AAGP eNews
Jan. 27, 2015

How can we achieve mental health parity if there are not enough practicing psychiatrist?
Care for Your Mind
"As a practicing psychiatrist and patient advocate, I strongly believe that equal treatment and quality care should apply to someone who has a chronic mental health illness, like schizophrenia or major depressive disorder, requiring ongoing therapeutic and complex medical management, just as would apply to a patient in need of cardiovascular treatment or other chronic medical issue," writes Dr. Philip R. Muskin. More

What hibernation teaches us about treating Alzheimer's disease
Smithsonian
When a bear beds down for the winter, his brain is going into a kind of sleep, too. As the body cools, some brain synapses (the connection between brain cells) are cut off, putting the animal into a state of torpor, or deep sleep. But in the spring, when the bear's body warms and he prepares to wake up, those synapses are restored without loss of memory. Human brains have a similar protective mechanism triggered by rapid cooling. Think of those stories about people whose hearts have stopped as a result of hypothermia but are revived without experiencing significant brain damage. More

These common mood changes can signal early Alzheimer's
TIME
The vast majority of people with Alzheimer's disease will experience changes like depression and anxiety. But a new study published in the journal Neurology shows that behavioral changes like these start well before they begin to have memory loss. The researchers looked at 2,416 people over age 50 without cognitive issues. After following them for seven years, researchers found that 1,218 people developed dementia.More

Prostate cancer drug slows memory loss in women with Alzheimer's disease
Medical Xpress
Women with Alzheimer's disease showed stable cognition for a year when a drug that is more commonly used to treat advanced prostate cancer was added to their drug regimen, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This is the first time any therapy has been shown to stabilize memory loss over a year," says Dr. Craig Atwood, co-lead author of the study and associate professor of medicine at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. The study was published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. More

Can young people prevent Alzheimer's disease, decades before they might get it?
Fast Company
Bread Head, a documentary from Max Lugavere looking at the ways that lifestyle, diet, and genetics affect Alzheimer's risk, is now raising money on Kickstarter. "I took the fact that I'm obsessed with the brain and my own cognitive boundaries and looked at how to help her and also optimize my own brain health and prevent changes from happening to me," says the 32-year-old. "The most powerful insight I came across is that Alzheimer's is diabetes of the brain." For anyone with a family history of Alzheimer's, this sounds like the most tempting kind of pseudo-science. But Lugavere's assertions, which he plans to explore in the documentary, are not entirely unfounded. More

Research suggests anti-inflammatory protein may trigger plaque in Alzheimer's disease
Medical Xpress
Inflammation has long been studied in Alzheimer's, but in a counterintuitive finding reported in a new paper, University of Florida researchers have uncovered the mechanism by which anti-inflammatory processes may trigger the disease. This anti-inflammatory process might actually trigger the build-up of sticky clumps of protein that form plaques in the brain. These plaques block brain cells' ability to communicate and are a well-known characteristic of the illness. More

Japanese robot a tireless aid in dementia care
Toronto Star
In a third-floor lounge at Nishi-Koigakubo Ninjin Home, a special nursing home in western Tokyo, elderly dementia patients recently spent time with Pepper, a humanoid robot with artificial intelligence being developed by SoftBank Mobile. Said to be the world's first robot designed to serve people by recognizing their emotions, Pepper is set to retail for 198,000 yen (about $2,020) on the consumer market in February. With Japan facing a rising number of dementia sufferers, more businesses have begun to develop products and services to help patients and their families live more comfortably.More

Can you sidestep Alzheimer's disease?
Harvard Health Publications
Alzheimer's disease is characterized by progressive damage to nerve cells and their connections. The result is devastating and includes memory loss, impaired thinking, difficulties with verbal communication, and even personality changes. A person with Alzheimer's disease may live anywhere from two to 20 years after diagnosis. Those years are spent in an increasingly dependent state that exacts a staggering emotional, physical and economic toll on families. More