Pros and Cons of Therapeutic Lying

“Don’t tell lies.” It’s a lesson your parents likely taught you at a young age. And yet, compassionate communication when interacting with someone with memory loss sometimes necessitates the need for “therapeutic lying.”  Therapeutic lying or fibbing, as it is sometimes called, is when you tell a fib or bend the truth to fit the… Read more »

Caring for a Loved One with Frontotemporal Dementia

Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) is a disease process characterized by progressive atrophy of several different areas of the brain, particularly the frontal and/or temporal lobes. These areas control executive functions such as decision-making, personality, social behavior and language. FTD affects an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 Americans and about 40% of people with FTD have a family… Read more »

Exercising for Brain Health

In 2017, The Lancet published a study that found nearly 3% of all Alzheimer’s cases may be caused by a lack of exercise. Since then, there is growing research identifying the protective effect of physical activity against aging-associated dementia. Some evidence also suggests exercise can increase the levels of neuroprotective growth factors, boost the generation… Read more »

Elderly person piecing together puzzle of brain

It’s Not Always Alzheimer’s

Receiving news that you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) can be devastating. Some forms of dementia, like normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH), can mimic AD, causing the patient to be misdiagnosed and live without proper treatment. While AD does not yet have a cure, NPH does, thus understanding the differences… Read more »

Feeding Your Heart to Boost Brain Health

A study conducted in 2019 by the Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH), an AARP-sponsored independent collaborative of experts in their fields, concluded that keeping heart and blood vessels healthy reduces the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. The study showed that risks associated with cardiovascular disease like high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol… Read more »

Bredesen’s The First Survivors of Alzheimer’s: How Patients Recovered Life and Hope in Their Own Words

Recovering from Alzheimer’s disease is complicated work. Dale Bredesen, MD shocked much of the world with his first book, The End of Alzheimer’s (2017). The science was clear and published in scientific journals, however, doing the protocol to reverse the disease was not spelled out clearly and was confusing.  His second book, The End of… Read more »

Another Reason to Think About Gum Disease

It’s estimated about 6 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s. The causes are still not clearly understood, but new research has found a possible link between the debilitating condition and periodontal disease.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly 50 percent of adults in the U.S. have some form of gum disease, and… Read more »

FDA Approves New Alzheimer’s Drug Amid Controversy

After several months of delay, in June, the FDA approved a new drug, aducanumab, for treating early-stage Alzheimer’s disease in the hopes of slowing – if not reserving – cognitive decline. This medication is the first drug in nearly 20 years that targets the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease, not just the symptoms. Aducanumab will go… Read more »

Relieving Stress and Depression Post-COVID

Not surprisingly, mental health providers cite a marked increase in clients reporting depression, anxiety and stress during COVID-19. The pandemic has affected many of us in ways we have never experienced before.  From being fearful of getting the virus, caring for someone who has COVID or other conditions such as dementia, being isolated at home,… Read more »

Promising New Alzheimer’s Drug

In February, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) requested additional testing and data for aducanumab, a promising new drug for Alzheimer’s disease. The FDA pushed the date to July 7, 2021, before making its decision to approve the new treatment. “If approved, aducanumab would be the first available treatment to potentially change the progression of Alzheimer’s,… Read more »

The Rise in Dementia Disease

Dementia, one of the most debilitating diseases of humankind, is increasing in global prevalence with over 50 million patients.1-3 Dementia is a general term that describes the loss of cognitive ability, social functioning, and memory. There are many disease states that cause dementia representing divergent pathophysiologies, which are complex, multifactorial, ever-changing and not fully characterized. … Read more »

Advantages to an Earlier Dementia Diagnosis

While some people may be reluctant or afraid to have a full medical evaluation for possible dementia, the benefits to an early diagnosis far outweigh the fears. In fact, an early accurate diagnosis may be a relief for the individual and family to know – including a possible treatable or reversible condition.  Once a family… Read more »

home activities for dementia

Stay-At-Home Activities While Caring for Those with Dementia

During these unprecedented times when we are required to practice social distancing and shelter at home, families caring for a loved one with dementia at home face increased isolation and emotional challenges. Not being able to socialize in person with friends and extended family are difficult enough for everyone. Keeping a sense of structure and… Read more »

Gender-based Testing for Alzheimer’s

A new study published recently in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, suggests that using sex-specific scores on memory tests may change who gets diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) by 20 percent, with possibly more women and fewer men being diagnosed. “Women may be more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease,… Read more »

Dietary Approaches to Alzheimer’s Disease

Editor’s note: The connection between Alzheimer’s and nutrition has been covered often in Desert Health, but as the topic is both new and important, we will continue to publish editorials by a variety of practitioners. Previous articles can be found at here. The statistics around Alzheimer’s disease are highly concerning. Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading… Read more »