Category Archives: From Research to Real Life

The G8 dementia summit: a recap

Did you know the G8 health ministers met in London December 11th for a one-day summit on dementia? Mimi Lowi-Young, CEO, Alzheimer Society of Canada, along with Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose and other leading Canadian researchers attended. Their goal is to find an effective treatment for dementia by 2025 and improve the quality of life for people who are affected…. Read more »

A common dementia gene?

A variant gene thought to play a role in Alzheimer’s disease, the ε4 allele of the gene for apolipoprotein E, may be associated with other forms of dementia (Zabetian et al, Archives of Neurology, 2012). In this study, the researchers defined four types of dementia – Alzheimer’s without Lewy body neuropathologic changes, Lewy body disease with Alzheimer’s features, pure Lewy body disease… Read more »

Defining “dementia”

I want to start the new year off by clarifying some terminology around dementia. – If dementia was a “car”, Alzheimer’s disease would be a “Ford” … meaning Alzheimer’s disease is a TYPE of dementia. Lewy Body Dementia is a TYPE of dementia. Dementia is not a specific disease. It’s a condition in which a set of symptoms exist that cause… Read more »

This is your brain on meditation

To follow up on Tuesday’s post of debunking meditation myths, I want to tell you WHY you should start to meditate… even when you’re starting out… even when you’re only doing it for 2mins a day (success = starting a tiny habit with consistency)! In one study, a research team from Massachusetts General Hospital looked at the brain scans of… Read more »

caregiver info graphics

in support of National Caregiver Month (November) I want to share a couple info graphics that really summarize current understanding of caregiving. National caregiving month started in 1997 by the National Family Caregivers Association and began as a week of acknowledgement during Thanksgiving. Now, it has evolved into a month-long celebration of family caregivers! Take the time to read these infographics… Read more »

Partners in Parkinson’s care

In light of National Caregiver Month, I wanted to share some tips from the Parkinson Disease Foundation on being in a “care partnership”: I prefer to call this relationship a “care partnership” because I believe it is one that is truly reciprocal. As a person with PD adjusts to physical changes and, at times, to changes in personal independence, the care partner must learn… Read more »

Is caregiving good for you?

In celebration of National Caregiver Month (November!), I want to share the idea that caring for a chronically ailing or disabled family member might be good for you! … what? Really? After all, we hear about caregivers being depressed, stressed, and fatigued… Dr. David Roth, in the American Journal of Epidemiology (2013), presents his “healthy caregiver hypothesis” and shows non-caregivers have… Read more »

How exercise improves brain health

Last week I mentioned some specific exercises targeted to PD symptoms (see HERE and HERE)… today I want to share WHY exercise is so important for brain health. New Research out of the Dana-Faber Cancer institute and Harvard Medical School (Spiegelman & Greenberg, Cell Metabolism 2013) shows that endurance exercise, such as distance running or cycling, releases a protein (FNDC5)… Read more »

DBS: recent updates

Dr. Burchiel, in the latest volume of The Journal of Neurosurgery (June 2013), reports recent successes in Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) where 60 patients are asleep during the surgery, instead of awake under local anaesthetics. – DBS surgery was first developed in France in 1987. Dr. Burchiel was the first surgeon in North America to perform the surgery in 1991. It… Read more »

sit less and move your as… ana

Sedentary lifestyles are killing us. ‘Sedentary‘ is defined as the act of sitting… sitting on the couch, sitting in the car, sitting at your desk, sitting to eat. ‘Sedentary’ does not mean ‘inactive’. ‘Inactive‘ is defined by an individual not meeting current recommendations for physical activity – Ayurveda, the sister-science to yoga, focuses on balanced, stable and nourishing routines. Ayurveda… Read more »