Archive for June, 2012

Two recent headlines caught my attention. “Eating berries linked to delay in cognitive decline” (Annals of Neurology, 2012, April 25) and “Coffee may ward off progression to dementia” (Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 2012, 30, 559-572). I drink blueberry flavored coffee each morning. Does this give me double the protection? The first study demonstrated that higher consumption of either blueberries or strawberries “slowed memory decline by up to 2.5 years. The study, Nurses’ Health study, had a very large sample size, 16,010, with an average age of 74. Cognitive function was assessed every two years between 1995 and 2001. “Protective” associations were found for women who ate 1 or more servings of blueberries per week or ate 2 or more servings of strawberries per week. On the surface the findings look encouraging. But the rub comes with some of the details. […]


I am often asked about the use of medications to help with adjustment to memory care or skilled nursing facilities. For example, I was asked “would my mother do better in a memory care unit if she was given Xanax.” This is a logical and compassionate question. As with most persons who need the total services, her mother is mildly agitated and trying to plan how to escape now that she lives in a locked memory care unit. The intent of the question is to find out if use of a calming medication makes the adjustment easier. The issue of adjustment is complex and involves both the memory impaired person and their caregiver (spouse or child). In my experience it often takes several weeks or months to actually get settled with a move and all of the associated changes. Who […]

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