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Recognizing Signs of Alzheimer’s In Patients

Combination of two brain diagrams in one for c...

Combination of two brain diagrams in one for comparison. In the left normal brain, in the right brain of a person with Alzheimer’s disease English: Diagram of the brain of a person with Alzheimer’s Disease English: Diagram of a normal brain Русский: Изображение нормального мозга и мозга при болезни Альцгеймера Nederlands: Vergelijking van normale hersenen (links) met die van een alzheimerpatiënt.(rechts) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alzheimer’s disease is a common type of dementia that gradually gets worse over time. The main thing affected by Alzheimer’s is a person’s memory and cognitive abilities. There are 3 stages of Alzheimer’s disease: mild, moderate, and severe. Typically, a person will live 8-10 years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, but every case is different, and people can live much longer.

Here are some recognizing signs of Alzheimer’s in patients:

• Memory loss – Memory loss is the most common sign of Alzheimer’s disease, especially forgetting things that a person recently learned. If a person asks for the same information over and over, it is a sign of Alzheimer’s.

• Problem solving and concentration – If a person struggles with solving problems in his or her daily life or has problems concentrating with no prior history of such problems, this may be a sign of Alzheimer’s.If things take longer to do than they typically did before, this may be another sign.

• Hard time completing daily tasks – Frequently, a person with Alzheimer’s has a hard time completing daily tasks such as remembering a recipe that they have made many times before or balancing a checkbook.

• Vision problems – Vision problems can be one sign of Alzheimer’s disease in some people. Having a hard time reading or judging distances can be a sign.

• Time confusion – A person with Alzheimer’s disease may be confused about the time or the passage of time. Such a person may have a hard time determining when an event happened, whether it was immediately right before or a longer time in the past.

• Place confusion – One of the common signs of Alzheimer’s is if a person is confused where they are and how they got there.

• Lack of good judgment – One sign of Alzheimer’s in patients is lack of good judgment and a lack of good decision-making. Paying less attention to details such as personal grooming and eating right is a sign to look for.

• Speech problems – This is not having trouble speaking or not vocalizing. An Alzheimer’s patient may not be able to follow a conversation or may repeat something he or she has already said. Patients may also not be able to find the right word for something or may call things by the wrong name.

• Misplacing things – One sign of Alzheimer’s disease is misplacing things and being unable to find them or putting things in strange places where they do not typically belong.

• Mood changes – People with Alzheimer’s can experience mood changes from mild to severe. They can become more easily irritated because of what they are experiencing. Thus, they become frustrated and confused.

• Social withdrawal – Withdrawing from such things as hobbies, work, activities, and friends and family can be a sign of Alzheimer’s in patients.

It’s important to seek memory care right away when you see any warning signs.

Brain Boosters-October Anagrams

Neuroplasticity challenges the idea that brain...

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Wow, we are almost at the mid point of October and Halloween is just around the corner! As we enter the holiday season, remember how important it is to take care of your health and your brain! Speaking of the brain it’s time to exercise your brain, form new brain pathways, build your cognitive reserve, challenge yourself,  engage in new learning!  Become a lifelong learner, and take advantage of your brain and neuroplasticity skills through new learning.  We are never too old for new learning or too young to begin building our cognitive reserves!  Let’s try some anagrams today. Create as many new words as you can from the following words.

First, go grab a healthy snack-blueberries, strawberries, apples, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, veggie sticks, dark chocolate, paired with a healthy beverage-green tea, water, red wine. I just had some walnuts and iced green tea. Ready? Here are your words.








Remember to exercise your body as well! Physical exercise helps pump blood throughout your body-including your brain. Studies have shown that by walking just 35 minutes a day at least 3 days/week it’s possible to increase the size of your hippocampus, which may correlate to improved memory skills! So, get up, leash that dog and take a walk!

Brain Awareness Week

Today officially kicks off  Brain Awareness Week (BAW), and BrainMasters is proud to be one of The Dana Foundation‘s partners. Be sure and check our BAW Calendar of Events, and join our brain celebration activities to be held during the next 2 weeks.

Here are some facts about BAW.

  • March 14-20, 2011 is BAW’s sixteenth annual celebration.
  • The goal of the campaign is to make the public more aware of the benefits and promise of brain research.
  • BAW is a global partnership of government agencies, scientific organizations, universities, hospitals, service groups, professional associations, schools, and other organizations. Since its inception in 1996, more than 2,600 partners in 82 countries have participated in the campaign.
  • Hundreds of BAW events take place each year. These activities are organized by partners to meet one or more of the following goals: scientific, education, or advocacy outreach.

Here are a couple of quick facts about your brain. Did you know that your brain accounts for ~ 2% of your total body weight and weighs ~ 3 pounds? The brain is one of the body’s largest organs. Interesting, isn’t it?

Now that you have learned a couple of things and fired those neurons, let’s give them a workout and stay sharp!

Unscramble the following words.







Share your answers with us! Need help with these-just ask us! Enjoy exercising your brain today!

BrainMasters Upcoming Events for Brain Awareness Week and Season

We are so excited about the brain and the upcoming Brain Awareness Week that we have decided that the entire month of March is dedicated to the brain. Why it’s Brain Awareness Season! Please join us at these upcoming events in support of Brain Awareness Week and Season!

BrainMasters classes will be held March 14-18, 2011 at the Barclay in Buckhead (Atlanta). Reservations are required for participation in the series. Contact us now to reserve your spot!

Brainmasters will be at ManorCare of Marietta on Wednesday March 16, 2011 1:30-2:30 PM. We will host an information, educational hands on interactive  session about brain health, fitness, and maintenance. This event is open to the public. Contact us for more information.


4360 Johnson Ferry Place

Marietta, GA 30068

BrainMasters is proud to co-host an open house at Savannah Court on Tuesday March 22, 2011, 11:00 AM- 12:00 PM. We will be presented with a Proclamation from the Chairman of the Cobb County Commission in recognition of Brain Awareness Week. There will also be an  information, educational hands on interactive  session about brain health, fitness, and maintenance. This event is open to the public. Contact us for more information.

Join us at Savannah Court!

886 Johnson Ferry Road

Marietta, GA 30068

Alzheimer’s Disease-How Much Do You Really Know?

Logo of Alzheimer's Society.

Image via Wikipedia

What do think of when you  hear the dreaded words-Alzheimer’s Disease? What kind of visual image comes to mind? Do you think of someone in your family, or perhaps a family friend? I am sure we all know someone who has been affected by this disease. Alzheimer’s Disease does not discriminate and can even affect people under the age of 35.

I have finished reviewing the 2010 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures and would like to highlight some information for you to consider. Some of these statistics are mind boggling, disturbing, and just shocking. Honestly, even I was quite surprised by some of this information.

Let’s begin with this. In the United States:

5.3 million people have Alzheimer’s

it’s the 7th leading cause of death

annual costs are 172 BILLION DOLLARS

10.9 million unpaid caregivers

Read those again as these are truly sobering statistics!

Did you know that 1 in 8 people aged 65 and older have Alzheimer’s? Currently, every 70 seconds someone in the US develops Alzheimer’s, and by 2050 it will be every 33 seconds.

Now, let’s look at some information about the caregivers. There are basically paid and unpaid caregivers, sandwich generation caregivers. If you’re not familiar with the term sandwich generation, it’s those people or families who are caring for a parent or parents while still caring for children living at home. Many of these sandwich generation caregivers continue to hold down jobs as well. Can you imagine how difficult and stressful this is?  Caregiving activities may include shopping, medication management, meal preparation, dressing, bathing, grooming, toileting, managing finances, and the list continues. Some of these caregivers are responsible for performing almost all the activities of daily living (ADLs) for these Alzheimer’s patients. Just imagine how this affects the caregivers.

In 2009, the estimated economic value of the care provided by the family and other unpaid caregivers was $144 billion. This translates to 12.5 billion hours of care valued at a rate of $11.50 per hour. For 2009 the U.S. totals were staggering!  The number of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers was 10,987,887. There were 12,513,005,548 hours of unpaid care valued at $143,899,563,806!

There is nothing kind about Alzheimer’s Disease. It affects the entire family and can create tremendous amounts of stress and hardship. It’s crucial for the caregivers, spouses, children, and others close to the person with Alzheimer’s  reach out to others, join support groups, seek counseling, get help, find an outlet for your own stress. Remember, you are not alone! Take advantages of the many available resources! We should all continue to learn as much as we can about this disease and support research efforts.

A recent study reported that walking 6-9 miles per week will decrease the risk for Alzheimer’s. Again, the importance of exercise and diet only helps us achieve our ultimate goal of maintaining a long, healthy life while aging in place! So, get busy-exercise your body, fuel it properly, and exercise your brain! What do you have to lose?

Vitamin D and Your Brain

Spawning Salmon in Becharof Stream within the ...

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Do you get enough Vitamin D? Do you even know how much you get daily or how much is recommended?  Have you had your Vitamin D level checked? My endocrinologist checked mine about almost 2 years ago, and I’ve been taking Vitamin D supplements ever since. Of course my physician monitors my Vitamin D levels through routine blood tests.

Well, today the Institute of Medicine is expected to release its recommendation to increase daily Vitamin D intake from 200 international units to 600 international units. The Institute is also expected to recommend raising the upper limit of Vitamin D intake for adults  from 2000 IUs to 4000 IUs.  Why is Vitamin D important? I think Vitamin D has gained more attention recently as we are not the sun lovers we once were. More of us consistently use sunscreen and kids don’t seem to play outside all day long like we did as kids.  As we  all know, Vitamin D is crucial to bone health but did you know that low levels may also contribute to many chronic diseases like-Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, cognitive decline, diabetes, cancer, auto- immune diseases, depression, stroke, infections, and even heart disease. That is why Vitamin D is crucial to your health!

Are you regularly eating foods containing Vitamin D? What foods contain Vitamin D? Here are some food and beverages containing Vitamin D, of course this is not a comprehensive list-just a sampling.  Salmon-wild, Alaskan, sockeye; fish oil; mollusks; Steelhead trout; herring; sardines; halibut; variety of milks-soy, almond, rice, cow, goat; fortified orange juice; mushrooms; spinach; potatoes; eggs; cheese;  puddings prepared with milk.

So now that you’ve read all this, what should you do? First, continue to eat a well balanced diet as that promotes anti-aging and healthy aging. Continue to exercise your brain and your body.  It’s the combination of brain exercise, physical exercise, and healthy eating that increase your odds for longevity and a healthy life. What have you got to lose except maybe your brain health, chronic diseases and illness, or your life? Perhaps it’s time for a checkup with your physician  that includes lab work to check your Vitamin D level to at least establish your baseline.

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