Mark your calendar:
- Join ACA’s Jr. Board for Ales & Tails for Alzheimer’s, at Cahaba Brewery, March 25, noon – 3. It’s kid friendly and free to attend. Crawfish plates with all the fixings and a raffle will raise money for ACA’s Lindy Harrell Pre-Doctoral Scholars Program in Alzheimer’s Research at UAB. https://alzca.org/ales/
- ACA’s Garden Art Party, May 6, at the Fennec. Live & silent auction to benefit ACA’s service programs for low- income families living with Alzheimer’s.
Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration is starting a Caregivers Support Group (for FTD and related dementias), second Tuesdays of the month (March 14), at 6:30, Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church, 2061 Kentucky Ave, contact Amber Guy: email@example.com
Discovery United Methodist Church is offering an 8 week series, Aged to Perfection, Tuesday evenings, starting March 14, at 6:30. Topics include: coping with loss, finding care away from home, Medicaid & VA benefits, end of life planning, legal issues, coping & understanding dementia, home modifications and healthy aging. 5487 Stadium Trace Parkway, Hoover. www.discoveryumc.org.
Lunch & Learn: Compassionate Communication with Dr. Renee Harmon, March 21, 10:30 – 1:30. Presented byFounders Place, a respite ministry at Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church, in collaboration with Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama and Mountain Brook Baptist Church. Dr. Renée Brown Harmon, author of Surfing the Waves of Alzheimer’s: Principles of Caregiving That Kept Me Upright, will help us deepen our connections with our loved ones living with dementia. Mountain Brook Baptist Church, 3631 Montevallo Road, Birmingham. Cost: $20. To register:https://saintlukes.shelbynextchms.com/…/1b73fc32-8fba… or call 704.779.2579.
- ACA’s support group with Miller & Vance, Tuesday, March 14, 11 – noon CT. Call (205) 871-7970 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 Betsy Smith,Smith35213@gmail.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
- Pell City, Tuesday’s 2 – 3 and 6:30 – 7:30. Lakeside Hospice, Julie Slagle firstname.lastname@example.org
- M4A, 2nd Thursday’s, noon – 1 pm. Contact Crystal Whitehead, email@example.com
- M4A, 3rd Wednesday’s 2:00 – 3:00 pm. Contact Crystal Whitehead, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Asbury United Methodist Church 1st and 3rd Thursdays at 1:00, contact Maggie Dunaway at email@example.com.
We have known that engagement is essential for successful aging and that isolation is toxic, now a new study proves it.
Investigators from China analyzed data from 28,563 participants with a median age of 89, at baseline. Compared with no socialization, socializing sometimes but not monthly was associated with 42% longer survival, at least monthly socialization was associated with 48% longer survival, at least weekly was associated with 110% longer survival, and socializing almost every day was associated with 87% longer survival. While this finding is not novel, it is nice to see this confirmation of what we thought we knew. Daily Socialization May Extend Lifespan in Older Adults (medscape.com)
Listen to 2 podcasts from UsAgainstAlzheimer’s:
- EP 34 BrainStorm: Host Meryl Comer talks with Dr. Rudy Tanzi Vice-Chair of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, Co-Director of the McCance Center for Brain Health and Professor at Harvard Medical School on whether 2023 will be a boom or bust year for new Alzheimer’s drugs.
- EP 35 BrainStorm: Host Meryl Comer talks with Dr. Rudy Tanzi on his creative collaboration with integrative medicine guru, Deepak Chopra on 4 SuperBrain books, and his action plan “SHIELD” to offset the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Black people living with dementia are less likely than their White peers to receive cognitive enhancers and other medications for dementia in the outpatient setting, preliminary data from a retrospective study show. The researchers analyzed data on 3655 Black and 12,885 White patients with a diagnosis of dementia who were seen at Mount Sinai. They found that Black patients with dementia received cognitive enhancers less often than White patients with dementia (20% vs 30% for cholinesterase inhibitors; 10% vs17% for NMDA-antagonists). Black patients with dementia were also less likely to receive medications for behavioral and psychological symptom management compared with White peers. These disparities remained even after controlling for factors such as demographics and insurance coverage. Larger systemic forces such as systemic racism and provider bias may be playing a role in perpetuating these inequities. Black People Less Likely to Receive Dementia Meds (medscape.com)
Ninety percent of people with Down syndrome, also known as trisomy 21, will develop Alzheimer’s. They are the largest population of genetically determined Alzheimer’s disease in the world, at 6 million people. Back in the 1980s, researchers found plaques in the autopsied brains of patients with Down syndrome that were identical to those seen in elderly patients. This led them to discover the amyloid precursor protein, which causes an overproduction of beta amyloid in the brain. The buildup of beta amyloid is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s. Tracing things back, scientists hunted for the gene that encodes for APP and found that it was chromosome 21: the exact chromosome that people with Down syndrome have an extra copy of. If you have an extra copy of that gene, your brain overproduces amyloid, eventually leading to an early-onset form of Alzheimer’s. Although people with Down syndrome can have plaques begin to form as early as 12 years old, they have been excluded from Alzheimer’s drug development – until now. Alzheimer’s meds are here, but not for Down syndrome patients (fiercebiotech.com)
Join UsAgainstAlzheimer’s 30-Day Brain Health Challenge! What it is: An easy-to-incorporate brain health challenge delivered to your inbox daily, for 30 days. What it means: by joining the Be Brain Powerful™ 30-Day Challenge, you’ll be taking the first important step towards making brain health top of mind. Take the Brain Health Challenge! — Be Brain Powerful
Children who suffer from persistent bad dreams may be at increased risk for cognitive impairment or Parkinson’s disease (PD) later in life, new research shows. Compared with children who never had distressing dreams between ages 7 and 11 years, those who had persistent distressing dreams were 76% more likely to develop cognitive impairment and roughly seven times more likely to develop PD by age 50 years. It’s been shown previously that sleep problems in adulthood, including distressing dreams, can precede the onset of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or PD by several years, and in some cases decades. Childhood Nightmares a Prelude to Cognitive Problems, PD? (medscape.com)
Vitamin D supplementation has the potential to be a viable dementia prevention strategy, especially when initiated early, new research suggests. In a large prospective cohort study, people who took vitamin D were 40% less likely to develop dementia than peers who did not take vitamin D. The effects of vitamin D were most pronounced in women, with normal cognitive function, and apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 noncarriers. Vitamin D a Viable Strategy for Dementia Prevention? (medscape.com)
Roughly 60% of people with FTD are 45 to 64 years old. According to the NIH, frontotemporal disorders (FTD), sometimes called frontotemporal dementia is a rare form of dementia that tends to occur at a younger age than other dementias and is the result of damage to neurons in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. People with FTD can have a range of symptoms including: highly unusual behaviors; emotional problems; trouble communicating; difficulty walking. Learn more about FTD and what you can do to manage it more effectively. What you need to know about frontotemporal dementia – Alzheimer’s Orange County (alzoc.org)
People who often take medications to aid their sleep are at increased risk of developing dementia, according to a new report. The study found that older white adults who “often” or “almost always” took a prescription sleeping pill at night to help get a better night’s sleep were much more likely to develop dementia than those who “rarely” or “never” used such medications. Older Black adults who often took sleeping pills did not show the same increase in dementia risk, though in the study, Black seniors were far less likely to be frequent users of prescription sleep medicines than whites of the same age. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, looked at 3,068 seniors whose average age was 74. These Popular Pills May Increase Your Risk of Alzheimer’s | Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation (alzinfo.org)
Even mild cases of COVID-19 can affect the function and structure of the brain, early research suggests. Study results suggest a severe pattern of changes in how the brain communicates as well as its structure, mainly in people with anxiety and depression with long COVID syndrome. Even Mild COVID Is Hard on the Brain (medscape.com)
For people living with dementia, making minor changes in the home can help create a safer environment and prevent falls and injuries. Consider these home safety tips: simplify the amount and layout of furniture; remove small rugs; have a sturdy handrail on stairways; install an automatic shut-off switch on the stove and set the water heater temperature limit to 120°F to avoid burns. Explore more safety tips for a person living with dementia.
March is the month UAB employees can direct their donations to the charity of their choice through the UAB Benevolent Fund. Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama received $16,332 from the UAB Benevolent fund last year and has received $209,000 since 2012. Thank you to all of our donors who support ACA in this way. If you or a family member is employed by UAB Callahan Eye, UA Health Services Foundation, University of Alabama at Birmingham, UAB Hospital or VIVA Health please consider supporting the work and mission of ACA. firstname.lastname@example.org or 205.934.1581.
AFA’s Teen Alzheimer’s Awareness Scholarship is for college-bound high school seniors who have been impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. Submit an essay (1,500 word maximum) or video (no more than 4 minutes long) describing the impact of Alzheimer’s or dementia. The grand prize winner receives $5,000, with additional prizes awarded to runners-up. Deadline for entries is 5 pm ET, April 1. Alzheimer’s Foundation of America | AFA’s Teen Alzheimer’s Awareness Scholarship (alzfdn.org)
March Webinars from Alabama Lifespan Respite: https://alabamarespite.org/events2/