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Dating Dementia

Post image for How Does Anger Affect the Brain?

Irate people seem to be everywhere these days, on airplanes, in cars, at school, at sporting events, on social media and at political rallies across the country.  It makes me wonder, has anger reached a new high in America?  If so, how is it affecting the human body, and more specifically how does anger affect […]

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Post image for Aging Parents and Alzheimer’s Disease

What do Bruce Springsteen, Princess Jasmine Aga Kahn, Rick Steves and Candy Crowley have in common? Each has either an aging parent who is currently living with Alzheimer’s or a parent who died from the disease. Alzheimer’s and Aging Parents Rock icon Bruce Springsteen has talked movingly about what he and family members are going […]

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Post image for Tips for Managing Caregiver Stress

Many caregivers fall into the trap of believing they have to do everything by themselves. This can be a recipe for diaster.  If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to care-give for someone else. Juggling a Job and Caregiving Duties Two-thirds of caregivers work outside of the home. Juggling work responsibilities […]

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Post image for Alzheimer’s Caregiving Stress, The Checklist

Mary assists her aging mother two evenings a week and almost all day on Saturday.  Her mother, who will soon turn 85, needs help with a growing list of tasks, including shopping for groceries, paying bills, doing laundry going to the pharmacy and preparing meals. During a recent conversation with Mary, I called her a […]

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Post image for Alzheimer’s Cure! No, It’s Not Pot

A sincere “Thank You” to David Shenk and Rudy Tanzi.  A few days ago, I read your opinion piece, “Misplaced Hopes for Curing Alzheimer’s,” in The Wall Street Journal.  If you missed it, you can read it at this link. The essay is aimed at the “wishers” and “dreamers” (I’ll add scammers) who promote miracle […]

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Post image for What to Buy for Father’s Day When Dad Has Alzheimer’s?

Father’s Day is on June 21.  There’s not much time to pick out the perfect gift for Dad.  Will it be a new tie?  A shirt?  Perhaps a round of golf?  How about a book or a gift card for his favorite restaurant? Maybe even a cool, new tech device? These are all great ideas, […]

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Post image for Capturing the Alzheimer’s Person’s History

My sisters and I made a big mistake when my father began showing the first signs of Alzheimer’s: We didn’t take the time to capture Dad’s recollections about his childhood. When he died in 1999, after living with Alzheimer’s for the better part of a decade, Dad’s six siblings were also dead.  This meant there […]

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Post image for President Reagan & Alzheimer’s, Part 2

Did Ronald Reagan Have Alzheimer’s During His Presidency? Recently, I wrote a post about Ronald Reagan and Alzheimer’s disease.  After publishing this post, I came across a link to an interesting article in Mother Jones magazine.  I had saved the link several years ago, but couldn’t locate it when I was compiling the initial post. […]

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Post image for Alzheimer’s Association Advocates for Research Monies and The HOPE Act

Last week, I wrote a post about my experience attending the Alzheimer’s Advocacy Forum in Washington, D.C. The forum takes place annually.  This year it brought 1,100 people to our nation’s capitol to advocate on behalf of Alzheimer’s disease. The 2015 forum goal was twofold.  First, to ask for an additional $300 million in Alzheimer’s […]

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Post image for The Alzheimer Association’s Annual Washington, D.C. Forum

Last month I went to Washington, D.C. to attend the Alzheimer’s Association Forum, an annual event that brings together advocates from all across the country. Launched more than two decades ago, the forum’s goal is to educate regular folks, like myself, about the workings of government.  The goal is to enlighten Congress and apply pressure so we […]

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Post image for Alzheimer’s Advocates to Congress: “Enough Talk. Show Us the Money.”

About a dozen years ago my mother first showed signs of memory loss.  I remember that awful sinking feeling you get when you can no longer ignore the warning signs. Mom lived in the same small, rural town in central Minnesota that had been her home for more than 50 years.  I was glad when […]

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Post image for Alzheimer’s Keeps Me Awake at Night

In the dark, I toss and turn, practicing deep-breathing techniques and willing myself to think positive thoughts. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t. In the quiet of the night, there is an endless loop of questions running through my brain.  Will I get Alzheimer’s?  Could I already have it?  Would I know if I did […]

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Post image for Alive Inside, A Documentary About Memory Loss & Music is Nothing Short of Remarkable

Watching the documentary, Alive Inside, I couldn’t help but think: What a simple idea, and why didn’t I think of that? Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett chronicles individuals with memory loss who are revitalized through music. It’s an idea that costs very little but makes a huge difference for people those with Alzheimer’s or other progressive brain […]

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Post image for Famed Fantasy Writer Terry Pratchett Dies From Early Onset Alzheimer’s

Sir Terry Pratchett died yesterday at his home in England.  Author of more than 70 novels, Pratchett penned the hugely popular fantasy novel series Discworld.  Pratchett, 66, had Alzheimer’s disease. Two years ago, I wrote a post recommending several Alzheimer’s documentaries but my favorite film was “Choosing to Die” about Pratchett’s advocacy for assisted dying. […]

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Post image for New Study Reveals: Amyloid Found in the Brains of Young People

If there was ever a convincing argument for donating your brain to Alzheimer’s research, this is it.  “It” is a small, but surprising research study with results revealed last week.  Published in Brain, a neurology journal, you can read about the findings in Time magazine. Here is the lowdown: Researchers autopsied the brains of 48 […]

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Post image for How to Have Those Difficult Conversations When Someone Has Alzheimer’s Disease

Aging Parents and Difficult Conversations If I could change one aspect of my Alzheimer’s caregiving journey, it would be how I handled difficult conversations. Both of my parents had Alzheimer’s disease, first my dad and then a decade later my mother.  As you can imagine  there were plenty of difficult conversations over the years.  These […]

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Post image for Alzheimer’s – A Worldwide Epidemic?

Alzheimer’s disease affects people in every corner of the world. The global estimates are 35.5 million people now living with Alzheimer’s, with the largest number in Asia (15.9 million) and the lowest numbers in Africa (1.8 million).  Europe has just under 10 million living with Alzheimer’s while North/South America has 7.8. Latest Alzheimer’s Statistics These […]

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Post image for Alzheimer’s Frustrates Physicians

Alzheimer’s and other progressive diseases of the brain are devastating. They are also profoundly frustrating for those living with the disease, their family and caregivers.  The healthcare professionals who treat those patients are also frustrated. Recently, I came across a New York Times essay by Dr. Danielle Ofri.  “The Silence of Doctors Around Alzheimer’s” focuses […]

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Post image for Japan Struggles With the Challenges of an Aging Population and Declining Birthrate

In every corner of the world, countries and their citizens are struggling to care for their elders.  But no where is it more apparent than in Japan. Japan currently has an estimated 8 million who are living with Alzheimer’s disease, from individuals with mild symptoms to the most advanced stages.  This translates into a full […]

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Post image for Alzheimer’s Disease Researchers Identify PART, Primary Age-Related Tauopathy

A scientific team announced late last year it has identified yet another type of neurological disease.  It’s called PART or primary age-related tauopathy.  While PART mimics Alzheimer’s, it follows a significantly different brain pathology. The Alzheimer’s brain shows the classic combination of tangles comprised of a protein called tau and plaques, which are the result […]

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Thankful for Mummy

by Nancy Wurtzel on November 26, 2014

Post image for Thankful for Mummy

My mother died one year ago today.  In some ways it seems as though she left this world decades ago and at other times it feels like yesterday.  Death takes a long time to process, even if the person has been fading away for years. My relationship with Mom wasn’t an easy one.  We often […]

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Post image for Atypical Types of Dementia: Hippocampal Sparing Alzheimer’s Disease

Earlier this year I began reading about a variant type of dementia called hippocampal sparing Alzheimer’s disease, which results in symptoms far different than Alzheimer’s disease.  Those affected are mainly men and they often begin to show symptoms at a younger age. Hippocampal sparing AD usually advances quickly and it presents initially as bizarre behaviors.  […]

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Post image for Alzheimer’s Awareness and Support Goes Local. What’s Happening in Minnesota

As our population ages and no cure or effective treatments for Alzheimer’s are in sight, it is apparent we have to do more to accommodate those living with the disease and their caregivers. The challenge is how to build awareness and understanding and then take action? What’s happening in my native Minnesota is a great example […]

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Post image for Aging Parents and Adult Children: When a Health Crisis Changes Everything

Fall housekeeping in the upper Midwest doesn’t just mean cleaning out the gutters, raking leaves and getting ready for winter.  For some reason, when the weather starts cool, I always feel the need to also clean up my digital life as well. Organizing bookmarks was on my agenda yesterday.  Wading through the hundreds of sites […]

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Post image for A Global Perspective: The Financial Cost of Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias

Yesterday, I wrote about the Third Annual Worldwide Alzheimer’s month.  Now, I’m sharing information about the significant financial devastation for both individuals and nations around the globe. To understand the massive economic consequences of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) has complied some sobering international figures.  This major report was published in […]

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Post image for Six Alzheimer’s Myths Debunked. Hint: No One is Immune but Wine is Helpful

The media is saturated with coverage of Alzheimer’s disease.  Yet, even with 10 million news stories that show up in a simple Google search, there is still an incredible amount of confusion surrounding the disease. Why?  Here’s my opinion. Many people are afraid of Alzheimer’s disease and consequently avoid news coverage on the topic.  Alzheimer’s […]

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Post image for Dear God, My Mother Has Alzheimer’s Disease, Please Help Her Die

Dear Readers: This Blog Post Was First Published in 2013 When My Mother Was in the Latter Stages of Alzheimer’s disease.  Mom Died in November 2013. I am not a religious person.  I don’t even believe in a higher power, let alone one true God.  Even so, for the past several years I often find […]

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I’ve always wanted a cool nickname.  My parents chose Nancy because it was a fairly popular girls given name in the 1950s.  It was a safe choice.  However, Nancy wasn’t popular for very long.  Today, hardly anyone picks Nancy as the name for their newborn, it’s a name forever stuck in the middle of the […]

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Is It Alzheimer’s Disease? Looks can be deceiving.  Mary, a slight, sweet woman, moved into my mother’s independent living home about six months ago.  Mummy can’t remember her name and instead calls her “the little young gal.” Mary’s actually 83, so while she is no spring chicken, she might be considered young by many of […]

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The feedback on my recent post about dementia, What Makes Me Angry? Dementia., was truly heartwarming.  Quite a few of my friends called and emailed, while others posted on my Facebook page or retweeted the story to their followers.  Thanks to LinkedIn and a few other social media sites, hundreds of new readers visited Dating […]

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This is just a friendly reminder that I’m nominated by KCBS TV for “LA’s Most Valuable Blogs” and asking you to cast a vote for me through Sept 9.  To vote, just click here.  Yes, it seems a little silly to keep beating this drum incessantly since the contest involves no money, no big prize […]

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Hurricane Irene is passing through Boston.  Not really not that bad, and hopefully it won’t get any worse. We are on 24th floor of the Hilton (I’m here getting my daughter settled into her freshman year of college) and the building is creaking, groaning and swaying.  Actually, the swaying has made me a tad sick […]

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Thanks a Million, Really

by Nancy Wurtzel on August 24, 2011

This is a follow up to yesterday’s blog post about how a million isn’t nearly as impressive as it was back when we were kids.  Searching for a photo to pair with that post, I came across this totally cool poster from a 1935 movie called Thanks a Million, starring Fred Allen, Ann Dvorak and […]

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purple woman brain

Nobody wants to talk about dementia.  Bring up Alzheimer’s in a social setting and watch the reaction.  People squirm, they become uncomfortable, their gaze wanders, they stop making eye contact and finally they clam up like a librarian at a strip club. Dementia affects almost everyone these days, and you would be hard pressed to find […]

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