Proven Best Way to Decrease Your Risk for Alzheimer’s and Dementia – Optimum Senior Care – Chicago In Home Caregivers

Proven Best Way to Decrease Your Risk for Alzheimer’s and Dementia – Optimum Senior Care – Chicago In Home Caregiverswww.OptimumSeniorCare.com

The most recent comprehensive research analysis from hundreds of studies finds three practices may reduce cognitive decline.

Proven Best Way to Decrease Your Risk for Alzheimer’s and Dementia

 

The most recent comprehensive research analysis from hundreds of studies finds three practices may reduce cognitive decline.

Strong evidence that anything prevents Alzheimer’s disease is lacking, but a few changes can likely delay memory loss, according to a 2017 review by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

Specific memory training, consistent exercise and controlling high blood pressure offer the best hope, the committee concluded. Members examined the best research on ways to limit or prevent cognitive impairment, the loss of ability to think clearly and make decisions, that often afflicts older adults.

The number of Americans with Alzheimer’s is more than 5 million, and growing as the overall population ages. Treatments such as Aricept (donezepil) and Namenda boost working brain cells with unaffected neurons, but there is no cure.

Commercial Products Are Not Effective

There is no evidence that the profusion of online and commercial products, from supplements to memory games, slow or prevent the decline, according to experts.

Can Lumosity Prevent or Slow Mental Decline?

Many people play computer brain games such as Lumosity, hoping to avoid cognitive decline. A recent study analysis (see main article) indicates brain games may slow the advance of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

“We’re very concerned about the brain game industry taking this and running with it, and saying the National Academy of Science has shown that cognitive training is going to forestall cognitive decline, and we have our brain game here,” said Dr. Ronald Petersen, an Alzheimer’s expert at the Mayo Clinic and member of the review committee.

Lumosity was fined several million dollars last year for claiming that their “games can help users perform better at work and in school, and reduce or delay cognitive impairment associated with age and other serious health conditions.”

According to the Federal Trade Commission, Lumosity didn’t have data to support its ads.

“Lumosity preyed on consumers’ fears about age-related cognitive decline, suggesting their games could stave off memory loss, dementia and even Alzheimer’s disease,” said Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection Jessica Rich.

A new study published by the Journal of Neuroscience has more bad news for the company. It found “no effect of commercial cognitive training on neural activity during decision-making.”

What subjects did get better at, whether using Lumosity or standard online video games, was the specific game they were playing. The study found no evidence that this task-specific improvement would transfer to other cognitive tasks.

“At present, there are no pharmacologic or lifestyle interventions that will prevent mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Ronald Petersen, an Alzheimer’s expert at the Mayo Clinic, who was on the committee.

“All this is not new, but this review is the strongest evidence base we have,” Petersen added.

“We have all been exposed to a study here, a study there. One suggests this intervention is beneficial, the other finds it’s not. This review looked at the totality of literature over the last six years and put it to the most rigorous test you can imagine.”

Cognitive Training, Exercise and Blood Pressure Control

“Even though clinical trials have not conclusively supported the three interventions discussed in our report, the evidence is strong enough to suggest the public should at least have access to these results to help inform their decisions about how they can invest their time and resources to maintain brain health with aging,” said Dr. Alan Leshner, chair of the committee and CEO emeritus of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

“The strongest evidence was in the area of cognitive training,” Petersen said.

Do crossword puzzles or Sudoku qualify? They won’t hurt, but studies show gains from specialized training called mnemonic strategies.

Mnemonic memory programs include face-name recognition and name-face learning, number mnemonics, story mnemonics, and the method of loci, where key details are kept along a familiar route or place you recall.

Additionally, training programs often entail instruction on how to take advantage of environmental supports, called external memory aids.

“Can you, in fact, find a new way to try to remember a list of grocery items?” Peterson asked. Also, try figuring out restaurant tips in your head, he advised, instead of using a calculator or your smartphone.

Commercial products have not proven they help, Petersen cautioned. See sidebar for information about common commercial brain games.

Exercise Helps Your Aging Brain

Several studies indicate that exercise is important.

“Here we’re talking about modest aerobic exercise,” Petersen said. Brisk walking and cycling are good choices.

“How much? Maybe 150 minutes a week—30 minutes five times, 50 minutes three times—can have an effect on reducing cognitive impairment later in life,” Petersen said.

A preponderance of documentation demonstrates the health benefits of physical activity. Some of these benefits, such as stroke prevention, are causally related to brain health.

“Is it going to prevent Alzheimer’s disease?” asked Peterson. “I can’t say that. But I think it may have an effect on reducing cognitive impairment.”

Control Blood Pressure to Help Brain Function

Managing hypertension by controlling blood pressure seems to delay vascular dementia, according to the committee. High blood pressure damages delicate blood vessels in the brain.

Controlling blood pressure is particularly important during midlife, from ages 35 to 65. There is also strong evidence that using antihypertensive medications and making lifestyle changes to manage blood pressure can help prevent stroke and cardiovascular disease.

Conclusions

None of the evidence is strong enough to justify a public education campaign, the committee of experts found. But it did point to the need for more and larger randomized, controlled research.

“We’re all urgently seeking ways to prevent dementia and cognitive decline with age,” said Dr. Richard Hodes, director of the National Institute on Aging.

We have the diagnosis, now what? a post title Alzheimer’s – Optimum Senior Care – Chicago In Home Caregivers

We have the diagnosis, now what? a post title Alzheimer’s – Optimum Senior Care – Chicago In Home Caregiverswww.OptimumSeniorCare.com

An Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be an overwhelming one. It is a disease that not only affects those with the disease but the entire family, who often struggle with what to do next. This diagnosis is unique – there is no way to prevent, treat or cure Alzheimer’s, and this fact can be daunting. Alzheimer’s disease often presents an uncertain and even confusing future for all those involved.

An Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be an overwhelming one. It is a disease that not only affects those with the disease, but the entire family, who often struggle with what to do next. This diagnosis is unique – there is no way to prevent, treat or cure Alzheimer’s, and this fact can be daunting. Alzheimer’s disease often presents an uncertain and even confusing future for all those involved.

Start with the Alzheimer’s Association®
Contacting the Association’s free 24/7 Helpline after receiving your diagnosis provides you with different resources for each of your specific needs. The Helpline is answered 24/7 by master-level social workers or counselors who are trained to get to the heart of your concerns and ensure you have the support and information to help with whatever you are going through. This service is available throughout your diagnosis so you can call as things progress and change. You do not need a diagnosis or a specific question to call – we are always here to help.

In addition to our Helpline, the Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter offers Care Navigation, a 90-minute one-on-one session, which focuses on your specific needs and concerns. Together with loved ones, you will develop an action plan which includes resource referral to ensure you make the connections needed to develop your allies. Care Navigation can be provided in one of our regional offices or over the phone.

Follow-up visit, what to ask your physician?
The Alzheimer’s Association suggests a diagnosis be confirmed by a neurologist or diagnostic center. A primary care physician will know you and how you have changed over the years but may not be specifically well-versed in Alzheimer’s disease. Be sure to write down questions as you think of them and keep a notebook or journal as it is helpful to focus concerns in one place.

What might those questions be? Here are some possibilities about the diagnosis:

  1. How did you determine the diagnosis?
  2. What are you measuring?
  3. Could the tests be wrong?
  4. Could my symptoms be related to another disease?
  5. What makes it Alzheimer’s disease?

You may want to know more about the disease itself.

  1. How will the disease progress?
  2. What can I expect in the next six months, year or two years?
  3. How will Alzheimer’s affect my daily living?
  4. Will Alzheimer’s disease affect my physical health?

As the disease progresses and symptoms manifest, discussing options for mediating symptoms for comfort is important.

  1. What are my options – medication versus environment?
  2. What are the risks and benefits of those options?
  3. How will I know if a medication is working for me?
  4. If a side effect becomes noticeable, what are my options?
  5. How will these medications interfere with other medications I already take?

We also suggest that your healthcare team has a strong knowledge-base of and experience with the disease, so they can better understand your specific needs.

Your number one ally is YOU
As you learn more about Alzheimer’s disease, you will see that you and your loved ones must advocate for your future. While many things will be out of your control, there is some planning that can ease your anxiety and provide loved ones with a peace of mind. Advanced planning for financial and legal matters allows the wishes of the person recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease to be heard. Having power of attorney for property and healthcare along with a will are the minimum advanced planning documents to put in place. The requirements, forms and processes vary from state to state, so working with an elder law attorney or geriatric care manager may make this process less overwhelming. These professionals are versed in issues specifically related to older adults and can guide you through the decision-making process of advanced planning. If in place, legal documents of your wishes should be communicated to your loved ones and medical team.

If you need referrals and information about elder law attorneys, geriatric care managers, diagnostic centers, support groups, etc., please call the helpline number 800.272.3900 at any time to get support and help you need during this overwhelming time.

The Alzheimer’s Association Free 24/7 Helpline provides reliable information and support to all those who need assistance. For more information please call us at our toll-free number, anytime day or night, at 800.272.3900 or contact Melissa Tucker, Director of Helpline & Support Services at the Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter, at mtucker@alz.org or 847.324.0367.

Support – Education – Resources
The Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter can help you through.
Helping You!

High blood pressure may increase dementia risk for women – Alzheimer’s – Optimum Senior Care – Chicago In Home Caregivers

High blood pressure may increase dementia risk for women – Alzheimer’s – Optimum Senior Care – Chicago In Home Caregiverswww.OptimumSeniorCare.com  – # In home care Chicago IL 

Women who develop high blood pressure in their 40s may be more vulnerable to dementia later in life, a new study shows. Researchers reported that the increased risk could be as high as 73 percent. While additional research is necessary, the findings suggest that high blood pressure may play a role in brain health earlier than previously thought. Men in this study did not have a similar risk from high blood pressure in their 40s, which also deserves further investigation.

Hurry – your support can go 2x as far. Alzheimer’s – Optimum Senior Care – Chicago In Home Caregivers

Hurry – your support can go 2x as far. Alzheimer’s  – Optimum Senior Care – Chicago In Home Caregiverswww.OptimumSeniorCare.com

When it comes to the fight against Alzheimer’s disease, we all have the opportunity to make a difference.
I’m thrilled that so many people are choosing to support our Fall Match Campaign. We’re making important progress toward achieving our $100,000 challenge goal, which means we’re making strides to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.
Will you please make the most generous gift you can now, knowing your gift can be matched?
Debbie and Clay Jones, co-chairs of the Alzheimer’s Association Zenith Society, have generously pledged $100,000 to the Association if we can raise that same amount by October 31. Their gift will support the Association’s research efforts.
This means:

Zoltan, Alzheimer’s disease affects all our lives. That’s why I’m hoping you’ll donate generously today, knowing your matched gift can help advance our vision of a world without Alzheimer’s disease.
Your gift honors those we have lost to Alzheimer’s. It honors those who struggle still, including caregivers, family and friends. Above all, it gives hope — hope for treatments and, one day, a cure.
We’re making progress toward our $100,000 challenge goal, but time is running out. Gifts can only be matched until October 31. To ensure your donation can be matched, for twice the impact, please make your most generous gift now. Thank you.

Alzheimer’s Association® license plates update – Optimum Senior Care – Chicago In Home Caregivers

Alzheimer’s Association® license plates update – Optimum Senior Care – Chicago In Home Caregiverswww.OptimumSeniorCare.com

The Illinois Chapter Public Policy Department has been working closely with the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office throughout the process of approving the initial design for the Alzheimer’s Association® specialty license plates. The design has been approved by both the Alzheimer’s Association and the Secretary of State’s Office, and is awaiting final approval from the Illinois State Police. Plates should begin being issued in early 2018.

Reserve your plate


We’ve Got Big News!

MAY 2017 UPDATE:
The design phase has officially begun! The Illinois Secretary of State has informed the Alzheimer’s Association that #ENDALZ license plates will be on vehicles by the end of this year!

WE FINALLY HAVE THEM!
The Illinois Secretary of State has received  the required 1,500 reservations, which means they can now begin the production process for Alzheimer’s Association® specialty license plates! Thank you for all of your patience and support, and for helping make Illinois the FIRST state in the nation to achieve this!!

Alzheimer’s Association specialty license plates will help raise dementia awareness, while also providing us with a steady source of additional revenue, so we can continue to offer the care and support that individuals and families facing Alzheimer’s disease throughout Illinois desperately need. With the fiscal crisis in Springfield showing no signs of letting up, these dollars will be especially important.

WHAT’S NEXT?
In the coming months, we will be working with the Secretary of State to finalize the license plate’s design. The state police will then need to conduct an internal review to make sure the design is safe and approved for use on Illinois roads. Once that process is complete, you will receive a license plate transfer application directly from them. And don’t worry, if you need to renew your current plates before you get your Alzheimer’s Association specialty license plates, when the Secretary of State sends you your new purple plates, you will also be sent a sticker that matches your vehicle’s registration status.

Check back here as we get updates from the Secretary of State. 

IT’S NOT TOO LATE
If you haven’t registered for your license plate to support the fight against Alzheimer’s disease, you can still register below.

Thank you for again for your continued support! Your passion and determination are what drive us to keep fighting every day for a world without Alzheimer’s®!