Thursday, July 28, 2011

Alzheimer's Blogging:

I would like to share with you an e-mail I received:

Food for Thought
"The idea that Alzheimer's is entirely genetic and unpreventable is perhaps the Greatest misconception about the disease,"

says Gary Small, M.D., director of The UCLA Center on Aging.
Researchers now know that Alzheimer's,
like heart Disease and cancer,
develops over decades and can be influenced by lifestyle:
Factors including cholesterol, blood pressure, obesity, depression, education,
Nutrition, sleep and mental, physical and social activity.

The big news:
Mountains of research reveals that simple things you do every day
might cut your odds of losing your mind to Alzheimer's.

In search of scientific ways to delay and outlive Alzheimer's and other Dementia,
I tracked down thousands of studies and interviewed dozens of Experts.
The results in a new book:
100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer's and Age-Related Memory Loss (Little, Brown; $19.99).
Here are 10 strategies I found most surprising.

Have coffee. In an amazing flip-flop, coffee is the new brain tonic.
A large European study showed that drinking three to five cups of coffee a day
in Midlife cut Alzheimer's risk 65% in late life.
University of South Florida Researcher Gary Arendash, credits caffeine:
He says it reduces dementia-causing amyloid in animal brains.
Others credit coffee's antioxidants.
So drink up, Arendash advises, unless your doctor says you shouldn't.

Oddly, the health of your teeth and gums can help predict dementia.
University of Southern California research found that having periodontal disease before age 35
quadrupled the odds of dementia years later.
Older people with tooth and gum disease score lower on memory and cognition tests, other studies show.
Experts speculate that inflammation in diseased mouths migrates to the brain.

Doing an online search can stimulate your aging brain even more than reading a book,
says UCLA's Gary Small, who used brain MRIs to prove it.
The biggest surprise:
Novice Internet surfers, ages 55 to 78,
activated key memory and learning centers in the brain
after only a week of Web surfing for an hour a day.

Grow new brain cells.
Impossible, scientists used to say.
Now it's believed that thousands of brain cells are born daily.
The trick is to keep the newborns Alive.
What works: aerobic exercise (such as a brisk 30-minute walk every day),
strenuous mental activity, eating salmon and other fatty fish, and avoiding obesity, chronic stress,
sleep deprivation, heavy drinking and vitamin B deficiency.

Drink apple juice.
Apple juice can push production of the "memory chemical" acetylcholine;
that's the way the popular Alzheimer's drug Aricept works,
says Thomas Shea, Ph.D., of the University of Massachusetts .
He was surprised that old mice given apple juice did better on learning and
memory tests than mice that received water.
A dose for humans: 16 ounces, or two to three apples a day.

Protect your head.
Blows to the head, even mild ones early in life, increase odds of dementia years later.
Pro football players have 19 times the typical rate of memory-related diseases.
Alzheimer's is four times more common in elderly who suffer a head injury, Columbia University finds.
Accidental falls doubled an older person's odds of dementia five years later in another study.
Wear seat belts and helmets, fall-proof your house, and don't take risks.

Brain scans show that people who meditate regularly have less cognitive decline and
brain shrinkage - a classic sign of Alzheimer's - as they age.
Andrew Newberg of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine says
yoga meditation of 12 minutes a day for two months
improved blood flow and cognitive functioning in seniors with memory problems.

Take D.
A "severe deficiency" of vitamin D boosts older Americans' risk of Cognitive impairment 394%,
an alarming study by England 's University of Exeter finds.
And most Americans lack vitamin D.
Experts recommend a daily dose of 800 IU to 2,000 IU of vitamin D3.

Fill your brain. [Note: will need to click on 'Translate']
It's called "cognitive reserve."
A rich accumulation of life experiences -
education, marriage, socializing, a stimulating job, language skills, having a purpose in life,
physical activity and mentally demanding leisure activities -
makes your brain better able to tolerate plaques and tangles.
You can even have significant Alzheimer's pathology and no symptoms of dementia
if you have high cognitive reserve,
says David Bennett, M.D., of Chicago 's Rush University Medical Center .

Avoid infection.
Astonishing new evidence ties Alzheimer's to cold sores, gastric ulcers, Lyme disease, pneumonia and the flu.
Ruth Itzhaki, Ph.D., of the University of Manchester in England
estimates the cold-sore herpes simplex virus is incriminated in 60% of Alzheimer's cases.
The theory: Infections trigger excessive beta amyloid "gunk" that kills brain cells.
Proof is still lacking, but why not avoid common infections and
take appropriate vaccines, antibiotics and antiviral agents?

What to Drink for Good Memory
A great way to keep your aging memory sharp and avoid Alzheimer's is to drink the right stuff.

Tops: Juice.
A glass of any fruit or vegetable juice three times a week
slashed Alzheimer's odds 76% in Vanderbilt University research..
Especially protective: blueberry, grape and apple juice, say other studies.

Only a cup of black or green tea a week cut rates of cognitive decline in older people by 37%,
reports the Alzheimer's Association.
Only brewed tea works.
Skip bottled tea, which is devoid of antioxidants.

Caffeine beverages.
Surprisingly, caffeine fights memory loss and Alzheimer's, suggest dozens of studies.
Best sources: coffee (one Alzheimer's researcher drinks five cups a day), tea and chocolate.
Beware caffeine if you are pregnant, have high blood pressure, insomnia or anxiety.

Red wine:
If you drink alcohol, a little red wine is most apt to benefit your aging brain.
It's high in antioxidants.
Limit it to one daily glass for women, two for men.
Excessive alcohol, notably binge drinking, brings on Alzheimer's.

Two to avoid:
Sugary soft drinks, especially those sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.
They make lab animals dumb.
Water with high copper content also can up your odds of Alzheimer's.
Use a water filter that removes excess minerals.

5 Ways to Save Your Kids from Alzheimer's NowAlzheimer's isn't just a disease that starts in old age.
What happens to your child's brain seems to have a dramatic impact
on his or her likelihood of Alzheimer's many decades later.

Here are five things you can do now to help save your child from Alzheimer's and
memory loss later in life, according to the latest research.

Prevent head blows:
Insist your child wear a helmet during biking, skating,
skiing, baseball, football, hockey, and all contact sports.
A major blow as well as tiny repetitive unnoticed concussions can cause damage,
leading to memory loss and Alzheimer's years later.

Encourage language skills:
A teenage girl who is a superior writer is eight times more likely to escape Alzheimer's
in late life than a teen with poor linguistic skills.
Teaching young children to be fluent in two or more languages
makes them less vulnerable to Alzheimer's.

Insist your child go to college:
Education is a powerful Alzheimer's deterrent.
The more years of formal schooling, the lower the odds.
Most Alzheimer's prone: teenage drop outs.
For each year of education, your risk of dementia drops 11%,
says a recent University of Cambridge study.

Provide stimulation:
Keep your child's brain busy with physical, mental and
social activities and novel experiences.
All these contribute to a bigger, better functioning brain with more so-called 'cognitive reserve.'
High cognitive reserve protects against memory decline and Alzheimer's.

Spare the junk food:
Lab animals raised on berries, spinach and high omega-3 fish have great memories in old age.
Those overfed sugar, especially high fructose in soft drinks,
saturated fat and trans fats become overweight and diabetic,
with smaller brains and impaired memories as they age, a prelude to Alzheimer's.

Excerpted from Jean Carper's newest book:
"100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer's"

Thank you so much for this information.  I hope this helps.
Marie Fostino
Alzheimer's A Caretakers Journal
Seaboard Press An Imprint of James A Rock Pub., Co.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Healthy Living Even More Vital for the Brain than the Heart

I know you have been told, a glass of wine or one beer is healthy but if you over drink it is bad for you. The same goes for smoking and taking drugs.  Now a research is going on saying that healthy living not only keeps your organs  young and working but it also helps the brain and maybe also can keep you from Alzheimer's Disease.

Fighting 7 risk factors could save 3 million people from Alzheimer's. "We were surprised that lifestyle factors such as physical inactivity and smoking appear to contribute to a larger number of Alzheimer's cases than cardiovascular diseases." Watch Dr. Deborah Barnes present her eye-opening research.

I am looking at Alzheimer's Weekly and this is such a great article.

The scientists calculated PARs "population attributable risks"  for diabetes, mid-life hypertension, mid-life obesity, smoking, depression, low educational attainment and physical inactivity. (Dietary factors were not considered due to heterogeneity of definitions and lack of data on prevalence.) The researchers then estimated the total number of Alzheimer's cases currently attributable to each risk factor individually and all seven risk factors combined in the U.S. and worldwide. Finally, they calculated the number of Alzheimer's cases that could potentially be prevented by 10 percent and 25 percent reductions in prevalence of the risk factors.

At AAIC 2011, the researchers reported the proportion of Alzheimer's cases worldwide that are potentially attributable to each of the seven risk factors:
  1. low education 19 percent
  2. smoking 14 percent
  3. physical inactivity 13 percent
  4. epression 11 percent
  5. mid-life hypertension 5 percent
  6. mid-life obesity 2 percent
  7. diabetes 2 percent
And specifically in the U.S.:
  1. physical inactivity 21 percent
  2. depression 15 percent
  3. smoking 11 percent
  4. mid-life hypertension 8 percent
  5. mid-life obesity 7 percent
  6. low education 7 percent
  7. diabetes 3 percent
Together, the seven potentially modifiable risk factors contributed to roughly 50 percent of Alzheimer's cases worldwide (51 percent, 17.2 million) and in the U.S. (54 percent, 2.9 million).

Check out this article:

Life style factors on Alzheimer's

"These findings represent the initial steps in the development of a 'Resilience Index' that may allow early interventions to promote the maintenance of cognitive stability," Steinberg said.

Marie Fostino
Alzheimer's A Caretakers Journal
Seaboard Press An Imprint of James A Rock Pub., Co.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Alzheimer's Blog:

Would you like to help in the fight against Alzheimer's Disease?
RSVP NowDear marie,

Right now, the federal government is developing a national plan to fight Alzheimer's disease - and you can help shape it right from your own home.
On August 4th at 8pm EST, the Alzheimer's Association will host its first ever Tele-Town Hall to gather feedback from people like you across the country on what issues the government should address in its National Alzheimer's Plan. Please RSVP and, on the night of the call, you'll receive an automated call from us inviting you to join.
This is your opportunity to tell the decision-makers from Washington, D.C. what you think!
And if you just want to listen to the thoughts and opinions of others like you, that's fine too. This event is free to the public, but space is limited. Please Sign up today!
NAPA:  From Act to Action - On Jan. 4, 2011, President Obama signed the National Alzheimer's Project Act (NAPA) into law. Upon its signing, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius pledged to create an "aggressive and coordinated national strategy" to confront the rapidly escalating Alzheimer's crisis.

This listening session is our turn to speak up about the everyday challenges and hardships of Alzheimer's this national strategy must address – and the opportunities it must seize. How do we see NAPA changing, improving, and providing help to millions across the country? You tell the decision makers from Washington D.C. what you think. The information collected will come from individuals living with the disease, caregivers, researchers, providers and other stakeholders.

You can learn more about NAPA and our national effort by going to We hope you'll join us.  Together, we can make a difference to end Alzheimer's.

Robert Egge
VP of Public Policy
Alzheimer's Association

Marie Fostino
Alzheimer's A Caretakers Journal
Seaboard Press An Imprint of James A Rock Pub., Co.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Alzheimer's Blogging:

Are you looking for a charter bus, mini bus, shuttle bus, limousine / party bus, school bus or entertainer / VIP coach?  If so, All Nations Bus Charter can assist you!  They can provide you with new/late model vehicles anywhere you need it, nationwide. Whether you are planning 3 months in advance, 3 weeks in advance or 3 days in advance, All  Nations Bus Charter has more resources and a massive fleet index to choose from to ensure you are provided with a safe and reliable bus rental nationwide 

With the experience and knowledge that All Nations Bus Charter has, you won't have to stress out over your charter transportation rental.  They take care of everything for you!  With their combined professional staff, personal account managers, and the love of transportation, they rise above other charter bus providers to produce you with a complete package. 

I thought I would put in a plug this business.  Check out their website:

Jessica has been doing this for the past 7 yrs so she has a lot of experience and knowledge. She can find you anything across the United States. 

Marie Fostino
Alzheimer's A Caretakers Journal
Seaboard Press An Imprint of James A Rock Pub., Co. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Alzheimer's Blogging:

I am excitingly getting ready to go to Wisconsin on Wednesday to celebrate my grandma's 100th birthday. How wonderful to be at that age and have your wits about you. She still bakes, and rides a three wheel bike. I just got off the phone with her and when I called she recognized my voice right away. I am not sure I am that good to recognize someones voice from such a distance. This woman has great-great grandchildren and most of them will be at the celebration. I just wanted to share this with you.

I still morn at the fact my father in law, got Alzheimer's and didn't know who we were when he died. He was a good man and taught me alot about kindness and people. I am happy to know that I got the chance to try and give back to him a little of the kindness that he gave to us. I loved keeping him in our home and trying to make his last couple of years as normal as possible. I miss him.

I was on  Alzheimer's Weekly On Line Magazine and I wanted to share this with you.

Neurologist Oliver Sacks says of dementia, “The past which is not recoverable in any other way seems to be sort of 'embedded in amber', if you will, in music. You can at least get some feel of it and regain it, for a little while, with familiar music.” In this short clip, Bill and Fritzi do just that, with some “Old Time Music.”

Watch this clip Alzheimer's Disease Benefit Concert Announcement and enjoy.

Marie Fostino
Alzheimer's A Caretakers Journal
Seaboard Press An Imprint Of James A Rock Pub., Co.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Alzheimer's Blogging:

Alzheimer's and Football:

JEFFREY BROWN: Finally tonight, Ray Suarez remembers John Mackey, the Hall of Fame football player who had an impact on and off the field.

RAY SUAREZ: He revolutionized the role of tight end in the National Football League, and later fought for stronger health benefits for retired players as a leader in the NFL Players Association.

John Mackey played for the Baltimore Colts from 1963 to 1971 and later for the San Diego Chargers. He led the Colts to two Super Bowls, including a victory over the Dallas Cowboys in 1971, alongside quarterback Johnny Unitas. In that game, he ran what was at the time the longest touchdown pass in a Super Bowl.
During his 10-year career, he caught 331 passes for 5,236 yards and 38 touchdowns, leading to his election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992. But he was diagnosed with dementia when he was just 60 years old, and Mackey spent years in this assisted-living facility in Baltimore.

SYLVIA MACKEY, wife of John Mackey: Remember this jacket, honey? Honey, stand up. Look. Look at me. That's your Hall of Fame -- he's smiling.


SYLVIA MACKEY: Got his Hall of Fame jacket on and smiling, huh?

RAY SUAREZ: We sat down with him and his wife for a report on NFL players and brain trauma in October 2009.

Sylvia Mackey said she believed a career in the NFL left her husband with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a degenerative brain disease.

Are there good days and bad days?

SYLVIA MACKEY: Yes, and great days and not-so-great days.

RAY SUAREZ: On the good days, how is it different from -- from what we're seeing now from Mr. Mackey?

SYLVIA MACKEY: He will get up and walk up and down. He can -- he will throw and catch the ball. Actually, today would be a good day if it weren't for the myoclonic twitching. They call it myoclonic jerks.

RAY SUAREZ: And speech?

SYLVIA MACKEY: He doesn't talk anymore, very rarely.

RAY SUAREZ: Despite that, Mackey could still throw a football around and had some memories of his glory days.

SYLVIA MACKEY: Who did you play for? Did you play for the Baltimore who? Baltimore?

JOHN MACKEY, former NFL player: Colts.

SYLVIA MACKEY: Right. That's right.

RAY SUAREZ: Health care for former players like Mackey has been an issue in negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement for current players. An NFL lockout has been under way since March.

In honor of John Mackey's jersey number, 88, an NFL labor agreement ratified in 2006 does include a plan that provides up to $88,000 a year for care for ex-players with dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

Today, in New York, as labor talks continued, Mackey was remembered as the heart and soul of the players union.

DEMAURICE SMITH, National Football League Players Association: There are few leaders, I think, in the history of football that could ever match a man like John. And while he suffered from a number of degenerative conditions over the last few years, I will always remember John as someone who was a tremendous, emotional, eloquent, brilliant leader.

RAY SUAREZ: John Mackey died last night in Baltimore, Md. He was 69 years old.

Check this out:

Marie Fostino
Alzheimer's A Caretakers Journal
Seaboard Press An Imprint of James A Rock Pub., Co.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Alzheimer's Blogging:

I thought I would talk more about sun-downing and Alzheimer's. I noticed that in the evening my father in law would be more agitated, walking and wondering around more, like a child looking for something to get into.  So I decided I needed to get creative.  First I decided he didn't need to take naps.  He might of taken some at the day care he went to for the four hours but at home I would find ways to keep him awake.  Sometimes I would take him on long walks around the neighbor hood or we would go to the mall and we would walk the mall. I made sure he got his meals, even when he would eat and later tell me he I didn't feed him. I would play cards with him or give him children puzzles to solve. I tried to keep a routine when it was bed time, by making him go to the bathroom, and walking him to his room and helping him put on his P J's.  I actually would tuck him in bed with the bedsheets tucked in between the mattress and box spring. The light was turned offs, the curtains closed and the door shut. I did keep a baby monitor on in his room so I knew if he was getting up or walking around.

I hope this helps.  Any suggestions?

Marie Fostino
Alzheimer's A Caretakers Journal
Seaboard Press An Imprint of James A Rock Pub, Co. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Alzheimer's Blogging:

One of the hardest things I had to deal with was sundowning.  It would start maybe around 3pm and my father in law would get anxious. He would start to pace around the house more and walk in and out side and up and down the driveway more. He seemed more confused which of course grew worse as the evening wore on.

What Causes Sundowning? Is it Frustration or Chemistry?

COLUMBUS, Ohio – New research provides the best evidence to date that the late-day anxiety and agitation sometimes seen in older institutionalized adults, especially those with dementia, has a biological basis in the brain.

The findings could help explain “sundowning,” a syndrome in which older adults show high levels of anxiety, agitation, general activity and delirium in late afternoon and evening, before they would normally go to bed.

“It’s a big problem for caregivers.  Patients can get aggressive and very disruptive,” said Tracy Bedrosian, lead author of the study and a doctoral student in neuroscience at Ohio State University.

“There have been a few clinical studies documenting sundowning, but until now there hasn’t been research in animals to see what’s going on in the brain to explain this.”

The new study found that aged mice showed significantly more activity and more anxiety-like behaviors in the hours before they would normally sleep when compared to middle-aged mice – just like sundowning in humans.

In these aged mice, the researchers found changes in parts of their brain associated with attention, emotions, and arousal, all of which could be associated with the behavior seen in sundowning.

In addition, mice that were genetically engineered to have an Alzheimer’s-like disease also showed more anxiety before sleep than did other mice.

“Some people have argued that sundowning could be explained just by a buildup of frustration of older people who couldn’t communicate their needs over the course of the day, or by other factors,” said Randy Nelson, co-author of the study and professor of neuroscience and psychology at Ohio State.

“But our findings suggest there is a real phenomenon going on here that has a biological basis.”
The study will appear in the online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In the first experiment, researchers compared middle-aged adult mice (7 months old) with aged mice (29 months old) that would resemble humans in their 80s.

Results showed that the aged mice were significantly more active than middle-aged mice in the two to three hours before they would normally go to sleep.

“The middle-aged mice had a distinct pattern of activity, with three peaks of activity during their waking hours,” Bedrosian said.

“But the aged mice had a flattened rhythm in which they showed the same level of activity throughout their active period.”

That means that in the evening, when the middle aged mice would slow down compared to their peak activity levels, the aged mice kept going.

The mice were also tested for anxiety-like behaviors at two different times during their waking hours.  The mice were placed in a maze where they were allowed to explore open areas – which are more anxiety-producing – or hide in enclosed areas.

The middle-aged mice showed consistent levels of anxiety at both times of the day.  However, the aged mice showed more anxiety when tested soon before they would have gone to sleep, which is consistent with sundowning, Bedrosian said.

There were also differences in the brains of the aged mice when compared to the middle aged mice.  The researchers looked specifically at the cholinergic system, because loss of function in that system is associated with dementia and many of the circadian changes associated with ageing.

Findings in aged mice showed greater expression of a certain enzyme – acetylcholinesterase – before sleep than earlier in the day.  High levels of this enzyme are associated with anxiety and agitation.

However, in the middle-aged mice, there were no time-of-day differences in the expression of this enzyme.

Nelson noted that drugs used to control levels of acetylcholinesterase are sometimes used on dementia patients, although there has been no research evidence that it actually had an effect on sundowning.

“These drugs were prescribed for other purposes, but it also seemed to calm patients down.  Now we have some evidence on why it works,” Nelson said.

The researchers also found differences in expression of two other proteins in the brains of the aged mice that are also associated with behavioral disturbances.

“All of these results converge to suggest there are changes in the cholinergic systems of aged mice that may be contributing to the anxiety and agitation symptoms that we documented,” Bedrosian said.

In another experiment, the researchers used mice that were genetically engineered to develop Alzheimer’s-like disease in their brain.  They were compared, at nine months of age, to similar wild-type mice of the same age.

The Alzheimer’s-like mice showed more anxiety-type behaviors when tested before they would normally sleep than they did when tested earlier in their waking period.  That is consistent with sundowning in humans, the researchers said.

However, the wild-type mice showed no differences in anxiety levels based on the time of day they were tested.

Nelson said one of the theories about sundowning is that it is tied to disruptions that often occur in the biological clocks of older people, where their sleep-wake cycles are fragmented.

To test this theory, the researchers also treated the aged mice with melatonin for four weeks in order to help consolidate their circadian rhythms.  However, this treatment did not work to reduce anxiety issues in the mice.

Nelson said melatonin alone may not work because it doesn’t deal with the disruptions in the cholinergic system that was identified in this study.

“We need to study whether treating cholinergic dysfunction alone or in combination with melatonin treatment will help deal with sundowning symptoms,” he said.

I found this on Alzheimers Weekly;

I hope this helps.
Marie Fostino
Alzheimer's A Caretakers Journal
Seaboard Press An Imprint of James A Rock Pub., Co.