Living with Alzheimer Disease and Other Types of Dementia: Stories from Caregivers (Links to an external site)

People with Alzheimer Disease or other types of dementia often face years of memory and thinking problems that eventually require help from others to assist with daily activities. An estimated 83% of people caring for older adults in the US are family members, friends or other unpaid caregivers. People providing care may have emotional and physical stress, or financial burdens, especially when caring for someone in the later stages of the disease. In this collection of narratives, authors write about the challenges, struggles, and joys of providing care for family members or another close person with Alzheimer’s Disease.

When Gut Bacteria May Be an Early Sign of Alzheimer’s Disease (Links to an external site)

In a new study published in Science Translational Medicine, researchers from Washington University in St. Louis report on another possible factor: the types of bacteria living in the gut. Experiencing changes in gut bacteria populations may be an early marker for developing the disease, the scientists found. These differences can often begin years before the first symptoms of cognitive decline, such as memory loss and confusion, appear.

Brain-twisted or brain-washed — can crossword puzzles and word games sharpen memory? (Links to an external site)

“Doing puzzles, in and of itself, will only improve how you do the puzzles,” said Dr. Beau Ances, a Washington University professor who specializes in neurodegenerative disease. “I am not sure it improves long-term cognition.”

Ances said he has patients who love the puzzles and he absolutely encourages them to keep at it; having a daily ritual you look forward to is beneficial in many ways. Galvan, for instance, told me it’s good for his self-esteem when he conquers a puzzle.

Gut bacteria affect brain health, mouse study shows (Links to an external site)

Gut bacteria can influence brain health, according to a study of mice genetically predisposed to develop Alzheimer’s-like brain damage. The study, by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, indicates that gut bacteria produce compounds that influence the behavior of immune cells, including ones in the brain that can cause neurodegeneration. The findings suggest a new approach to treating Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

The Issues: Alzheimer’s and Dementia (Links to an external site)

On this episode of The Issues, host Sarah Bernard and her guests (including Dr. Suzanne E. Schindler) speak about Alzheimer’s, dementia, how to care for loved ones with the disease, how to help prevent and delay Alzheimer’s, and new tests for and research about the disease.