A report newly published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the burden of Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia in the United States will double by the year 2060.
About 5.7 million individuals in the United States are living with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
This neurodegenerative disease is one of the leading causes of disability and the sixth-leading cause of mortality in the U.S.
With annual healthcare costs of more than $250 billion, the disease also puts a significant strain on the nation’s healthcare system.
For those in the habit of getting their neck adjusted by a chiropractor, the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center has interesting information to know about: High velocity neck manipulation has been shown to result in stress on the eye and lead to spotty vision.
The risk is rare, but one that Yannis Paulus, M.D., a retina specialist at Kellogg, reports on in the American Journal of Ophthalmology Case Reports.
The energetic thrusts and rotations sometimes performed in high-velocity neck manipulation have been linked to damage to the blood vessels in the retina. Resulting abnormal bleeding inside the eye may also cause vision loss.
This was the case for a 59-year-old woman who experienced a “tadpole” shaped spot in her vision while driving home from a chiropractor visit — with her sight worsening the next day. She had just received cervical spine manipulation using the high-velocity technique to help with her headaches.
NOBODY LOVES AN emergency room visit, least of all older patients. Everything about the ER experience can be more challenging for older adults. Time in the waiting room is harder to tolerate: You’re cold and they’ve run out of blankets. If you’re confused or disoriented, the harsh lighting, bursts of yelling and constant noise make it worse. If you’re unsteady on your feet and need the bathroom, navigating cramped ER quarters is difficult. If your joints are painful or your skin is thin and delicate, “resting” on a cot or stretcher is tough. If you’re alone, without a friend or family member, it’s frightening.
When older patients are admitted to the emergency department, vague-sounding symptoms (“I feel dizzy.” Or “I just don’t feel right.”) may actually be more serious than for someone younger. Common conditions like urinary tract infections can present themselves quite differently depending on age, and treatments may vary. For these reasons and more, some emergency departments are making changes to tailor their care and better meet the needs of older adults.
IF YOU’RE AN ADULT IN your late 60s or 70s who’s physically healthy, mentally sharp and trying to stay that way, taking a daily low-dose aspirin probably won’t help that much, new research shows. Until now, there hasn’t been much guidance for healthy older people trying to weigh the possible preventive effects of aspirin against its known increased risks of bleeding.
On Sept. 16, findings from a large new study on preventive aspirin use appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine. The three-pronged clinical trial encompassed more than 19,000 older adults in the U.S. and Australia. Participants were living independently, without heart disease, dementia or diabetes when they enrolled between 2010 and 2014 in the study sponsored by the National Institute on Aging.
Participants, whose average age was 74, were randomly assigned to take either a daily low-dose 100 milligram aspirin (the international equivalent of a standard 81 mg baby aspirin) or a placebo. Over a roughly five-year period, researchers followed these healthy seniors to see whether regular preventive aspirin extended their lifespan free of disability or dementia. However, there was no real difference between people on aspirin and those on a placebo, results showed.
DIVORCE CAN BE TOUGH ON health, no matter your age. Legal uncoupling is listed as the No. 2 stressor on the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory, a scale that predicts which life events are likely to cause a stress-induced health breakdown within two years.
And for people age 50 or older, whose divorce rates have doubled since 1990, divorce may be even harder on their health. “What I see among older patients is that divorce can have myriad psychological and physical consequences, especially for those with already existing medical problems,” says Dr. Andreea Seritan, a geriatric psychiatrist and professor of clinical psychiatry at the University of California—San Francisco.
Divorce rates for people younger than age 50 are higher (about double) than they are for seniors. But younger couples’ divorce rates aren’t seeing dramatic increases. For 40-somethings, divorce rates are only slightly higher than they were in 1990. For people younger than 40, divorce rates have actually fallen.
It’s a slogan nurse Lori S. Joseph, a wellness educator with Lifestream Services Inc., repeats over and over to her clients. It’s written on bookmarks she passed out to elderly patients during a speaking tour this past spring on opiate use, abuse and its effect on elderly patients.
It’s reinforced through quizzes she gives to her audiences both before, and after, her presentations on signs and symptoms of opiate abuse, withdrawal and proper disposal.
“The education needs to be there because so many clients leave the hospital setting without the proper education (on opiate use),” Joseph said. “Patients get home and they don’t know what to do. They don’t know who to ask.”
USC scientists say Alzheimer’s could be diagnosed earlier if scientists focus on an early warning within the brain’s circulation system.
That’s important because researchers believe that the earlier Alzheimer’s is spotted, the better chance there is to stop or slow the disease.
“Cognitive impairment, and accumulation in the brain of the abnormal proteins amyloid and tau, are what we currently rely upon to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, but blood-brain barrier breakdown and cerebral blood flow changes can be seen much earlier,” said Berislav Zlokovic, the Mary Hayley and Selim Zilkha Chair in Alzheimer’s Disease Research at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “This shows why healthy blood vessels are so important for normal brain functioning.”
In a new review article in the Sept. 24 issue of Nature Neuroscience, Zlokovic and his colleagues recommend that the blood-brain barrier, or BBB, be considered an important biomarker — and potential drug target — for Alzheimer’s disease. Because Alzheimer’s is irreversible, and not fully understood, understanding the first step in the disease process is a critical step in fighting it.
THE SHARE OF AMERICANS with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias is expected to more than double by 2060 as people increasingly survive into older adulthood, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
An estimated 5 million older adults had Alzheimer’s or a related dementia in 2014, and by 2060 that figure is expected to rise to 13.9 million, or about 3.3 percent of the U.S. population, according to the report, which evaluated health claims data for more than 28 million Medicare beneficiaries.
Alzheimer’s – the fifth-leading cause of death for adults 65 and older and the sixth-leading cause of death for Americans overall – destroys memory and cognitive functioning and poses a greater risk as people age.
One of the largest and longest-running efforts to evaluate the potential benefits of the Mediterranean-style diet in lowering risk of stroke found that the diet may be especially protective in women over 40 regardless of menopausal status or hormone replacement therapy, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke.
Researchers from the Universities of East Anglia, Aberdeen and Cambridge collaborated in this study using key components of a traditional Mediterranean-style diet including high intakes of fish, fruits and nuts, vegetables, cereal foods and potatoes and lower meat and dairy consumption.
Study participants (23,232 white adults, 40 to 77) were from the EPIC-Norfolk study, the United Kingdom Norfolk arm of the multicenter European Prospective Investigation into Cancer study. Over a 17-year period, researchers examined participants’ diets and compared stroke risk among four groups ranked highest to lowest by how closely they adhered to a Mediterranean style diet.
The Administration for Community Living (ACL) has recently completed redesigning the Older Americans Act (OAA) State Program Performance Report (SPR) and has almost finished development of a new, web-based tool for submission of those data.
The Older Americans Act Performance System (OAAPS) will be the new reporting tool the Administration for Community Living (ACL)/Administration on Aging (AoA) uses to monitor performance and collect information on Older Americans Act (OAA) Title III, VI (Chapters 3 and 4 grants) and VII programs. States and Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) will be able to submit their annual performance report data on OAA program participants, services, and expenditures either through uploading data files (based on a template to be provided by ACL) or entering directly inputting data into OAAPS. The system is expected to be completed in early 2019.
The resources and links below include details on the redesigned SPR, new and old data elements with definitions, and uploading files. Each resource includes a brief description of the document’s purpose and overall content.