Something to remember, as we enter a new year: Yesterday's history, Tomorrow is a mystery and Today is a gift, that's why it is called "the present". [Via]

Thursday, April 18, 2013

African American Caregiving and Wellness Forum: Alzheimer



In the Prescott Oakland Point neighborhood, we have seen a rise in deaths related to Alzheimer. I know of five community members within the Prescott Oakland Point neighborhood who lives drastically changed as caretakers for their mother or father who subsequently died of Alzheimer in the last 2 years. Alzheimer the most common form of dementia, accounting for 50 to 80 percent of dementia cases is  the sixth leading cause of death for Americans in general, but according to UC Davis’ Alzheimer’s Disease Center, it is the fourth leading cause of death for African Americans 65 or older.

SOME DEVELOPMENTS:


The team of chemists and biochemists at University of Bath’s Departments of Biology & Biochemistry and Chemistry have developed a technique that detects levels of glycated proteins in blood and tissue samples, which can be used to assess the damage caused by sugars in age-related diseases.

Jean Van Den Elsen, explains, “We are currently using our technique to understand how these age-related diseases work, by identifying new biomarkers for diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and testing how new treatments affect levels of glycated proteins.

Marta Pereira Morais, adds, “So far we’ve proven this test is able to detect glycated proteins in blood and in a caterpillar model for diabetes. We have also been able to distinguish between brain material from healthy mice and those with AD pathology.

“We hope in the future to develop this technology into a simple blood test for diseases such as AD, so that patients with the condition can be diagnosed and treated earlier.”

StemCells' Alzheimer's program taps $19.3M loan from CIRM — finally California Institute for Regenerative Medicine known for its work in cervical spinal cord injuries, said Thursday that it closed on an unsecured $19.3 million loan from the agency for its Alzheimer's disease program.

WHAT CAN WE DO? GET EDUCATED!

While whites make up the majority of the 5.4 million people in the U.S. with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, research shows that African Americans are at a higher risk – approximately two times that of whites – to develop Alzheimer’s.

This is why the Alzheimer’s Association is partnering up with the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center and the Alameda County Area Agency on Aging to offer an African American Caregiving and Wellness Forum, 

“A Family Approach to Wellness,” to help the Bay Area community learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and how it is disproportionately affecting the African American community.

Research shows that African Americans are at a higher risk – approximately two times that of whites – to develop Alzheimer’s.

One of the key topics of the event will be the depression-dementia connection. According to Dr. Ladson Hinton, professor and director of Geriatric Psychiatry at the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center, there is a strong connection between depression and Alzheimer’s disease.

“Depression may be a risk factor for memory loss and it can cause symptoms of dementia,” said Dr. Hinton. 

“It’s a common symptom in persons with Alzheimer’s.”

However, the dementia-depression connection is not limited to people with dementia – caregivers are at risk for depression as well.

“Depression and stress may put caregivers at increased risk for memory loss; it’s also common in caregivers,” said Dr. Hinton, who will go into more detail about depression and dementia at the forum.

One of the key topics of the event will be the depression-dementia connection. According to Dr. Ladson Hinton, professor and director of Geriatric Psychiatry at the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center, there is a strong connection between depression and Alzheimer’s disease.

In addition to this topic, the forum offers information about Alzheimer’s basics, caregiver advice and support and a discussion about the correlation between Alzheimer’s and other diseases prevalent in the African American community, such as diabetes and heart disease. Attendees will learn how to grow caregiver relationships, plan for the financial impact of future care needs, reduce stress and gain mindfulness.

According to Alzheimer’s Association Outreach Specialist Craig Wingate, “This conference will help our community understand risk factors for Alzheimer’s, provide practical caregiving tips and offer individuals the opportunity to get help and support.” Story Via

This is your opportunity to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease, and interact with other caregivers in similar caregiving situations as you. According to recent data, African Americans are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, and are more likely to be diagnosed in the late stages of this disease. In addition to learning more about Alzheimer’s disease, caregivers will learn how to navigate through negative family dynamics, how to manage the financial aspects of this disease, and various ways to reduce the stress of being a caregiver.
The forum will be held April 20, 2013 9:00 am - 2:30 p.m. at the North Oakland Senior Center, 5714 Martin Luther King Jr. Way Oakland, CA  94609;

Register for this free event, call (800) 272-3900 or visit http://forum.kintera.org/2013AfricanAmerican.

For more information, email Craig at cwingate@alz.org or Gwen at gmgates@usdavis.edu.

Learn more about Alzheimer’s at alz.org.

UPDATE:  Mae Mays, wife of Giants legend Willie Mays for 41 years, died Friday (April 19, 2013) morning in her sleep at the couple's Bay Area home after a 16-year battle with Alzheimer's disease, the club announced. She was 74.