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People with dementia and their caregivers have a new online resource with the launch of the ASANT CafŽ Wednesday. “The ASANT Cafe is an online gathering place. It’s particularly relevant to people living in rural areas who can then go online and have a place to discuss issues around Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias,” said Brenda Hill, manager of client services and programs for the Lethbridge branch of the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories. The Alzheimer Society has a training program called Seeds of Hope and all training sessions are on the website. The training is suitable for professionals and caregivers. “It reinforces the training around Alzheimer’s disease person-centred care,” Hill said. The ASANT CafŽ also provides information on the disease and its progression and contact information. The society’s First Link program allows people to connect to support, get referrals to health-care providers and community services, meet others in similar circumstances, and get help to plan for the future. “It’s all part of connecting people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families and caregivers to accurate information and to other people who are going through the disease process and requiring assistance on many levels,” Hill said. “We do referrals to many of the care providers in our region.”
The website also offers discussion boards and a place to ask questions so people can find support in a virtual community. “Support is a big part of the site and we certainly notice here in southern Alberta where people are isolated in smaller areas,” she said. ASANT Cafè is funded by Alberta Health and is designed to provide a resource for anyone who’s life is touched by dementia, regardless of where they live in Alberta. The website offers the best that technology currently offers.
Published by Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), London, February 2014
Prepared by Professor Martin Prince, Professor Emiliano Albanese, Dr Maëlenn Guerchet and Dr Matthew Prina for the Global Observatory for Ageing and Dementia Care, King’s College London. They have reviewed a number of areas in existing research regarding the relevance of nutritional factors to primary and secondary prevention of dementia, undernutrition in dementia and interventions to improve the nutrition of people living with dementia.Download
Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the US, affecting more than 5 million Americans. But researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Florida say they have identified a subtype of the disease that is often misdiagnosed.
The research team, led by Dr. Melissa Murray, an assistant professor of neuroscience at the Mayo Clinic, says their study suggests that around 600,000 Americans may have this variant, which they call “hippocampal sparing” Alzheimer’s disease.
To reach their findings, recently presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA, they analyzed 1,821 brains with confirmed Alzheimer’s disease.
All subtypes of Alzheimer’s have two specific hallmarks in the brain. Amyloid beta is responsible for the formation of brain plaques, while tau produces tangles in the brain.
In order to classify each subtype, the team used tangle counts to create a mathematical algorithm. They found that while all Alzheimer’s subtypes had the same amount of amyloid beta, the hippocampal sparing variant showed tau tangles in unequal areas of the hippocampus.
They discovered that in patients with this subtype, tau specifically damages neurons in areas of the brain associated with behavior, motor recognition and awareness, and use of speech and vision.
‘Alzheimer’s disease does not necessarily equate to loss of memory’
Hippocampal sparing Alzheimer’s was identified in 11% of patients. They define the variant as a form of the disease that appears to have minimal impact on memory.
Instead, the condition appears to cause behavioral problems, such as uncontrollable and frequent outbursts of anger. The disorder may also trigger the feeling that the patient’s limbs do not belong to them and that movements are controlled by an “alien” force. Furthermore, it can cause visual interruption and language problems.
From their research, the investigators found that hippocampal sparing Alzheimer’s appears to be more common in males, with onset occurring at a much younger age than traditional Alzheimer’s. In addition, patients with this subtype seem to deteriorate more rapidly.
Dr. Murray further explains the findings in the video below:
At the inaugural meeting, new members of The World Dementia Council have today (Thursday 1 May 2014) announced how they plan to support Dennis Gillings in tackling dementia globally.
Following on from the pledge made at the G8 dementia summit in December, the 13-member Council, appointed by the World Dementia Envoy, acknowledged that dementia research is not currently delivering the results we need. The Council have proposed radical but practical plans to change this, working with governments, regulators and industry.
With 44.4 million people living with dementia worldwide and an estimated global cost of $604 billion in 2010, the urgent need for global action is clear. To this end the Council recognises the need to remove barriers to innovation, improve investment conditions and most importantly, encourage new research into dementia globally.