Monday, 25 July 2011


Two studies support growing evidence that habitual physical activity slows age-related changes in cognition and risk of dementia

Senior citizen women see their late-life cognitive decline slow down as they engage in regular minimal exercise. Two studies published as “Online First” by Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives Journals, clearly point to new hope in a method of slowing age-related mental decline. In one study, the women had vascular or coronary risks.

Previous research has suggested that physical activity is associated with reduced rates of cognitive impairment in older adults. However, much of this research has apparently been conducted among individuals who are generally in good health.

Further, many of these studies rely on self-reports of physical activity, which are not always accurate; and focus on moderate or vigorous exercise, instead of low-intensity physical activity. The two articles being presented on 19 July 2011 seek to fill in these gaps in the research.

Women With Vascular Or Coronary Risks

In one article, Marie-Noël Vercambre, Ph.D., from the Foundation of Public Health, Mutuelle Generale de l'Education Nationale, Paris, and colleagues examined data from the Women's Antioxidant Cardiovascular Study, which included women who had either prevalent vascular disease or three or more coronary risk factors.

The researchers determined patients' physical activity levels at baseline (1995 to 1996) and every two years thereafter. Between 1998 and 2000, they conducted telephone interviews with a total of 2809 women 65 years or older. The calls included tests of cognition, memory and category fluency, and followed up the tests three more times over the succeeding 5.4 years.

The researchers analyzed data to correlate cognitive score changes with total physical activity and energy expenditure from walking.

As participants' energy expenditure increased, the rate of cognitive decline decreased. The amount of exercise equivalent to a brisk, 30-minute walk every day was associated with lower risk of cognitive impairment.

Second study looks at women with average age of 74+

In another study, researchers utilized data from the Health, Aging, and Body Composition study, an ongoing prospective cohort study. The researchers measured participants' total energy expenditure by using doubly labeled water, a technique that provides evidence of how much water a person loses and thus serves as an objective measure of metabolic activity.

Laura E. Middleton, Ph.D., from the Heart and Stroke Foundation Centre for Stroke Recovery, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto, and colleagues calculated participants' activity energy expenditure (AEE), defined as 90 percent of total energy expenditure minus resting metabolic rate.

The 197 participants, with an average age of 74.8 years, had no mobility or cognitive problems when the research began in 1998 to 1999. At that time, researchers assessed participants' cognitive function, and followed up two to five years later with the Modified Mini-Mental State Examination (MMMSE).

The authors adjusted the data for baseline MMMSE scores, demographics, fat-free mass, sleep duration, self-reported health and diabetes mellitus. When these variables were accounted for, participants who had the highest AEE scores tended to have lower odds of incident cognitive impairment. The authors also noticed a significant dose response between AEE and incidence of cognitive impairment.

The authors of both articles suggest that there is more to be learned about the relationship between physical activity and cognitive function.

"Various biologic mechanisms may explain the positive relation between physical activity and cognitive health," write Vercambre and colleagues. Middleton and co-authors state, "The mechanisms by which physical activity is related to late-life cognition are likely to be multifactorial."

Both groups of researchers note that studies such as theirs point toward some possible answers. As Vercambre and co-authors comment, "If confirmed in future studies, physical activity recommendations could yield substantial public health benefits given the growing number of older persons with vascular conditions and their high risk of cognitive impairment."

And Middleton and colleagues conclude, "We are optimistic that even low-intensity activity of daily living may be protective against incident cognitive impairment."

Commentary : Brain and Aging
These studies serve to "buttress growing evidence that habitual physical activity and fitness are associated with age-related changes in cognition and risk of dementia," says an Editorial in the Journal by Eric B. Larson, M.D., M.P.H., from Group Health Research Institute, Seattle.

"The key finding is that older women with high levels of vascular risk constitute a major risk group and that vascular risk is linked to cognitive decline."

"The fact that the study used a validated measurement of energy expenditure, not just self-report, makes the results of further importance."

Such research is increasingly needed as the population ages and the health care field attempts to cope with higher rates of cognitive decline.

In this context, Larson suggests that articles such as the ones presented here "highlight a gradual but steady change in current thinking about risk factors for late-life dementias." Vascular risk factors such as limited physical activity may be modifiable and represent a way to reduce the incidence of cognitive impairment among older adults. Physical activity, growing scientific evidence suggests, could be one such avenue.

"I believe that these findings can inform practice and the advice that we give our aging patients," comments Larson.

"We can tell them that ongoing maintenance of physical activity is definitely worthwhile and likely of increasing benefit as they advance into old age." In addition, Larson stresses the need for research into "programs that promote ongoing physical activity, especially in late life."

Dr. Larson is supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging.

The articles were released on July 19 to coincide with the International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease in Paris.

(Source: Senior Journal)

Sunday, 17 July 2011


Dear Caregivers / Members,

We are very pleased to announce that Dementia Homecare Centre Sdn Bhd, an affiliate of the Alzheimer’s Disease Foundation Malaysia (ADFM) has started operating it’s DEMENTIA HOME CARE CENTRE at Telok Panglima Garang, Kuala Langat, Selangor, since April 2011, to take in your loved ones afflicted with AD or Dementias.

In addition, ADFM at present operates 2 Daycare Centres - One in KUALA LUMPUR and the other in Section 11, PETALING JAYA.

Our affiliates:

JOHORE BAHRU, Johore Bahru Alzheimer’s Disease Support Association (JOBADA) has been operating a Daycare Centre for some years now.
IPOH, Dementia Society Perak, our latest, is in the process of starting one, and
MELAKA is also working on having a Centre.

ADFM’s long term objective is to encourage and help the setting up of Daycare Centres in every State to serve their local communities.

The main purpose of Daycare Centres is to provide respite care for carers of people afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease or other Dementias so that they may fulfill other duties. The Centres also act as training ground for family carers including maids who accompany our clients coming for day care.

Over the years, many family members/carers of our Daycare Clients have voiced the need for longer term caring of their loved ones as they sometimes need to travel/cannot provide care due to work commitments, etc. ADFM now has an opportunity to operate a Dementia Homecare Centre at Telok Panglima Garang in Kuala Langat District, Selangor, to provide long term care on the clear understanding that our Nurse Managers will first conduct assessment to decide if we can care for a particular client.

Our Dementia Homecare Centre Provides:

1. Peaceful, serene surroundings for your loved ones in the midst of greenery and fresh air. We are near Carey Island and not far from the sea, hence the breezy atmosphere.

2. Live in un-crowded space as we intend to keep our numbers low and manageable despite the large and spacious premise and compound.

3. Daily mind and body stimulating exercises, games and activities will be our motto.

4. Care initially provided by a team of 4-5 live-in qualified and trained Staff Nurses led by an experienced Senior Staff Nurse. The nursing and carer staff will grow with increasing clients.

5. We require that family members keep in close touch with their loved ones and visit them regularly.

6. Regular visits by Consultant Psychiatrist Dr John Tan Jin Teong, ex UMMC, now in private practice.

7. Meals:
Breakfast - 8.00am
Mid-Morning Milo - 10.30am
Lunch - 12 Noon
Afternoon Coffee/Tea - 3.30pm
Dinner - 6.30pm
Night Cap - 8.30pm

For more information and details, please contact:

Dementia Homecare Centre
PT 715, Jalan Pandan 26, 42500 Telok Panglima Garang, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Tel: 03-3122 6908

Head Office & PJ Daycare Centre, No. 6 Lorong 11/8E, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan
Tel: 603 7956 2008/7958 3008 Fax: 603 7960 8482 Email
Company Registration No. 441890-T Tax Exemption No: 13408

KL Daycare Centre, 9A Lorong Bukit Raja, Taman Seputeh, 58000 Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 603 2260 3158


Falls in an older person could mean more than poor balance or clumsiness, New Research suggets they might be an early sign of Alzheimer's disease.

People who seemed to have healthy minds but who were discovered to have hidden plaques clogging their brains were five times more likely to fall during a six-month study than others without these brain deposits. The deposits are a sign of Alzheimer's.

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis said their work suggests that older people who fall for no apparent reason should be checked for signs of dementia.

The study was discussed at the current Alzheimer's Conference held in Paris.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE and below is an earlier report from the researchers.

Australian scientists are reporting encouraging early results from an eye test they hope will create a simple way to detect signs of Alzheimer's disease.

The test is experimental and needs more study. But doctors know that Alzheimer's causes changes in the eyes, not just the brain. Other researchers in the United States also are working on an eye test for the disease.

"It's a small study" but "suggestive and encouraging," one of the American Researchers, Dr. Lee Goldstein of Boston University, said of the Australian work. "My hat's off to them for looking outside the brain for other areas where we might see other evidence of this disease."

Shaun Frost of Australia's National Science Agency, CSIRO, discussed the test at the current session of Alzheimer's Association International Conference in France.

More than 5.4 million Americans and 35 million people worldwide have Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia. Brain scans can find evidence of it a decade or more before it causes memory and thinking problems but they're too expensive and impractical for routine use. Doctors and families need easier ways to tell who is developing the disease, so a simple eye test could be a big help.

It involves photographing blood vessels in the retina, the nerve layer lining the back of the eyes. Drops are used to dilate a patient eyes, just as they are in a routine exam.

Researchers compared retinal photos of 110 healthy people, 13 with Alzheimer's and 13 with mild cognitive impairment, or "Pre Alzheimer's," who were taking part in a larger study on aging. The widths of certain blood vessels were different in those with Alzheimer's than in the others and the amount of difference matched the amount of plaque seen on brain scans.

Earlier work by Dr Lee Goldstein showed that amyloid, the protein that makes up Alzheimer's brain plaque, can be measured in the lens of the eyes of some people with the disease, particularly Down syndrome patients who often are prone to it.

A company he holds stock in, Neuroptix, is testing a laser eye scanner to measure amyloid in the eyes.

(Source: Associated Press, 17 July 2011)

Monday, 11 July 2011

Dear Caregivers and Members,

Our KL-PJ AD Caregivers Support Group will be holding its MONTHLY CAREGIVERS SHARING SESSION & FREE TALK on:


Date : Saturday, 16 July 2011

Time : 2.00p.m. to 4.30 p.m.

Venue : ADFM PJ Daycare Centre, No. 6, Lorong 11/8E, 46200 Petaling Jaya


2.00 pm : Registration

2.30 pm : Welcome Address by Support Group Committee & Announcement on:

- Forthcoming activities for our caregivers and members
- ADFM Homecare Centre @ Telok Panglima Garang, Kuala Langat, Selangor

2.45pm : “Caring An Alzheimer’s Patient – A Caregiver’s Perspective” by Ms Satiapoorany, Caregiver & Lecturer from UKMMC

3.30pm : Q&A Session

3.45pm : Caregivers Sharing Session

4.15pm : Refreshment

4.30pm : Till we meet again on 20 August 2011


Care-giving is a large commitment that gets bigger over time. The person will eventually need round-the-clock care. Family members may have their own health issues, jobs, and responsibilities to other family members. It is essential to make sure that the needs of the Alzheimer’s patient are met, and that the caregiver has the support to meet those needs. As a caregiver, it's common to focus so much on the person in your care that you neglect to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself must become a priority, so that you can live healthily and happily and can give the best care to the person with Alzheimer's disease dementia. It is important to get help and support from other family members.

Kindly confirm your attendance early by:

1. Email to / Call/SMS to Mobile : 016 - 608 2513

2. Email to / Tel : 603 -7956 2008 / 7958 3008 (Janet) / 603-2260 3158 (Christine) / Fax: 603 - 7960 8482


From: KL-PJ AD Caregivers Support Group Committee
July 2011

"Remember - everyone has occasional memory lapses. Just because you cannot recall where you put the car keys does not mean you have Alzheimer's disease!! Only if you don't know what the keys are for - then there is problem."