Dementia in the News

April 16, 2018

Harvard Medical School (April 12, 2018): That Evening Sun

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 4, 2018

New York Times (March 31, 2018): In the Bronx, Stadium Scents Take Fans Out to the Ballgame

Rochelle Youner, who lives at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, a nursing home in the Bronx, walked up to a kiosk in a common area of the home’s first floor and pressed a button below a small icon depicting a baseball glove.

“That’s the real stuff — that’s a mitt, all right,” Ms. Youner, 80, said, smelling the leathery fragrance emitted from the kiosk, which attempts to bring the ballpark, or at least the smell of it, to the residents.

April 3, 2018

PR NewsWire (April 3, 2018): Lewy Body Dementia Association Announces 24 Research Centers of Excellence

The Lewy Body Dementia Association (LBDA), the leading advocacy group dedicated to raising awareness and advancing research about Lewy body dementia (LBD), announced today the launch of the LBDA Research Centers of Excellence (RCOE). This collaboration features 24 preeminent academic medical research centers across the United States, coordinated by Mayo Clinic.

April 2, 2018

AlzForum (March 28, 2018): 44-Year Study Ties Midlife Fitness to Lower Dementia Risk

New observational data add one more reason to strive for a healthy middle age. Researchers led by Helena Hörder, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, report that women who scored high on a fitness test in midlife were nearly 90 percent less likely than their moderately fit or unfit peers to develop dementia decades later. Also, the fittest women held dementia at bay 10 years longer. The study, now available online, appears in the April 10 Neurology.

February 28, 2018

Nature.com (February 28, 2018): How Flashing Lights and Pink Noise Might Banish Alzheimer’s, Improve Memory and More

In March 2015, Li-Huei Tsai set up a tiny disco for some of the mice in her laboratory. For an hour each day, she placed them in a box lit only by a flickering strobe. The mice - which had been engineered to produce plaques of the peptide amyloid-β in the brain, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease - crawled about curiously. When Tsai later dissected them, those that had been to the mini dance parties had significantly lower levels of plaque than mice that had spent the same time in the dark1.

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