Arguably the most challenging aspect of Alzheimer's disease care is that there is no definitive test to diagnose the condition. Health care professionals can rely on memory tests, genetic predisposition and other indicators to speculate the disease's presence, but until a patient dies there is no way to know for sure. That may soon change, as researchers from Germany's Saarland University believe they are closing in on a potential blood test.
Published in the journal Genome Biology, the scientists' new technique has shown to be surprisingly accurate. Specifically, researchers were interested in 12 biomarkers found in the blood of patients with Alzheimer's. In more than 200 trials using the technique, the study returned an accurate diagnosis 93 percent of the time. The findings are encouraging, but experts urge cautious optimism.
"A blood test to help detect Alzheimer's could be a useful addition to a doctor's diagnostic armory, but such a test must be well validated before it's considered for use," Dr Eric Karran of Alzheimer's Research UK told BBC News. "We need to see these findings confirmed in larger samples, and more work is needed to improve the test's ability to distinguish Alzheimer's from other neurological conditions."
Any potential method to reduce the effects of Alzheimer's is essential for the future of senior living. According to recent estimates from the Rush University Medical Center, the number of Alzheimer's cases could triple by 2050.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer among older men. According to the American Cancer Society, one in six men will be diagnosed with the illness in his lifetime, and around 238,590 new cases of prostate cancer are expected to occur in 2013 alone. The disease mostly affects seniors - around two-thirds of those who receive a diagnosis are 65 and older. That's why it's important for senior men living in retirement communities to keep their eye on studies that relate to the illness, such as the latest research published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Alzheimer's disease is one of the most trying illnesses that affects seniors, burdening families and the U.S. healthcare system. According to the Alzheimer's Association, one in eight older Americans has the disease, which is the sixth-leading cause of death in the country. As of yet, there is no cure. However grim these statistics are, an influx of funding through the National Alzheimer's Project Act has allowed scientists to make great strides in the fight against the condition.
April is National STD Awareness and Family Planning Month, and the CDC and NIH are encouraging Americans of all ages to join in observance by educating themselves about and raising awareness of sexual health issues. Though it may seem odd or even taboo to think about, sexual health is still very much a concern for seniors, and understanding common risks that many seniors face is an important step in promoting greater overall sexual health.
Over the years, a number of ingredients have earned the "brain food" title. According to The Huffington Post, although eating a balanced diet is perennially recommended for better health, people may particularly benefit from consuming certain foods that have been scientifically proven to promote cognitive function and memory.