Today’s Top Alzheimer’s News
An April 30, 2018 Alzheimer’s New Today article (subscription required) reported that a stem cell therapy has been approved in Japan to treat mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease patients. This is the first time that a stem cell therapy for AD has been approved.
An April 30, 2018 UTSA Today article highlighted a free-of-charge, first-of-its-kind online course, “Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease: A Molecular and Genetic Approach,” at The University of Texas at San Antonio, focusing on the progression of Alzheimer’s disease from molecular and genetic perspectives. According to creator George Perry, “The purpose of the course was to raise awareness about the disease and the impact of a healthy lifestyle on its onset and development. Our students have told us that they appreciated the explanation of changes in the brain that trigger the disease, the status and future directions of the research, and the resources we make available to stay updated on the topic.”
A Silverado post featured Raymond Pole, who has Alzheimer’s disease. He wrote a book, “The Evacuee Who Became a St. Ivian,” about his childhood experience being evacuated from London during World War II. Silverado organized a book signing. “This sort of event is the perfect example of our philosophy at work -- dignity and a fulfilling existence come from celebrating abilities, not limitations. The sheer joy on the faces of Raymond and his wife are the moments that inspire what we do at Silverado.”
An April 30, 2018 North Country Public Radio segment spotlighted the story of Bella and Will Doolittle, who launched a podcast telling the story of how their lives changed after Bella’s early-onset Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Bella relies on her pets for comfort and emotional support. Their marital relationship has been affected by her progressing symptoms, but the animals don’t seem to notice. According to Bella, “ “That's what makes animals so wonderful, because they don't really care," Bella says. "They're not upset if I forget something or if I say something that's inappropriate. They don't care at all.” ”
DEMENTIA AND THE ARTS
According to an April 29, 2018 Big Think article, the part of your brain responsible for ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response), which is activated when you hear your favorite song for example, doesn't get lost to Alzheimer's. "In our society, the diagnoses of dementia are snowballing and are taxing resources to the max. No one says playing music will be a cure for Alzheimer's disease, but it might make the symptoms more manageable, decrease the cost of care and improve a patient's quality of life,” said Jeff Anderson, MD, PhD, contributing author to a study on the subject published in The Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease. Also covered by Science Daily.
PROFILES IN COURAGE
An April 27, 2018 Hometown Focus article by Mary Chiaravalle told her first-hand perspective on the progression of her mom’s Alzheimer’s disease. Charting her mom’s symptoms over the years, she is constantly examining herself for signs. According to Chiaravalle, “So, when I find the box of cereal in the refrigerator, can’t find my car keys, put something away that is very “important” then can’t remember where I put it, call my kids by other names, even the dog’s, I figure I have halfheimers. I don’t have it “all” quite yet. I am drawing the face of a clock as I type this.”