HEALTHBEAT Confronting dementia: When ignorance isn't bliss
If the findings from a recent Harris poll are any indication, many American adults worry their post-retirement years will be darkened by the shadow of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. Yet de... Posted on 4/8/11 at 3:11 PM
Cancer and heart disease are bigger killers, but Alzheimer's is the most expensive malady in the U.S., costing families and society $157 billion to $215 billion a year, according to a new study that looked at this in unprecedented detail.
Alexis McKenzie's mother had mild dementia, but things sounded OK when she phoned home: Dad was with her, finishing his wife's sentences as they talked about puttering through the day and a drive to the store.
It's a personal cause for "Mr. Hockey," who's now 83. The disease killed Gordie Howe's wife Colleen in 2009 and is beginning to affect him. "He's a little bit worse than last year, but pretty close to about the same," son Marty Howe says. "He just loses a little bit more, grasping for words."
FERGUS FALLS, Minn. – The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office is searching for an 88-year old man who drove away from his home here Friday and is now missing. George Alfred Hanson was last seen around 2 p.m. Friday driving a light tan 2000 Buick LeSabre with Minnesota license plates VYJ337.
Day after day, Hazel Eng sat on her couch, a blank stare on her face. The powerful antipsychotics she was taking often cloaked her in sedation. And when they didn't, the 89-year-old lashed out at her nursing home's aides with such anger and frequency her daughter wondered if her mother would be better off dead. Until, in a matter of days, everything seemed to change.
Fred McNeill was a standout linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings for 12 seasons (1974-85). He and his wife Tia have been married since 1983. Tia said she has noticed changes in her husband's memory. "People who were in our wedding that he doesn't know," she said.
A large study in older veterans raises fresh concern about mild brain injuries that hundreds of thousands of troops have suffered from explosions in recent wars. Even concussions seem to raise the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease or other dementia later in life, researchers found.
Armed with information from short biographies of their retiree "buddies," August, Vance and their classmates tentatively entered the nursing home's third-floor lounge. The residents sat silently at tables, on couches or in wheelchairs. Everyone shook hands.
Many people enjoy an active social life, but now there is evidence indicating that active social participation may postpone memory loss.
As people age, many experience normal age-associated memory impairment which should not be confused with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Age-Associated Memory Impairment may be manifested by difficulty recalling someone’s name or going to the pantry to get something and then forgetting what was wanted. It is related to normal changes in the brain with slower transmission of nerve impulses.
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