Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Alzheimer's Disease

An nice feature article in today's New York Times:

Scientists Want to Find Alzheimer’s Before a Mind Fails
The New York Times
Published: December 26, 2007

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Game Brain

From and The San Francisco Chronicle, continued penetration of pop neuropsychology into everyday life:

'Brain gym' may exorcise Boomers' fears about aging
Heidi Benson, Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, December 13, 2007

Marathon-happy Baby Boomers, those 78 million Americans born from 1946 to '64, were the first generation to make a religion of physical fitness. Now, they are investing time and money to maintain what's above their six-pack abs and rippling biceps: their brains.

"People are living longer, and they want their brains to keep up with their bodies," said Lisa Schoonerman, who is on top of the trend.

She and her life partner, Jan Zivic, have opened a "brain gym," called vibrantBrains, on Sacramento Street in San Francisco.

"Studies show that regular mental workouts are WD-40 for the brain," Schoonerman said. "It's preventative maintenance."

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Alzheimer's Disease: Sarah Polley's Movie, Away From Her

Sarah Polley has won another award for her movie:

From The Vancouver Sun:

Polley wins N.Y. film critics award
CanWest News Service
Published: Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Canadian filmmaker Sarah Polley has won the New York Film Critics Circle's best first film award for her directorial debut Away From Her, an adaptation of Alice Munro's short story The Bear Came Over the Mountain. Academy award-winning actress Julie Christie took the best actress award for her performance in Polley's film as a woman suffering from the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

© The Vancouver Sun 2007

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The Game Brain

The New York Times continues its coverage of cognitive agility with a column today by Jane Brody discussing different cognitive and physical ways to promote a fit mind:

Mental Reserves Keep Brains Agile
by Jane E. Brody
The New York Times
11 December 2007

[ ... Read the full column ... ]

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Alzheimer's Disease (AD): Dementia Telephone Screening

Tomorrow's Sunday New York Times Magazine is its annual new ideas of the past year issue. Among the many shiny ideas presented is telephone screening for dementia:

Alzheimer’s Telephone Screening
The New York Times
Published: December 9, 2007

This year, researchers completed work on a 50-question telephone quiz to help them identify Alzheimer’s patients long before they exhibit typical symptoms. Such a quiz may soon become part of regular medical care.

This new tool measures what the researchers call “cognitive vital signs” like short-term memory loss, which is the most important early sign of Alzheimer’s, and detects declines in everyday abilities like using a telephone, preparing meals or managing finances. The quiz also picks up behavioral warning signs including apathy, irritability and depression.

“If somebody is failing these cognitive tests, they already have the characteristics of the disease,” says Jeffrey Cummings, director of the Alzheimer Disease Center at U.C.L.A., “just in a very early and mild form.” Cummings says the quiz reliably shows when a person crosses the line between normal mental life and the mild cognitive impairment found in early Alzheimer’s, but adds that anyone who fails should get a detailed follow-up exam.

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Alzheimer's Dementia: "To Screen, Or Not To Screen"

A short piece in today's Washington Post about the potential problems and potential benefits of broad screenings for dementia of Alzheimer's disease in the general population of aging persons:

To Screen, or Not to Screen
Experts Debate Mass Testing For Alzheimer's Disease
By Alicia Ault
Special to The Washington Post
Tuesday, December 4, 2007; Page HE01

[ ... Read the full article ... ]