If the analysts are right, this Sunday Julianne Moore will win an Academy Award for her performance in "Still Alice." Moore is heartbreakingly brilliant in the film, starring as a middle-aged linguistics professor coming to the slow and painful realization that she has early-onset Alzheimer's. It's a powerful, important performance, bringing into focus a devastating disease that is all too often hidden from sight. But it's also an opportunity for Moore, who absorbed so many real stories in preparation for this all-consuming role, to do something more.
A patient of mine disappeared the other night. B. Smith, the well-known entertainment and lifestyle personality, had just come to my office for a consultation. In the year since her diagnosis of Alzheimer’s at a still-beautiful age 64, her family had clung to the words early stage, but after 90 minutes of geriatric assessment, it was clear to me that B.’s condition was considerably worse than anyone had thought. Despite the fact that her social personality appeared intact, her cognitive function was severely impaired. Her short-term memory was almost completely gone. She had no idea of the year or where she was, couldn’t draw a clock, couldn’t even subtract 2 from 10.
Group of British pensioners to be given Viagra in world first scientific experiment to see if it combats dementia. The world's first clinical trials in London will explore whether the Viagra-style drug could help prevent a common form of dementia by increasing blood flow to the brain. Scientists will be using the drug Tadalafil, which works by dilating blood vessels, in helping to prevent the onset of vascular dementia, the second most common form of dementia which accounts for 110,000 cases in the UK.
NPR announced the sad news on Monday, November 4th, that Tom Magliozzi, the co-host of the wildly popular radio show, "Car Talk", had died from complications from Alzheimer's disease. Magliozzi and his younger brother, Ray, known to listeners as Click and Clack, The Tappet Brothers, entertained their fans on NPR from 1987 until 2012, when they ended their Peabody Award-winning program. Magliozzi's family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, friends and listeners make a donation to the Alzheimer's Association or their favorite public radio station in his memory. In a singular twist of synchronicity, Magliozzi's death happened to coincide with the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation's Fifth Annual Fall Symposium & Luncheon "Hope on the Horizon", which was held at The Pierre Hotel on 5th Avenue onthe same day.
Sotheby's says proceeds from the sale of 44 pieces of jewelry from the collections of Estee Lauder and Evelyn Lauder will benefit two charities. The auction is set for Dec. 9. The sale of 33 jewels from Evelyn Lauder will support the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which she founded. Eleven pieces from the collection of Estee Lauder will benefit the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation.
Many treatments for Alzheimer’s disease have been shown to be safe and to have some positive effect in animal models. However, many of these potentially successful drugs have not been brought to human trial because of the increased cost and risk at that stage of research. The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation is responding to this problem with the Alzheimer’s Program to Accelerate Clinical Trials.
Alzheimer’s. Given that we were in the neurologist’s office at my request, I should not have been surprised — no, not surprised, but floored, shocked! — by the diagnosis. But I was. That visit to the doctor was the result of a cluster of seemingly small incidents.
Earlier this month I joined some of the world's preeminent physicians and neuroscientists in Copenhagen, Denmark, for the Alzheimer's Association's International Conference (AAIC). The six-day gathering is the largest of its kind and featured more than 100 sessions on a diverse range of Alzheimer's topics. Those sessions represent an incredible amount of new material and research to digest, so I've narrowed down the highlights for those of you who are interested in tracking the latest in Alzheimer's research and drug development:
Joan’s book, from the viewpoint of a caregiver, is an emotionally charged eulogy by a spouse who cared for her husband at home until the end. “Alzheimer’s is a disease of the brain that is paid for with the currency of the heart,” she said. “Old age is definitely not for sissies.” She is a member of the Board of Overseers of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), which was co-founded by Leonard A. and Ronald S. Lauder of the Estée Lauder cosmetics family. All book proceeds will support the ADDF’s Canadian arm.
His memory loss became apparent first. Like many people experiencing Alzheimer's in its early stages, my father began misplacing important objects and forgetting the names of people. As the disease progressed, his conversational skills became increasingly impaired, but through all of his changes, our emotional bond remained strong. Eventually, it became impossible for my stepmother to care for him at home and he entered a nursing facility. I knew my father was following a typical Alzheimer's course. After more than 35 years of geriatric medical practice, I have watched this devastating disease unfold in similar ways for thousands of patients. But watching my father's mind deteriorate was uniquely painful.