Alzheimer interventions

alzheimers-s4-doctor-patientGil Rishton, Ph.D. is in a race against time. His enemy is Alzheimer’s disease. Why the race? An estimated 10 million American baby boomers, who are now between the ages of 47 and 65, will develop the disease in their lifetime. That translates to 1 out of every 8 baby boomers. “The age of highest risk for Alzheimer’s starts at 65,” said Stephen McConnell of the Alzheimer’s Association. The early boomers have just crossed that threshold. Without a cure, this disease can have a devastating effect on their lives, their families and our nation’s healthcare system. Just last week, the National Institute of Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association set forth new guidelines for Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Researchers now agree that the disease is present 10 years or more before the disabling mental problems appear. They also agree that, to be effective, drug therapies will have to work early in that process. Currently there are no drugs approved to treat one of the early signs of...

Many boomers don’t notice early signs of Alzheimer’s

alzheimersThe words of the physical therapist whirled in Alicia’s head. “Your mother is having some difficulty following directions. We are giving her verbal cues to help her stability, but she cannot remember them long enough to imbed them into her long-term memory.” Alicia recently took her 83-year old mother home to care for her after a recent fall. While her mom was improving physically, she wasn’t the same as before the fall. “It wasn’t anything I could put my finger on until the physical therapist made that comment,” Alicia said. “Then I started to put two and two together—the poor judgment Mom demonstrated that led to her fall and now this.” A volunteer at an adult day care program for those with Alzheimer’s, Alicia is better equipped than most to see early signs of dementia. So why didn’t she, of all people, recognize the signs? According to a national survey just released, a quarter of all baby boomers can’t name a single early sign of Alzheimer’s disease. These include...


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