There are 2 ways to support ACA’s Lindy Harrell Pre-Doctoral Scholars in Alzheimer’s research:
- Join ACA for our 11th annual Glow for a Cure night golf tournament, July 28, Highland Park Golf Course, Birmingham. Team registration is almost full, but you can purchase a Spectator Ticket and join us for dinner. Our Pre-Doctoral Scholars will be on hand to tell us about their research. https://alzca.org/glow/
- ACA will be raffling a $1,000 Amazon gift card at the golf tournament. Chances are $25 or 5 for $100. You don’t have to be present to win. https://alzca.org/glow-for-a-cure-amazon-gift-card-raffle/
Rita Jablonski and Dementia Centric Solutions is offering a free Virtual Dementia Education and Support Session, July 10, at 6 pm CT. Register: Monthly Virtual Dementia Education and Support Sessions (clickmeeting.com)
Renee Harmon will be presenting Dementia 104: Care for the Caregiver, July 11 at Canterbury United Methodist Church. For more information and to register, contact Valerie Boyd. Valerie.firstname.lastname@example.org
M4A is hosting a series of Memory Cafes which offer a safe space for those living with dementia and their caregivers. There will herb box building, music, games and fellowship. Sessions are 10 – noon.
To register contact Chalane Mims at email@example.com or 205-670-5770:
- July 14, ExpectCare, Alabaster
- July 21, Ashbury UMC
- August 1, Bible Believers Baptist Church, Thorsby
- August 8, Jasper Civic Center
- August 22, Oneonta Senior Center
Free, confidential memory screening, July 31. 9 – noon, Bessemer Recreation Center. Contact Linda Vinson 205-425-0655.
Support Group Meetings:
- ACA’s support group with Miller & Vance, Tuesday, July 11, 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.
- St Lukes Episcopal Church on Tuesdays at 10:15. Contact Betsy Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Janis Cole (email@example.com).
- West Alabama Area Agency on Aging, Caregiver Support Group, Tuesdays, contact Nikki Poe, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Oaks on Parkwood, 4th Tuesday’s, 10:00 am, Contact: Karen Glover, email@example.com.
- CJFS CARES, Tuesdays, 7:00 pm, contact Pam Leonard, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- United Way Area Agency on Aging of Jefferson County, 3rd Tuesday of each month 11:30-12:30, contact Valarie Lawson, email@example.com
- Leeds, 1st Tuesday, 6:30 pm. Contact Julie Slagle firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pell City, 2nd Tuesday, 2:30 pm. Contact Julie Slagle, email@example.com
- M4A virtual support group, 3rd Wednesday’s 2:00 – 3:00 pm. Contact Chalane Mims, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Asbury United Methodist Church 1st and 3rd Thursdays at 1:00, contact Maggie Dunaway at email@example.com.
- The Church at Chelsea Park, Wilsonville 1st Thursday of the month. Contact Brooklyn White, firstname.lastname@example.org
July Webinars from Alabama Lifespan Respite: https://alabamarespite.org/events2/
On July 6, 2023, the FDA approved a new therapy for early Alzheimer’s Disease that appears to modestly slow the progression of the disease that affects more than 6.5 million Americans. The drug, Leqembi, targets amyloid plaques in patients’ brains, a key feature of the disease. Study data shows it may slow Alzheimer’s progression by 27% over 18 months. The drug was granted accelerated approval in January, which allows the FDA to approve drugs for conditions when there is a defined need. It is the first therapy for Alzheimer’s granted full agency approval in 20 years. The FDA said the drug “demonstrated a statistically significant and clinically meaningful” reduction in decline from the disease. There are risks of brain bleeding and swelling, which sometimes can be fatal. Medicare said it will cover the drug, which will cost $26,500 each year, although researchers reported in May that Medicare will likely only cover 80% of that cost, passing on more than $5,000 a year to patients. Medicare’s coverage will also require a patient’s doctor to participate in a registry that tracks how well the drug works. Some advocates have called that an unnecessary barrier to treatment as not all doctors will agree to the registry. FDA Approves New Drug to Slow Alzheimer’s Disease (medscape.com)
Patient advocacy organization UsAgainstAlzheimer’s today hailed the first of its kind traditional approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of lecanemab (marketed as Leqembi), a treatment for early-stage Alzheimer’s. This historic development brings a treatment option and renewed hope for continued innovation to the millions of patients affected by this devastating condition, particularly women and communities of color who face disproportionate rates of the disease. UsAgainstAlzheimer’s celebrated the news and reiterated its call for immediate access to the treatment.
During covid, the Dementia Action Alliance held zoom discussions and one participant shared the loss she was feeling as a result of her family discouraging her to cook for safety reasons. She explained how not cooking made her feel emptier and without purpose. This was a powerful sentiment. Likely, many other people living with dementia had similar feelings of loss around such an important daily purpose. Her plight became the inspiration to develop a cookbook by and for people living with dementia and their care partners to describe the value, benefits, and social engagement aspects of preparing and eating food. Twelve individuals living with dementia generously provided their helpful advice and experiences. Cooking OUR Way can be downloaded for free by clicking here. Printed copies can be ordered at cost for $11.34 by clicking here.
Celebrity animal expert Jack Hanna has been living with Alzheimer’s since 2019. Recently Columbus Dispatch journalist Mike Wagner wrote an intimate and raw story detailing Hanna’s decline. Hanna is losing recognition of the people closest to him, he shuffles when he walks and often stares into space. He’s is navigating insomnia, aphasia and agitation. Hanna’s family explains what he is experiencing and what strategies work for them:
- Feeling agitated, aggressive or sleepless in the evenings. Strategy: Redirect.
- Repeating the same phrases and gestures. Strategy: Create reminders — and be patient.
- Physically or verbally acting out. Strategy: Set up a routine — and plan engaging activities.
- No longer recognizes loved ones. Strategy: Meet your loved one where they are.
- Refusing to do something. Strategy: Consider a ‘white lie.’
Natural disasters and severe weather are becoming more common, and older adults can be especially vulnerable. Keeping a well-stocked emergency kit can help you stay safe while sheltering at home and ensure you are prepared if you need to evacuate. The NIA offers tips foressentials to stock in your emergency kit.
Several measures of body composition have been investigated for their potential association with AD. Lean mass — a “proxy for muscle mass, defined as the difference between total mass and fat mass” — has been shown to be reduced in patients with AD compared with controls. Using human genetic data, researchers found evidence for a protective effect of lean mass on risk of Alzheimer’s disease. On average, higher genetically lean mass was associated with a “modest but statistically robust” reduction in AD risk and also with superior performance on cognitive tasks. Lean Muscle Mass Protective Against Alzheimer’s? (medscape.com)
UsAgainstAlzheimer’s A-LIST® is an online study where people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, mild cognitive impairment, and their loved ones come together to research the experience of living with this disease and caring for a loved one. What Matters Most Insights surveys ask about the issues we care about. UsAgainstAlzheimer’s uses anonymous survey results to make life better for our community by ensuring policymakers, researchers, health care providers, insurers, drug developers and others who serve our community understand and consider your insights and preferences. Today’s survey asks about what you need that you’re not getting. What Matters Most: Home Health Care Survey (surveymonkey.com)
Short-term and cyclical use of estrogen and progestin therapy for menopausal symptoms is linked to an increased risk of dementia, results of a large, observational study show. Investigators found that women in their 50s who took hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopausal symptoms had a 24% increased risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) 20 years later compared with those who didn’t use HRT. The risk was present even in women who used HRT for brief periods at menopause onset. However, investigators caution, more research is needed. HRT, Even Short-Term Use, Linked to Dementia Risk in Women (medscape.com)
Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging, and it can affect people differently. Although memory loss is a common symptom of Alzheimer’s, there are other early warning signs that can be a sign of cognitive impairment associated with some form of dementia:
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life; asking the same questions or repeating the same story over and over again.
- Difficulty planning or solving problems; difficulty concentrating on detailed tasks, especially involving numbers, such as keeping track of bills and balancing a checkbook.
- Forgetting how to do familiar tasks; forgetting how to do activities that were previously routine, such as cooking, making repairs, or playing cards.
- Confusion with dates, times or place: becoming disoriented or feeling lost in familiar places.
- Trouble with spatial relationships: difficulty reading words on a page, judging distances, and telling colors apart.
- New problems with words in speaking or writing; trouble finding the right word or calling things by the wrong name. Conversations can be a struggle and difficult to follow.
- Misplacing objects and the inability to retrace steps; finding objects in unusual places, like a watch in the refrigerator.
- Altered decision-making; poor judgment and poor decision making, such as giving away money inappropriately. Less attention to grooming.
- Withdrawal from work or social situations; difficulty initiating activities and participating in social interactions; watching television or sleeping more; lacking motivation. Scaling back on work projects or becoming less involved in favorite hobbies.
- Mood swings and changes in personality; getting upset more easily, feeling depressed, scared or anxious. Being suspicious of people.
If you notice any of these signs in yourself or someone you care about, don’t ignore them. Talk to your doctor about your concerns and get a comprehensive evaluation. Ask the Expert: What are the first signs of Alzheimer’s disease? – Alzheimer’s Orange County (alzoc.org)