5 Easy Memory Boosters

Whether the problem is cognitive impairment or normal aging, try these assists.

By , Caring.com senior editor
finger and a string

Having problems remembering to take pills, buy grocery items, or make appointments? Everyone experiences memory problems sometimes. Memory experts often recommend the following simple aids to people with mild cognitive impairment or early symptoms of dementia. But anybody (including harried caregivers!) who’s ever forgotten something important can benefit.

1. A GPS system

Remembering routes can be challenging, especially if they’re not frequent destinations. And following written directions can be difficult for someone with early dementia, or anyone who doesn’t want to be a distracted driver.

Simple solution: a global positioning (GPS) navigation system in the car. Prices have been dropping since these gizmos were first introduced; you can buy a simple unit for less than $200. Many drivers find it easier to follow verbal instructions than to have to read them. And if you make a mistake, the GPS autocorrects and redirects you.

2. Medication reminders

Medication management is the bane of both caregivers and relatively healthy adults looking after themselves. Fortunately a variety of tools exist to help you remember to dispense, or take, meds on time.

Medical alarms can be programmed to send you an e-mail message or a beep to a special watch. Some pill containers themselves will send visual messages. Learn more about medication management for no more missed pills.

3. A small portable notebook

Not all memory aids are high-tech. The lowly notebook can be a lifesaver when it comes to remembering names, details, and to-do lists. The trick is to have the notebook handy at all times. Very small books (such as Moleskine‘s 2.5 by 4 inch extra-small version) that slip into a pocket or purse work well.

Train yourself to write down everything you don’t want to slip away — the names of those present at a meeting, the sudden thought to call for a haircut appointment, items to pick up at the grocery store on your way home.

The act of writing it down helps to secure a thought in your mind — and if you forget, you can look it up.

4. A don’t-lose basket or shelf

This idea amps up the old adage about “a place for everything.” Dedicate a single basket or box toall key items that are often misplaced: car keys, house key, reading glasses, sunglasses, medications, and anything else used regularly — even cell phone, TV remote, and sweaters. (Note: For someone with dementia, you’d want to store medications out of sight and out of reach, to avoid accidental overdosing.)

5. A centralized household calendar

It’s hard enough to remember your own priorities, let alone everyone else’s. Whether your household contains five people and three generations or just one person and a pet, post an oversized calendar in a central place (such as the kitchen). Use a different colored marker to write down each family member’s appointments, invitations, and travels (or, for a pet, dates with the vet or groomer).

Get in the habit of looking at the calendar every morning and consulting it before you make new appointments. Electronic calendars work well for many people, but for others, they’re “out of sight, out of mind.” A large planner in your line of vision every day is harder to ignore.

Visit http://www.caring.com for more 20 Easy Ways to Boost Your Memory

6 Nutrients for Your Brain’s Health

The Pie of excellent brain health includes:  Nutrition, Physical Activity, Mental Stimulation, Socialization & Spirituality.  I would add Sleep & Fresh Air.  Click on image to enlarge it.

I explore nutrition because the first study, to use nutrient levels in the blood to analyze the effect of diet on memory and thinking skills, and brain volume says nutritional factors do influence brain health.  It makes sense that we need to feed our mind well as much as our body.  Good input.  Good output.  Feeding your brain well may ward off memory loss, dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease.  The findings appeared in Neurology, a journal from the American Academy of Neurology.

The 6 nutrients linked to good memory and thinking skills are:

  1. omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, tuna, mackerel and trout are particularly high in omega-3s)
  2. vitamins B (meats, fish, eggs, cheese & some cereals)
  3. vitamin C (orange juice, broccoli, red peppers, dark green vegetables, strawberries & kiwi)
  4. vitamin D (natural sunlight)
  5. vitamin E (vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, leafy greens, whole grains, wheat germ)
  6. vitamin B-12 (clams, oysters, mussels, liver, caviar, octopus, salmon, tuna, cod, trout, bluefish, crab, lobster, beef, lamb, cheese, egg yolks, more below)
People with high blood levels of these nutrients:
  • Scored better on thinking tests than those who had low blood levels of these nutrients.
  • Their brains also showed less shrinkage, a sign of brain health.

People with Alzheimer’s typically have smaller brains than those without the disease.  What causes brain shrinkage? Trans fats. That’s the unhealthy type of fat. People with high levels of trans fats scored lower on thinking and memory tests.   Where are unhealthy trans fats found?


So, keep your thinking and memory sharp by sticking with nutritious foods.

The study, part of the Oregon Brain Aging Study, involved 104 people, average age 87. Other than advanced age, they had few risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

“These results need to be confirmed, but obviously it is very exciting to think that people could potentially stop their brains from shrinking and keep them sharp by adjusting their diet,” said study author Gene Bowman of Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.

By ALZinfo.org, The Alzheimer’s Information Site. Reviewed by William J. Netzer, Ph.D., Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation at The Rockefeller University.

Sources: Christy C. Tangney, Nikolaos Scarmeas: “The Good, Bad, and Ugly? How Blood Nutrient Concentrations May Reflect Cognitive Performance.” Neurology Vol 78 No 1, 2012.

G. L. Bowman, L.C. Silbert, D. Howieson, et al: “Nutrient Biomarker Patterns, Cognitive Funciton, and MRI Measures of Brain Aging.” Neurology Vol 78, No. 1, 2012.

For More Information please visit Alzheimer’s Research Foundation at http://www.alzinfo.org

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Other Vitamin B12 Rich Foods

Fortified Cereals*
List of Cereals High in Vitamin B12
20μg (333% RDA) per 100 gram serving 16μg (267% RDA) in an average bowl (2 cups) (80 grams) 8μg (133% RDA) per cup (40 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Fortified Cereals
Liverwurst Sausage 13.46μg (224% RDA) per 100 gram serving 2.42μg (40% RDA) per slice (18 grams) 3.77μg (63% RDA) per ounce (28 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Liverwurst Sausage
Fortified Energy Bars* 12.24μg (204% RDA) per 100 gram serving 5.39μg (90% RDA) per bar (44 grams) 2.7μg (45% RDA) in half a bar (22 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Fortified Energy Bars
Fois Gras (Goose Liver Pâté) 9.4μg (157% RDA) per 100 gram serving 1.22μg (20% RDA) per tablespoon (13 grams) 2.63μg (44% RDA) per ounce (28 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Fois Gras (Goose Liver Pâté)
Emu Steak 9.37μg (156% RDA) per 100 gram serving 36.92μg (615% RDA) per tablespoon (394 grams) 7.96μg (133% RDA) per ounce (85 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Emu Steak
New England Clam Chowder 4.8μg (80% RDA) per 100 gram serving 12.1μg (202% RDA) per cup (252 grams) 1.54μg (26% RDA) in a fluid ounce (32 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for New England Clam Chowder
Manhattan Clam Chowder 3.3μg (55% RDA) per 100 gram serving 7.92μg (132% RDA) per cup (240 grams) 0.99μg (17% RDA) in a fluid ounce (30 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Manhattan Clam Chowder
Luncheon Meat* 5.14μg (86% RDA) per 100 gram serving 1.44μg (24% RDA) per one ounce slice (28 grams) 2.88μg (48% RDA) in two slices (56 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Luncheon Meat
Hard Salami* 2.8μg (47% RDA) per 100 gram serving 3.16μg (53% RDA) in one 4 ounce package (113 grams) 0.28μg (5% RDA) per slice (10 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Hard Salami
Whey Powder 2.37μg (40% RDA) per 100 gram serving 3.44μg (57% RDA) per cup (145 grams) 0.19μg (3% RDA) per tablespoon (8 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Dry Sweet Whey
Yogurt (No Fat) 0.61μg (10% RDA) per 100 gram serving 1.49μg (25% RDA) per cup (8oz) (245 grams) 0.69μg (12% RDA) per 4oz serving (half-container) (113 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Plain Yogurt (No Fat)
Yogurt (Whole) 0.37μg (6% RDA) per 100 gram serving 0.91μg (15% RDA) per cup (8oz) (245 grams) 0.42μg (7% RDA) per 4oz serving (half-container) (113 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Plain Yogurt (Whole)
Skim Milk 0.53μg (9% RDA) per 100 gram serving 1.3μg (22% RDA) per cup (245 grams) 0.16μg (3% RDA) in a fluid ounce (31 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Non-Fat Milk
Whole Milk 0.44μg (7% RDA) per 100 gram serving 1.07μg (18% RDA) per cup (244 grams) 0.14μg (2% RDA) in a fluid ounce (31 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Full Fat Milk
Low-Fat Buttermilk 0.22μg (4% RDA) per 100 gram serving 0.54μg (9% RDA) per cup (245 grams) 0.07μg (1% RDA) in a fluid ounce (31 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Low-fat Buttermilk
Yeast Extract Spread (Marmite) 0.5μg (8% RDA) per 100 gram serving 1.44μg (48% RDA) per cup (288 grams) 0.03μg (1% RDA) per teaspoon (6 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Yeast Extract Spread
Cured Ham (Lean) 0.65μg (11% RDA) per 100 gram serving 0.91μg (15% RDA) per cup (140 grams) 0.55μg (9% RDA) in a 3 ounce serving (85 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Extra Lean Cured Ham
Chicken (Lean) 0.31μg (5% RDA) per 100 gram serving 0.43μg (7% RDA) per cup chopped (140 grams) 0.21μg (3% RDA) in a half-cup (70 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Lean Roasted Chicken
Fortified Soymilk* 1.11μg (19% RDA) per 100 gram serving 2.7μg (45% RDA) per cup (243 grams) 0.3μg (5% RDA) per ounce (28 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Fortified Soymilk
Fortified Tofu* 2.36μg (39% RDA) per 100 gram serving 1.86μg (31% RDA) per serving (1/4 packet) (79 grams) 0.7μg (11% RDA) per ounce (28 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Fortified Tofu

*Amount of vitamin B12 may vary greatly between products. Be sure to check nutrition labels for the exact amount of vitamin B12 from each individual product.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I can’t talk about the brain without mentioning some amazing, brainiac friends I adore, who have written books I love.  Check out my friend, Spencer’s book, “The Brain Mechanic”.  Great read!  http://www.amazon.com/The-Brain-Mechanic-Maximize-Emotional/dp/0757315569

To learn more about Spencer Lord, you can visit his website:  http://www.thebrainmechanic.com/

The book is also available on Audio: http://www.learnoutloud.com/Resources/Authors-and-Narrators/Spencer-Lord/21441

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

And my friend, Michael’s book, “Super Body, Super Brain” is another great read!  http://www.amazon.com/Super-Body-Brain-Workout-That/dp/B005CDTVKA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334456103&sr=8-1

To learn more about Michael Gonzalez Wallace, you can visit his website at: http://www.superbodysuperbrain.com/

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Stay healthy!

Spotlight on Alzheimer’s

This morning, I step outside and feel a familiar cold chill –reminiscent of pre-sunrise in San Diego.  Later, I glance out window. Sunshine hides like my favorite red augyle sock after laundry.

Gloomy skies get me thinking about Seasonal Affective Disorder and what new therapies exist.

People generally talk about S.A.D. (pun!) when Fall arrives.  What about cloudy days in Spring?  I’ve never been diagnosed with S.A.D., but I’m a bit of a hypocondriac.  I know.  Ironic.

Other people get to benefit from it. In the past, doctors. They laugh and say I’m the healthiest person they’ve ever seen.  I get sent home with a lollipop.  And a bill.

Friends and relatives benefit because each time I think I have something, I put my glasses on and do extensive research.  Lightning speed.  I don’t need eyeglasses anymore (thank you, Dr. Bell of The San Diego Eye Institute).  Research Ninja at your service.

Ever since I was a little kid, my cousin Josephine and I loved researching our imagined illnesses. We loved  using big medical words too.  Some words made us crack up.  Today, Josephine is a top pediatric nurse and I’m the health journalist ninja.

Anyhow, this morning, while I’m researching light therapy for Seasonal Affective Disorder, I find a blog about using the same Light Therapy for Alzheimer’s patients.  Never heard of THAT.

It’s written by a caregiver named Gary LeBlanc.

I contact Gary & ask for permission to share his blog. I thought it would help other people. He says yes.  (Don’t worry, I get back to light therapy options for Seasonal Affective Disorder later)

I thank Gary for allowing me to repost his unique experience utilizing light to care for his father with Alzheimer’s disease. I always trust real people sharing their medical experiences, rather than professionals.  I have to read between the lines with the latter. Who is funding them? What’s the agenda? Are they PR flacks?  When it’s real people –there is no agenda.

Gary was the primary caregiver of his father for a decade after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Gary has a book, but it is one based on his experience.  It’s called, “Staying Afloat in a Sea of Forgetfulness.”

I notice his article got 7 clicks.  Since I have over 1.2 million people within my social network, and most work in NATIONAL MEDIA and MEDICAL –I thought I’d share his story and shed some LIGHT on something a lot of other Americans are dealing with right now.   It’s so cool when something little –something you can DO can make a big difference. Gary explains.

Light therapy lessens hardships

By GARY LEBLANC | Common Sense Caregiving
Published: March 22, 2012 Updated: March 22, 2012 – 12:00 AM
For many years now I have preached how beneficial it is to keep the homes of those suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease well lit. Throughout my father’s illness I kept the lights on at full tilt in both the bedroom and bathroom throughout the night. By doing so it kept him from experiencing mass confusion during his frequent bathroom runs in the wee hours.

Even during the daylight hours he had trouble crossing the threshold into the bathroom. The difference from one room’s carpet turning into tiles had him believing there was a step, making him raise his foot high, stepping over nothing. Color contrast can become very deceiving.

A friend of mine, who cares for her father-in-law with Alzheimer’s, recently told me that when she takes him to his doctor’s office, there’s a black welcome mat that scares him to pieces. He refuses to walk on it because he believes it’s a deep hole.

As caregivers we must keep things as simple and safe as possible for our loved ones. Paying close attention to their habits is a good way to start.

For those experiencing Sundowners, also known as “Sundown Syndrome,” start lighting up the house a good hour before dusk. By preventing shadows from creeping in, this will take away some of the hardships experienced during that time of day. Researchers have even found that by using the correct color temperature light bulbs may have a positive effect on mood and behavior.

For instance, what is perceived to be cool-white light has been reported to help the patients remain more alert and verbally active. On the other hand, warm-white light, which has more of a reddish-yellow tinge to it, is said to keep the patient calmer, helping to temper behavior problems.

Unfortunately, visual perception becomes altered from Alzheimer’s. A good tip to keep in mind is to always consider the color contrast in all situations. If you’re having problems getting patients to eat, take into account the way in which the table is set. A white plate on a white table cloth may be very difficult for them to see. Think “Bold Colors.” Try placing their food on a red plate. Even when it comes to the silverware, bright colored handles may encourage them to start digging in. A recent study has found this method has increased intake by 25 percent.

Let’s say there’s a clear glass of water on a white table; change it to a blue cup. This will help them to visually recognize it easier, actually encouraging them to pick it up and drink from it, preventing dehydration. How important is that?

Gary Joseph LeBlanc can be reached at us41books@bellsouth.net. A new expanded edition of his book, “Staying Afloat in a Sea of Forgetfulness,” can be found at stayingafloatbook.com, Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Here’s little refresher for anyone who isn’t aware of Alzheimer’s statistics:

Right now, 15 million Americans serve as caregivers, and this is projected to rise to 45 million by 2050.  I got that from The Alzheimer’s Association.

1 in 8 older Americans has Alzheimer’s Disease and 1 in 7 lives alone.  So, there’s all this cheerleading going on about “Living Longer” but are we living Healthier?

According to Psychiatric Times, as many as 50% of persons older than 85 years have some form of dementia (Alzhemier’s disease being the cause in at least two-thirds of cases).

Psychosis occurs in approx. 40% of persons with Alzheimer’s disease, and agitation occurs in 80% or more of persons with dementia at some point.  The photo below on the left is what a normal brain looks like. The middle brain shows mild cognitive impairment. The one on the far right is Alzheimeer’s Diseasse.

When I first saw this photo this morning, I wondered why they can’t track the progression on MRI scans, and then a new study popped up saying researchers discovered they can do just that.  News story below.

A study in March 22 issue of the Journal, Neuron says Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia may spread within nerve networks in the brain by moving directly betweenn connected neurons. They’re thinking an MRI could track the progression of it.

This makes absolute sense and I wonder why they didn’t have this A ha! moment sooner. I was also looking at photos of the brain this morning and photos of the brain without Alzheimer’s and with are remarkably different, so I had the same thought. Why can’t doctors track the progression with a brain scan.

I’d LOVE to know how to PREVENT dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. Something is causing it in so many Americans. My first instinct tells me it is related to NUTRITION.   Something people are eating or drinking is eroding brain cells. Is it soda? Did you see how when someone said they found a mouse in their soda and tried to sue the soda company –the soda executive’s defense was that it was “impossibe” because the mouse would have dissolved in the soda?  Wow.  If it can erode an entire mouse imagine what it can do to your brain.  I could almost hear the fizzling sound of brain cells.  Until we discover how to prevent it, I am always on the lookout for anything that can help patients, families and caregivers.

maxgomez1

 

Consequently, my dear friend, Dr. Max Gomez from CBS just lost his father to Alzheimer’s.   Sympathies go out to the Gomez family at this time.  If you’d like to reach out, here’s a note from Max:

“Some folks have asked about flowers… please don’t. If you’re inclined, I’d much rather you send a donation in my father’s name, Dr Max Gomez, Sr., to the Alzheimer’s research group at NYU where they diagnosed and cared for Dad; check should be made out to the NYU Center for Brain Health and sent to:  Center for Brain Health, NYU School of Medicine, Dept. of Psychiatry, 145 E. 32 St., 5th fl, New York, NY 10016.  Attn: Dr. Mony DeLeon. They will also supply tax receipts. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.”

 

Natural sunlight is always preferable, but LIGHT THERAPY is fascinating in that it can help with the following:

Migraine Headache

LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT  WHERE YOU CAN GET LIGHT THERAPY, PRICES along with REVIEWS from HEALTHYLIVING.COM:

Phillips GoLight BLU

Light Therapy On The Go

Philips goLITE BLU Light Therapy Device

Philips goLITE BLU Light Therapy Device

Amazon Price: $119.95 (as of 03/22/2012)Buy Now

Some researchers and light therapy users believe that blue light is the most important part of the spectrum for treating SAD. The Phillips GoLite BLUE is compact, portable, and operates on a rechargeable battery. It’s easy to bring it and use it almost anywhere. 

Syrcadian Blue Light Therapy Device for SAD

Light therapy for your morning commute

The Syrcadian Blue Light Therapy Device comes with a USB cable to mount on a laptop screen. There’s also a car adapter kit to mount on the visor of a car. With the lamp itself, plus the car adapter set, it costs around $100.
Syrcadian Blue SB-1000 Sad Light Therapy Device

Syrcadian Blue SB-1000 Sad Light Therapy Device

Amazon Price: $59.95 (as of 03/22/2012)Buy Now

This handy device is tiny, inexpensive, and very portable. You can mount on the top of your computer monitor, where it draws power vis USB cable, or plug it into your car’s cigarette lighter and mount it on the visor — you can commute and get your light therapy in at the same time. Two brightness settings allow you to select the amount of light you want.

  

Accessories for the Syrcadain Blue

Use it in your car; charge it from a wall socket

The Syrcadian Blue comes with a USB cable, enabling you to plug it into your computer’s USB port, mount it on top, and get your therapy while you work. But that’s not your only option.
Syrcadian Blue Automotive Adapter

Syrcadian Blue Automotive Adapter

This kit provides clips to attach the Syrcadian Blue to your visor, and a car charger to power the device. Use your morning commute to get your light therapy.

Amazon Price: $29.95 (as of 03/22/2012) Buy Now

Syrcadian Blue Wall Mount Power Supply

Syrcadian Blue Wall Mount Power Supply

Multi-country adapters to plug your Syrcadian Blue into a wall outlet.

Amazon Price: $24.95 (as of 03/22/2012) Buy Now

  

Other Portable Light Therapy Lamps for SAD

Bring your light therapy with you!

Having the option of taking your therapy lamp wherever you go can alleviate the frustration of living with seasonal depression. Below are more options for portable, lightweight light therapy for seasonal affective disorder. All devices listed have received an average rating of 4.5 to 5 stars on Amazon.
Philips Hf3321/60 Golite, White / Blue

Philips Hf3321/60 Golite, White / Blue

If entirely blue light is too intense for you, Phillips offers a therapy device that’s half blue light and half white light. It features the same low weight and compact dimensions as the GoLite Blu.

Amazon Price: $78.73 (as of 03/22/2012) Buy Now

Litebook Elite Hand-Held Light Therapy Device

Litebook Elite Hand-Held Light Therapy Device

The Litebook Elite runs on a long-lasting rechargeable battery. It features a custom lens to provide a uniform field of full spectrum light.

Amazon Price: $168.95 (as of 03/22/2012) Buy Now

Sphere Gadget Technologies SP9882 Lightphoria Sad Light Therapy, 10,000 Lux

Sphere Gadget Technologies SP9882 Lightphoria Sad Light Therapy, 10,000 Lux

This portable plug-in sunlamp offers three intensity settings: 5,000 lux, 8,000 lux, and 10,000 lux. It comes with its own travel pouch so you can bring it anywhere.

Amazon Price: $99.99 (as of 03/22/2012) Buy Now

NEW Bio Brite Lumie Zip Portable Light Lite Therapy Box

NEW Bio Brite Lumie Zip Portable Light Lite Therapy Box

Another portable sunlamp, only this one works on batteries. Coming in at 2,500 lux, it’s a good choice for those who experience eyestrain or headaches with higher lux, or who would like to double it up as a task lamp for longer periods of time.

Amazon Price: $199.00 (as of 03/22/2012) Buy Now

Feel Bright Light Visor

Feel Bright Light Visor

This light therapy visor will be the next therapy device I try. It works on a rechargeable lithium battery and emits 10,000 lux of blue-green light. A visor is included in the package, as well as clips to attach to your favorite baseball cap.

Amazon Price: $217.00 (as of 03/22/2012) Buy Now

Important!

An Important Fact Light Therapy and Bipolar Disorder

A lot of people with bipolar disorder have seasonal mood problems. However, light therapy can cause hypomania or manic episodes in people with bipolar disorder. This is especially true with blue light therapy. If you have bipolar, DO NOT use light therapy unless it’s under close supervision by your doctor.

Phillips Dawn and Dusk Simulator

Sunrise and sunset, exactly when you want them.

A “dawn simulator” is a large, bright white light that serves as an alarm clock. Say you set your alarm for 8 a.m.; the light in the dawn simulator will start to come on gradually, starting around 7:30 or so, and reaching full brightness at 8. You wake up gradually and naturally. It feels much better than being startled awake by an alarm clock.Since my home has skylights, I don’t need to use the “dawn” feature, but I love the “dusk” feature. One reason I don’t get enough sleep is that I like to read in bed, and no matter how tired I am, I can easily lose myself in a book. Before I know it, it’s 4 a.m. The dusk simulator allows me to set a timer for up to 15 to 90 minutes, and as that time passes, its light will slowly dim. Eventually I can’t see my book anymore, which makes it easier for me to put my book down and go to sleep.
Philips HF3471/60 Wake-Up Light, White

Philips HF3471/60 Wake-Up Light, White

Amazon Price: $84.95 (as of 03/22/2012)Buy Now

The Phillips Dawn and Dusk Simulator allows you to wake up with the dawn, whatever the actual time might be. At night, use a timer so that the light dims slowly, triggering your body’s natural sleep process. The alarm also has some pretty nice sound options, such as birdsong — much nicer than a buzzing, jangling alarm clock.

Wake-up Lights for SAD Therapy from Amazon

Dawn simulators help you sleep and help you wake up.

Dawn simulators increase the light in your bedroom gradually and naturally. The artificial “sunrise” this provides can be especially helpful if you have to wake up when it’s still dark out.
EZ Wake Digital SunRise Alarm Clock - Sea Green

EZ Wake Digital SunRise Alarm Clock – Sea Green

Amazon Price: $89.95 (as of 03/22/2012) Buy Now

BioBrite Sunrise Clock Advanced Model  Charcoal

BioBrite Sunrise Clock Advanced Model Charcoal

Amazon Price: $100.00 (as of 03/22/2012) Buy Now

Natural Dawn Simulator Alarm Clock Light Box

Amazon Price: $165.00 (as of 03/22/2012) Buy Now

Sunrise SRS 260 Sun Simulator Alarm Clock MP3 Player

Sunrise SRS 260 Sun Simulator Alarm Clock MP3 Player

Amazon Price: $169.95 (as of 03/22/2012) Buy Now

Important!

Side Effects of Light Therapy

Compared to medication, light therapy has very few side effects. They include headache, nausea, irritability, eye strain or dry mouth. These symptoms often go away on their own, or they can be mitigated by changing the angle of the lamp, its brightness, or duration of the therapy.

For More Reviews Visit:

Light Therapy Reviews

Stay Healthy, everyone!  🙂

Link to Gary LeBlanc’s book, “Staying Afloat in a Sea of Forgetfulness”  at Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/staying-afloat-in-a-sea-of-forgetfulness?keyword=staying+afloat+in+a+sea+of+forgetfulness&store=allproducts

Living Longer

Researchers have uncovered an ancient mechanism that retards aging. Drugs that tweaked it could well postpone cancer, diabetes and other diseases of old age.

By David Stipp, Scientific American

        Image: Photographs by Evan Kafka

In Brief

  • In 2009 scientists discovered that a drug called rapamycin could significantly extend life span in mice, doing so by interfering with the activity of a protein called mammalian TOR, or mTOR.
  • The finding is the most compelling evidence to date that mammalian aging can be slowed pharmaceutically, and it galvanized interest in mTOR’s role in the aging process.
  • The result also highlighted a mystery: Why would suppressing cellular growth and replication—oneeffect of interfering with mTOR—extend life span?
  • Research into that question could lead to medicines that postpone or mitigate aging-related disorders—from Alzheimer’s disease to cancer to heart failure—and perhaps even extend how long human

10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s by Alzheimer’s Association®

10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s:

Memory loss that disrupts daily life
One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s is memory loss, especially forgetting recently learned information. Others include forgetting important dates or events; asking for the same information over and over; relying on memory aides (e.g., reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things they used to handle on their own.

What’s a typical age-related change? Sometimes forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later.
Challenges in planning or solving problems
Some people may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. They may have trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills. They may have difficulty concentrating and take much longer to do things than they did before.

What’s a typical age-related change? Making occasional errors when balancing a checkbook.
Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
People with Alzheimer’s often find it hard to complete daily tasks. Sometimes, people may have trouble driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work or remembering the rules of a favorite game.

What’s a typical age-related change? Occasionally needing help to use the settings on a microwave or to record a
television show.

 

Confusion with time or place
People with Alzheimer’s can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. They may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately. Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there.

What’s a typical age-related change? Getting confused about the day of the week but figuring it out later.
Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
For some people, having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer’s. They may have difficulty reading, judging distance and determining color or contrast. In terms of perception, they may pass a mirror and think someone else is in the room. They may not realize they are the person in the mirror.

What’s a typical age-related change? Vision changes related to
cataracts.

 

New problems with words in speaking or writing
People with Alzheimer’s may have trouble following or joining a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue or they may repeat themselves. They may struggle with vocabulary, have problems finding the right word or call things by the wrong name (e.g., calling a “watch” a “hand-clock”).

What’s a typical age-related change? Sometimes having trouble finding the right word.

 

Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
A person with Alzheimer’s disease may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again. Sometimes, they may accuse others of stealing. This may occur more frequently over time.

What’s a typical age-related change? Misplacing things from time to time, such as a pair of glasses or the remote control.

 

Decreased or poor judgment
People with Alzheimer’s may experience changes in judgment or decision-making. For example, they may use poor judgment when dealing with money, giving large amounts to telemarketers. They may pay less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean.

What’s a typical age-related change? Making a bad decision once in a while.
Withdrawal from work or social activities
A person with Alzheimer’s may start to remove themselves from hobbies, social activities, work projects or sports. They may have trouble keeping up with a favorite sports team or remembering how to complete a favorite hobby. They may also avoid being social because of the changes they have experienced.

What’s a typical age-related change? Sometimes feeling weary of work, family and social obligations.
Changes in mood and personality
The mood and personalities of people with Alzheimer’s can change. They can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious. They may be easily upset at home, at work, with friends or in places where they are out of their comfort zone.

What’s a typical age-related change? Developing very specific ways of doing things and becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted.

Copyright © 2009 Alzheimer’s Association®. All rights reserved.


Typical age-related memory loss and other changes compared to Alzheimer’s

Signs of Alzheimer’s

Typical age-related changes

Poor judgment and decision making Making a bad decision once in a while
Inability to manage a budget Missing a monthly payment
Losing track of the date or the season Forgetting which day it is and remembering later
Difficulty having a conversation Sometimes forgetting which word to use
Misplacing things and being unable to retrace steps to find them Losing things from time to time

What to do if you notice these signs

“It took my mother having a stress-related heart attack before we quit dismissing my father’s progressing dementia to ‘senior moments’ and got him a proper diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Had we paid attention to the warning signs of this disease, a lot of prevention could have been in place.”
-Brent

If you notice any of the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s in yourself or someone you know, don’t ignore them. Schedule an appointment with your doctor.

With early detection, you can:

Get the maximum benefit from available treatments –

You can explore treatments that may provide some relief of symptoms and help you maintain a level of independence longer.

You may also increase your chances of participating in clinical drug trials that help advance research.
Learn more about treatments.
Learn more about clinical studies.

Have more time to plan for the future  A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s allows you to take part in decisions about care, transportation, living options, financial and legal matters. You can also participate in building the right care team and social support network.
Learn more about planning ahead.

Help for you and your loved ones – Care and support services are available, making it easier for you and your family to live the best life possible with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Learn how the Alzheimer’s Association helps families.

(They left out most vital part! I add it in blue. -Maria)

MAKE HEALTHY LIFESTYLE CHANGES!

THESE ARE THINGS EVERYONE SHOULD DO REGARDLESS.

YOU ARE ALL AT RISK OF CLOGGING UP YOUR BRAIN WITH JUNK.

YOU WON’T FEEL IT UNTIL YOU’RE OLDER. 

EAT BRAIN HEALTHY FOODS LIKE BERRIES, VEGGIES, WALNUTS, ALMONDS, FRUITS, LEAN PROTEIN, COOK IN OLIVE OIL

AVOID SUGAR, SODA, SATURATED FATS, PROCESSED FOODS AND FAST FOOD

CHALLENGE YOUR BRAIN BY READING DAILY OR DOING PUZZLES

SOCIALIZE INSTEAD OF WATCHING TELEVISION

EXERCISE DAILY, DRINK LOTS OF WATER, AVOID COFEE AND ALCOHOL.

 

You don’t need to be perfect daily. It’s when you do the opposite of the above for years  that real illness kicks in.

Additional information:

When you see your doctor

Your doctor will evaluate your overall health and identify any conditions that could affect how well your mind is working. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist such as a:

  • Neurologist – specializes in diseases of the brain and nervous system
  • Psychiatrist – specializes in disorders that affect mood or the way the mind works
  • Psychologist – has special training in testing memory and other mental functions
  • Geriatrician – specializes in the care of older adults and Alzheimer’s disease

Learn more about diagnosing Alzheimer’s.

For your doctor’s visit, 10 Warning Signs Checklist

Download our free 10 Warning Signs Checklist and list any concerns you have. Take this sheet with you to the doctor.

Know the 10 signs is also available in these languages:
Spanish
Chinese
Korean
Vietnamese