June 4, 2018
Staying mentally sharp is aging Americans’ highest priority, according to the National Council on Aging. While thousands of clinical trials suggest that physical exercise can protect or improve brain health as we age, few studies provide practical, prescriptive guidance for how much and what kind of exercise.
Now, an exhaustive systematic review of 4,600 clinical trials provides insight into the optimal dose of exercise—what kind and how much—for maintaining cognitive performance in healthy older adults, as well as those with mild cognitive impairment and dementia.
May 31, 2018
People with a gene variant called APOE4 have a higher risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer’s disease: APOE4 is three times more common among Alzheimer’s patients than it is among the general population. However, little is known about why this version of the APOE gene, which is normally involved in metabolism and transport of fatty molecules such as cholesterol, confers higher risk for Alzheimer’s.
May 17, 2018
Before Atsumu Yoshioka, 81, decided to give up driving, there were signs it might be time.
During a visit to a shrine in rural Shimane Prefecture in western Japan, Mr. Yoshioka, a retired furniture maker, forgot to set the parking brake, spooking his wife, Kazuko, when the car drifted backward.
Then one morning as he backed out of the driveway, he rammed into a large urn in front of their home. Haunted by television news reports of fatal accidents caused by older drivers, Mr. Yoshioka called it quits.
May 15, 2018
National Institutes of Health (May 15, 2018): Mediterranean Diet May Slow Development of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia that occurs with aging. Experts estimate that more than 5 million Americans are currently living with the disease. But scientists know little about what lifestyle factors might protect people against developing Alzheimer’s disease. They do know that brain changes associated with the disease can occur decades before symptoms are seen.
May 14, 2018
Japan Times (May 13, 2018): Japan’s Employers Improving Support for Workers with Early-Onset Dementia
Katsushi Oshiro, 43, a former salesman diagnosed with early-onset dementia, takes a bus to the car dealership where he works four days a week, being careful to view his commuting route using photos and a map to avoid getting lost.
Oshiro found out about his illness three years ago, but instead of being forced to quietly retire - as is often the case with people who develop the illness - his Toyota outlet in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, transferred him to a car-washing position.
April 25, 2018
A Harvard epidemiologist offered some good news amid the doom and gloom that generally surrounds discussions of Alzheimer’s disease. Its incidence - the number of people diagnosed annually - has fallen substantially in recent years.
April 24, 2018
The MIT Museum will present The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal (May 3, 2018 – December 31, 2018). This traveling exhibition is the first major presentation of Spanish neuroscientist Santiago Ramón y Cajal’s pioneering drawings of the brain and brain cells, and also features contemporary visualizations that illuminate the impact of Cajal’s early work on modern day neuroscience.
April 17, 2018
A project called Artrip is giving people with dementia a creative outlet via art appreciation groups. Yoko Hayashi, a representative of the non-profit organization Arts Alive, says people with dementia speak their minds freely and often lead the discussions.
April 16, 2018
Patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia commonly experience sundown syndrome: a sudden worsening of confusion, agitation and aggression at the end of the day.
This daily pattern suggested that sundowning, as the phenomenon is also known, may be governed by the body’s internal biological clock. Synchronized by light and darkness, the circadian clock exerts control over wake/sleep cycles, body temperature, digestion, hormonal cycles and other physiological and behavior patterns. Whether the circadian clock regulated aggressive behavior was unknown
April 12, 2018
I remember the bag from my childhood. Transparent and oblong, just large enough to fit a handful of papers, a few essentials, and a plastic brain.