Resources

Art for Alzheimer's: a new therapeutic approach

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By Rob Sharp

In the 1990s, Berna Huebner was struggling to communicate with her mother, the painter Hilda Gorenstein, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. “I asked, ‘Mom, do you want to paint?’” says Huebner, who heads a Chicago charitable foundation. “And her eyes opened up and she said, ‘Yes, I remember better when I paint.’” Gorenstein, a marine artist who had once painted murals at a 1933–1934 Chicago World’s Fair, “wasn’t able to focus at all,” remembers Huebner. “I thought it was her hearing. I called her doctor, and without even blinking he said, ‘Why don't you call her old school and get some students to paint with her?’” Gorenstein subsequently began to paint with a handful of students from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, her alma mater. After working with a student for several weeks she began to paint again. “It struck a chord,” adds Huebner.

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Scientists Identify First Sign Of Alzheimer's Disease

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Article by Dana Dovey

Memory loss and cognitive decline are commonly thought to be the earliest signs of the neurodegenerative disorder Alzheimer's, but a new study has found declines in glucose levels in the brain come even sooner — before the first symptoms appear. Even better? The same team also believes they have figured out a way to stop these levels from falling in the first place, a finding that could potentially prevent Alzheimer's.

Although doctors have long noted the association between declining glucose levels in the brain and the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, for the first time ever, a study now published online in the journal Translational Psychiatry has proved that these declining energy levels are a direct trigger for the cognitive impairments traditionally associated with the disease. According to a recent statement on the study, this may explain why diabetes, a condition in which glucose cannot enter the cells, is a known risk factor for dementia. According to the study, a protein known as p38 may be able to prevent this deprivation from occurring.

"The findings are very exciting," explained lead researcher Dr. Domenico Praticò in a statement. "There is now a lot of evidence to suggest that p38 is involved in the development of Alzheimer's disease."

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Simple steps to help to prevent falls in the home

A fall can result in significant injuries. There are some simple steps to take to minimise falls risks

A fall can result in significant injuries. There are some simple steps to take to minimise falls risks

Courtesy of Which Elderly Care

There are things you can do to minimise the risk of a fall occurring in the home, from simple things like mopping spillages to making sure bulbs are high-wattage.

  • Make sure any rugs and mats are attached to the floor and are non-slip
  • Arrange cupboards and shelves so important things are within easy reach
  • Fasten any unavoidably trailing wires to the floor, such as with duct tape
  • Make sure that any spillages, particularly liquid spillages, are cleaned up as soon as possible
  • Fasten trailing wires to the floor, such as with duct tape
  • Be aware of the obstacles that unnecessary clutter can cause
  • Check your carpets for tripping hazards such as fraying or ruffles
  • Keep working torches on hand in case of power outages
  • Use high-wattage light bulbs and make sure there are replacements available
  • Encourage your relative to take care of their feet, for example by trimming their toenails regularly and wearing well-fitting shoes. Make sure that slippers around the home are supportive. It's best not to wear ones that you slip your feet into; instead there is a good range of 'bootee'-type slippers that have zip or Velcro fastenings and non-slip soles.

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