Posts Tagged ‘Aging’

Can Simple Cognitive Tests be Key to the Fight to End Alzheimer’s Disease?

April 24th, 2022 No comments

1 in every 9 older adults (65 years and older) is currently living with Alzheimer’s disease, a type of dementia that affects memory, thinking, and behavior. But the numbers do not tell the whole story. The losses faced by these patients cannot be boxed into statistical data. Patients start to forget their memories, their loved ones… who they are! As explained by Gerda Saunders, a writer with dementia,  she began to feel like a stranger to herself. There are many forms of dementia, but Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause, and still, there are no available treatments that stop or slow the progression of the disease: the medications just treat the symptoms. But these treatments are based on early diagnosis of the disease, and the visible signs of Alzheimer’s usually appear years after the disease started developing. So early diagnosis can be really hard. Alzheimer’s disease can stay hidden for years! When we perceive the changes, it is usually too late. But that is not necessarily a cause for despair. Simple cognitive tests can be the key to an early and accessible diagnosis!

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What if you could forget your prom fiasco? The importance of selective forgetting

May 2nd, 2014 6 comments

Everyone has moments in their life that they wish they could forget. It could be that time that you the bridge gave out during your pictures on the water or the inevitable newspaper article written about it. But what if you could forget the whole thing happened and block out that embarrassing moment out of your memory forever?


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Dog: “My people are so well behaved.”

December 2nd, 2013 2 comments

We have all been affected by Alzheimer’s disease (AD), or a related disorder that results in declines in cognitive ability uncharacteristic of normal aging. For some the familiarity may be all too salient – a grandparent, uncle, or elementary school teacher. Others may have a more distant connection – perhaps they know a friend whose grandmother is struggling with the disease. My Aunt was recently diagnosed. We’re not particularly close, but the news has certainly taken an emotional toll on my extended family. Regardless of personal connection, AD is extremely prevalent, and as the population continues to gray, its impact is becoming increasingly widespread.

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Social Activity and Prevention of Cognitive Decline

December 1st, 2013 2 comments

“Don’t ever get old,” “I’m not what I used to be,” and “I’m old now, I can’t do that.” I think we’ve all at one time or another heard phrases like this coming from older adults. With old age, both body and mind are not as sharp as in times of youth. For instance, before his knee replacement, my grandfather had difficulty simply standing up or walking around his house. His knee replacement has helped him immensely though, and he is much more agile and happier now. Unfortunately, this sometimes-reversible physical deterioration and pain associated with aging is accompanied by potentially crippling declines in cognitive functioning. Important everyday activities like navigating a vehicle in heavy traffic, learning and retaining someone’s name, or remembering to take medication on time all become more difficult to execute in old age. An important question, then, becomes whether or not there are certain behaviors or practices that can help to slow cognitive decline, similar to how my grandfather’s knee replacement helped his physical wellbeing.

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Shaken, Not Stirred: Alcohol Consumption in Older Adults

November 29th, 2013 6 comments


At my grandfather’s 89th birthday last year, everyone was having a blast, especially since my grandfather made jokes about his aging mind and body constantly. However, the funniest moment of all came when my older sister Liz made him a martini. As a result of poor judgment, she decided to make him a watered-down drink. This did not go over well. When my grandfather took the first sip, he said to my sister, “Elizabeth, I don’t know what this is, but it is not a martini.” The whole family burst out laughing, and my grandfather chastised my sister for trying to trick him. After the situation was ironed out with a real martini or two, the weekend continued without any more hiccups. My grandfather remains very particular about his food and beverages to this day, further proven by the fact that he requested a thirteen layer cake for his 90th birthday this past summer. Fortunately, this year all his drinks were made properly by my uncle, who used to work as a bar tender.

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