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Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

Lifestyle Activities and Memory: Variety May Be the Spice of Life. The Women’s Health and Aging Study II
Carlson MC1, Parisi JM, Xia J, Xue QL, Rebok GW, Bandeen-Roche K, Fried LP
Participation in a variety of lifestyle activities can reduce the risk of cognitive impairment. These findings indicate that the diversity of activities is more important than the frequency or challenge of the activities.
Correlates of Quality of Life for Individuals with Dementia Living at Home: The Role of Home Environment, Caregiver, and Patient-related Characteristics
Gitlin LN, Hodgson N, Piersol CV, Hess E, Hauck WW
Simple changes around the house can improve quality of life for those with dementia who wish to remain at home. Caregivers can positively influence quality of life by taking care of home hazards and device and navigation needs.
Greater Risk of Dementia When Spouse Has Dementia? The Cache County Study
Norton MC, Smith KR, Østbye T, Tschanz JT, Corcoran C, Schwartz S, Piercy KW, Rabins PV, Steffens DC, Skoog I, Breitner JC, Welsh-Bohmer KA; Cache County Investigators
Those whose spouse experienced incident dementia have a six times greater risk of also developing incident dementia than those whose spouses do not experience dementia. Researchers believe the stress of caring for a spouse with dementia may contribute.
Factors Associated With Caregiver Readiness to Use Nonpharmacologic Strategies to Manage Dementia-related Behavioral Symptoms
Gitlin LN, Rose K
Financial stability, therapeutic engagement, perceived benefits and probability of change all impact how prepared a caregiver is to look after a loved one who suffers from dementia.
Caregiver – Recipient Closeness and Symptom Progression in Alzheimer Disease
Norton MC, Piercy KW, Rabins PV, Green RC, Breitner JC, Ostbye T, Corcoran C, Welsh-Bohmer KA, Lyketsos CG, Tschanz JT
Strong relationships between caregivers and care recipients may slow the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Findings suggest that spouse caregivers, in particular, have the largest impact on symptom progression.
Unmet Needs of Community-Residing Persons with Dementia and Their Informal Caregivers
Black BS, Johnston D, Rabins PV, Morrison A, Lyketsos C, Samus QM.
People with dementia have significantly greater unmet needs for care, services and support than those without dementia, particularly in minority and low-income community residents, caregivers with lower education, and those with early-stage dementia.

Bone Health

Potassium Citrate Supplementation Results in Sustained Improvement in Calcium Balance in Older Men and Women
Stewart KJ, Deregis JR, Turner KL, Bacher AC, Sung J, Hees PS, Tayback M, Ouyang P.
Abdominal obesity and muscle strength are associated with higher bone mineral density. Despite health risks, abdominal obesity may have protective effects on bones.
Association Between Screening for Osteoporosis and the Incidence of Hip Fracture
Kern LM, Powe NR, Levine MA, Fitzpatrick AL, Harris TB, Robbins J, Fried LP.
Proving that screening for osteoporosis is effective, bone density scanning for osteoporosis is associated with a 36 percent reduction in hip fractures over six years compared with usual medical care.
The Frailty Syndrome: Definition and Natural History
Xue QL
This article reviews the current understanding of frailty as a medical syndrome.
Frailty as a Predictor of Surgical Outcomes in Older Patients
Makary MA, Segev DL, Pronovost PJ, Syin D, Bandeen-Roche K, Patel P, Takenaga R, Devgan L, Holzmueller CG, Tian J, Fried LP
Frail patients who undergo surgery run a greater risk of postoperative complications, longer stays and discharge to assisted living facilities. This study suggests that frailty be assessed before surgery to allow for more informed decisions.


A Pilot Trial of Decision Aids to Give Truthful Prognostic and Treatment Information to Chemotherapy Patients with Advanced Cancer
Smith TJ, Dow LA, Virago EA, Khatcheressian J, Matsuyama R, Lyckholm LJ
Honest communication between doctors and patients with advanced cancer is beneficial and does not cause distress or lack of hope, according to these findings. Virtually all patients who took part in this study found an honest assessment to be helpful.


Aberrant Light Directly Impairs Mood and Learning Through Melanopsin-Expressing Neurons
LeGates TA, Altimus CM, Wang H, Lee HK, Yang S, Zhao H, Kirkwood A, Weber ET, Hattar S
Irregular light schedules—caused by shift work, travel or changes in day length—negatively affect mood and learning. Even when these irregular light schedules do not interrupt sleep or circadian rhythm, mood and learning suffer.
Are Fitness, Activity, and Fatness Associated With Health-Related Quality of Life and Mood in Older Persons
Stewart KJ, Turner KL, Bacher AC, DeRegis JR, Sung J, Tayback M, Ouyang P.
Every bit counts. Even just slight amounts of physical activity, slight increases in fitness and slight decreases in body fat may improve quality of life and mood among those with mild hypertension.


Sex Differences in Diabetes and Risk of Incident Coronary Artery Disease in Healthy Young and Middle-Aged Adults
Kalyani RR, Lazo M, Ouyang P, Turkbey E, Chevalier K, Brancati F, Becker D, Vaidya D.
Typically, men have a greater risk of developing coronary artery disease, but women with diabetes have an equal risk of coronary artery disease compared with men.
Underuse of Health Care System by Persons With Diabetes Mellitus and Diabetic Macular Edema in the United States
Bressler NM, Varma R, Doan QV, Gleeson M, Danese M, Bower JK, Selvin E, Dolan C, Fine J, Colman S, Turpcu A
Many with diabetes are not receiving proper care to prevent the vision complications associated with the disease. Given the importance of early intervention, greater awareness is needed.

Hearing Loss

Prevalence of Hearing Aid Use among Older Adults in the United States
Chien W, Lin, F
An estimated 14.2 percent of Americans over the age of 50 who experienced hearing loss between 1999 and 2006 wear hearing aids. Hearing loss is associated with falls, dementia and cognitive decline, so hearing aids may delay onset of complications.
Hearing Loss and Falls Among Older Adults in the United States
Lin FR, Ferrucci L
Researchers believe that the interplay between hearing and balance function makes people who have hearing loss more susceptible to falls.
Hearing Loss and Incident Dementia
Lin FR, Metter EJ, O'Brien RJ, Resnick SM, Zonderman AB, Ferrucci L.
Adults with hearing loss are more likely to develop dementia, according to this study. Researchers have yet to determine whether hearing loss is an indicator of early-stage dementia or if it contributes to the disease.


Body Mass Index and Risk of Incident Hypertension Over the Life Course: The Johns Hopkins Precursors Study
Shihab HM, Meoni LA, Chu AY, Wang NY, Ford DE, Liang KY, Gallo JJ, Klag MJ
Underscoring the importance of maintaining a healthy weight, researchers find that the rate of change in body mass index is linked to an increased risk of hypertension. Those who gained weight at greater paces had heightened risks of high blood pressure.
Beyond Medications and Diet: Alternative Approaches to Lowering Blood Pressure: A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association
Brook RD, Appel LJ, Rubenfire M, Ogedegbe G, Bisognano JD, Elliott WJ, Fuchs FD, Hughes JW, Lackland DT, Staffileno BA, Townsend RR, Rajagopalan S; American Heart Association Professional Education Committee of the Council for High Blood Pressure Research
This statement from the American Heart Association clarifies the usefulness and success of several alternative approaches to reducing blood pressure.
Long-Term Effects of Weight Loss and Dietary Sodium Reduction on Incidence of Hypertension
He J, Whelton PK, Appel LJ, Charleston J, Klag MJ
Weight loss appears to be an effective method of long-term blood pressure reduction. Those who lost weight enjoyed a 77 percent reduction in the odds of developing hypertension.
Effects on Blood Pressure of Reduced Dietary Sodium and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Diet. DASH-Sodium Collaborative Research Group
Sacks FM, Svetkey LP, Vollmer WM, Appel LJ, Bray GA, Harsha D, Obarzanek E, Conlin PR, Miller ER 3rd, Simons-Morton DG, Karanja N, Lin PH; DASH-Sodium Collaborative Research Group
Lowering salt intake is a great way to substantially lower blood pressure. When combined with the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet, the effects were even greater.
Sodium Reduction and Weight Loss in the Treatment of Hypertension in Older Persons
Whelton PK, Appel LJ, Espeland MA, Applegate WB, Ettinger WH Jr, Kostis JB, Kumanyika S, Lacy CR, Johnson KC, Folmar S, Cutler JA
Reducing sodium intake and making an effort to lose weight can be safe, effective complements to treating hypertension with medication. The effectiveness of these strategies has traditionally been questioned, but research indicates it is a viable option.
Dietary Approaches to Prevent and Treat Hypertension
Appel LJ, Brands MW, Daniels SR, Karanja N, Elmer PJ, Sacks FM, American Heart Association
Multiple dietary factors affect blood pressure, and simple changes like reducing salt intake and alcohol consumption can effectively lower blood pressure. Depending on the stage of hypertension, treatment plans may focus solely on dietary changes.


Sleep Medicine Pharmacotherapeutics Overview: Today, Tomorrow, and the Future (Part 1: Insomnia and Circadian Rhythm Disorders)
Gulyani S, Salas RE, Gamaldo CE.
Learn about the effectiveness, side effects and dangers of commonly used sleep medicines for the treatment of insomnia and circadian rhythm disorders.
Optimizing Sleep in Older Adults: Treating Insomnia
Wennberg AM, Canham SL, Smith MT, Spira AP
Older adults have unique sleep needs. Late-life insomnia can come about for many reasons, but there are a variety of pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic strategies for optimizing sleep.
Increased Use-Dependent Plasticity in Chronic Insomnia
Salas RE, Galea JM, Gamaldo AA, Gamaldo CE, Allen RP, Smith MT, Cantarero G, Lam BD, Celnik PA
Those with chronic insomnia have increased brain plasticity compared to normal sleepers. Researchers believe this plasticity occurs as a way to compensate for poor sleep.
Self-Reported Sleep and Beta-Amyloid Deposition in Community-Dwelling Older Adults
Spira AP, Gamaldo AA, An Y, Wu MN, Simonsick EM, Bilgel M, Zhou Y, Wong DF, Ferrucci L, Resnick SM
Beta amyloid, the main component of Alzheimer’s disease plaques, may be affected by poor sleep habits. Further studies are needed to determine if sleep disturbance accelerates Alzheimer’s disease.