More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, according to government estimates. Greg O’Brien is one of them. He’s a journalist and co-host of The Forgetting, a podcast about living with the disease. We talked with O’Brien about the stigma surrounding the illness. 

Harsh life experiences appear to leave African-Americans vulnerable to Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, researchers reported Sunday at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in London.

Several teams presented evidence that poverty, disadvantage and stressful life events are strongly associated with cognitive problems in middle age and dementia later in life among African-Americans.

Virtual Reality Aimed At The Elderly Finds New Fans

Jun 29, 2016

Virginia Anderlini is 103 years old, and she is about to take her sixth trip into virtual reality.

In real life, she is sitting on the sofa in the bay window of her San Francisco assisted-living facility. Next to her, Dr. Sonya Kim gently tugs the straps that anchor the headset over Anderlini's eyes.

Big Financial Costs Are Part Of Alzheimer's Toll On Families

Mar 30, 2016

First, Alzheimer's takes a person's memory. Then it takes their family's money.

That's the central finding of a report published Wednesday by the Alzheimer's Association on the financial burden friends and families bear when they care for someone with dementia.

Can Dementia Be Prevented? Education May Bolster Brain Against Risk

Feb 11, 2016

The odds of getting Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia are declining for people who are more educated and avoiding heart disease, a study finds. The results suggest that people may have some control over their risk of dementia as they age.

This isn't the first study to find that the incidence of dementia is waning, but it may be the best so far. Researchers looked at 30 years of records from more than 5,000 people in the famed Framingham Heart Study, which has closely tracked the health of volunteers in Framingham, Mass.

Music Helps Alzheimer’s Patients Access Memories

Feb 4, 2016
ent at Linn High School, helps Beverly Milburn with her music selection at Linn Community Nursing Home. Beier and other students volunteer with the program, which uses music to soothe people with Alzheimer's disease.
MARCY OEHMKE / Linn High School

Clay County, in north central Kansas, has the nation's highest rate of people on Medicare diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. At 22 percent, it’s roughly double the rate in surrounding counties, as well as state and national averages.

The Linn Community Nursing Home north of Clay Center is one of about two dozen in Kansas participating in a program called Music and Memory. Residents with Alzheimer’s are given iPods loaded with music tailored to their preferences.


How Strong Friendships Defy Dementia

Jan 9, 2016
Betty Udesen / YES! Magazine

Alice Padilla’s laugh cut through the air at Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo. Fresh off an hour-long exhibit tour, she and 16 other friends sat in the zoo cafeteria, snacking on sugar cookies and mocking current bestsellers. The group could appear to be just another cluster of friends visiting the zoo. But they were there for another purpose, too: to provide joy as much as support. Part of a program called Momentia, more than half of the people in the group have dementia.

Can A Cancer Drug Reverse Parkinson's Disease And Dementia?

Oct 19, 2015

A drug that's already approved for treating leukemia appears to dramatically reduce symptoms in people who have Parkinson's disease with dementia, or a related condition called Lewy body dementia.

A pilot study of 12 patients given small doses of nilotinib found that movement and mental function improved in all of the 11 people who completed the six-month trial, researchers reported Saturday at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.

House Calls Could Improve Care of Elderly

Sep 29, 2015
Gerd Altmann/Creative Commons

The elderly population in America is set to double over the next fifty years.  There will be 98 million elderly people - those 65 or older- by 2060, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.  This aging population is going to bring new healthcare challenges and states seeing the biggest increases
--Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Georgia and Arizona--are looking for innovations to help address the coming grey tide. Arizona is finding house calls could be one way to improve patient well being, as well as decreasing costs

Calming Dementia Patients Without Powerful Drugs

Jun 1, 2015

In California nursing homes, just over 15 percent of dementia patients are on antipsychotic drugs. That’s far more than advocates say is necessary. But that number is down from almost 22 percent just three years ago.