Uncategorized

There are a multitude of risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease.  As I have often written, the best treatments are proactive rather than reactive.  Risk factors help you be aware that you need to evaluate and monitor your memory and incorporate external memory supports, strategic planning, and life style enhancements to better protect your future. Age is the clearest risk factor for a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.  Age trumps all other factors.  Most of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease are 65 and older.  The risk reaches nearly 50%by age 85.  Anyone over the age of 65 should consider a thorough memory evaluation to establish a baseline. Genetics.  If you have a first-degree relative (parents or siblings) with Alzheimer’s disease, your risk is about 3-4 times that of those who do not have a first-degree relative.  But the genetics are complex and […]

Tags:

Why do we need a new diagnostic category of “subjective cognitive decline?”  We already have a system in place to stage the level of memory loss and concerns.  The challenge of a slowly progressive disease like Alzheimer’s is that it unfolds over several decades, it has subtle beginnings (difficult to tell from senior moments early on), and it does not always lead to dementia (i.e., disability).  This means that many, but not all, will be aware that they are changing well before it can be recognized from the outside. The Global Deterioration Scale is designed to stage level of memory loss and has been available for years.  It comes in several forms but in essence the scale marks seven stages from no decline to total disability.  It serves as a guide to determine what actions need to be taken and […]

Tags:

What is the most useful way to enhance and protect my cognitive skills as I age?  Brain exercise products, “brain fitness computer programs,” have burgeoned over the last few years to the point that they have already become a $300 million industry.   The programs promise to improve memory, attention, and creativity.  They promise to prevent or delay Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.  The programs are heavy on marketing but lean on rigorous evaluation.  Are the programs worth the investment?  Is it better to work-face-to-face or to use a computer program? In an attempt to answer these questions, I just read a complicated review article “Computerized cognitive training with older adults” (PLoS One, 2012, 7, e40588, 1-13).  The intent, in part, was to compare the efficacy of face-to-face cognitive training to computer based programs in healthy older adults (those over 50).  First, […]

Tags:

I just finished reading a very interesting book that was suggested by a couple of my clients.  They are aware that I love cats.  I recall the empty feeling that Pamela and I had between cats.  Pepper, our cat of 22 years, died and we spent a year and a half without another cat.  Our home lacked completion during that time.  We are so pleased to have Gracie and Vanna add their energies to our home. Making Rounds with Oscar is set in a nursing home. David Dosa, the author of the book, and a special cat named Oscar are the two main characters in this memoir.  David Dorsa is the attending physician at a nursing home in the northeast.   Being classically trained, he begins by being skeptical about the ability of a resident cat, Oscar, to sense and to […]

Tags:

There is a strong belief among both the general population and medical practitioners that physical inactivity and poor diet are associated with cognitive decline as we age.  Physical conditioning and diet are closely associated with cardiovascular health that, in turn, is associated with heart disease and stroke.  Indeed, better physical condition as we age reduces some of the wear and tear of aging on the brain as evidenced by less atrophy and white matter disease with aging.  Another recent study adds to the evidence that what’s good for the heart is good for the brain.  The study (“Cardiovascular health through young adulthood and cognitive function in midlife, Annals of Neurology, 2013, 73: 170-179) followed cardiovascular health of participants over the course of 25 years starting age 18-30.  The assumption was that those who maintained greater levels of cardiovascular heath would […]

Tags:

I read yet another newspaper article on Alzheimer’s disease touting “early diagnosis.” Now that it is clear that brain changes of Alzheimer’s disease develop decades before there are symptoms, the push is to make a medical diagnosis well before there are any symptoms. Furthermore, if we pursue this strategy, many (based on current data as many as 30%) will be diagnosed who will never develop symptoms. We will instill fear and hopelessness needlessly. “Alzheimer’s disease’ a label that has no usefulness in the real world. Everyone with Alzheimer’s disease does not become demented. The label provides a false level of understanding along with an expectation that there is nothing that can be done. There are effective treatments for memory loss but they are not medical and therefore undervalued. Furthermore, a diagnosis should direct you to actions that tell you what […]

Tags:

The second most feared medical diagnosis – next to cancer – is Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia.   What is Alzheimer’s disease?  This not such an easy question to answer as it may seem.  Ultimately, the diagnosis requires confirmation by autopsy or biopsy but even here the diagnoses is uncertain.  A diagnosis is made by clinical criteria based on typical features. “Typical Alzheimer’s disease” mainly affects the elderly – onset over 65.   Most often Alzheimer’s disease is “sporadic” – meaning there is no prior family history.  The symptoms do not develop rapidly but rather come on slowly over the course of many years.  The first sign of possible Alzheimer’s disease is short-term memory slips such as forgetting conversations, getting lost, or forgetting events.  As the condition progresses there are deficits in skills in addition to memory such as […]

Tags:

Reserve today by calling 239-262-6577 for the Naples event or 239-495-2242 for the Bonita Springs event.  Alternatively, you can email ciccarelli@cas-Naples-FL.com Invite_-_Memory_Wellness

Tags:

I received a recent e-mail that asked me to stop putting “such doom & gloom out there.”  I was surprised that my views are perceived as “doom and gloom.”   The writer of the e-mail states “The research is out there that you can cure all of it by diet!”  If  only it were that simple. Alzheimer’s disease is not caused by faulty diet.  Indeed, no one really knows what causes Alzheimer’s disease.  Eating more healthy foods and portion control are a part of any good wellness plan.  The best current advice from research of Alzheimer’s disease is to focus on fruits, vegetables, and fish.  But eating such a diet will not cure all of our ills.  There is no simple solution.  There is no magic supplement or food.  And isn’t it a form of blaming the victim to be so simplistic? The […]

Tags:

I am a very practical person.   The realities of everyday life and the needs of my forgetful clients keep my focus on short-term memory.    Short-term memory is the ability to learn new information and works by the One Minute Rule (entries in the calendar, Post-It notes, alarms, taking notes).  It is not like a muscle.  You can’t exercise it to make it better.  Short-term memory is essential to any program of memory improvement or maintenance.  Managing short-term memory is necessary but not sufficient for treating Alzheimer’s disease. But memory is much richer than just short-term memory.  Whereas short-term memory adds more threads and details to the tapestry of memory, long-term memory is the evolving tapestry of color, dimension, and passion that adds quality to life – even for those who are forgetful. Long-term memory does work like a muscle.  The […]

Tags:
  • Managing Your Memory



    Practical Solutions for Forgetting

    Order Now
  • Shopping Cart

    Your cart is empty
    Visit The Shop
  • Upcoming Events

    Sorry, there aren’t any upcoming events right now. Check back soon!
  • Sign up for our mailing list.



  • Categories