Lynn

Eleanor, my mother, was the only Jewish resident at the Alzheimer's assisted living facility when the high holidays rolled around last autumn.

May 3, 2010

Algal DHA Omega-3 Improved Memory and Learning in Healthy Adults 55 and Older

The following study and information is being published in the online edition of -- Alzheimer's and Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association.

The Memory Improvement with Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) Study (MIDAS) published online this week showed that algal DHA improved memory function in healthy aging adults, providing a benefit roughly equivalent to having the learning and memory skills of someone three years younger.

MIDAS is the first large, randomized and placebo-controlled study demonstrating the benefits of algal DHA in maintaining and improving brain health in older adults. The goal of MIDAS was to evaluate the effects of algal DHA on cognitive outcomes in healthy elderly people with a mild memory complaint. The study was funded by Martek Biosciences.

What's the Difference Between Alzheimer's and Dementia?
Test Your Memory for Alzheimer's (5 Best Memory Tests)
Alzheimer's, Dementia, and Types of Dementia
Alzheimer's Clock Draw Test -- Detect the Signs of Alzheimer's Early
Communicating in Alzheimer's World
Alzheimer's, Your Brain, and Adaptability
The First Sign of Alzheimer's Short Term Memory Loss

Mother's Day How Do You Spot Alzheimer's Early?

A few years ago I asked a friend of my mother what she had for breakfast (she was losing weight). She said ice cream.....
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

I am interested in developing a list of bullet points on how to spot Alzheimer's over Mother's day weekend. Mother's Day is a time of year when families come together.

Editor Note: Please see the comments section below the article for reader suggestions and insight.

Looking back, are there one or two things (behaviors, events) that might have alerted you to Alzheimer's dementia earlier?

We don't need a long explanation. Just things to look for that could indicate memory problems that rise above the level of senior moments or the kinds of forgetfulness that come with aging.

May 2, 2010

Patterns and Alzheimer's Caregiving

Meanness, pee pee, poop, the way we lived our life, over time I came up with new and better ways to accomplish my mission as an Alzheimer's caregiver.....

Alzheimer's Reading Room

In the article -- Not a Ghost of A Chance -- An Alzheimer's Out of the Box Moment -- I wrote,
I continue to believe that many of the patients suffering from Alzheimer's are capable of more then most people can, or ever could, imagine.
This reminded me of something I learned and one of my first big observations.

One day I took my mother into the supermarket to buy lottery tickets. For years she had been going to the store daily to buy her Cash 3 and various other lottery tickets. After I was here for a while, I came up with what I thought was a bright idea. Instead of going daily to buy the lottery tickets, why not buy them all at once, once a week. I started doing that for my mother.

May 1, 2010

Test Your Memory For Alzheimer's -- Five Self Assessment Tests

The list contains five self assessment tests for Alzheimer's, dementia, and mild cognitive impairment.....
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

If you decide to administer one or more of these tests and the results of the tests are suspicious you should consult with your personal care physician or a neurologist for a more thorough memory examination and diagnosis. These tests are for assessments, not diagnosis.

Does An Alzheimer Patient Know What You Are Saying?

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Does An Alzheimer Patient Know What You Are Saying?

This is an open ended questions to readers. Please use the comments box below this article to respond and share your thoughts.

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