Alzheimer’s disease (AD,) the only disease among the top 10 causes of death for Americans that has no known cure or treatment, already affects an estimated 5.4 million Americans, at a cost of $183 billion a year.
How do AD and dementia differ? Dementia is a symptom; AD is the cause of the symptom. When someone is told they have dementia, it means that they have significant memory problems as well as other cognitive difficulties, and that these problems are severe enough to get in the way of daily living. Dementia is a term that has replaced an out-of-date word, senility, to refer to cognitive changes with advanced age. AD is a disease marked by the loss of cognitive ability, generally over a period of 10-15 years, and associated with the development of abnormal tissues and protein deposits in the cerebral cortex.
For the first time in twenty-seven years, clinical diagnostic criteria for AD dementia have been revised, and research guidelines for earlier stages of the disease have been characterized to reflect a deeper understanding of the disorder. The Diagnostic Guidelines for Alzheimer’s Disease outlines some new approaches for clinicians and provide scientists with more advanced guidelines for moving forward with research on diagnosis and treatments. In August, the Dept. of Health & Human Services appointed twelve members to a first-of-its-kind advisory council on AD charged with proposing a national strategy for dealing with the disease. They will be joined on the council by ten members from federal agencies. [The Alzheimer’s Disease Education & Referral Center (ADEAR) of the National Institute on Aging, April 2011.]
The World Alzheimer Report 2011, The Benefits of Early Diagnosis and Intervention, released on September 13, 2011 by Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), shows that there are interventions that are effective in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, some of which may be more effective when started earlier, and that there is a strong economic argument in favor of earlier diagnosis and timely intervention.
To prepare the report, ADI commissioned a team of researchers led by Prof. Martin Prince at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, to undertake the first-ever, comprehensive, systematic review of all of the evidence on early diagnosis and early intervention for dementia. Currently, the most people with dementia receive a diagnosis late in the course of the disease, if at all, resulting in a substantial “treatment gap” that greatly limits their access to valuable information, treatment, care, and support and compounds problems for all involved — patients, families, carers, communities and health systems.
The new ADI report reveals that as many as three-quarters of the estimated 36 million people worldwide living with dementia have not been diagnosed and hence cannot benefit from treatment, information, and care. In high-income countries, only 20-50% of dementia cases are recognized and documented in primary care. In low- and middle-income countries, this proportion could be as low as 10%.
Failure to diagnose often results from the false belief that dementia is a normal part of aging, and that nothing can be done to help. On the contrary, the new report finds that interventions can make a difference, even in the early stages of the illness. Drugs and psychological interventions for people with early-stage dementia can improve cognition, independence, and quality of life. Support and counseling for caregivers can improve mood, reduce strain and delay institutionalization of people with dementia. Apparently eighty-one year old Pat Robertson hasn’t heard, for he contends that "The person suffering Alzheimer's is gone, gone, they are gone ... I know it sounds cruel but he should divorce her and start all over again." Cruel… and quite sexist.
Governments, concerned about the rising costs of long-term care linked to dementia, should “spend now to save later.” Based on a review of economic analyses, the report estimates that earlier diagnosis could yield net savings of up to US $10,000 per patient in high-income countries.
An estimated 500,000 Americans, about five percent of those with AD, have early-onset “young-onset” dementia, diagnosed before age sixty-five. Fifty-nine year old University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt has announced her diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer's. She plans to continue working. Symptoms of early-onset AD are the same as for late-onset AD. Summitt had attributed her forgetfulness to side effects of a rheumatoid arthritis drug, until Mayo Clinic doctors told her she was showing mild signs of the dementia.
Early-onset AD can run in families that have a hereditary component. Many people with Down syndrome also eventually develop the disease. But for other people, what causes AD is unknown.
Typically, early-onset Alzheimer's progresses more quickly than late-onset Alzheimer's. It can also affect persons in their middle adult ages. For older patients, that may be 10-15 years; for younger ones, time to disability is usually around five years. Because it is relatively uncommon, people in their 40s and 50s with AD can have difficulty getting a diagnosis. Apathy and loss of interest in things once enjoyed can be one symptom, but that is sometimes mistaken for depression.
Pre-clinical Alzheimer’srefers to early-onset AD. Policies are needed to prepare individuals and society for earlier diagnosis and high risk of AD. There is need to develop systems now, to navigate the challenges of a pre-clinical AD diagnosis. It is only a matter of time before it is possible to identify AD before the patient is ill, as has been done with cholesterol and heart disease. Given the unique nature of this disease, which strips people of their independence as the disease progresses, safeguards are needed to protect those at high risk or with a pre-clinical diagnosis.
High blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, heart rhythm abnormalities and high cholesterol can reduce blood flow to the brain and lead to "vascular dementia," another form of progressive decline in memory and thinking skills. Research has shown that many people with AD also have vascular changes in the brain.
ADEAR “Alzheimer’s Disease Fact Sheet”. National Institute on Aging's Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers.
Alzheimer's Association National Office. 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 6060.
Alzheimer's Association's 24/7 Helpline (800-272-3900).
Chapter Headquarters: Northern California and Northern Nevada - 1060 La Avenida,
Mountain View, CA 94043. 650-962-8111. Office Website
Alzheimer's Reading Room. Site focuses on the disease and the art of Alzheimer's caregiving.
Alzheimer's Services of the East Bay (ASEB). Berkeley Center Alternate Name ASEB (Alzheimer's Services of the East Bay) Address 2320 Channing Way Berkeley CA 94704 Phone 510-644-8292 Website http://www.aseb.org (website) Email email@example.com
Family Caregiver Alliance Alternate Name Family Survival Project (former name) Address 180 Montgomery St. Suite 900 San Francisco CA 94104 Phone 415-434-3388
800-445-8106 California only Website http://www.caregiver.org Email firstname.lastname@example.org
I CAN! I WILL! Stand Up and Speak Out about Dementia
LifeLong Medical Care. Over 60 Health Center Alternate Name Over 60 Health Center Address 3260 Sacramento St. (& Alcatraz) Berkeley CA 94702 Phone 510-601-6060 Clinic
510-704-6010 Member services Website http://www.lifelongmedical.org
U.S. National Institute on Aging has information on early-onset Alzheimer's.
UC Davis Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. http://alzheimer.ucdavis.edu/ 925-372-2485. The ADC is funded by the State of California through the Department of Public Health and by the NIH, National Institute on Aging (NIA). UC Davis has clinical centers in Sacramento and Martinez. Martinez is supported in part by the Veterans Health Administration, Martinez.
World Alzheimer Report 2011 - Executive Summary (PDF, 36 pages, 1128KB) World Alzheimer Report 2011 (PDF, 72 pages, 1710KB) The Executive Summary highlights the main findings, and briefly describes the evidence that supports them. The full Report documents the methodology and the sources in greater detail, and includes a careful critique of the quality, the relevance and the strength of the available evidence.
Approximately 28% of people living with HIV in the U.S. are over age 50. It is estimated that 15% of all new HIV infections occur in people over 50. LGBT(lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) older adults living with HIV also face other risk factors, e.g. 80% of LGBT older people with HIV live alone, compared to 67% of older heterosexuals living with HIV, and HIV prevention and intervention messages ignore LGBT older people or assume that older people are not sexually active. SAGE stands for Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders. (305 Seventh Avenue, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10001). It is the country's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT older adults.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR: September and October. Call to confirm, date, time and place. Readers are welcome to share news of events that may interest boomers and seniors. Daytime, free, and Bay Area events preferred. email@example.com
Wednesday, Sept. 28. 12 Noon. Playreaders at Central Berkeley Public Library. 2090 Kittredge @ Shattuck. 510-981-6100. Free
Wednesday, Sept. 28. 12:15 P.M. – 1 P.M. Noon Concert Series Performing Arts - UC, B Hertz Concert Hall. University Symphony Orchestra - David Milnes, conductor. Ligeti: Lontano. Korngold: Violin Concerto, Ernest Yen, soloist. Tickets not required. 510-642-4864.
Wednesday, Sept. 28. 1 P.M. Urquhart Memorial Concert Band conducted by Joel Toste / Cultural Events class. Mastic Senior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda. 510-747-7506.
Wednesday, Sept. 28, 1:30-2:30 P.M. Alameda County Library, Albany branch. 1247 Marin Av. Great Books Discussion Group. Morrison's Song of Solomon. Facilitated discussion. Come to one meeting, or all meetings. Books are available at the Library. Parking! 510-526-3720 x 16.
Thursday, Sept. 29. 10 A.M. Computers for Beginners. Central Berkeley Public Library. 2090 Kittredge @ Shattuck. 510-981-6100. Free.
Monday, Oct. 3. 6 P.M. Evening Computer Class. Central Berkeley Public Library. 2090 Kittredge. 510-981-6100. Also Oct. 17 and 24.
Tuesday, Oct. 4. (11, 18, 25). 11 A.M. – 12 Noon. Self-Acupressure & Reflexology Class. Helen Calhoun, Certified Acupressurist. 4-week classs. $3 per session or $12 for 4 sessions. Preregistration. MastickSenior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda. 510-747-7506.
Tuesday, Oct. 4. 1 P.M. Mastick Book Club members review The Particular
Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender. Mastick Senior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Av., Alameda. 510-747-7506, 747-7510.
Wednesday, Oct. 5. 9 A.M. – 1:30 P.M. AARP Driver Safety Refresher Course.
Designed for motorists who are 50+, taught in one-day. To be eligible, you must have taken the standard course within the last 4 years. Preregistration required. $12 per person fee for AARP members; $14 per person fee
for non-AARP members. MastickSenior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda. 510-747-7506.
Wednesday, Oct. 5. 12 Noon – 1 P.M. Playreaders. Meets weekly on Wednesdays to read great plays aloud, changing parts frequently. Intended for adult participants. Central Berkeley Public Library. 2090 Kittredge. 510-981-6100. Also Oct. 12,19, and 26.
Wednesday, Oct. 5. 12:15 P.M. – 1 P.M. Noon Concert Series Performing Arts - UC,B Hertz Concert Hall. Felicia Chen, soprano; Daniel Alley, piano. Jason Yu, piano. Tickets not required. 510-642-4864.
Wednesday, Oct. 5. 10:30 A.M. Mastick Senior Center. 1155 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda. Balance Your Walk with the Alexander Technique. Lenka Fejt, certified teacher. This 6-part workshop on the Alexander Technique has begun. Prepaid fee of $60. 510-747-7506. Also Oct. 12.
Wednesday, Oct. 5 - 12 Noon. Playreaders. Central Berkeley Public Library. 2090 Kittredge. 510-981-6100.. Also Oct. 12 and 19.
Wednesday, Oct. 5. 6 P.M. – 8 P.M. Alameda County Library, Albany branch. 1247 Marin Ave. Lawyer in the Library. Free 15 minute consultation with an attorney. Sign up in person at the Reference desk or call 510-526-3720 ext. 5 during library hours.
Thursday, Oct. 6. 10 A.M. – 1 P.M. Lavender Seniors of the East Bay’s Annual Aging in Place Symposium & Resource Fair for Older Adults. Marina Community Center, 15301 Wicks Blvd., San Leandro. Refreshments, entertainment. Free. Dan Ashbrook at 510-667-9655 Ext 1. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, Oct. 6, 12:15 P.M. – 1 P.M. West Edge Opera presents highlights from their upcoming production of Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos. Central Berkeley Public Library, 2090 Kittredge. 510-981-6100.
Thursday, Oct. 6. 6 P.M. Lawyers in the Library. Berkeley Public Library South branch. 1901 Russell. 510-981-6100. Also Oct. 13.
Mondays, Oct. 10, 17, 24. 11:10 A.M. – 1 P.M. Introduction to Video Production. Learn to use a video camera, script writing, storyboarding, basic lighting and sound to
produce a newscast and a short documentary. No experience required. Equipment provided. Graduate to the advanced class on October 31, 1:00 P.M.-3:00 P.M. Mastick Senior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda. 510-747-7506.
Tuesday, Oct. 11. 1 P.M. Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST)
Marilyn Ababio and Dorothy Ridley, POLST representatives inform about POLST, a form that spells out the medical treatment you desire during the end of your life + question and answer period. Mastick Senior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda. 510-747-7506.
Tuesday, Oct. 11. 7 P.M. Latin American Music, with. Rafael Manriquez and Ingrid Rubis. Kensington Library, 61Arlington Avenue. Free. 510-524-3043.
Wednesday, Oct. 12. 12:15 P.M. – 1 P.M. Noon Concert Series Performing Arts - UC,B Hertz Concert Hall. Andrea Wu, piano. Tickets not required. 510-642-4864.
Wednesday, Oct. 12. 6:30 P.M. – 8 P.M. Drop-In Poetry Writing Workshops. Free. Albany branch of the Alameda County library, 1247 Marin Av. 510-526-3720.
Thursday, Oct. 13. 10 A.M. Computers for Beginners. Central Berkeley Public Library. 2090 Kittredge. 510-981-6100. Also Oct. 20 and 27.
Thursday, Oct. 13. 10:30 A.M. New Member Orientation & YOU! Mastick Senior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda. Guided tour outlining the various activities, programs, and services, and a coupon to enjoy a complimentary lunch provided by Bay Area Community Services (BACS)! Make a reservation by visiting the Mastick Office or calling 510-747-7506.
Saturday, Oct. 15. 11 A.M. Landlord/Tenant Counseling. Central Berkeley Public Library. 510-2090 Kittredge. 510- 981-6100.
Monday, Oct. 17. 9:30 A.M.- 12:30 P.M. Beaded Jewelry Making. Rose O’Neill, Custom Jewelry Designer. Beads and tools will be supplied unless you would like to go “green” and redesign beads already in your possession. Limited to 10 students. $15 per person. Mastick Senior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda. 510-747-7506. (Also Mondays, Nov 21 and Dec 19.)
Monday, Oct. 17. 2 P.M.-3:30 P.M. Queue Rolo, M.A., M.S., Museum Studies, SFSU, will present “W.A.Leidesdorff: America’s 1st Black Millionaire.” Free for OLLI and Mastick Senior Center members. MastickSenior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda. 510-747-7506.
Tuesday, Oct. 18. 12:30 P.M. San Francisco Gray Panthers General Meeting: Program to be announced. Location: Fireside Room, Unitarian Center, 1187 Franklin St. at Geary, # 38 bus. 415-552-8800. email@example.com, http://graypantherssf.igc.org/
Wednesday, Oct. 19. 12:15 P.M. – 1 P.M. Noon Concert Series Performing Arts - UC,B Hertz Concert Hall. University Gospel Chorus - Another Day's Journey. Tickets not required. 510-642-4864.
Wednesday, Oct. 19. 1:30 P.M. Alameda County Library San Lorenzo branch, 395 Paseo Grande. 510-670-6283. Social Security Administration Public Affairs Specialist Mariaelena Lemus will address older adults’ questions and present information specifically for them. Program repeats at other branches through December. No reservations required. Free. Library Older Adult Services at 510-745-1491.
Wednesday, Oct. 19. 7 P.M. – 8 P.M. The Bookeeper’s Apprentice, by Laurie R. King. Book discussion. Alameda County Library Albany Branch, 1247 Marin Av. 510-526-3720. (On Sunday, Oct. 23 @ 2 PM, the author will read and talk. Albany Community Center.)
Thursday, Oct. 20. 6 P.M. Lawyers in the Library. Berkeley Public Library West branch. 1125 University. 510-981-6270. Also Oct. 27.
Sunday, Oct. 23. 2 P.M. – 3 P.M. The Albany Library (1247 Marin Av.) presents Laurie King, the author of Albany Reads book, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice. Community Center Hall. 510-526-3720.
Mondays, Oct. 24, 26 and 31. 10A.M. – 12 Noon. Oliver Guinn, Ph.D Economics, returns to teach “Our Damaged Economy: The Financial Meltdown and Economic Inequality.” Free. Mastick Senior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda. 510-747-7506.
Tuesday, Oct. 25. 1 P.M. AC Transit and YOU! Representatives from United Seniors of Oakland and Alameda County will inform about the Regional Transit Connection (RTC) Discount Card Program and the Clipper Card, route changes, and the 10-year AC Transit Fare Policy. Refreshments. Free. MastickSenior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda. 510-747-7506.
Tuesday, Oct. 25. 3 - 4 P.M. Tea and Cookies. Central Berkeley Public Library. A book club for people who want to share the books they have read. Central Berkeley Public Library. 2090 Kittredge. 510-981-6100.
Wednesday, Oct. 26. 12:15 P.M. – 1 P.M. Noon Concert Series Performing Arts - UC,B Hertz Concert Hall. Tony Lin, piano. Tickets not required. 510-642-4864.
Wednesday, Oct. 26. 1:30-2:30 P.M. Alameda County Library Albany branch. 1247 Marin Av. Great Books Discussion Group. Roman Fever, Edith Wharton short story. Facilitated discussion. Books available at the Library. Parking! 510-526-3720 x 16.
Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 26/Sacramentoand 27/South San Francisco, 2011 .
"Dementia Care Without Drugs - A Better Approach for Long-term Care Facilities" symposia about misuse of psychotropic drugs as treatment for dementia, difficulty in managing dementia treatment, and non-pharmacological approaches to care. CANHR staff attorney Tony Chicotel presentation, "Stop Drugging Our Elders!" California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform http://www.canhr.org. 415-974-5171. Fax 415-777-2904.
Thursday, Oct. 27. 12:30 P.M. Celebrating a birthday in October? Cake, music,
balloons, and good cheer. Mastick Senior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda. . 510-747-7506.
Thursday, Oct. 27 1 P.M.- 3 P.M. Fall Dance…Halloween Stomp. Come in costume
to be eligible for “best costume award”, enjoy door prizes, and refreshments. Volunteers enter free with volunteer badge. Cost is $2.00 per person. . Mastick Senior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda. . 510-747-7506.
Thursday, Oct. 27 1:30 P.M. Music Appreciation with William Sturm, Volunteer Instructor. Piano recital and discussion on “The Sceptered Isle: Music of England”. Mastick Senior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda. 510-747-7506.
Saturday, Oct. 29. 12:15 P.M. Halloween Bingo Bash. Patrons will receive a free Halloween dauber (ink marker) compliments of Center Advisory Board and Bingo Committee. Doors open at 10:00 a.m. with the first game at 12:15 P.M. 18 years of age+ are welcome. Mastick Senior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Av. 510-747-7506.