With cases of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease on the rise, it’s important to understand how these ailments affect the elderly. In light of this, we present our latest articles on dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and related conditions including diabetes, prostate cancer, urinary tract infection, and heart disease.
Although dementia and Alzheimer’s disease mainly affect the brain, they can also have an impact on other areas of health, significantly reducing one’s quality of life and increasing the risk of complications.
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia risk may be reduced in elderly who take college courses, according to research. The Australian study looked at 359 participants who partook in a series of cognitive tests prior to completing a full year of college courses – either part-time or full-time. The participants were reassessed every year for three years.
Over 90 percent of the participants showed significant improvements in their cognitive capacity, compared to only 56 percent in the control group who did not attend college courses.
Lead researcher Megan Lenehan explained, “The study findings are exciting because they demonstrate that it’s never too late to take action to maximize the cognitive capacity of your brain. We plan to follow these participants as they age to see if college studies could help delay the onset or reduce the debilitating effects of dementia.” Continue reading…
Higher dementia risk is linked to higher blood sugar levels, even among people with no diabetes. In the study, blood sugar levels averaged over a five-year period were associated with greater risks of developing dementia in over 2,000 older adults over 65.
Patients without diabetes had an 18 percent higher risk of dementia if their glucose averaged 115 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl), compared to those with an average of 110 mg/dl. In diabetics with generally higher glucose levels, the risk of dementia was 40 percent higher if their glucose averaged 190 mg/dl, compared to those with an average glucose level of 160 mg/dl. Continue reading…
Prostate cancer patients taking testosterone-lowering drugs may be twice as likely to develop dementia. The researchers found that males who underwent androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) had an eight percent risk of dementia within five years of treatment, compared to only 3.5 percent among those who did not receive ADT.
Lead researcher Dr. Kevin Nead said, “People who got ADT in our study had twice the risk of developing dementia, compared to people who didn’t.”
The researchers do not suggest that patients stop this therapy, but only be aware of the potential risk. Continue reading…
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are not only common among seniors, but among those with dementia, too. Furthermore, UTIs among the seniors are often misdiagnosed for dementia, or may be overlooked if a person has dementia, because UTIs in dementia can lead to delirium.
If a person already has dementia, it may be difficult for them to verbalize that something is going on to indicate a urinary tract infection. If an older person has a UTI, the delirium may also make it difficult for them to explain the problem. Caregivers and family members may notice changes in behavior or greater confusion pointing to a UTI.
Urine itself is sterile and does not contain bacteria. A urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria enter the urinary system. In patients with dementia, the risk of a UTI is higher, as their ability to take care of their personal hygiene diminishes. Continue reading…
A recent article published in the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAMA) states that postmenopausal women with heart disease have a higher risk of developing dementia or other forms of decreased brain function.
According to the article, nearly 6,500 U.S. women aged 65-79 with healthy brain function were put through a series of neurocognitive exams. Continue reading…