In the News

Study: Folate Deficiency Triples Dementia Risk

Every year, more data seems to become available linking healthy eating and healthy brains. According to new research that will be published in an upcoming Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, a deficiency in the essential vitamin folic acid, or Vitamin B9, is associated with a dramatic rise in the risk for older Americans to develop dementia. Researchers tracked the development of dementia in 518 seniors (age 65 and over) over a period of two years, while also monitoring their systems for folate and other vitamins.

By the end of the study, 45 people had developed dementia, including 34 who had developed Alzheimer's disease. Those with folate deficiencies at the beginning of the study were almost 3.5 times more likely to develop some form of dementia. Folate is found in high concentrations in leafy vegetables such as spinach, turnip greens, lettuces, dried beans and peas, and certain other fruits and vegetables. Read More

Dealing with Wandering

Many of us know the difficulties that can surround our loved ones' wandering. In the past few years, technological advances have dramatically expanded the options available to help caregivers deal with this potentially dangerous issue. For example, in the United Kingdom, the Alzheimer's Society (a charity and research organization) has endorsed electronic "tagging" of Alzheimer's sufferers. Patients are fitted with tamper-resistant tracking devices that alert caregivers when their loved ones move outside of a predetermined area. Yet some have questioned the ethics of this practice—the wearing of the tag must be consensual, and as the disease progresses, the patient's ability to give consent may not be clear.

There are other choices as well. The Alzheimer's Association offers a product known as "Safe Return." This is a non-electronic solution—patients can wear jewelry (bracelets or necklaces), wallet cards, or clothing labels bearing a toll-free 800 number that anyone finding the wandering patient can call, whereupon the patient is looked up in the Safe Return database and local law enforcement performs a search and rescue, returning the missing patient to his or her loved ones. This is a difficult issue for many of us—deciding what is right for you and your family is a decision you should come to together. Read More

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