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Alzheimers Disease

September 19, 2011 | By Peggy Stacy, Special to the Los Angeles Times
There was a cake with my mother's name spelled out in buttercream, small gifts and a song. The guests included 20 men and women suffering from Alzheimer's disease and dementia who lived in the secure wing of my mother's new home — a nicely appointed assisted living facility with art on the walls, gentle hands, crafts and music. After my mother started a fire in her hilltop wood-and-glass house, locked her caregiver out of the bathroom and began pushing dollar bills through the paper shredder, my brother and I surrendered to the concept of assisted living.
September 13, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Keeping cholesterol in check may not just be good for your heart--a study finds that people who have high cholesterol may at greater risk for brain plaques, which are associated with Alzheimer's disease. In the study, published today in the journal Neurology , brain specimens were examined from 147 autopsies that were done between 1998 and 2003. Among the Japanese participants all were free from signs of dementia when they were tested in 1988, but 34% were diagnosed with dementia before they died.
July 24, 2011 | By Etelka Lehoczky, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Turn of Mind A Novel Alice LaPlante Atlantic Monthly Press: 308 pp., $24 Alzheimer's disease doesn't seem like a great subject for a page-turner. Affecting 10% of us over 65 and 50% older than 85, it inspires dread in the culture. And yet a page-turner is exactly what Alice LaPlante has crafted with "Turn of Mind," a novel told from the point of view of a woman with dementia. LaPlante manages to take hold of the aforementioned dread and modulate it, creating a startling range and texture of fear.
July 13, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
PET scans to diagnose Alzheimer's disease will be available someday soon, according to accumulating research showing the scans can accurately diagnose the disease. In two studies published Monday, researchers demonstrated advances in shaping the scanning tools for routine use someday. In one study, researchers from Banner Alzheimer's Institute in Phoenix evaluated a PET tracer called florbetapir F 18. Tracers are radioactive substances that highlight particular areas of the brain affected by a disease.
June 24, 2011
The Grammy Award-winning singer Glen Campbell announced this week that he is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. And then he said he'd be going on the road for a farewell tour. It's not unusual for a public figure to reveal a diagnosis of the insidious disease. Former President Reagan told the world of his battle with Alzheimer's in a poignant letter in 1994. Actor Charlton Heston disclosed, via a taped statement, that he was suffering from symptoms similar to those of Alzheimer's.
June 6, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Alzheimer's disease is progressive and incurable, but doctors say there is still value in having the disease diagnosed as early as possible. Drugs can be taken to treat some of the symptoms of the disease, they say. And just knowing that you have the disease can help with planning for the future. PET scans that show the early stages of Alzheimer's disease by detecting a protein in the brain called beta-amyloid will reach the marketplace within a year, researchers reported Monday at the annual meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine . While scientists work out the best way to conduct screening for the disease, consumers will need to decide if they want to have a brain scan.
May 16, 2011 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
People who develop Alzheimer's disease in middle age might be at risk of getting misdiagnosed, according to a new study published online Monday in the journal Neurology. That's because many patients' first symptoms don't include the memory loss associated with the degenerative disease. Researchers in Barcelona, Spain, looked at the brain tissues of 40 people who had suffered from early-onset Alzheimer's disease - a form of the degenerative disorder that can begin to affect patients well before they've reached their golden years.
April 27, 2011 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Seth Rogen, star of such comedies as "Knocked Up," talked to CNN on Tuesday about a very serious issue: Alzheimer's disease. Rogen, who called the disease "brutal," said his fiancee's mother has been battling it for years. He talked about the emotional toll it takes on families. Families, especially spouses who have to watch as their loved one's memories -- including shared memories -- deteriorate, can suffer psychologically. But Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia can take a physiological toll on families as well, studies say; one published last year in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society showed that the spouses of patients with dementia have six times the risk of developing dementia themselves.
March 27, 2011 | By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times
Derence Kernek and Ed Watson live together each day in fear that they won't be able to pledge "till death do us part" before it's too late. Watson, 78, is in rapidly failing health, afflicted with Alzheimer's disease, obesity, diabetes and hypertension. A federal appeals court ruled last week that same-sex marriage will remain on hold in California until a judge's ruling striking down Proposition 8 as unconstitutional makes its way through the higher courts — reviews expected to take a year or more.
February 28, 2011 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times
Besides age, the biggest risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease is having a parent or other first-degree relative with the condition. A new study adds to growing evidence that inheriting it from your mother is much worse than inheriting it from your father. Researchers at the University of Kansas School of Medicine recruited 21 adult children (age 63 to 83) of Alzheimer’s patients who were still “cognitively intact.” They examined their brains using an MRI scanner on two occasions, two years apart.
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