Alzheimer’s

Ten million of us baby boomers are going to develop Alzheimer’s. Expect coverage of research to increase. Let’s begin with this one that’s out today.

At Northeastern University in Boston, researchers say the disease may get its start by an insufficient blood flow carrying sugar to the brain. They suggest that exercise — now — may be the answer.

Meanwhile, a researcher at McGill University is out with a study today that says patients who frequently kick or cry out in their sleep may be at an increased risk of developing a neurodegenerative disease, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.

There’s no simple test for Alzheimer’s. The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is suggesting a five-minute test, which others say is hugely controversial. Why? Take it and see if you can figure it out:


Tell someone three random words: car, pencil, banana. Then have the person draw a clock with the correct time, as a distraction. A little later, can he or she recall the words?

As a Chicago Tribune article pointed out, “Failing such a test doesn’t mean someone has dementia. But it signals there might be a problem with short-term memory that should be checked by a doctor. Maybe it’s something fixable, such as depression or thyroid disease. Maybe it is an Alzheimer’s warning sign. Or maybe the person just isn’t a good test taker.”

  • momkat

    Well, that’s a little scary. My husband yells and kicks in his sleep now and then. Usually I’m the kickee but sometimes one of the cats will wake up in midair. And Mr. Momkat’s dad was just diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I won’t tell him about the McGill study.