Today’s Top Alzheimer’s News

MUST READS

A March 17, 2018 Healthline article by Jamie Friedlander chronicled her experience using 23andMe's genetics home testing kit. According to Friedlander, “The latest version of 23andMe allows you to choose whether you’d like to know if you carry certain genetic markers associated with late-onset Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease… Everyone close to me wanted to know about their health risk for Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s, but I never reached a state of mind where I was comfortable finding out… My stomach turned as I pictured my husband caring for me as an old woman who couldn’t remember his name. I opted out of both tests.”

MUST LISTEN

Help for Alzheimer’s Families posted a live chat webinar from February 27, 2018. Listen to Sharon Denny from the Association of Frontotemporal Degeneration and host Lakelyn Hogan from Home Instead Senior Care talk about the unique symptoms and challenges of frontotemporal degeneration (FTD). They discuss the differences and similarities between FTD and other forms of dementia, as well as best practices for caring for someone with FTD.

DISPARITIES SPOTLIGHT

A March 18, 2018 Tallahassee Democrat article highlighted the free ACTS 2 (African-American Alzheimer’s Caregiver Training and Support) program at Florida State University, which offers relief to African-Americans providing care to a loved one with dementia. According to project coordinator Tomeka Norton-Brown, “Saying that you need help doesn’t negate the fact that you’re doing a fantastic job of caring for your loved one. You need help because you’re doing such a fantastic job. You’ve got to make sure that you’re getting what you need so that you can give the people you love what they need.”

CAREGIVING CORNER

A March 13, 2018 KVRR News broadcast segment spotlighted the Memory Cafe at Calvary Lutheran Church in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The Cafe hosts experts on dementia and Alzheimer’s including neurologists, pharmacists, occupational therapists and social workers. According to Cafe creator and nurse Mary Ann Devig, “It’s formed a community where people don’t feel like they’re so alone. They’re not alone on this journey that’s no fun for anybody to go through.”

FAITH SPOTLIGHT

A March 16, 2018 Montgomery Advertiser article focused on the Respite Ministry at Montgomery, Alabama’s First United Methodist Church, a once-a-week four hour program for people with dementia, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, and their family members. According to program director Daphne Johnston, “We want to not just give rest to the caregiver, but to give a sense of purpose to the loved one. It means so much when they’re loved again... We want to push the faith-based volunteer model all over the world. Or at least across the country.”

ALZ TECH

A March 19, 2018 MIT Technology Review article focused on the use of AI to detect early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, analyze PET scans and help recruit clinical trial participants. One use is an experimental passive monitoring device, developed in the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, initially created as a fall detector for older people. The developers realized it could be used more extensively to monitor for signs of Alzheimer’s disease, and it is now being used in a small pilot study. Also covered by iNews.

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