Weekly ACA’s Weekly Email June 4, 2021

June 1st is the start of Brain Health Awareness Month!

WAM presents, You and Your Brain.  Learn from renowned experts as they bring you the latest insights on aging and the brain, navigating a dementia diagnosis, and the future of brain health. Join this virtual series June 8, 15 & 22 at 11:00 CT.  REGISTER HERE

Alabama Lifespan Respite is offering a 4 part series on the stages of Grief, starting Saturday, June 12 at 10:00 am. The Stages of Grief Part One (google.com)

The more we learn about Alzheimer’s, the more we learn about how different health conditions, like diabetes and heart disease, relate back to the brain, and to a certain extent. We also now understand that although Alzheimer’s is not entirely preventable, we have the ability to ‘kick the can down the road’ through lifestyle modifications.

AlzAuthors presents “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Dementia… But Were Afraid to Ask,” featuring 5 authors who have written about what it is like to live with dementia.  It’s a virtual Q&A on Zoom, Tuesday, June 15th at 9:30 am CT.  Reserve your spot in the program now!

To mark World Elder Abuse Day, M4A is hosting a webinar, “ Take a Stand for Elder Justice:  Managing Someone Elses Money, Tuesday, June 15, 10 – 11:30 CT.


Maria Shriver and Seth & Lauren Miller Rogen have teamed up to bring you an event you won’t want to miss— Brain It On: 2021, June 24, 10 CT.  Join them as they hear from leading Alzheimer’s prevention experts and celebrity advocates during this free 90-minute virtual summit about the best ways to live a brain healthy life.  Brain It On: 2021 | THE WOMEN’S ALZHEIMER’S MOVEMENT (thewomensalzheimersmovement.org)

In-person and zoom Support Groups:

Alzheimer’s News:

Encore’s Valerie Boyd shared the attached practical advice:  As caregivers, we often use intuition to help us decide what to do. No one ever gave us lessons on how to relate to someone with memory loss. Unfortunately, dealing with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is counterintuitive; often the right thing to do is exactly opposite that which seems like the right thing to do.  See the attached to learn more.

Sleep is beneficial for memory function. But sleep isn’t just good for your memory; it can actually reduce your risk of dementia — and death.  Although it has been known for some time that individuals with dementia frequently have poor, fragmented sleep two new studies suggest that if you don’t get enough sleep, you are at increased risk for dementia.

Sleep well — and reduce your risk of dementia and death – Harvard Health

WAM spoke with Jason Karlawish, MD, author of The Problem of Alzheimer’s, about the history of Alzheimer’s and how it’s changed the lives of millions of American families. 
Read the Q&A HERE

Interactive gaming consoles like the Nintendo Wii and Xbox Kinect have become popular platforms, offering family-friendly exercise-related games — ‘exergames’ — such as dancing to choreographs of popular songs, following moves of actors on the screen. But the benefits of exergames may extend well beyond home entertainment: A recent study found that exergames could potentially boost brain health, not to mention physical health, in older adults with dementia. Exergaming and Dementia: Can Exercise Video Games Slow Cognitive Decline? – Being Patient

We can learn a lot from our elders, not just from their experience, but also from their genes, say Italian scientists who, for the first time, have decoded the DNA of people older than 100 years to figure out how they avoided age-related diseases. The 105 threshold is really tough to jump and those who surpass it are really super athletes in terms of aging.  The scientists identified five common genetic changes involved in areas important to the health of human cells and the development of cancer, heart attack, and stroke.

People Who Live Past 100 Have Good DNA Repair Genes (medscape.com)  

‘I Was Diagnosed With Early-Onset Alzheimer’s After My Memory Started Failing Me at 54’: Dan Jaworski didn’t notice his symptoms at first, but his wife Julie knew something was wrong. READ MORE

As the US and Canada have begun opening their respective doors to the recreational and medical use of marijuana, Teepa Snow looks at the symptoms cannabis may help with, including:  Distress – emotional or physical; Sleep disturbances or insomnia; Social discomfort or anxiety; Appetite loss; Anger about the situation, care, or options being provided by life or care situation; Fear or sense of isolation due to changes in social support, availability of social support, or limits of those around to respond to requests or demands; Confusion about where the person is or where they should be or what they should be doing; Confusion about when in the timeline of their life they are, and who they should be around or finding in their world.  Curious About the Relationship between Cannabis and Dementia? – Positive Approach to Care (teepasnow.com)

A new study suggests that chronic pain may be linked to dementia. Funded in part by NIA, this study is the first to examine the connection between dementia and self-reported pain over a long period of time.  Researchers found that people diagnosed with dementia reported slightly more pain as early as 16 years before their diagnosis. Pain that interfered with everyday life was more strongly linked to dementia, and reports of pain rapidly increased as people came closer to receiving a dementia diagnosis. These findings suggest that chronic pain might be an early symptom of dementia or may be caused by similar pathways or processes as dementia. Visit the NIA website to learn more about the link between dementia and pain.

DailyCaring offers ideas for making Father’s Day special, including great gift ideas. 

Celebrate Father’s Day Safely with 15 Fantastic Activity and Gift Ideas During Coronavirus – DailyCaring

3 Research Opportunities

Researchers at the University of Alabama are developing a technology that will help families living with dementia learn more about local services in their community and help connect them to the services they need. They hope to learn more about your experiences as a caregiver in finding support and learning about dementia care. They also want to learn your perspectives on how a new web/smartphone technology could better support caregivers in Alabama. To be eligible to participate, you must (1) live in Alabama, and (2) be an unpaid caregiver (family or friend) of someone living with dementia in the community. Interviews can be scheduled at a time that is convenient for you and will take about 45-60 minutes and can be done over the phone or on zoom.  Participants will receive a $35 gift card for their time. Contact: Dr. Nicole Ruggiano:  (205) 348-4654 or nruggiano@ua.edu.

Dr. Carolyn Pickering’s research team in the UAB School of Nursing is conducting caregiver research to learn about how behavioral symptoms of dementia change day-to-day. They are recruiting people who provide help or assistance to a person with dementia. You must own an iphone.   Family caregivers will be asked to report on symptoms they see throughout the day in brief surveys sent to an app on their iPhone.

All study activities are done from home and participants will be compensated for their time. https://www.caregivingresearch.org/dailybehaviors or contact Wes Dismuke at wdismuke@uab.edu.

UsAgainstAlzheimers is studying agitation:  The study involves a 1-hour phone interview for current caregivers of individuals with confirmed Alzheimer’s who experience agitation (such as emotional distress, moving around excessively, or verbal or physical aggression).  Caregivers must be with the person they care for at least 2 hours a day/4 days a week. The person cared for must not live alone (although long term care is okay).  $100 Amazon gift cards will be given as thanks to people who complete the interview.  The information collected is anonymous and confidential. Contact Ginny Biggar at vbiggar@usagainstalzheimers.org.

Learn about other studies by clicking: search for clinical trials and studies