Tuesday, 30 September 2008

2 Days Free Posters Exhibition & Talks On "Dementia Is Everyone's Business" 18 & 19 October 2008, Melaka Mahkota Parade, Jointly Present By The Alzheimer's Foundation Malaysia & The Rotary Club Kota Melaka

ADFM Penang Alzheimer's Support Group Is Organizing a Free Public Forum On “NO TIME TO LOSE”, Sunday, 19 October 2008, 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm, Kompleks Masyarakat Penyayang, Jalan Utama, Penang

Free Public Forum On "no time to lose"

Sunday, 19 October 2008, 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Kompleks Masyarakat Penyayang, Jalan Utama, Penang




Sponsored By EISAI (M) SDN BHD


In Conjunction With The World Alzheimer's Day



The Guest Speakers are:


(1)  Dr Esther G Ebenezer, Consultant Psychiatrist & Psycho Geriatrician in Ipoh.

(2)  Mr Willie Kwa , Mental Health Practitioner for the Elderly in UK.




Day/Date:    Sunday, 19 October 2008

Time:     3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Venue:     Kompleks Masyarakat Penyayang, Jalan Utama, Penang


Admission is FREE � All are welcome.  Refreshments will be served.


For more information, kindly contact:


Mr YJ Tan at Tel:  604 � 6564 537 / 017 4577 868  OR  Email: besil1954@yahoo.com



Monday, 29 September 2008

15 Tips to Make Mealtimes Easier and More Enjoyable

(Source:  http://www.alzheimersweekly.com/plugins/p2_news/printarticle.php?p2_articleid=312)


Most people with early and mid-stage dementia need not eat a special diet, unless they have dietary restrictions because of hypertension, diabetes, or other reasons. It is best to encourage them to eat a variety of foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, other nutrients, and fibre, and to consume adequate calories.


Here are 15 tips for making mealtimes easier and more enjoyable.


1.       Minimize distractions during mealtimes. For example, turn off the television or radio, and eliminate unneeded items from the table.


 2.      Offer appealing foods that have familiar flavours, varied textures, and different colours, and give the person opportunities to make choices.


3.       Make nutritious finger foods and nutrient-rich homemade shakes or shake products (unless the person is lactose intolerant) available throughout the day.


 4.      In the earlier stages of dementia, be aware of the possibility of overeating. If this occurs, provide a balanced diet, limit snacks, and offer engaging activities as alternatives to eating.


5.       View mealtimes as opportunities for social interaction and success for yourself and the person with dementia. A warm and happy tone of voice can set the mood.


6.       Try to make mealtimes calm, comfortable, and reassuring. Be patient, avoid rushing through meals, and give the person enough time to finish the meal.


7.       Be sensitive to possible frustration, confusion, and anxiety during mealtimes and look for ways to reduce these feelings.


8.       Maintain familiar routines and rituals, but be flexible and adapt to the person's changing needs.


9.       If the person is on a reduced-sodium or sugar-restricted diet because of hypertension, diabetes, or another medical condition, keep foods with high salt or sugar content out of reach or in a locked cabinet.


10.     Help the person drink plenty of fluids throughout the day—dehydration can lead to problems such as increased constipation, confusion, and dizziness.


11.     Use adaptive eating tools as needed. Talk with an occupational therapist about which tools might be helpful, as well as other strategies to make eating and mealtime routines more successful.


12.     Identify and work to resolve issues such as depression, forgetting to wear glasses or hearing aids, wearing poorly fitting dentures, and use of appetite-suppressing medications, which may impair the person's ability or desire to eat.


13.     Maintain routine dental checkups and daily oral health care.


14.     Be alert to and address potential safety issues, such as the person forgetting to turn off the stove after cooking and the increased risk of choking because of chewing and swallowing problems that may arise as the disease progresses.


 15.    And finally:  Remember to take care of yourself to reduce the stress of caring for others.  Whenever you have questions or worries, get help from your health-care provider, friends and family.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Sleep Disturbances of People with Alzheimer's Versus Their Caregivers


(Source:  http://www.alzheimersweekly.com/plugins/p2_news/printarticle.php?p2_articleid=311)


A study published in the May 1 issue of the Journal SLEEP finds that sleep disturbances among Alzheimer's patients vary significantly from those of their family caregivers, and that, surprisingly, poor sleep in either the patient or caregiver is not necessarily linked to disturbed sleep in the other.


Susan M. McCurry, PhD, of the University of Washington, and colleagues studied 44 community-dwelling older adults, between 63-93 years of age, with probable or possible Alzheimer's disease and their co-residing family caregivers. The subjects had dementia for an average of 5.7 years. Caregivers were adult family members, between 21-87 years of age, who lived with the patient and could monitor nightly sleep and implement treatment recommendations.


One week of sleep-wake activity was measured for all patients and their caregivers using an Actillume Wrist-Movement Recorder. Sleep variables included total minutes of night time sleep, the percentage of time spent asleep, the number of awakenings, the duration of time awake at night, total daytime sleep, and circadian rest-activity variables. The subjects were evaluated for patient and caregiver mood, physical function, medication use, caregiver behaviour management style, and patient cognitive status.


According to the results, the sleep variables that showed the greatest night-to-night stability and variability differed between patients and caregivers. The greatest stability for patients was observed for the time of night when they went to bed. For caregivers, the greatest stability was total wake time at night. The least stable patient sleep variable was total hours of sleep per night. Time in bed was the least stable variance for caregivers.


When participants were classified into "good" or "bad" sleepers based upon the percent of sleep time at night, there was a sizable number (between 25-41 percent) of patient-caregiver duos on any given night where one person was sleeping well and the other was sleeping poorly; in some cases, the poor sleeper being the caregiver. Instances where both caregiver and patient were sleeping poorly over a seven-night sampling period were more likely to be in those in which patients had a lower level of physical function, were more severely demented, and used more sleep medications.


"Factors that we might expect would explain much of the relationship between patient and caregiver sleep, such as sharing a room at night, were not significant predictors of outcome," said Dr. McCurry. "Understanding the complex inter-relationship of sleep in Alzheimer's disease patients and caregivers is an important first step towards the development of individualized and effective treatment strategies."


Not sleeping well can lead to a number of problems. Older adults who have poor nighttime sleep are more likely to have a depressed mood, attention and memory problems, excessive daytime sleepiness, more night time falls and use more over-the-counter or prescription sleep aids.  In addition, recent studies associate lack of sleep with serious health problems such as an increased risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.


While most people require seven to eight hours of sleep a night to perform optimally the next day, older adults might find this harder to obtain. Older adults must be more aware of their sleep and maintain good sleep hygiene by following these tips:


* Establishing a routine sleep schedule.

* Avoiding utilizing bed for activities other than sleep or intimacy.

* Avoiding substances that disturb your sleep, like alcohol or caffeine.

* Not happing during the day. If you must snooze, limit the time to less than one hour and no later than 3 p.m.

 * Stick to rituals that help you relax each night before bed. This can include such things as a warm bath, a light snack or a few minutes of reading.

 * Don't take your worries to bed. Bedtime is a time to relax, not to hash out the stresses of the day.

* If you can't fall asleep, leave your bedroom and engage in a quiet activity. Return to bed only when you are tired.

* Keep your bedroom dark, quiet and a little cool.


Although sleep patterns change as people age, disturbed sleep and waking up tired every day are not part of normal aging. Those who have trouble sleeping are advised to see a sleep specialist.




(Source:  http://www.alzheimersweekly.com/Treatment/music-therapy-%26-memory-sharing-a379.html)

Dementia often robs spouses of quality time together but an innovative University of Queensland project hopes to find ways to reclaim it.

Dr Felicity Baker, from University of Queensland's School of Music, has received a $70,000 University of Queenland Foundation Research Excellence Award to investigate how music therapy might improve partner satisfaction by providing opportunities for the sharing of memories associated with certain songs.

The University of Queenland Foundation Research Excellence Awards have been run for 10 years and are an initiative of UQ to recognize outstanding performance and leadership potential in early career researchers.

"One of the biggest problems of couples living together where one person has dementia is that there's a breakdown in the relationship as one partner begins to lose their ability to communicate and interact with their spouse," Dr Baker said.

"The project will involve having a music therapist go into the home and show the spouse how they can use music as a way of creating meaningful experiences with their partner."

"This includes using music like old songs and dancing to facilitate conversation, a way of interacting together."

Dr Baker said the music therapy intervention could potentially be developed into a DVD which would be used to instruct partners of people suffering from dementia in their own home.

"People with dementia have difficulty with short term memory and lose the ability to communicate verbally. However, research shows that they really respond to music because it taps into automatic memory," Dr Baker said.

"When they listen to a piece of music that they have used in their past, it can stimulate the recall of those memories, which then helps them to talk about those memories which then helps with interaction.

"What's important is that we show the spouse how to do that - so not just how to turn on a CD, but to think about what music to choose, and how to interpret their partner's responses and respond accordingly, and what kind of questions and conversational starting points they can give to create interaction."

Another important aspect of the study will be to investigate the success of music therapy techniques between participants from different ethnic backgrounds.

Dr Baker is the Co-Creator of the successful Sing, Soothe, Sleep Program for mothers and their babies, and said this new project was the first large-scale dementia study of its kind.

Partners involved will be evaluated on their levels of depression, anxiety and burden, and their perspective on how their relationship has changed since the onset of dementia.

"There has been lots of lots of studies that have looked at how partners or spouses can cope with the burden of care giving, but there has been limited research on how people can help them maintain a satisfying relationship," she said.

And that's important research.

Thursday, 11 September 2008



The Alzheimer's Disease Foundation Malaysia have been selected as one of the beneficiaries for the abovementioned Charity Program by ASTRO.


ASTRO has scheduled for the above recording to be held on 8 October 2008 at 10:00 am.


The Charity Program consists of 10 Episodes which will be broadcast "LIVE" on each Sunday, starting from 26 October to 27 December 2008.  ASTRO have requested ADFM to send 15 Representatives to attend each of the 10 Episodes, the details are as follows:

Venue:  ASTRO, Technology Park, Bukit Jalil

Time:  6:00pm Sharp (Sundays) - late comers will not be admitted

Duration:  2-3 hours for Each Episode (Dinner will be provided before the 'Live' Broadcast) 





26 October 2008


02 November 2008


09 November 2008


16 November 2008


23 November 2008


30 November 2008


07 December 2008


14 December 2008


21 December 2008


27 December 2008

All AD Patients, Caregivers, Support Group Members, Exco Members & Trustees are encouraged to participate in the above event and give your full support to this very noble cause

You are required to indicate the Episode & Date you are attending in the format below and return to ADFM Secretariat for Attention of Kwan Saw Hah soonest possible by 18 October the latest. Please indicate 2 dates in case any of your chosen episode is fully taken up.

Click to this link to fill in your details on the corresponding dates :


For more details, kindly contact ADFM at:
Tel:  603-7956 2008 (Hunting Line)
Fax:  603-7960 8482
Email: adfmsec@streamyx.com (for Attention:  Kwan Saw Hah)



KU Research Adds To Evidence That Exercise Can Help Damaged Brains

(Souce: http://www.kansascity.com/105/v-print/story/786597.html )


The Researchers at the University of Kansas School of Medicine really put Paul Hilpman through his paces.


After a series of dexterity tests, they harnessed the 76-year-old man to wires and a breathing tube and put him on a treadmill.


"Then the sadistic doctor cranks up the slope until they think I'll collapse," Hilpman quipped.


All that sweating and panting by Hilpman and about 160 other elderly volunteers at KU has led to a hopeful discovery.


Exercising and staying physically fit, the researchers say, may slow the relentless, mind-robbing progress of Alzheimer's disease.


"This offers hope for all of us," said KU Neurologist Jeffrey Burns. "Exercise is cheap. Everybody can do it. If it does impact Alzheimer's disease, we should be treating people with exercise."


The implications of any intervention that can delay the onset of Alzheimer's are enormous.


About 5.2 million Americans now live with Alzheimer's. By 2050, that number could swell to 11 million to 16 million.


But if ways can be found to postpone Alzheimer's by as little as two years, nearly 2 million cases of the disease could be avoided.


Burns and his colleagues have been doing brain scans and treadmill tests on mentally healthy older people such as Hilpman and comparing them with those of others who are in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.


The doctors have found that brain shrinkage, an inevitable consequence of Alzheimer's, was less pronounced in people who had the disease and were physically fit.


By doing scans that delve into the structures of the brain, the KU Researchers pinpointed that shrinkage to an area called the hippocampus, which is key to processing new memories.


The hippocampus is one of the first parts of the brain to atrophy as Alzheimer's develops. This finding suggests that exercise might slow the disease at its earliest stages.


"Our results are really significant," said Robyn Honea, a Nuroscientist at KU who analyzed the brain scans. The brain shrinkage "is not just a random effect. It's very relevant to the disease."


The KU Researchers say they are the first to demonstrate how physical fitness may affect the brains of people with Alzheimer's. Their work adds to growing evidence that physical activity can make beneficial changes to damaged brains.


The Journal of the American Medical Association last week published a study that showed older adults at risk of Alzheimer's did better on tests of memory and language if they regularly spent about 2 1/2 hours a week walking and doing other exercise.


The benefits were modest, but they were apparent after six months of exercise, the Australian Researchers said. The results persisted for at least another 12 months.


Another new study in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association found that people who started regular workouts on a treadmill, even years after suffering a stroke, showed increased activity in the undamaged parts of their brains that controlled walking.


The Researchers suggest that the exercise helped rewire the brain so new areas could take on the jobs of areas damaged by stroke.


"Many stroke survivors believe there's nothing to be gained from further rehabilitation, but our results suggest that health and functional benefits from walking on a treadmill can occur even decades out from stroke," said Richard Macko of the University of Maryland School of Medicine.


There has been other tantalizing evidence that physical activity can also change the brains of healthy people, rRsearchers have found.


For example, in young and old alike, the visual and memory areas of the brain expand when those people are trained to juggle.


Scientists have a number of ideas for why physical activity changes the brain.


Exercise increases blood flow to the brain. That may encourage new blood vessels to form and boost the brain's blood supply.


And at least in animals, exercise increases the production of proteins called growth factors that stimulate the growth of nerve cells.


Studies already have shown that running on a treadmill promotes the growth of nerve cells in the hippocampi of rats and mice.


"They show a cascade of changes, more oxygen to the brain that sets off growth factors released from the cells that stimulate more neurons and better connections" among them, Honea said.


Burns says he wants to expand his research to determine whether someone with Alzheimer's can actually delay the progression of the disease by starting to exercise.


Burns and KU Neurologist Heather Anderson already supervise a pilot program for people with early Alzheimer's disease to show that regular exercise routines are feasible. If the program gets funding, Burns and Anderson plan to partner with YMCAs across the Kansas City area for a larger study.


Said Burns: "We want to know what kind of exercise is best and how intense and how long, and do they improve the disease process, do they slow the changes in the brain?"


Burns advises older people who want to start vigorous exercise to see their doctors first and work out a plan.


Hilpman, a Professor Emeritus of Geology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, stays fit by doing consulting work in geology.


"This business of going up a hill on the treadmill is nothing," he said. "I do it all the time."


Hilpman said that taking part in the KU study was his way of contributing to medical knowledge about Alzheimer's. He has seen couples struggle with the disease.


"The saddest thing is when a spouse is left to deal with it," Hilpman said. "They're trying to hang on to some kind of reality, the things they did together. I can see how it takes a toll."


Sunday, 7 September 2008

World Alzheimer's Day : Free Public Seminar On Alzheimer’s Disease/Dementia On September 21, 2008 (Sunday), Ballroom, Crystal Crown Hotel, Petaling Jaya

Free Public Seminar On Alzheimer's Disease/Dementia

On World's Alzheimer's Day, September 21, 2008 (Sunday)   

Ballroom, Crystal Crown Hotel, Petaling Jaya


Jointly Organized By





09:00am�09:30am  Registration

09:30am�09:40am  Welcome address by Datuk Dr Yim Khai Kee, Chairman, ADFM EXCO


09:40am�10:10am  Talk on "What is Alzheimer's Disease/Dementia?"by Dr Chin Ai-Vyrn, UMMC

10:10am�10:40am  Talk on "How Is AD Diagnosed?" by Dr Lee Fatt Soon, HKL


10:40am�11:00am  Q & A / Tea Break


11:00am�11:30am  Talk on "Current AD Treatment & Can We Prevent AD?"

                                 by Dr Yau Weng Keong, HKL

11:30am�12:00pm  Talk on "Nutrition For The Ageing" by Dr Suyzanna Shahar, HUKM


12:00pm�12:20pm  Q & A

12:20pm�01:30pm  Lunch & adjourn



Due to Limited Seating, prior registration is required with:

ADFM at Tel: 03-7956 2008 / 7958 3008,  OR

with Novartis, Angie at Tel:  03 � 7948 1888 Extn 1929, by 18 September 2008.


Reservation is on a first-come-first served basis.