Alzheimer’s & Dementia

Debate Over Brain Scans and Alzheimer’s

Should brain scans for older adults with suspected Alzheimer’s disease be covered by Medicare? Many medical experts say yes. But late last month, an expert panel convened by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services concluded that data supporting use of the scans was weak. Specifically, the panel noted there is no solid evidence that(…)

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Time to Recognize Mild Cognitive Disorder?

Sam Hodgson for The New York Times Dr. Allen Frances, chairman of the task force that developed the previous Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, predicts inclusion of Mild Neurocognitive Disorder in the new version will lead to “wild overdiagnosis.” The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published and periodically updated by the(…)

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Study Links Cognitive Deficits, Hearing Loss

Beatrice de Gea for The New York Times There’s another reason to be concerned about hearing loss — one of the most common health conditions in older adults and one of the most widely undertreated. A new study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine suggests that elderly people with compromised hearing are at risk of(…)

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United States Lags in Alzheimer’s Support

This month, the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging released a report examining how five nations — the United States, Australia, France, Japan and Britain — are responding to growing numbers of older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Every country has a strategy, but some are much further ahead than others. Notably, France(…)

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Forced to Choose: Exploring Other Options

Ruby Washington/The New York Times I wrote last week about the poor choices facing patients, most very old and within six months of death, who need nursing home care after a hospitalization. Medicare will pay for hospice, the acknowledged gold standard for those at the end of life and their families, and it will also(…)

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Signing Up to Help Fight Alzheimer’s

Sabina Louise Pierce for The New York Times Patricia Green, a research technician at the Center for Applied Genomics in Philadelphia, at work on a recent Alzheimer’s study. I just signed up online for the new Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry. It took about three minutes: I entered my name, birth date, gender, ethnicity, e-mail address and(…)

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Books to Teach Children About Alzheimer’s

I stopped at a children’s bookshop in Manhattan last week and asked to see books on Alzheimer’s disease. The store stocked at least half a dozen, with titles like “What’s Wrong with Grandma?” and “What’s Happening to Grandpa?” That was only a small sample. Three doctoral students at Washington University, analyzing the way storybooks describe(…)

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A Form of Dementia That Is Often Misdiagnosed

Courtesy of Smith Family Paul Smith and his father, Jim, at a family wedding in 2011. Lori Roberts’s father, who used to deliver the mail in Mitchell, S.D., has undergone startling personality changes. “He used to be very easygoing,” Ms. Roberts said. “Now he’s gotten kind of physical with my mom and my brother, pushing(…)

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Coping With Mild Cognitive Impairment

About 10 to 15 percent of adults age 65 and older are believed to have mild cognitive impairment — a condition commonly characterized by memory problems, well beyond those associated with normal aging. Alarmingly, mild cognitive impairment, or M.C.I., can signal serious problems ahead: About half of people with this condition go on to a(…)

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A New Test for Dementia: Walking

The Times reports on Tuesday morning on five new studies suggesting that changes in the way an older person walks may be among the earliest indicators of cognitive decline, including Alzheimer’s disease. “Changes in walking may predate actually observable cognitive changes in people who are on their way to developing dementia,” said Molly Wagster, chief(…)

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