Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Can Vitamin E Prevent Alzheimer's?

Can Vitamin E Prevent Alzheimer's?   
The evidence:
While there is some evidence that vitamin E slows the progression of Alzheimer's, a recent trial the first large-scale trial to investigate whether antioxidants can prevent dementia found that neither vitamin E nor selenium (another antioxidant) was protective, whether used alone or in combination.

The study, published in JAMA Neurology in 2017, tested the effect of the two antioxidants on about 3,800 men who were at least 60 years old. Participants were divided into four groups, each took supplements or placebo for up to 15 years as follows: vitamin E (400 IU per day), selenium (200 micrograms per day), vitamin E plus selenium, or placebo. All participants were evaluated periodically for dementia, using screening tests and medical records.

Analysis showed that about the same percentage of each of the four groups – 4 percent developed dementia, indicating that neither supplement was protective.

The bottom line:

Don't waste your money on these supplements to prevent Alzheimer's.  A better investment in money and time would be to exercise regularly and follow a healthful diet to reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease. There is convincing evidence that these steps can also help reduce the risk for age-related cognitive decline.

(Source: UC Berkeley Health and Wellness Alerts, 12 December 2017)

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

ADFM ACTIVITIES AT AACC: (1) FRI/24NOV Sing-Along Session (2) SUN/26NOV Yoga Exercise Session

TO:  Family caregivers, dementia persons, seniors and the elderly

The following activities will be held at the ATRIA-ADFM Community Centre (AACC) on:

Venue:  ATRIA-ADFM Community Centre, Atria Shopping Gallery, T03, 3rd Floor, Jalan SS 22/23, Damansara Jaya, Petaling Jaya

Sing-Along Session by the Eleven to One Singing Group from DJROA who will sing sentimental oldies and Christmas songs.

All caregivers and dementia persons as well as seniors/elderly are welcome to join the session – nasi lemak for lunch after the session.

26 November


SUNDAY YOGA EXERCISE for Caregivers and Dementia Persons, the Elderly and their families.  

FREE - NO REGISTRATION FEES for our outreach programs/activities.

TO REGISTER: Email to: jenny@adfm.org.my / jennyho8@gmail.com, OR WhatsApp 016 608 2513, providing:
(1)    Full Name/s
(2)    Mobile contact
(3)    Email address
(4)    If you are a caregiver, indicate whom you are caring for.

Kindly confirm your attendance for our logistic arrangement.

The ATRIA-ADFM Dementia Friendly Community Center (AACC), officially opened on 9 September 2017, is a joint community service initiative between ADFM and Atria Shopping Gallery to promote greater awareness of Alzheimer’s and dementia, and cater to the needs of people living with dementia (PWDs) around  the Damansara Jaya neighborhoods where the PWDs, their carers and the public will have greater access to information, assistance and support on Dementia.

Kind regards.

ADFM NATIONAL CAREGIVERS SUPPORT NETWORK is an online community platform for caregivers to seek support, information, advice, and share their caregiving challenges and experiences with other caregivers.
To Join:  Sign Up at:  http://admalaysia.ning.com
National Dementia Helpline: 603 7931 5850

Friday, 17 November 2017


By Bill Gates, 13 November 2017

In every part of the world, people are living longer than they used to. Thanks to scientific advancements, fewer people die young from heart disease, cancer, and infectious diseases. It’s no longer unusual for a person to live well into their 80s and beyond. My dad will celebrate his 92nd birthday in a couple weeks, a milestone that was practically unimaginable when he was born.

This fact—that people are living longer than ever before—should always be a wonderful thing. But what happens when it’s not?

The longer you live, the more likely you are to develop a chronic condition. Your risk of getting arthritis, Parkinson’s, or another non-infectious disease that diminishes your quality of life increases with each year. But of all the disorders that plague us late in life, one stands out as a particularly big threat to society: Alzheimer’s disease.

You have a nearly 50 percent chance of developing the disease if you live into your mid-80s. It is the only cause of death in the top 10 without any meaningful treatments that becomes more prevalent each year. That trend will likely continue as baby boomers age, which means that more families will watch their loved ones suffer from cognitive decline and slowly disappear. Despite this growing burden, scientists have yet to figure out what exactly causes Alzheimer’s or how to stop the disease from destroying the brain.

I first became interested in Alzheimer’s because of its costs—both emotional and economic—to families and healthcare systems. The financial burden of the disease is much easier to quantify. A person with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia spends five times more every year out-of-pocket on healthcare than a senior without a neurodegenerative condition. Unlike those with many chronic diseases, people with Alzheimer’s incur long-term care costs as well as direct medical expenses. If you get the disease in your 60s or 70s, you might require expensive care for decades.

These costs represent one of the fastest growing burdens on healthcare systems in developed countries. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Americans will spend $259 billion caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias in 2017. Absent a major breakthrough, expenditures will continue to squeeze healthcare budgets in the years and decades to come. This is something that governments all over the world need to be thinking about, including in low- and middle-income countries where life expectancies are catching up to the global average and the number of people with dementia is on the rise.

The human cost of Alzheimer’s is much more difficult to put into numbers. It’s a terrible disease that devastates both those who have it and their loved ones. This is something I know a lot about, because men in my family have suffered from Alzheimer’s. I know how awful it is to watch people you love struggle as the disease robs them of their mental capacity, and there is nothing you can do about it. It feels a lot like you’re experiencing a gradual death of the person that you knew.

My family history isn’t the sole reason behind my interest in Alzheimer’s. But my personal experience has exposed me to how hopeless it feels when you or a loved one gets the disease. We’ve seen scientific innovation turn once-guaranteed killers like HIV into chronic illnesses that can be held in check with medication. I believe we can do the same (or better) with Alzheimer’s.

I’ve spent considerable time over the last year learning about the disease and the progress made to date. There’s a lot of amazing work being done in this field to delay Alzheimer’s and reduce its cognitive impact. What I’ve heard from researchers, academics, funders, and industry experts makes me hopeful that we can substantially alter the course of Alzheimer’s if we make progress in five areas:

·     We need to better understand how Alzheimer’s unfolds. The brain is a complicated    organ. Because it’s so difficult to study while patients are alive, we know very little about  how it ages normally and how Alzheimer’s disrupts that process. Our understanding of what happens in the brain is based largely on autopsies, which show only the late stages of the disease and don’t explain many of its lingering mysteries. For example, we don’t fully understand why you are more likely to get Alzheimer’s if you’re African American or Latino than if you’re white. If we’re going to make progress, we need a better grasp on its underlying causes and biology.

·       We need to detect and diagnose Alzheimer’s earlier. Since the only way to diagnose Alzheimer’s definitively is through an autopsy after death, it’s difficult to identify the disease definitively early in its progression. Cognitive tests exist but often have a high variance. If you didn’t sleep well the night before, that might skew your results. A more reliable, affordable, and accessible diagnostic—such as a blood test—would make it easier to see how Alzheimer’s progresses and track how effective new drugs are.

·       We need to better understand how Alzheimer’s unfolds. The brain is a complicated organ. Because it’s so difficult to study while patients are alive, we know very little about how it ages normally and how Alzheimer’s disrupts that process. Our understanding of what happens in the brain is based largely on autopsies, which show only the late stages of the disease and don’t explain many of its lingering mysteries. For example, we don’t fully understand why you are more likely to get Alzheimer’s if you’re African American or Latino than if you’re white. If we’re going to make progress, we need a better grasp on its underlying causes and biology.

·       We need to make it easier to get people enrolled in clinical trials. The pace of innovation is partly determined by how quickly we can do clinical trials. Since we don’t yet have a good understanding of the disease or a reliable diagnostic, it’s difficult to find qualified people early enough in the disease’s progression willing to participate. It can sometimes take years to enroll enough patients. If we could develop a process to pre-qualify participants and create efficient registries, we could start new trials more quickly.

·     We need to use data better. Every time a pharmaceutical company or a research lab does a study, they gather lots of information. We should compile this data in a common form, so that we get a better sense of how the disease progresses, how that progression is determined by gender and age, and how genetics determines your likelihood of getting Alzheimer’s. This would make it easier for researchers to look for patterns and identify new pathways for treatment.

By improving in each of these areas, I think we can develop an intervention that drastically reduces the impact of Alzheimer’s. There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about our chances: our understanding of the brain and the disease is advancing a great deal. We’re already making progress—but we need to do more.

I want to support the brilliant minds doing this work. As a first step, I’ve invested $50 million in the Dementia Discovery Fund—a private fund working to diversify the clinical pipeline and identify new targets for treatment. Most of the major pharmaceutical companies continue to pursue the amyloid and tau pathways. DDF complements their work by supporting startups as they explore less mainstream approaches to treating dementia.

I’m making this investment on my own, not through the foundation. The first Alzheimer’s treatments might not come to fruition for another decade or more, and they will be very expensive at first. Once that day comes, our foundation might look at how we can expand access in poor countries.

But before we can even begin to think about how we do that, we need lots of scientific breakthroughs. With all of the new tools and theories in development, I believe we are at a turning point in Alzheimer’s R&D. Now is the right time to accelerate that progress before the major costs hit countries that can’t afford high priced therapies and where exposure to the kind of budget implications of an Alzheimer’s epidemic could bankrupt health systems.

This is a frontier where we can dramatically improve human life. It’s a miracle that people are living so much longer, but longer life expectancies alone are not enough. People should be able to enjoy their later years—and we need a breakthrough in Alzheimer’s to fulfill that. I’m excited to join the fight and can’t wait to see what happens next.

(Source: GatesNotes Insider)

Wednesday, 15 November 2017


People with mild cognitive impairment are more forgetful than normal for their age, but they don't experience other cognitive problems associated with dementia, such as disorientation or confusion about routine activities.

Routine tasks such as paying bills, shopping, and meal preparation may become challenging. People with mild cognitive impairment may take more time doing these things and they may make more mistakes. They are generally able to live independently but may be less active socially.

About one in five older adults has some type of mild cognitive impairment. In a 2010 study of nearly 2,000 people, about 16 percent of dementia-free people over age 70 were suffering from mild cognitive impairment. Men were more likely to suffer than women, although women may simply experience dementia at a later age. In the study, risk factors included being a carrier of the APOE e4 gene (a known risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer's disease), never having married, and having less than nine years of education.

In a 2011 study of nearly 1,300 women age 85 and older, 23 percent were diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. The researchers recommend that women this age should be screened for cognitive problems.

The National Institute on Aging-Alzheimer's Association workgroup has come up with new diagnostic guidelines for mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer's disease. With mild cognitive impairment, people experience gradual cognitive decline due to Alzheimer's-related brain changes.

What to look for:
A person is thought to suffer from mild cognitive impairment if he or she meets the following criteria:

·         A friend, family member, doctor, or the person in question is concerned about a change in his or her cognition compared to the previous level.

·         The person is experiencing more difficulties in one or more cognitive areas such as memory, attention, and language than would be expected for his or her age or educational background. Difficulty learning and retaining new information is most common in mild cognitive impairment patients who develop Alzheimer's related dementia.

The person is having trouble performing complex tasks such as paying bills, preparing a meal, or shopping. He or she may take more time, be less efficient, and make more mistakes than in the past. Still, he or she maintains his or her independence with minimal assistance.

·         There's no evidence of significant impairment in social or occupational functioning.

·      There should be objective evidence of progressive cognitive decline over time. Cognitive testing can assess the degree of impairment. Scores for people with mild cognitive impairment are usually 1 to 1.5 standard deviations below the mean for their age and education level.

Some formal cognitive tests that assess both immediate and delayed recall can help identify mild cognitive impairment patients who are likely to progress to Alzheimer's dementia within a few years. They include the Free and Cued Selective Reminding Test, the Rev Auditory Verbal Learning Test and the California Verbal Learning Test.

Other tests can determine impairment in problem-solving, reasoning and language. Doctors may also assess a person's cognitive function using informal techniques, like asking a patient to learn a street address and then remember it after a delay.

Vascular, traumatic, and medical illnesses that could explain the decline in cognition must be ruled out. The goal is to increase the likelihood that the underlying cause of mild cognitive impairment is probably Alzheimer's.

·      If a person is known to carry a genetic defect, such as a mutation in APP, PS1 or PS2, he or she is most likely suffering from mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer's disease. Most of these carriers develop Alzheimer's before age 65. A person who meets the diagnostic criteria for mild cognitive impairment and carries the apolipoprotein E gene is more likely to progress to Alzheimer's dementia within a few years than someone without this gene.

Biomarkers such as proteins that can be measured in spinal fluid as well as imaging tests like positron-emission tomography (PET) scans are being studied or used to increase accuracy in diagnosing mild cognitive impairment.

Doctors are looking for specific proteins beta-amyloid and tau which are found in the brain of a person affected by Alzheimer's disease. Identifying these proteins could help doctors pinpoint the underlying cause of mild cognitive impairment, which could lead to the best treatment and determine whether a person will progress to a more severe stage of mild cognitive impairment or dementia.

What may help
Researchers have discovered that activities such as exercise and computer use may prevent mild cognitive impairment. In a 2010 Mayo Clinic study, adults between ages 70 and 90 who participated in moderate physical exercise like brisk walking or biking and used a computer were less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment.

Another Mayo Clinic study found that consuming more heart-healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats reduced the risk of mild cognitive impairment among people age 70 and older. These fatty acids which are found in olive oil, nuts, seafood, and vegetable oils appear to prevent inflammation and reduce the risk of blood clots, stroke, and heart disease.

Many experts believe that mild cognitive impairment may be an early warning sign of memory disorders later in life. Studies show that up to 15 percent of people with mild cognitive impairment progress to Alzheimer's disease each year, compared with a rate of 1 to 2 percent a year for the general older population.

Large-scale studies are testing whether therapies can halt or slow the conversion from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer's disease. By intervening at the first signs of memory trouble, doctors hope to delay Alzheimer's disease, or prevent it altogether.

In a study published in Neurology, moderate drinking defined as up to one drink per day (mostly wine)—slowed the rate of progression from mild cognitive impairment to dementia by 85 percent compared with those who abstained from alcohol.

Research on medications for staving off dementia has been discouraging, though. For example, in a recent study of people with mild cognitive impairment, researchers found no significant benefit from early intervention with the Alzheimer's drug donepezil (Aricept) or vitamin E.

(Source: UC Berkeley Health and Wellness Alerts, November 2017)

Monday, 13 November 2017

2 & 3 DEC17 (SAT&SUN) ADFM Dementia Care Skills Training Workshop for Family Caregivers

To:  Family Caregivers for persons living with Dementia,

Alzheimer’s Disease Foundation Malaysia (ADFM) will be conducting the DEMENTIA CARE SKILLS (DCS) Training Workshop for family caregivers (and their care workers) on:

Date:      Saturday, 2 December 2017 (9.00am – 5.00pm), & 
               Sunday, 3 December 2017 (9.00am – 1.00pm)

Venue:  ADFM PJ Day-Care Centre, No. 6, Lorong 11/8E, Seksyen 11, 46200 Petaling Jaya  

Caring for a person with dementia can be very stressful and traumatic at times. Dementia not only affects the person living with the condition, but also the entire family. The greatest challenge is on you, the caregiver. With a better understanding of dementia, you can plan for and cope with the challenges that you may encounter in your caregiving journey.

This one and a half-day interactive training comprising 4-modules is designed to support you in your caregiving role with essential knowledge and skills to care for the person with dementia and yourself, using the Person-Centered Care Approach through sharing of real-life scenarios, discussions and identify potential strategies for managing caregiver stress.

Learning Outcome:

Module 1: Impact of Dementia and Person-Centred Care
•     Identify the principles of Person Centered Care (PCC)
•     Recognize the impact of dementia on person with dementia, and family caregivers
•     Identify your own level of stress and self-care strategies
•     Identify community resources available to support family caregivers

Module 2: Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD)
•     Understanding behaviour associated with dementia
•     Identify potential triggers for behaviour associated with dementia
•     Identify a range of options for supporting the person with dementia

Module 3: Effective Communication
•       Describe the impact of dementia on communication
•       Identify strategies for effective communication with a person with dementia, including:
        Reality orientation, Validation, Reminiscence

Module 4: Purposeful and Meaningful Engagement
•     Recognize the value of promoting engagement with life for a person with dementia
•     Recognize the value of activity for a person with dementia
•     Identify ways of adapting activities to meet individual needs

Day One
29 April 17 
0830 - 0900
0900 - 1100
1100 - 1115
1115 - 1315
1315 - 1400

1400 - 1600
1600 - 1615 
1615 - 1700

Module 1: Impact of Dementia and Person-Centered Care
Refreshment break
Module 2: Behavioural & Psychological Symptoms of Dementia
Photo Session
Lunch break
Module 3 – Effective Communication
Tea break
Interactive Session
Q & A

Day Two
30 April 17
0830 - 0900
0900 - 1115
1115 - 1130
1130 - 1300 
Module 4 – Purposeful & Meaningful Engagement
Refreshment break
Module 4 (Cont’d)
Interactive Session
Q & A

ADFM Team of Trainers / Facilitators:
(1)     Geriatrician, Dr Goh Cheng Beh
(2)     Ms Ooi Saw Geok, retired Nursing Educator

NO Registration Fees – for family caregivers, their care workers, and significant others of persons with dementia.

To register, please email to: jenny@adfm.org.my  /  jennyho8@gmail.com  or  whatsapp 016 608 2513, providing:

(1)    Full Name/s
(2)    Mobile contact
(3)    Email address
(4)    Indicate whether family caregiver or care worker, and
(5)    To whom you are caring for.

Kind regards.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

11NOV (SAT) & 12NOV (SUN) ADFM Outreach Programs at ADFM-ATRIA Community Centre, Atria Shopping Gallery

Kindly be informed that the following ADFM outreach programs will be held at the ADFM-ATRIA Community Centre for family caregivers for persons living with dementia, their families and care workers, and elderly communities.

Venue:  ADFM-Atria Community Centre, Atria Shopping Gallery, T03, 3rd Floor, Jalan SS 22/23, Damansara Jaya, Petaling Jaya 
(SAT) 11 November
Talk “Emotions in Dementia Persons”

Synopsis: Persons with dementia often show changed behavior and unstable emotional states, and sometimes it is difficult to manage. Dr Azlina will talk about why dementia persons seem to lose their ability to control their emotions; how even when all memory seems to be lost, dementia persons still have feelings, and how this knowledge may help caregivers to understand and manage their loved ones condition better.
Dr Azlina Ahmad Annuar from the UM Biomedical Science and  secondary caregiver to AD Mum (her Dad is the primary caregiver)

(SUN) 12 November
Yoga Exercise for  Caregivers and their loved one's living with Dementia, and the elderly
Yoga Instructor, Stephanie Kuan

Talk “Falls Prevention and Management in The Elderly”
Physiotherapist, Tracy Chan

FREE Registration. To confirm your attendance, please email to: jenny@adfm.org.my or whatsapp 016 608 2513, providing:

(1) Full Name/s
(2) Mobile contact
(3) If a Caregiver, please indicate to whom?

Kindly confirm your attendance for our logistic arrangement.

Kind regards.

Saturday, 4 November 2017


ADFM will be having a Caregivers Sharing Session on "Aggressiveness Among Dementia Persons" for family caregivers caring for persons living with dementia, their care workers and families, and the general public. 

Day/Date: Saturday, 4 November 2017

Time: 3.00pm - 5.00pm 

Venue: ADFM-ATRIA Community Centre, Level 3 (P3), Atria Shopping Gallery, Damansara Jaya.

The Speaker/Facilitator will be Ms Satiapoorany Subramaniam who is a Nurse Educator and ADFM Trainer with vast clinical experience.

FREE Registration. To confirm your attendance, please email to: jenny@adfm.org.my or whatsapp 016 608 2513, providing:

(1) Full Name/s
(2) Mobile contact
(3) If a Caregiver, please indicate to whom?

Kindly confirm your attendance for our logistic arrangement.

Kind regards.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

15OCT17 (Sunday) ADFM-Atria Community Centre - ADFM Outreach Programs: (1) Yoga Exercise and (2) Talk on Exercise, Ageing and Dementia

Please be advised that the following outreach programs will be held at the ADFM- ATRIA 
Community Centre on:

Day / Date:  15 October 2017 (Sunday)

Venue:  ADFM-ATRIA Community Centre, T03, 3rd Floor, Atria Shopping Gallery, Jalan SS22/23, Damansara Jaya, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan.    

Parking:  You can park at P3 (Level 3) which is walking distance to the ADFM-ATRIA   Community Centre (Next to Daiso).  Ample and spacious parking.  Spacious washrooms  and nearby (very convenience).

(1)   11.00am – 12.00pm  
Yoga Exercise for Caregivers and Dementia Persons by Yoga  Instructor, Stephanie

(2)    2.00pm – 3.30pm
Talk on Exercise, Ageing and Dementia by Physiotherapist, Tracy Chan.

FREE Registration - For our logistics arrangement, kindly email jenny@adfm.org.my  or whatsapp 016 608 2513 confirming your attendance.

See you this Sunday at the ADFM-ATRIA Community Centre on the 3 level of Atria Shopping Gallery, Damansara Jaya !

Kind regards,
ADFM National Caregivers Support Network