July 15, 2013 |
Baby boomers take note: For every year you put off retirement, your chances of developing Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia are cut by 3%. The findings are the result of a massive French study, which looked at the records of 429,000 workers. The scientists presented their results Monday at the Alzheimer's Assn. International Conference in Boston. "For each additional year of work, the risk of getting dementia is reduced by 3.2%," Carole Dufoil, a scientist at INSERM, the French government's health research agency, told the Associated Press . The findings underpin the often repeated advice to prevent mental decline: "Use it or lose it. " Doctors have said that keeping the brain mentally challenged is one way to prevent dementia and related diseases.
July 1, 2013 |
If you are conscious and making sense of the world, you have your dorsolateral prefrontal cortex to thank. Same, if you can remember a string of numbers long enough to walk into the next room and punch them into a telephone keypad. To visualize a goal and then accomplish it -- say, fitting a bulky piece of furniture into your car -- you're likewise going to need that part of the frontal lobe to be in good working order. But look under the hood of that marvelous piece of gray matter, as a group of Yale University neuroscientists recently did in "cognitively engaged monkeys," and you will see the workhorses of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.
June 21, 2013 |
Rebecca Solnit's latest book, "The Faraway Nearby" (Viking: 260 pp., $25.95), began with a delivery of 100 pounds of apricots. "It was like a trumpet blew and said, 'You're entering the world of narrative," the 52-year-old author recalls by phone from her home in San Francisco's Mission District, her voice soft as falling petals, her laugh a whisper on the wire. The apricots came from her brother, who had collected them from a tree in their mother's yard. At the time, the older woman was in the throes of Alzheimer's; she had been moved into an assisted care facility, making the fruit a metaphor, an allegory, for everything that she, that the family, had lost.
June 2, 2013
Re "How to defeat Alzheimer's," Opinion, May 28 I can hardly believe how poorly our priorities are set in this country. The first phase of California's bullet train is funded with $985 million, and the whole project will cost untold billions. Alzheimer's and dementia affect practically every family and will cost us trillions in the future to treat, and yet researchers have a hard time coming up with $25 million to conduct Phase I and Phase II drug testing. If we had thrown money at dementia research like we did the AIDS epidemic, many who are mentally incapacitated now could be reading this newspaper - along with the many HIV-positive Americans living today with low virus loads.
May 28, 2013 |
Those of us fortunate enough to make it to 80 will have a 50% chance of suffering from Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia before we die. And there is currently no known way to reduce the odds or slow the mental deterioration. These grim facts are already a reality to the 5 million Americans living with the disease. It is projected that by 2050, unless breakthroughs are made, 14 million Americans will have dementia, at an annual cost of $1.2 trillion. Finding effective treatment or prevention of Alzheimer's would help avert a huge and costly healthcare disaster.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 2, 2013 |
Three people dead in an apparent murder-suicide in Hacienda Heights were all suffering from long-term illnesses, said a relative of the victims. Jim Crabtree went to the home in the 15900 block of Ladysmith Street on Wednesday after seeing news reports of a triple-homicide, he told KTLA News . Crabtree said he was married to Rita Delehanty, 62, who along with her father-in-law and mother-in-law, Don and Carol Crabtree, all suffered long-term...
April 9, 2013 |
One complaint leveled against genome studies is that they don't survey a broad enough swath of humankind. Though many projects have searched DNA collected from people of European descent -- hoping to ferret out which changes in what parts of the genome are linked to this disease or that -- fewer have investigated the genomes of other ethnic groups. In 2011, Stanford University geneticist and MacArthur "genius" grant recipient Carlos Bustamante discussed...
April 8, 2013 |
While former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was reported to have died of stroke on Monday, few experts doubt that dementia, the disease she lived with for at least the final 12 years of her life, contributed powerfully to her demise. "Dementia means brain failure, and brain failure ultimately causes death from immobility, malnutrition and infection," among other downstream effects, said Dr. Paul S. Aisen, director of the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study at the University of California San Diego.
April 5, 2013
Re "Ambitious effort aims to map brain," April 3 Although I understand President Obama's humorous intent, I don't believe even the most exhaustive understanding of the workings of the brain could even come close to explaining "all kinds of things that go on in Washington. " And sadly, the lack of empathy, compassion, fairness and simple decency exhibited in Washington represents only an example, one small measure of our spiritual collapse. Although the effort to map the brain may result in treatments for Alzheimer's and autism and ways to reverse the effects of a stroke, I hold out little hope that being who we are, that despite the most brilliant and ambitious scientific explorations, we will ever approach a cure for the most pernicious disease of all: man's inhumanity to man. Ronald Rubin Topanga ALSO: Letters: Trashing our oceans Letters: Saving the Watts Towers Letters: Gun control and public opinion
March 21, 2013 |
Utah authorities think they have a valuable new use for the ubiquitous ankle bracelet: to locate missing patients with Alzheimer's or dementia. Officials in Davis County, about half an hour north of Salt Lake City, say the device, which typically monitors criminals on house arrest or parole, could be a cost-effective solution to a common problem. “We think it's just a different application for an existing technology,” Deputy Sheriff Kevin Fielding told the Los Angeles Times.