There is a certain degree of helplessness that a person can feel when reading about dementia. After all, there is no cure. There is no precise understanding of the cause. There is not even a way to delay the disease. From time to time, there are fun articles that do assuage our fears about dementia, like “Alcohol Intake in the Elderly Affects Risk of Cognitive Decline and Dementia” that allow us to think, Oh, drinking wine helps stave off dementia! But even those are to be taken with a grain of salt.
Music can be a powerful influence. Just think about how hard it is to get a catchy tune out of your mind. But researchers say music can also be used to unlock memories, especially for Alzheimer’s patients. Alzheimer’s experts are using the power of music to bring back memories that some thought were lost forever.
Music can transport you to a different time and place. Many Alzheimer’s and dementia patients at Silverado Senior Living in Azusa can’t remember their loved ones or what they did this morning, but in a music class they experienced a breakthrough.
Amid the generally discouraging news about drugs that can slow or reverse the progress of Alzheimer’s disease, a new study is a faint glimmer of hope: In mice whose brains are clogged with the protein deposits that characterize Alzheimer’s, a drug called bexarotene substantially reversed key signs of dementia and reduced by half the telltale protein deposits of the disease.
A neurologist and director of the Center for Cognitive Health at Mount Sinai Hospital, Gandy specializes in the study and treatment of dementia, focusing on Alzheimer’s disease. He has been working in the field for 25 years.
Researchers are reporting that Gammagard, made by Baxter International Inc., might help stabilize Alzheimer’s disease for as much as three years. The findings from the small study were presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. The evidence is weak and in only four patients, making the study was far too small to prove the treatment works, but it does provide hope that an effective treatment may be found.