Friday, June 9, 2017

Living Near a Park Protects against Loneliness in Old Age

The Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) recently conducted an email survey in an effort to discover the factors that protect against loneliness with age. Not surprisingly, the results showed that those who are married are much less likely to feel lonely. However, there is another equally effective way to avoid loneliness: frequently spending time in parks. Living near a library follows closely behind; these factors both outweigh the benefits of having children or grandchildren.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Chronic Pain Linked to Higher Risk of Dementia

A new study out of California suggests that there may be a link between chronic pain and dementia. Researchers followed 10 000 seniors for 12 years and found that those who reported moderate to severe chronic pain at the start of the study as well as two years in showed a faster cognitive decline over the course of the next 10 years than participants who reported no pain. Lead researcher Elizabeth Whitlock stated that “elderly people need to maintain their cognition to stay independent.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Care Partner Characteristics

A recent study from the American Geriatrics Society set out to answer a number of questions about caregiving: who tends to take on the role of care partner, which groups are most often cared for, what does caregiving consist of, and what impact does caregiving have on the care partner? Making use of information gathered in the 2011 National Health and Aging Trends Study and National Study of Caregiving, researchers determined the major characteristics that care partners share. Most care partners take care of older adults that do not have dementia or another disability.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Cognition-Based Screening for Alzheimer's Disease Before Onset of Symptoms

Previously, positron emission tomography (PET) scans and analyzing cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) could diagnose Alzheimer’s disease by indicating the presence of amyloid plaques, which were thought to start building up long before any cognitive symptoms were evident; however, these technologies are expensive, invasive, and/or difficult to access. A neuropsychologist at the University of Southern California, Duke Han, wanted to determine whether he could use cognitive tests in correlation with the disease biomarkers to create a more practical test for screening and diagnosis.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Government Funds Studies Based on the CLSA's Initial Findings

The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) is a “national research platform that focuses on health and aging” launched in 2010 and led by McMaster University’s Parminder Raina. Data is being collected from over 50 thousand participants over a 20-year period, with the goal of understanding healthy aging. On May 29th, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, announced that the Canadian government will be allocating 1.7 million dollars to fund 25 projects from research institutions around the country using the CLSA’s recently released baseline data.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Feeling Older Decreases Satisfaction with Sex Life

A recent study from the University of Waterloo set out to find the effect of aging on older adults’ sex lives.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Alzheimer's Disease Death Rates Have Increased Over the Last 15 Years

The United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report with the statistics about Alzheimer’s disease from 1999-2014 this week. It appears that because of better treatments and ways to manage other diseases such as cancer and heart disease, death rates from these disorders are declining and as a result, deaths due to Alzheimer’s disease are on the rise. In fact, the condition is the seventh leading cause of death in Canada, and the likelihood of dying of Alzheimer’s disease after being diagnosed is 80% higher than it was in 1999.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Omega-3's May Prevent Alzheimer's Disease

Omega 3’s are a group of fatty acids (FA’s) with anti-inflammatory properties. A recent study used single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scan, which measures the brain’s blood flow, to determine the association between blood levels of two omega-3 FA’s, EPA and DHA, and the amount of blood flow to the brain. Researchers tested 166 randomly-selected participants for their Omega-3 Index (O3I) and divided them into two groups: those with an above-average and a below-average O3I.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Dementia Prediction Tool Tests Walking and Cognitive Function

A recent study out of Western University and the Lawson Health Research Institute used multitasking principles to determine whether older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) were at risk of developing dementia. Walking is generally considered to be an automatic function, which means we can walk without consciously thinking about the process; however, if a task is truly automatic, we are able to multitask, or perform the action simultaneously with another task that requires conscious cognitive function.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Training for Person with Dementia and their Spouse Improves Communication

Communication and socializing can become difficult for people with dementia; many conflicts between persons with dementia and their care partners are a result of misunderstandings or the lack of skills to communicate feelings or needs. These conflicts may be a source of stress and emotional distress for both parties; however, a recent study indicates that these skills can be developed and maintained with practice.

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