In-person and zoom Support Groups:
- ACA’s Coffee Talk with Miller & Vance, Tuesday, February 8, 11 – noon CT. Call (205) 871-7970 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Join us on zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86450491838
- CJFS CARES, Mondays at 3 pm, contact Pam Leonard, email@example.com.
- Founders Place at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Tuesday’s at 10 am, contact Susan Logan, firstname.lastname@example.org
- West Alabama Area Agency on Aging, Caregiver Support Group, Tuesdays, contact Nikki Poe, email@example.com.
- The Oaks on Parkwood,4th Tuesday’s, 10:00 am, Contact: Karen Glover, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- CJFS CARES, Tuesdays, 7:00 pm, contact Pam Leonard, email@example.com.
- United Way Area Agency on Aging of Jefferson County, 3rdTuesday of each month 11:30-12:30, contact Valarie Lawson, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Asbury United Methodist Church1st and 3rd Thursdays at 1:00, contact Maggie Dunaway at email@example.com.
February Webinars from Alabama Lifespan Respite (https://alabamarespite.org/events2/):
- Stages of Grief Part 1– February 5, 10 am
- Stages of Grief Part 2 – February 7, 6 pm
- Stages of Grief Part 3 – February 12, 10 am
- Stages of Grief Part 4 February 13, 6, pm
- The Art of Grace, February 19, 10 am
- Bi Polar Disorder and Caregiving, February 20, 6 pm
- BREAK, February 25, 10 am
- Managing Depression as a Caregiver, February 26, 10 am
- Mental Illness and Caregiving, February 27, 6 pm
The American Heart Association (AHA) drew attention to the important bidirectional link between cardiovascular health and brain health in its annual statistical update on heart disease and stroke with a new report on the connection between cardiovascular health and brain health. The global rate of brain disease is quickly outpacing heart disease. The rate of deaths from Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias rose more than twice as much in the past decade compared to the rate of deaths from heart disease. Other key findings:
- An analysis of 139 studies showed that people with midlife hypertension were five times more likely to experience impairment on global cognition and about twice as likely to experience reduced executive function, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
- An analysis of four longitudinal studies found that the risk for dementia associated with heart failure was increased nearly twofold.
- Atrial fibrillation was associated with greater cognitive decline and dementia over 20 years.
- An analysis of 10 studies (including 24,801 participants) showed that coronary heart disease was associated with a 40% increased risk of poor cognitive outcomes, including dementia, cognitive impairment, or cognitive decline.
The Vestavia Hills Library is the Forest 2 Cognitive Care Kits to help support the skills and abilities of people living with early-, mid- and late-stage dementia. Kits contain an assortment of prepared activities, games and worksheets that encourage social engagement and success with daily activities and are geared to those who have (or care for someone with) cognitive impairment from a disease such as Alzheimer’s and/or dementia. Learn more here: https://vestavialibrary.org/cognitive-care-kits/ ACA also provides weekly activity packets that are mailed to families. Please call if you would like a trial sample mailed to you: 205-871-7970.
Inflammation is a hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases including multiple sclerosis (MS) and Alzheimer’s disease. While the amyloid hypothesis still dominates the spot, there are more and more researchers interested in the role of infection-induced inflammation in the disease. Infection during the 1918 flu pandemic was associated with an increased risk of developing certain neurodegenerative diseases. Worryingly, many studies now suggest that even after mild COVID-19 infections, people experience cognitive impairment and other symptoms that resemble those of neurodegenerative diseases (like Parkinson’s) and biomarkers of brain damage similar to Alzheimer’s. Now, new research offers up another clue. Some scientists posit that a viral infection may initiate Alzheimer’s — an alternative to the controversial amyloid hypothesis. Study: Virus Behind Mono Triggers Multiple Sclerosis – Being Patient
Over the past couple decades, researchers have identified numerous genes involved in various immune system functions that may also contribute to Alzheimer’s. Some of the prime suspects are genes that control immune cells called microglia, now the focus of intense research in developing new Alzheimer’s drugs. Microglia are amoeba-like cells that scour the brain for injuries and invaders. They help clear dead or impaired brain cells and literally gobble up invading microbes. Without them, we’d be in trouble. The Cell That Might Trigger Alzheimer’s Disease (medscape.com)
A new survey of more than 200 practicing neurologists, the majority of whom care for at least 11 Alzheimer’s patients a week, shows that 83 percent believe that results of one medication should not be used to determine the safety and efficacy of an entire class of drugs. There is an extreme and sweeping proposed plan that would effectively deny Medicare coverage for an entire class of Alzheimer’s drugs, drawing strong opposition from doctors, scientists and patient advocates. The draft proposal by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), announced January 11, would deny Medicare coverage for the entire first class of treatments that slow the progression of the disease, except for the small number of patients who are able to participate in restrictive clinical trials. The proposal is open for public comment through February 10 with a final coverage decision by CMS for Medicare beneficiaries expected in April. The proposal follows approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the first drug in the class, Aduhelm, but affects the entire class – including those treatments still being developed. https://www.usagainstalzheimers.org/press/doctors-scientists-and-patient-advocates-call-medicare-cover-alzheimers-treatments