Articles Tagged with alzheimers

matthew-lejune-716127-unsplash-copy-200x300If you are physically fit in older age, are you less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia? According to a recent article in The Washington Post, “physically fit women seem to live longer free of dementia.” Given that dementia often makes individuals more vulnerable to nursing home abuse, the Alzheimer’s Association reports, finding ways to prevent seniors from developing dementia in the first place could help to reduce the rate of elder abuse and neglect.

When does physical fitness need to start in order to reduce a woman’s likelihood of developing dementia? What should families in Valley Center know about the links between physical fitness, dementia, and the reduced risk of nursing home abuse or neglect?

New Research Shows That Physical Fitness in Middle Age can Prevent Dementia Years Later

rt_k9r80pya-jean-gerber-300x200While its effects may not be noticeable for years down the road, a new Alzheimer’s study could help to prevent nursing home abuse in San Marcos and other cities throughout the country. As the Alzheimer’s Association elucidates, elderly nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia often are subject to abuse and neglect. As such, if we can find a way to lower the rate of seniors who suffer from dementia, we might also then be able to lower the rate of nursing home abuse cases tied to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. A new study is hoping to accomplish just that. According to a recent article in SFGate, a study on Alzheimer’s aims to prevent the disease before it begins.

The A4 Study Aims to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

According to the article, Dr. Reisa Sperling, a researcher at Harvard Medical School who serves as the project director for the A4 Study, aims for it to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. What is the meaning behind the study’s name? It refers to “Anti-Amyloid Treatment in Asymptomatic Alzheimer’s.” Currently, there are more than 10,000 adults in the “Baby Boomer” generation who are entering into old age rapidly, and thus becoming at greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. As Dr. Sperling explains, “I have witnessed the devastating effects of this disease in my work as a neurologist, as a clinical researcher and, sadly, in my own family.” Now, Dr. Sperling is undertaking prevention trials through the A4 Study that are designed “to try to stop memory loss before it begins.”

ian-schneider-95541-300x200For anyone in Carlsbad who has an elderly loved one residing in a nearby nursing home, it can be difficult to learn about risks related to certain types of medications. In some situations, however, the use of certain drugs in nursing homes may significantly increase a senior’s risk for pneumonia. In particular, patients with Alzheimer’s disease may be particularly susceptible. While we often hear about the dangers of over-medication and the off-label use of antipsychotic drugs, discussed relatively recently in a story by NPR, it is not as common for us to hear about prescription sedatives and pneumonia risks among patients with dementia. According to a recent article in Medical News Today, new research suggests that patients with dementia may be at greater risk for developing pneumonia, especially when they are prescribed sedatives such as benzodiazepines.

If a dementia patient on certain prescription medications develops pneumonia, could it be a result of nursing home neglect?

Nursing Home Prescriptions and Elder Neglect

PET_scan-normal_brain-alzheimers_disease_brainWe often read news stories about nursing home abuse and dementia patients, but are elders who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia at greater risk of elder abuse? According to a fact sheet from the University of California, Irvine’s Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect, advocates generally agree that seniors who suffer from dementia “are thought to be at greater risk of abuse and neglect than those of the general elderly population.” What else should you know about dementia and its connection to nursing home abuse?

Growing Number of Americans with Dementia

As the fact sheet notes, the total number of elderly Americans is expected to grow substantially in the coming decades. As the total population of America’s seniors grows, the total population of elders with dementia will also increase. Currently, around 5.3 million seniors in our country have Alzheimer’s disease. Of those people, a little over 5 million are aged 65 or older, while about 200,000 people under the age of 65 suffer from this disease. By 2030, however, the Center predicts that approximately 7.7 million elders will have Alzheimer’s disease. Any by year 2050, that number will grow to around 16 million older adults with Alzheimer’s.