Alzheimer's disease | Texas Public Radio

Alzheimer's disease

At long last, what if a drug could help us live longer, healthier lives? UT Health Science Center Barshop Institute researchers are moving the science of healthy aging from the idea stage to clinical trials in an effort to prove that aging interventions, such as Rapamycin, actually work in humans.

It may be possible to transmit Alzheimer's disease from one person to another, according to a study published Wednesday in Nature. But this would occur only in highly unusual circumstances involving direct exposure to brain tissue, scientists say.

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Efforts to treat Alzheimer's disease have so far been disappointing. Researchers are now trying a different approach. They're using an experimental drug designed to protect the brain from the damage caused by Alzheimer's. NPR's Jon Hamilton explains.

The face of Alzheimer's isn't always old. Sometimes it belongs to someone like Giedre Cohen, who is 37, yet struggles to remember her own name.

Until about a year ago, Giedre was a "young, healthy, beautiful" woman just starting her life, says her husband, Tal Cohen, a real estate developer in Los Angeles. Now, he says, "her mind is slowly wasting away."

People like Giedre have a rare gene mutation that causes symptoms of Alzheimer's to appear before they turn 60.

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There's new evidence suggesting that women's brains are especially vulnerable to Alzheimer's disease and other problems with memory and thinking.

Women with mild cognitive impairment, which can lead to Alzheimer's, tend to decline faster than men, researchers reported this week at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Washington, D.C.

In this episode of NPR's series Inside Alzheimer's, we hear from Greg O'Brien about his struggle to deal with the hallucinations that are an increasing part of his illness. O'Brien, a longtime journalist in Cape Cod, was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease in 2009.

Sexual relationships in long-term care facilities are not uncommon. But the long-term care industry is still grappling with the issue.

Doctors are much more likely to level with patients who have cancer than patients who have Alzheimer's, according to a report released this week by the Alzheimer's Association.

This is part of NPR's series Inside Alzheimer's, about Greg O'Brien's experience of living with the illness. This time we hear from Greg's wife, Mary Catherine.

Greg and Mary Catherine O'Brien will celebrate their 38th wedding anniversary next month. She knows him better than anyone — his moods and sense of humor, his devotion to their three children and his love of Cape Cod.

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