Patient & Caregiver Resources

 For Dementia Patients & Caregivers

  • Your local Area Agency on Aging will be a valuable resource.  They can connect you with local services to assist you and your family.  If you are in the Lansing, MI area you can visit the TriCounty Office on Aging.
  • Caring for someone with dementia? You may find the Family Caregiver Alliance a useful resource.
  • Take an eLearning Course to learn more about Alzheimer's disease and how to recognize and live with the disease

 

Other Dementia Resources

  • To browse clinical trials involving Alzheimer's or other dementia diseases across the country, click here.
  • The Alzheimer's Association- An expansive resource for patients, caregivers, and families of those with Alzheimer's diseases.
  • The Lewy Body Dementia Association is an organization dedicated to supporting those with Lewy Body Dementia and their caregivers and raising awareness and education about the disease.

 

Dementia Q&A

Q:  Aside from the fact that humans are living longer than they ever have, are there any other reasons why the prevalence of Alzheimer’s is projected to increase from 5 million today to 16 million Americans by 2050?

A:  Actually, the incidence of dementia is falling in the U.S. (and many other first world countries): https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/21/health/dementia-rates-united-states.html even though more people are expected to be living with the disease: https://www.alzheimers.net/dementia-prevalence-falling-alzheimers-death-rate-rising/

 

Q: Similar to question one, are there other reasons, besides a longer lifespan, why women develop Alzheimer's more often than men?

A: No one really knows, but you can read about one researcher’s theory and proposed research about it here: https://news.usc.edu/108027/why-does-alzheimers-disease-affect-women-more-than-men/

 

Q: Is someone's risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease more dependent on genetics or lifestyle choices?

A: Again, not entirely clear, except for the relatively small minority of individuals (<5% of the total) who develop very young onset Alzheimer’s (before age 60) due to actual genetic mutations. Those folks presumably can’t change their risk by changing their lifestyle, but for the vast majority of individuals who get Alzheimer’s at age 65 or beyond, environmental factors (including, though by no means limited to, lifestyle choices) may play as big a role as their genetic predisposition.

 

Q: Do you have any advice for people who have relatives with Alzheimer's and may be worried that they, too, will eventually develop the disease?

A: It depends on whether their relatives had the young-onset form, which can’t be avoided (if you inherit the mutated gene, you’ll get the disease guaranteed) but there is a clinical trial now for people like that, which they should consider enrolling in: https://dian.wustl.edu/our-research/clinical-trial/  The researchers are testing a couple of different drugs to see if they can prevent the disease, or at least postpone it.

For everyone else, (those whose parent or sibling got the disease at age 65 or beyond), the only advice is the same stuff you hear about preventing heart disease: don’t smoke, exercise daily, keep your weight down, avoid processed foods and added sugars like the plague, and get 8 hours of sleep every night.

 

Q: What would you say are the most dangerous symptoms of Alzheimer's that people should watch out for?

A: The most dangerous one is probably anosagnosia- not being able to recognize that you have a problem. This puts you in jeopardy of getting hurt by your condition in many ways, because you don’t take the necessary precautions (such as asking someone to help your remember to take your medications, or not driving if you tend to get confused or lost).

 

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