Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's and dementia can make loved ones appear unreachable, like shells of their former selves. A new documentary and increasingly popular treatment program use music to connect with the dynamic inner lives of patients. 

Guests:

Stefani Fontana / KCUR

It’s a form of dementia that afflicts as many as 5.2 million people in the United States. It has no cure.

And as the population ages, the number of people afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to quadruple over the next 35 years, according to a study from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

That means that by 2050, 1 in 85 people will be living with the disease.

No one says that caring for a sick relative is easy, especially when Alzheimer’s disease is involved. However, the day to day struggles of caregivers are often lost in the shuffle. 

Alex Smith / KCUR

With help from a new grant, University of Kansas Medical Center researchers will look at how Alzheimer's might be prevented without drugs. Pharmaceutical companies haven’t had much success fighting the disease, which is the most common form of dementia.

KU Med Dr. Jeff Burns will have older high risk volunteers in the study exercise 150 minutes a week. Burns will scan volunteers’ brains to see how exercise affects amyloid protein, which is linked to the disease.

Burns says even if exercise can only hold off Alzheimer’s, it could make a big difference.

Laura Ziegler

Alzheimer’s affects so many people these days that many senior living facilities have dedicated wings for sufferers of the disease.

user AJC1 / Flickr

A University of Kansas researcher is partnering with a Harvard scientist on a $1.7 million study of a protein believed to play a role in Alzheimer's disease.

Activity cuts the risk of Alzheimer's disease and slows cognitive decline, even in the very old, according to a new study.

There's been plenty of evidence for the "use it or lose it" theory of brain capacity. But this study is one of the first to show that activity of all sorts benefits people over age 80, even if they're not "exercising."

Alzheimer's Awareness

Nov 29, 2011

Just before the end of Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month, we sit down with experts in the field. We'll talk warning signs, stages, treatments, and new research happening in the Midwest. Plus, another story from The Creativity Connection.