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Geriatric Medicine

This week, health care professionals and scientists from around the world met in Vancouver to present the latest cutting-edge research on Alzheimer's disease for the annual Alzheimer's Association International Conference. There was a lot of buzz about new studies, including drug advancements that could be potential treatments in the future. But for the average patient with Alzheimer's, or for their caregivers, it's easy to get lost in the abundance of abstracts and scientific minutia.

Latest Stories

Building relationships amid memory lossupdated: Mon Apr 09 2012 13:37:00

On a recent late night in New Jersey, Adam Robb sat up with Dulcie Laurance, lulling her back to sleep.

Obesity rate may be worse than we thinkupdated: Tue Apr 03 2012 07:21:00

Doctors and health officials have relied for decades on body mass index (BMI), a ratio of height to weight, to categorize people as overweight and obese.

Skin cancer drug reverses Alzheimer's in miceupdated: Thu Feb 09 2012 17:38:00

Scientists say they "serendipitously" discovered that a drug used to treat a type of cancer quickly reversed Alzheimer's disease in mice.

Age-related memory loss more common in men, study findsupdated: Wed Jan 25 2012 16:04:00

Men in their 70s and 80s may be more likely than women of the same age to develop the memory loss and cognitive problems that often herald Alzheimer's disease, a new study has found.

Secrets of the world's healthiest womenupdated: Fri Jan 13 2012 07:14:00

The secret to a long, healthy life in America? According to longevity researchers, it may be to act like you live somewhere else.

Memory, mental function begin slipping as early as age 45updated: Fri Jan 06 2012 10:25:00

For years, many experts have maintained that the subtle changes in memory and mental function that occur naturally as we get older rarely begin before age 60.

Study: Cancer treatments and memoryupdated: Fri Jan 06 2012 10:25:00

Barbara Hall tell us about a new study that finds breast cancer treatments can cause memory loss for patients.

Is weight loss an early warning sign of Alzheimer's?updated: Mon Nov 21 2011 16:57:00

Over the past several years, researchers have noticed an odd pattern in the relationship between body weight and Alzheimer's disease: Middle-aged people have a higher long-term risk of developing the disease if they're overweight or obese, while older people have a lower risk of the disease if they're carrying excess weight.

Which test should I trust when measuring my body fat?updated: Fri Sep 30 2011 07:23:00

I am a 24-year-old female who is a fitness enthusiast. I have been trying to lose some weight. My weight is 113 pounds ( it was 120 and I lost 7). Recently I got my BMI, lipid profile, cholesterol, etc., tests done and all of them are normal. I have a normal BMI of around 22. However, when I took a body fat test online, it says I have body fat of 38% and I am obese. I am extremely confused, as to which metric to trust and what should be my ideal weight (I have a small frame). Should I be around 100 pounds?

For older women, year following hip fracture can be especially deadly updated: Mon Sep 26 2011 16:33:00

Women age 65 and older who fracture a hip are much more likely to die from any cause during the following year than they would be if they had avoided injury, a new study suggests.

Diabetes doubles Alzheimer's riskupdated: Mon Sep 19 2011 16:55:00

People with diabetes are at increased risk of having a heart attack or stroke at an early age, but that's not the only worry. Diabetes appears to dramatically increase a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia later in life, according to a new study conducted in Japan.

When the pieces of memory are scatteredupdated: Mon Sep 12 2011 16:45:00

There was cake at one of the last birthdays Robert John Kreitner Jr. would have at the nursing home in Pennsylvania, but the guest of honor didn't open his eyes to see it.

Soy no help for bone loss, hot flashesupdated: Mon Aug 08 2011 17:41:00

Middle-aged women searching for a safe alternative to hormone therapy to prevent bone loss and ease the symptoms of menopause are in for another letdown.

Could eye exams detect Alzheimer's?updated: Mon Jul 25 2011 07:34:00

Elizabeth Cohen discusses new research that suggests that eye exams may help doctors detect early signs of Alzheimer's.

Alzheimer's: Early detection, risk factors are crucialupdated: Mon Jul 25 2011 07:34:00

With more than 5 million people suffering from Alzheimer's disease in the United States, a number that's expected to rise to 16 million by 2050, the pressure is on to find better methods of diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

Former NFL players: League concealed concussion risksupdated: Wed Jul 20 2011 19:16:00

Seventy-five former professional football players are suing the National Football League, saying the league knew as early as the 1920s of the harmful effects of concussions on players' brains but concealed the information from players, coaches, trainers and others until June 2010.

How much weight is needed to strengthen my bones?updated: Fri Jul 08 2011 08:10:00

I am 39 years old and petite (5 feet and weigh about 94 pounds). My doctor recommended that I work out with weights to increase my bone density, since my small size puts me at greater risk for osteoporosis as I get older.

People in other nations living longerupdated: Thu Jun 16 2011 07:48:00

A report shows life span in the U.S. is falling behind other countries. CNN's Elizabeth Cohen reports.

Life expectancy in U.S. trails top nationsupdated: Thu Jun 16 2011 07:48:00

Life expectancy in most U.S. counties lags behind that of the world's healthiest nations, in some cases by 50 years or more, according to a new analysis of government data.

3 stages of Alzheimer's disease introducedupdated: Fri Apr 22 2011 11:59:00

Alzheimer's disease begins long before family and friends notice differences in the patient's memory and behavior, doctors who treat the condition said Monday. By the time an official diagnosis is made, the person's function is usually significantly impaired and treatment rarely helps.

New guidelines for Alzheimer'supdated: Fri Apr 22 2011 11:59:00

Researchers expand the definition of Alzheimer's disease, recognizing it may be present long before symptoms appear.

Fortune: What makes movie stars ageless? (Besides surgery.)updated: Fri Feb 18 2011 10:28:00

The anti-aging quest got some attention this week when actor/producer Ashton Kutcher was pictured in a British tabloid reading my book, The Youth Pill, on a beach next to his wife, actress Demi Moore. According to one account, Moore had given the book to Kutcher -- the smirking implication was that he needed all the help he could get as the aging consort of the seemingly immortal Demi. The uncannily svelte, 48-year-old mother of three was photographed in a skimpy black bikini, leaving no doubt about her all-around youthfulness.

Hearing loss may be an early sign of dementiaupdated: Tue Feb 15 2011 06:18:00

Gradual hearing loss is a common symptom of aging, but in some people it may also be an early sign of Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia, a new study suggests.

2010: Mental stimulation and dementiaupdated: Tue Feb 15 2011 06:18:00

Mental exercises won't prevent Alzheimer's disease, but they may delay it. Patty Lane has more in the Health Minute.

Fish oil ingredient doesn't slow Alzheimer'supdated: Tue Nov 02 2010 10:09:00

An essential nutrient found in fish oil does not appear to slow the mental decline associated with Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Can prevention keep Alzheimer's at bay?updated: Mon Oct 11 2010 12:39:00

After age 60, we are all likely passengers on the Alzheimer's Express. These days it's overcrowded with baby boomers and is predicted by 2050 to claim 115 million victims worldwide, including 13.5 million Americans (up from 5.1 million today), bankrupting our health care system.

Study: Men have earlier memory lossupdated: Wed Sep 08 2010 08:55:00

HLN's Susan Hendricks reports on a new study that finds men have earlier memory loss than women.

Better understanding of dementia leading to more effective therapiesupdated: Wed Sep 01 2010 08:22:00

Last week, I answered a question about the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. Today I want to talk a little about how dementia is treated.

Are hallucinations an Alzheimer's symptom?updated: Thu Aug 26 2010 08:14:00

Is hearing things that aren't there a symptom of Alzheimer's? Is Alzheimer's treatable?

Study: No esophageal cancer risk from bone drugsupdated: Wed Aug 11 2010 11:56:00

Popular bone drugs taken by millions of older people to prevent osteoporosis do not appear to raise the risk of cancer in the esophagus, as some doctors and patients have feared.

Calcium supplements may boost heart attack riskupdated: Fri Jul 30 2010 09:45:00

The millions of people who take calcium supplements to strengthen aging bones and ward off osteoporosis may be putting themselves at increased risk of a heart attack, a new study has found.

Calcium pills linked to heart riskupdated: Fri Jul 30 2010 09:45:00

CNN's Elizabeth Cohen reports on a study suggesting calcium supplements can increase heart attack risks.

Depression may raise risk of dementia, Alzheimer's, study saysupdated: Tue Jul 06 2010 15:08:00

The link between depression and dementia has always been unclear, but a new study supports the theory that depression increases dementia risk.

Injectable osteoporosis drug approved by FDAupdated: Wed Jun 02 2010 19:47:00

Primary-care doctors now have a new--and potentially more convenient--tool to fight the bone disease osteoporosis.

Despite widespread claims, little proof for brain supplementsupdated: Mon Apr 26 2010 08:20:00

In the fight against memory loss, nothing is certain, doctors say.

Ginkgo doesn't work: Are there better ways to save your brain?updated: Tue Dec 29 2009 16:21:00

Ginkgo biloba has failed -- again -- to live up to its reputation for boosting memory and brain function. Just over a year after a study showed that the herb doesn't prevent dementia and Alzheimer's disease, a new study from the same team of researchers has found no evidence that ginkgo reduces the normal cognitive decline that comes with aging.

Can depression cause memory loss?updated: Tue Dec 15 2009 12:09:00

My husband, age 39, was diagnosed with manic depression/bipolar disorder approximately two years ago. He suffers from recurrent bouts of depression and is currently in a depressive phase. He does not have very many manic phases at all. His short-term memory is getting progressively worse. Lately he cannot seem to remember how to get to places that he had just visited two or three days before. This has happened three times in the past week alone. Is there a correlation between recurrent bouts of depression and memory loss? I would question the medications as a factor, but he has not changed meds in many months and the episodes of memory loss have been in recent weeks. I would appreciate any information you can give me, as the primary caregiver you can imagine that this whole ordeal is very difficult.

House panel considers brain injuries and NFL playersupdated: Wed Oct 28 2009 17:36:00

Are professional football players at greater risk of dementia and other neurological problems?

NFL players at risk?updated: Wed Oct 28 2009 17:36:00

The House Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on legal issues relating to pro football head injuries.

What are good options for osteoporosis meds?updated: Wed Jun 10 2009 09:35:00

I am a healthy and fit 55-year-old woman. My bone density test showed that I needed to be supplemented. I cannot take hormones as I had a blood clot, so the doctor prescribed Fosamax. I had awful side effects: muscle pain, joint pain, etc. He has now prescribed Forteo. Is this a good alternative?

Less-stressed people may have lower dementia riskupdated: Thu Jan 22 2009 10:00:00

People with a stable mood and better capacity to handle stressful situations without anxiety have a reduced risk of developing dementia, according to a study published this week in the journal Neurology.

Statins not a wonder drug for Alzheimer'supdated: Mon Dec 22 2008 12:55:00

Cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins are often hailed as "wonder drugs." But a study published in the January 2008 issue of the journal Neurology says they don't protect the brain against Alzheimer's disease.

Fosamax may increase risk of irregular heartbeatupdated: Mon Dec 22 2008 12:52:00

Women who have used the bone-building drug Fosamax are nearly twice as likely to develop the most common kind of chronically irregular heartbeat as those who have never used it. Patients, especially those with family history of heart problems, should talk to their doctor about whether the drug is the appropriate option for them. The study was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in April 2008.

How does nutrition affect dementia?updated: Mon Dec 15 2008 15:55:00

How can poor nutrition and vitamin deficiency affect your health, as far as dementia?

Study: Ginkgo doesn't cut dementia riskupdated: Tue Nov 18 2008 17:56:00

The popular herb ginkgo biloba does not reduce the risk of dementia or Alzheimer's disease, according to a study of more than 1,500 elderly patients who took the supplement. Often touted as a way to preserve aging memories, no large-scale, randomized clinical trial -- until now -- has thoroughly evaluated the safety and effectiveness of ginkgo biloba extract as a way to prevent dementia. Menopause Drug Reduces Multiple Symptomsupdated: Thu Sep 25 2008 16:00:00

An experimental menopause treatment drugmaker Wyeth is developing reduced hot flashes, trouble sleeping and other symptoms

Paid to stay in bedupdated: Tue Sep 16 2008 11:07:00

CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta meets a man paid to spend 84 days on bed rest as part of a NASA study.

NASA bone-loss test sends man to bed for 84 daysupdated: Tue Sep 16 2008 11:07:00

Doctors working with NASA scientists believe that they may have a way to combat one of the greatest health dangers of space travel: bone loss.

Breakthrough drug 'could halt' Alzheimer'supdated: Fri Aug 01 2008 14:42:00

British researchers say a new drug could effectively halt the progression of Alzheimer's disease, offering hope to millions. Alzheimer's Research Holds Promiseupdated: Thu Jul 31 2008 22:00:00

In a field of inquiry that has yielded much disappointment, scientists studying Alzheimer's disease announce some hopeful news

Treating Alzheimer'supdated: Mon Jul 28 2008 14:52:00

Researchers are studying whether blood pressure drugs can be used to treat Alzheimer's. Fit Alzheimer's Patients Better Offupdated: Mon Jul 28 2008 10:00:00

Patients in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease who performed better on a treadmill test had less atrophy in the areas of the brain that control memory Alzheimer's Vaccine Stopped Plaque, Not Dementiaupdated: Fri Jul 18 2008 14:00:00

Some doctors have long suspected that if the plaque that builds up in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease could be removed, they could be saved. But a new vaccine that did just that suggests the theory is wrong

Early Alzheimer's patients pressing for research, resourcesupdated: Fri Jun 06 2008 11:34:00

Don Hayen has a handy way of deflecting the instant pity that comes when he reveals his Alzheimer's disease: "But I haven't lost my keys all day," he quickly jokes.

X-Rays, sunshine: Could radiation be hurting your health?updated: Tue Jun 03 2008 09:22:00

When Sheri Diehl, a Chicago-area flight attendant, got -- and finally stayed --pregnant after four miscarriages in the 1990s, she contacted her supervisor and asked to stop flying immediately. Her biggest worry? Radiation. She knew the airplane's shell didn't protect her from the sun's rays at high altitude. Diehl and her fellow flight attendants had long wondered -- Could there be unknown health risks for frequent fliers? -- which now included her baby. "I wasn't taking any chances," she says. Study: Painkillers Don't Help Elderlyupdated: Mon May 12 2008 20:00:00

Results from a large government experiment are dimming hopes that two common painkillers can prevent Alzheimer's disease Study: Boomers to Flood Med Systemupdated: Mon Apr 14 2008 12:20:00

Millions of baby boomers are about to enter a health care system for seniors that not only isn't ready for them, but may even discourage them from getting quality care

Building strong bones throughout your lifeupdated: Fri Apr 04 2008 09:11:00

The truth: By age 35 your bone strength has usually peaked, and by age 50 your risk of breaking a bone because of osteoporosis may be as high as one in two. But here's an important secret: Experts say smart lifestyle choices-from workouts to the right supplements-can greatly improve your odds of avoiding bone problems. What should you do right now? Just follow this age-specific game plan.

Belly fat and dementiaupdated: Thu Mar 27 2008 11:13:00

CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports on a study that links abdominal fat to an increased risk of dementia later in life.

5 good reasons for going on hormonesupdated: Thu Mar 06 2008 09:45:00

Dr. Bernadine Healy can't even count the number of women who've complained to her about how tough it is to make the decision about hormone replacement therapy. Mild Exercise May Counter Dementiaupdated: Thu Dec 20 2007 15:05:00

Just a few minutes of moderate daily exercise may stave off the signs of dementia in the elderly, a new study suggests

Fortune: Amgen's science doesn't guarantee profitsupdated: Tue Dec 18 2007 05:29:00

Amgen just can't get a break these days.

Want strong bones? Start earlyupdated: Fri Nov 16 2007 16:17:00

If you want to stand up tall when you're old, you might want to start when you're young. While osteoporosis, or thinning of bone density, usually hits most women after they have gone through menopause, there are steps they can take in their early years to lessen just how much bone they eventually lose.

Health for her: Bone healthupdated: Fri Nov 16 2007 16:17:00

CNN's Judy Fortin looks at ways women can fight back against osteoporosis. Is Alzheimer's a Form of Diabetes?updated: Thu Oct 18 2007 15:00:00

New research shows that insulin plays a key role in the brain -- and in the onset of Alzheimer's disease, prompting some researchers to call it "type 3" diabetes

Experts: Senator's form of dementia usually forces people off jobsupdated: Thu Oct 04 2007 20:53:00

Four prominent neurologists say they cannot see how Sen. Pete Domenici can continue his work as a U.S. senator given his diagnosis with frontotemporal lobar degeneration, a type of dementia. Study: Estrogen May Fight Dementiaupdated: Wed Aug 29 2007 16:00:00

Researchers are still figuring out the dangers and benefits of hormone replacement therapy, but two new studies give a boost to estrogen as a defense against dementia

Exhaustion, anger of caregiving get a nameupdated: Mon Aug 13 2007 02:12:00

Do you take care of someone in your family with a chronic medical illness or dementia? Have you felt depression, anger or guilt? Has your health deteriorated since taking on the responsibility of caregiving? If your answer is yes to any one of these, you may be suffering from caregiver stress. Alzheimer's Cases May Quadrupleupdated: Thu Jun 14 2007 02:50:00

More than 26 million people worldwide have Alzheimer's disease, and a new forecast says the number will quadruple by 2050 Does Alcohol Slow Dementia?updated: Fri May 25 2007 15:40:00

How can something can be healthy one day and unhealthy the next? A new study on alcohol and dementia shows that the results are usually more complicated than we think Dangerous games updated: Mon Apr 23 2007 12:42:00

The images on the large screen came one after another, each more disturbing and haunting than the other. There was Mike Webster shown naked from the waist up, lying dead on an autopsy table. There was Terry Long dead on an autopsy table with his tongue sticking out, still showing the pain of someone who had endured a prolonged death after ingesting antifreeze. Then there were simply the words of Dr. Bennet Omalu -- who didn't show pictures of Andre Waters because he shot himself -- as he described Waters' condition at his autopsy.

Take first steps against aging at the dinner tableupdated: Tue Feb 13 2007 17:49:00

As we eat, so will we age.

Reverse the brain drain of aging updated: Wed Feb 07 2007 15:36:00

For some, the search for the fountain of youth means downing fruit-flavored potions they believe give them more energy. Others look for it in the creams and lotions they rub on their crows' feet in hopes that the wrinkles will magically disappear. Still, there are those of us who think a true fountain of youth would deliver the answer to one of the mysteries of middle-age life: Where did I put my car keys?

Diabetes, obesity can increase your Alzheimer's riskupdated: Mon Nov 06 2006 12:20:00

November is National Alzheimer's Disease month. CNN medical correspondent Judy Fortin talked about the illness with Dr. John Morris, director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

CNNMoney: Eli Lilly hit with $65M damagesupdated: Fri May 05 2006 08:16:00

A federal jury ruled that Eli Lilly & Co. infringed the patent of Ariad Pharmaceuticals with its drugs Evista and Xigris, and ordered the drugmaker to pay the Massachusetts biotech firm $65.2 million, the companies said.

Drug prolongs cancer survival -- at a costupdated: Fri Mar 10 2006 08:54:00

On the heels of disappointing results for thalidomide as a treatment for bone marrow cancer, a smaller study suggests the drug may prolong survival of elderly patients, but at a price.

This week in the medical journalsupdated: Fri Sep 02 2005 09:39:00

Heartsick women at disadvantage

CNNMoney: A bone drug battle ahead?updated: Thu Jun 02 2005 15:42:00

With at least seven competing drugs shouldering in, the multi-billion dollar market for treating elderly bones is getting crowded. There will probably be enough aging baby boomers to go around ... but expect some jostling.

Money can't buy happiness -- just ask geriatricianupdated: Mon May 16 2005 15:04:00

Dr. David Reuben is the anti-Peter Pan.

This week in the medical journalsupdated: Thu May 05 2005 15:06:00

The thick and thin of health

Remember thisupdated: Tue Mar 22 2005 08:39:00

The capitals of all 50 states. The name of your second-grade teacher. The location of your keys.

Fortune: Chasing The Youth Pill Drugs that might extend human life are one of the hottest topics in biotech. Some of them are already herupdated: Mon Apr 19 2004 00:01:00

The power of wishful thinking guarantees that just about anything can be successfully marketed as an elixir of youth. Pee, for instance. A multitude of websites extol the ability of "urine therapy"...

Fortune: The Brain An Owners Manual We baby-boomers have no intention of aging gracefully. Egged on by the multibupdated: Mon Oct 06 2003 00:01:00

MEMORY LOSS Michela Gallagher, Ph.D. Chair, Johns Hopkins University Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Fortune: Alzheimer's Uneaseupdated: Mon Oct 28 2002 00:01:00

A common concern I hear from patients is that they're having trouble remembering names and dates. What they're really worried about is Alzheimer's disease. Anyone who's seen someone struggling with...

Fortune: Bone Vivantupdated: Mon Mar 18 2002 00:01:00

"Break a leg" may be good luck in the theater but not when it comes to osteoporosis. The disease causes bones to become more porous, gradually making them brittle--and it causes 1.5 million fractur...

Fortune: The Hunt For The Youth Pill From cell-immortalizing drugs to cloned organs, biotech finds new ways to fight against time's toll.updated: Mon Oct 11 1999 00:01:00

Larry Ellison has the good life down pat--health, youthful good looks, vast wealth, a fast sailboat, airplanes, and more gorgeous amours than a Hollywood hunk. But like every potentate from King Tu...

Fortune: Live a Lot Longer After decades of fumbling in the dark, researchers are fitting together the puzzle of how we age--and how we mupdated: Mon Jul 05 1999 00:01:00

Chin up, fellow boomers, aging has its compensations. Our fingernails are growing slower, so we don't need to clip them as often. Our sweat glands are waning, so we have less body odor to worry abo...

Fortune: MENOPAUSE AND THE WORKING BOOMER An entire generation is approaching a big change. These women will demand more on-the-job opennupdated: Mon Nov 14 1994 00:01:00

DURING AN ANNUAL industry gathering, the regional manager of a communications giant began to feel warm. The air conditioner must be on the blink, she thought. But then she realized that everyone el...

Fortune: WHY WE WILL LIVE LONGER . . .AND WHAT IT WILL MEAN The one-two punch of healthier habits and biomedical breakthroughs could pushupdated: Mon Feb 21 1994 00:01:00

Hope I die before I get old. PETE TOWNSHEND 1966

Money Magazine: How to talk to your parents about Money With everyone gathered for the holidays, this may be the best time of year to talk aboutupdated: Sun Dec 01 1991 00:01:00

Few families are closer than the Lifsons of Hopkins, Minn. With Laurel, 40, and Scott, 39, living just a block away from Laurel's parents, Efrom and Honee Abramson, ages 73 and 71, the two couples ...

Money Magazine: AND NOW, MEET YOUR FRIENDLY GERIATRICIANupdated: Mon Apr 11 1988 00:01:00

CHILDREN HAVE LONG had their own pediatricians, but until recently there was no medical specialty for people above 70, when medical problems multiply. A geriatrician is often best at alleviating ch...

Fortune: MEDICINE'S NEXT MARVEL: THE MEMORY PILL In five years drug companies will probably be marketing pills that aid victims of Alzheiupdated: Mon Jan 20 1986 00:01:00

WE'D ALL LIKE a better memory, but for most of us the occasional lapse is only a fleeting embarrassment. Not so for the more than 25 million Americans over 65, whose ranks are growing three times f...

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