A new edition of Preserving Your Memory magazine is now available from alzinfo.org. Check out the article on reducing stress, the survey on brain fitness, and an update on some of the science at the Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research.
Summary: PET scans using a compound called FDDNP show promise for detecting Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases before symptoms are apparent. If follow-up studies confirm the accuracy of this imaging technique, researchers will be a step closer to the vision of early detection and treatment to delay progression.
When my father complained about memory problems, his family doctor told him there was nothing wrong.
Summary: A new paper shows that many people with dementia lead rich and meaningful lives.
One of the reasons a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s has carried such a stigma is the view that having the disease means losing all your memories, and therefore, losing your “self.”
But the idea of losing your sense of self as you lose your memory doesn’t really fit with much of what I’ve observed. Even as my father lost his memories, he kept his sense of humor, his sense of rhythm and melody, and his sense of right and wrong. Even as he lost track of his exact relationship with friends and family, he kept his sense of love for all of us. I would argue that he never lost his sense of self.
Summary: A recent study confirms that higher levels of education seem to delay cognitive decline, but may increase the rate of decline once it starts. The results of this study don’t mean much for any one person. But they do mean that memory loss might not be readily apparent in people with Alzheimer’s, especially those with more education. The findings point to the need to detect changes in the brain before the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other dementias appear. This will be especially important when treatments to delay progression are available.
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