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Intouch : In Touch Autumn 2014
12 IN TOUCH AUTUMN 2014 Q&A RESEARCH LATEST STUDIES RECENT RESEARCH FINDINGS SUGGEST CAFFEINE MAY IMPROVE MEMORY PERFORMANCE, AND MORE. Q MY BROTHERS AND I HAVE FOUND OUT THAT MUM HAS BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE. DO YOU THINK IT WOULD BE HELPFUL FOR US TO SPEAK WITH SOMEONE? A Yes, it is often helpful for family members to come together to obtain a greater understanding and knowledge about the dementia, and about resources and services that are available to help and support them in caring for their loved one. Meeting with a counsellor can help family members discuss their individual reactions and responses, and to plan ahead for the future. Q WHAT IS WERNICKE- KORSAKOFF SYNDROME? A Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is a form of dementia that develops in some people with a long history of regular and very heavy alcohol consumption. Treatment with high doses of thiamine can sometimes reverse symptoms if carried out in time and before permanent brain damage occurs. Contact the National Dementia Helpline. E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 1800 100 500 CAFFEINE IMPROVES MEMORY PERFORMANCE Researchers from John Hopkins University have found that consuming 200mg of caffeine can improve the ability to retain information. Study participants were shown a series of images and, 24 hours later, shown new images and asked to identify which were old, new and similar. Immediately after the frst session, half of the participants consumed caffeine, while the other half was given a placebo. Those who took a caffeine tablet were better able to identify similar images in the second round. Higher doses of caffeine did not further improve memory retention. VITAMIN E SLOWS FUNCTIONAL DECLINE A long-term clinical trial published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found that vitamin E can slow the rate of decline in functional abilities of people with dementia. While there was no reportable difference in memory decline, the difference in functional decline meant those receiving the vitamin E needed two hours less care per day and performed better against the Activities of Daily Living Scale at activities such as showering, dressing and eating. While recommending caution in taking supplements, especially for patients also taking warfarin, Dr Maurice Dysken said the study may prompt research into antioxidant use in dementia treatment. ALZHEIMER'S AND ANAEMIA A link between Alzheimer's disease and anaemia may shed light on a treatment-resistant form of anaemia that is more common in older people. A team of researchers worked with more than 1100 participants over the age of 60 as part of the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle Flagship Study of Ageing, testing their iron levels and blood chemistry. The study found that the lowered haemoglobin levels caused by Alzheimer's disease represent a major risk factor for developing anaemia. "Older people more frequently develop a type of anaemia that cannot be treated by any available drugs or supplements," explained Professor Ashley Bush, Chief Scientist at the CRC for Mental Health. "The research suggests that Alzheimer's disease lowers haemoglobin [levels] and leads to an increased risk for anaemia, which in turn can be having an effect on memory, concentration and learning." T R I B U N A L Q U I T E N O U A D S B A B R A D E S I N U R E D B C T O L N Y K N E E U T D E B I T O S E A M N S E B B S N S K I T S L E O P A L I H E I T E N P A U S E S H E R A L D S V T M E S L E I R I C H E P I D E M I C SOLUTION TO PREVIOUS ISSUE'S PUZZLE CROSSWORD PAGE 16 SUDOKU SOLUTION CROSSWORD SOLUTION MORE INFO Stay up to date with the latest dementia research, visit: dementiaresearchfoundation. org.au NEED ANSWERS?
In Touch Summer 2013
In Touch Winter 2014