Tag Archives: Dementia

How Stress Can Affect Caregivers

Between juggling work and a personal life, many Americans who take on the role of family caregiver to older loved ones often experience a great deal of stress.  The cost of healthcare has become more expensive than ever, a fact which has caused more and more adult children to function as de facto caregivers for their aging parents and grandparents. Continue reading

Anemia Is Linked to Higher Dementia Risks

By: Dr. Pascale Michelon

Anemia, or low levels of red blood cells, can increase risks of early death in older adults. A new study now shows that it may also increase the risk of developing dementia in people over 70. Continue reading

Not All Antioxidants May Protect Your Brain

By: Dr. Pascale Michelon

A diet rich in antioxidants helps reduce risks of stroke and dementia. A new study contradicts this idea and suggests that it may depend on where you get your antioxidants from. Antioxidants coming from tea and coffee may not have the same protective effect on the brain as those coming from fruits and vegetables. Continue reading

Brushing Your Teeth to Fight Dementia?

By: Dr. Pascale Michelon

A recent Huffington Post article reports a 2012 study showing that daily teeth brushing is associated with lower risks of dementia. Also mentioned is a 2007 study showing that people who have lost many teeth have a higher risk of dementia. Are we to conclude that there is a causal relationship between brushing one’s teeth and developing dementia? As the author of the article mentioned in passing: no!
This is a great example of the potential danger of such association studies: It is not because two facts seem to be associated or to vary together (here brushing teeth and dementia) that one causes the other. Continue reading

Is Obesity Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease?

By: Dr. Pascale Michelon

In the U.S. more than two thirds of the population are either overweight or obese. Obesity has been associated with several chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Is obesity also associated with higher Alzheimer’s disease risks? Based on a recent study the answer might be yes, but the story is complicated. Continue reading

Dementia and Depression: What’s the Relationship?

By: Dr. Pascale Michelon

Depression and dementia often coexist in older adults. So far it is not clear which come first, that is whether depression is a risk factor for dementia or an early symptom. A new study suggests that it depends on when the depression strikes and what kind of dementia one is talking about. Depression that occurs for the first time in late life may be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease, while recurrent depression in middle and late life may increase the risks of vascular dementia. Continue reading

Brain Exercises Help People with Dementia

By: Dr. Pascale Michelon
Lifelong participation in intellectually stimulating activities (reading, writing, playing bridge, etc.) is associated with lower risks of developing dementia. But is participating in stimulating activities helpful once one has developed dementia? A recent review of studies that tried to answer this question suggests that the answer is “yes”. Continue reading

Does Brain Training Work?

By: Dr. Pascale Michelon

Cognitive training has attracted a lot of interest in the past few years. Scientific evidence that training the brain does help boost cognitive functions are slowly being collected. A recent study reviews research looking at whether cognitive training can help adults at risk of dementia. Continue reading

Can Diabetes Increase Dementia Risks?

By: Dr. Pascale Michelon

Is there a relationship between diabetes and dementia? Are people with diabetes more at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than others? Why? These questions concern as much as 11% of adults in the US. Continue reading

What is the Difference between Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease?

By: Dr. Pascale Michelon

Everybody has heard about Alzheimer’s disease. Some people think that dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, whereas others think that dementia and Alzheimer’s are two different things. In fact, there are several types of dementia, and Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common. Dementia is a general term used to describe a condition in which brain cells are gradually destroyed, leading to a progressive decline in mental function. Continue reading