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 »

Navigating Parkinson’s Disease Dementia

While Alzheimer’s is the leading form of dementia, cognitive impairments in Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD), combined with the movement symptoms of the disease, produce a greater impact on social and occupational functioning. Whether you are newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s, have lived with the condition for a while, or are a caregiver, educating yourself about the… 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 »

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 »

Biohacking the Brain

Who doesn’t want better memory, more focus and enhanced cognition? What can we do naturally to enhance and preserve our brain function? From herbs and mushrooms to nutrients, I will discuss a few of the most common memory and cognitive support enhancers and why people are talking about these “nootropics.”  Herb and extract perks Some… Read more »

Studies Support Tips for Reducing Dementia Risks

The release of the 2020 report of The Lancet Commission published findings suggesting “untreated hearing loss in midlife as the largest modifiable risk factor” for dementia prevention, intervention and care.1 According to Denis Hampton, PhD, approximately 50 million people worldwide live with dementia. The Lancet Commission research team has projected this alarming number will increase… 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 »

Hypnosis for Dementia

Really? Hypnosis for dementia? That’s the usual response I get when people first learn I’ve been using hypnosis for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease since 1997. In 2007, a lengthy study conducted in the U.K. by Simon Duff, PhD, and Daniel Nightingale, PhD, found that people living with dementia who received hypnosis therapy showed… Read more »

The “Dope” on Brain Health

Wellbeing is defined as the state of being comfortable, healthy or happy. In past Desert Health articles, I have discussed aspects of lifestyle to achieve brain health for quality of life; now I’d like to dive a bit deeper into brain chemistry and discuss the importance of dopamine. Dopamine is one of the brain’s neurotransmitters,… Read more »