Nine out of 10 people caring for a family member with dementia don’t get enough sleep

More than 90 percent of people caring for a family member with dementia experience poor sleep, according to new research by the University at Buffalo School of Nursing.

The study found that most participants got less than six hours of sleep each night, accompanied by frequent awakenings as often as four times per hour.

These disruptions can lead to chronic sleep deprivation and place caregivers at risk for depression, weight gain, heart disease and premature death, says lead author Yu-Ping Chang, PhD, Patricia H. and Richard E. Garman Endowed Professor in the UB School of Nursing.

Full story at Science Daily

Video recordings spotlight poor communication between nurses and doctors

Communication breakdown among nurses and doctors is one of the primary reasons for patient care mistakes in the hospital.

In a small pilot study, University of Michigan researchers learned about potential causes of these communication failures by recording interactions among nurses and doctors, and then having them watch and critique the footage together.

Several themes emerged to help explain the poor communication, and both nurses and physicians improved their communication styles, said Milisa Manojlovich, U-M professor of nursing, who defines communication as reaching a shared understanding.

One barrier to good communication is that the hospital hierarchy puts nurses at a power disadvantage, and many are afraid to speak the truth to doctors, Manojlovich said.

Full story at Science Daily

The hidden male caregiver

When we think of family caregivers, we tend to think of women. And in fact the typical caregiver is a middle-aged woman caring for a relative, often her mother.

But the face of American caregiving is changing rapidly, according to “Breaking Stereotypes: Spotlight on Male Family Caregivers,” a recent report from AARP. Eight years ago, just 34 percent of caregivers surveyed were men. Today, 40 percent of the 40 million Americans caring for a loved one are male.

In many respects, male caregivers resemble their female counterparts. Both say they had little choice about taking on caregiving responsibilities, whether they are caring for a parent, a spouse or partner, or other relative. Both are more prone to health problems and depression than non-caregivers. Both often not only manage finances and medical care, but also provide personal care, including helping their loved one with eating, bathing, dressing and toileting.

Full story at San Diego Union Tribune

Protein affected by rare Parkinson’s mutation may lurk behind many cases of the disease

Mutations in the gene LRRK2 have been linked to about three percent of Parkinson’s disease cases. Researchers have now found evidence that the activity of LRRK2 protein might be affected in many more patients with Parkinson’s disease, even when the LRRK2 gene itself is not mutated. The study was published in Science Translational Medicineand was supported in part by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

“This is a striking finding that shows how normal LRRK2 may contribute to the development of Parkinson’s disease,” said Beth-Anne Sieber, Ph.D., program director at NINDS. “This study also identifies LRRK2 as an integral protein in the neurobiological pathways affected by the disease.”

More than 10 years ago, researchers linked mutations in the LRRK2 gene with an increased risk for developing Parkinson’s disease. Those mutations produce a version of LRRK2 protein that behaves abnormally and is much more active than it would be normally.

Full story at Science Daily

Feel lightheaded when standing up? You may have a greater risk of dementia

People who feel faint, dizzy or lightheaded when standing up may be experiencing a sudden drop in blood pressure called orthostatic hypotension. Now a new study says middle-aged people who experience such a drop may have a greater risk of developing dementia or stroke decades later. The study is published in the July 25, 2018, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

“Orthostatic hypotension has been linked to heart disease, fainting and falls, so we wanted to conduct a large study to determine if this form of low blood pressure was also linked to problems in the brain, specifically dementia,” said study author Andreea Rawlings, PhD, MS, of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Md.

For this study, low blood pressure upon standing was defined as a drop of at least 20 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) in systolic blood pressure, which is the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart beats, or at least 10 mmHg in diastolic blood pressure, the pressure when the heart is at rest. Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mmHg.

Full story at Science Daily

Mid-Atlantic ADA Center will join the Baltimore Orioles for the 28th ADA Anniversary Celebration at Camden Yards

The Baltimore Orioles will recognize the 28th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on Thursday, July 26, when the Orioles play the Tampa Bay Rays at 7:05 PM. The Mid-Atlantic ADA Center , funded by ACL’s National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), has partnered with the Orioles for this celebration.

The Mid-Atlantic ADA Center connected the Orioles with a local disability theater organization, Art Stream , and a few performers with disabilities will sing the National Anthem. In addition, during the game, 10-14 individuals with disabilities will be invited onto the field to share their “Because of the ADA…” personal message about how the ADA has positively impacted their lives.

The Mid-Atlantic ADA Center will host the Orioles’ Community Booth on the concourse during the game. They will offer print materials on the ADA, as well as stickers and temporary tattoos with the ADA 28th Anniversary theme. A timeline depicting the history of the ADA will be displayed on the concourse.

Full story at acl.gov

Exercise cuts risk of chronic disease in older adults

New research has shown that older adults who exercise above current recommended levels have a reduced risk of developing chronic disease compared with those who do not exercise.

Researchers at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research interviewed more than 1,500 Australian adults aged over 50 and followed them over a 10-year period.

People who engaged in the highest levels of total physical activity were twice as lively to avoid stroke, heart disease, angina, cancer and diabetes, and be in optimal physical and mental shape 10 years later, experts found.

Lead Researcher Associate Professor Bamini Gopinath from the University of Sydney said the data showed that adults who did more than 5000 metabolic equivalent minutes (MET minutes) each week saw the greatest reduction in the risk of chronic disease.

Full story at Science Daily

New health calculator can help predict heart disease risk, estimate heart age

A new online health calculator can help people determine their risk of heart disease, as well as their heart age, accounting for sociodemographic factors such as ethnicity, sense of belonging and education, as well as health status and lifestyle behaviours. The process to build and validate the tool is published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Canada, although risks of death from heart disease are modifiable with lifestyle changes. Most people are unaware of their cardiovascular risk until they experience a cardiac event, which may be fatal.

“What sets this cardiovascular risk calculator apart is that it looks at healthy living, and it is better calibrated to the Canadian population,” says Dr. Doug Manuel, lead author, senior scientist at The Ottawa Hospital and a senior core scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES).

Full story at Science Daily

Sudden cold weather may increase stroke mortality

A study performed by Brazilian researchers and published in the International Journal of Biometeorology showed that falling temperatures may be accompanied by rising numbers of deaths from stroke, especially among people over 65. The authors also found that in the case of older people, the incidence of stroke associated with colder weather was higher among women.

With the support from the São Paulo Research Foundation — FAPESP, researchers at the University of São Paulo (USP) and the Catholic University of Santos (Unisantos) used death records and meteorological data for the period 2002-11 in São Paulo City, Southeast Brazil.

To find out whether temperature variation correlated with stroke mortality in São Paulo, geographer Priscilla Venâncio Ikefuti used data collected by the city’s Death Records Improvement Program (PRO-AIM). The principal investigator for the study was Ligia Vizeu Barrozo, a professor in the University of São Paulo’s School of Philosophy, Letters & Human Sciences (FFLCH-USP).

Full story at Science Daily

Hurricane Maria Still Taking A Toll On Puerto Rico’s Seniors

The question of who will care for Puerto Rico’s aging population is a growing crisis, says Dr. Angel Muñoz, a clinical psychologist and researcher at the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico in Ponce. The island’s elderly population is particularly at risk amid the new Atlantic hurricane season, which runs through Nov. 30.

Earlier this year, a study by Harvard researchers estimated that 4,600 Puerto Ricans died in the months after Hurricane Maria hit last September. Many were seniors who faced delays in getting medical care.

Meanwhile, projections show that one-third of Puerto Rico’s population will be 60 or older by 2020, even as the number of young people are increasingly fleeing to the mainland in search of employment, often leaving behind aging parents.

Full story at Kaiser Health News