Sunday, 11 August 2013

SUN/08SEPT13, Shah Alam, Selangor : ADFM "MEMORY WALK 2013" In Conjunction With World Alzheimer's Day (WAD 2013)

A Joint Collaboration of Alzheimer’s Disease Foundation Malaysia,
Rotary Club of Shah Alam and Majlis Bandaraya Shah Alam


 7.00AM TO 12.30PM

7.00am       Food Voucher for Breakfast & Drink  
7.20am       GANGNAM
7.45am       Song Performance by ADFM PWDs and Caregivers
8.00am       Memory Walk – Flag off by MB of Selangor and Mayor of Shah Alam
·      2km for PWDs (Persons with Alzheimer’s/Dementia) to be accompanied by their Carers.
·      5km open to all participants 

9.00am - 12.30pm:
-   FREE Health Screening for participants of Memory Walk by UMMC (University Malaya Medical Centre jointly with Malaysian Nursing Association)

-   ADFM Exhibition    
NESTLE Mobile MILO Van to serve MILO to the participants.

12.00pm - Food Voucher for Lunch

ENTRY FEE is RM20.00 for each participant and will be given sponsored items:

1.   Food Vouchers - 7.00am Breakfast & Drink, and 12.00pm Lunch 
2.   T-Shirt 
3.   Cap 
4.   Hand Towel 
5.   Two Goodie Bags with Goodies 

1.   Complete and return REGISTRATION FORM together with your Payment to:
     If Cash or Cheque, by Hand to Jenny at ADFM Secretariat, No. 6, Lorong 11/8E, Section 11, Petaling Jaya at 016 608 2513 / 03 7931 5850 (DL)  / 03 7956 2008.

     If banked-in direct to ADFM Bank Account at CIMB, Account No. 1248-0009508-05-5,  Email to with scan copy of your bank-in slip, or Fax to 03 7960 8482.  

If by CHEQUE, All Cheques must be crossed and made payable to: ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE FOUNDATION MALAYSIA.

FREE Entry Fee for our PWDs (Persons with Alzheimer’s / Dementia) participating in the MEMORY WALK.

TRANSPORT (As Only One 40-Seated Bus - Priority to PWDs & Carers):

-  PWDs & Their Carers who require Transport, kindly contact Jenny at 016 608 2513 / 03 7931 5850 (DL) / 03 7956 2008 urgently on seats available basis. 

6.45am to be at ADFM PJ Daycare Centre, No. 6 Lorong 11/8E, Seksyen 11, 46200 Petaling jaya if you are taking the bus.

7.00am sharp the bus will leave ADFM PJ Daycare Centre (the bus will not wait for you if you are late --  REMIND Yourself to be punctual, sleep early on Saturday night and wake up early on Sunday morning to be on time, thank you :)

OUR SPONSORS - Our sincere thanks and deep appreciation for their caring support and contributions, in the form of donations and sponsored products, to make this commemoration possible :)

1.    Esai Malaysia
2.    SP Setia Foundation
3.    Lundbeck Malaysia
4.    Novartis Corporation (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd
5.    UMMC (University Malaya Medical Centre jointly with Malaysian Nursing  Association)
6.    Spritzer Malaysia - Chuan Sin Sdn Bhd
7.    GSK GlaxoSmithKline Malaysia
8.    SCA Hygiene Malaysia Sdn Bhd–TENA
9.    NESTLE Products Sdn Bhd
10.  Mondelez International
11.  Adirondak (M) Sdn Bhd–ORIFERA
12.  Malaysia Milk Sdn Bhd-Cotra Enterprises Sdn Bhd - Vitagen 
13.  St. John Ambulance Malaysia


Friday, 9 August 2013


Screening elderly for the blood condition makes sense, researcher says.

Older adults suffering from anemia - lower than normal red blood cell levels - may be at increased risk for dementia, a new study suggests.

Anemia affects as many as 23 percent of seniors, the researchers say.

"We found a 60 percent increased risk of dementia with anemia. After controlling for other factors such as other medical illness, demographics, etcetera, the risk remained elevated 40 to 50 percent," said lead study author Dr. Kristine Yaffe, a Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology and Epidemiology at the University of California, San Francisco.

"Given how common both anemia and dementia are in older adults, more attention to the connection between the two is important, and I do think screening older adults for anemia makes sense," said Yaffe.

The study of more than 2,500 men and women in their 70s doesn't actually prove that anemia causes dementia, however.

"Because we studied this prospectively, we do think, as best we can tell, that anemia is causally related to dementia, but with observational studies one can never say for sure. But we did our best to exclude other explanations," Yaffe said.

The job of red blood cells is to carry oxygen throughout the body. When you are anemic, less oxygen is delivered to brain cells, Yaffe explained. "We think the association is about low oxygen being carried to the brain," she said.

Anemia could also indicate poor overall health, the study authors noted. Causes of anemia include iron deficiency and blood loss. Cancer, kidney failure and certain chronic diseases can also lead to anemia.

The study - published online July 31 in Neurology -  should remind doctors that many conditions can lead to dementia, and treating them might ward off mental decline, one expert said.

"One concern about the increased visibility and prevalence of Alzheimer's disease is that some physicians will be tempted to jump straight to that diagnosis without first having followed the 'rule out reversible causes' rule," said Dr. Sam Gandy, director of the Mount Sinai Center for Cognitive Health in New York City. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia.

"We must always seek to exclude treatable, reversible causes of dementia such as depression, nutritional deficiencies, endocrine disorders and metabolic disorders before rushing into a diagnosis of Alzheimer's," he said.

During the study, all of the participants were tested for anemia and took memory and thinking tests over 11 years.

Almost 400 participants were anemic at the study's start. Over the course of the study, about 18 percent of participants - 455 - developed dementia, the researchers found.

Of participants with anemia, 23 percent developed dementia, compared with 17 percent of those who weren't anemic.

People who were anemic at the study's start had a 41 percent higher risk of developing dementia than those without anemia after the researchers took into account factors such as age, race, sex and education.

Additional research is needed to confirm this association before recommendations are made regarding dementia prevention, the study authors suggested.

(Source:, 31 July 2013)


Mental decline in older adults who live independently can be delayed if they get regular physical activity, says a new study. Specifically, the study reports that exercise can reduce the risk of vascular-related dementia by more than 50 percent and cognitive impairment without dementia by 60 percent.

Vascular dementia results from blood vessel disease and is associated with conditions like high blood pressure, plaque buildup in artery walls, diabetes and stroke.

The study, which was reported in the online edition of Stroke, followed 638 people, average age of 74, for three years. Sixty-four percent said they were physically active 30 minutes a day for three days a week.

Their activities involved walking, biking and taking gym classes. The results were disappointing, however, when it came to protecting against Alzheimer's. Researchers found no relationship between activity and the risk of developing Alzheimer's. 

(Source:  John Hopkins Health Alert, Memory 22 July 2013)


Normally, tau protein is used by the brain's neurons as a kind of "scaffolding." But for reasons that are still unclear, as people age the tau protein starts to aggregate into filaments inside the neurons. These tau filaments soon grow out of control, eventually forming distinctive tau tangles. They fill up the neurons and cause them to burst. At this point, neuron death is unstoppable.

Braak staging - developed by German pathologist Heiko Braak - is a way to measure the severity of Alzheimer's disease based on how many tau tangles there are in the brain, and where they are, based on brain autopsy. 

Braak Stage 1 - Braak stage 1 is the point at which tau protein starts to clump into tau tangles. In stage 1 there are no external symptoms and it might take many years before there is noticeable dementia. Nearly everyone will reach Braak stage 1 between 40 and 90 years of age. About 30 percent of 50-year-olds will reach Braak stage 1.

Braak Stage 2 - Tau tangles have accumulated further and have caused some neurons to burst apart and die. Mental testing reveals minimal impairment. Tau tangles at this are found in the brains of about 60 percent of people over age 65. 

Braak Stage 3 - Tau tangles and neuronal death have likely caused some memory impairment, but only about 10 percent of patients will be diagnosed as suffering from dementia. About 45 percent of 80-year-olds have reached this stage. 

Braak Stage 4 - Tau tangles are beginning to form in the outer layers of the cerebral cortex. The patient is experiencing significant impairments in memory and other aspects of cognitive function. 70 percent of patients with this level of tau tangles in the brain will be diagnosed with dementia.

Braak Stage 5 - Tau tangles have caused extensive neuronal death, giving rise to severe memory and cognitive impairment. They are beginning to involve deep areas of the brain that control the initiation of movement. About 80 percent of patients with this level of tangles will be diagnosed with moderate to severe dementia.

Braak Stage 6 - Tau tangles have formed extensively throughout the brain and have caused extensive neuronal death. The outer layers of the brain that integrate activities and the deep areas of the brain that control movement are filled with tau tangles. All patients with this many tau tangles in the brain will be diagnosed as suffering from severe dementia. They will be completely unable to care for themselves and will have difficulty recognizing family members

(Source:  John Hopkins Health Alert, Memory on 29 July 2013)

ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE (Guide To the Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention of Conditions)

What is Alzheimer's Disease?
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease that occurs when nerve cells in the brain die. The disease often results in the following behaviors:

·                Impaired memory, thinking, and behavior
·                Confusion
·                Restlessness
·                Personality and behavior changes
·                Impaired judgment
·                Impaired communication
·                Inability to follow directions
·                Language deterioration
·                Impaired thought processes that involve visual and spatial awareness
·                Emotional apathy

With Alzheimer's disease, motor function is often preserved.

When Alzheimer's was first identified by German doctor Alois Alzheimer in 1906, it was considered a rare disorder. Today Alzheimer's disease is recognized as the most common cause of dementia (a disorder in which mental functions deteriorate and break down). An estimated 5.3 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease. According to the Alzheimer's Association, this number includes 5.1 million people over the age of 65, as well as 200,000 to 500,000 people younger than 65 who have early-onset Alzheimer's and other types of dementias.

How is Alzheimer's Different from Other Forms of Dementia?
Alzheimer's disease is distinguished from other forms of dementia by characteristic changes in the brain that are visible only upon microscopic examination during autopsy. Brains affected by Alzheimer's disease often show presence of the following: 

-   Fiber tangles within nerve cells (neurofibrillary tangles)
-   Clusters of degenerating nerve endings (neuritic plaques) 

Another characteristic of Alzheimer's disease is the reduced production of certain brain chemicals necessary for communication between nerve cells, especially acetylcholine, as well as norepinephrine, serotonin, and somatostatin.

What Causes Alzheimer's Disease?
Although intense investigation has been underway for many years, the causes of Alzheimer's disease are not entirely known. The National Institute on Aging says that suspected causes often include the following:

·                Age and family history
·                Certain genes
·                Abnormal protein deposits in the brain
·                Other risk and environmental factors
·                Immune system problems

What are the Warning Signs or Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease?
According to the Alzheimer's Association, the following are the most common symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

·                Memory loss that affects job skills, especially short-term memory loss
·                Difficulty performing familiar tasks
·                Problems with language
·                Disorientation to time and place
·                Poor or decreased judgment
·                Problems with abstract thinking
·                Misplacing things
·                Changes in mood or behavior
·                Changes in personality
·                Loss of initiative

Loss of ability to recognize who people are, even people well known to the individual, such as his or her child or spouse, when the disease progresses to a severe stage

The symptoms of Alzheimer's disease may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

How is Alzheimer's Diagnosed?
There is not a single, comprehensive test for diagnosing Alzheimer's disease. By ruling out other conditions through a process of elimination, doctors, or other specialists, can obtain a diagnosis of probable Alzheimer's disease with approximately 90 percent accuracy. However, the only way to confirm a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is through autopsy.

Examination and evaluation are essential in determining whether the dementia is the result of a treatable illness. In addition to a complete medical history and extensive neurological motor and sensory exam, diagnostic procedures for Alzheimer's disease may include the following: 
  • Mental Status Test - This is a brief and simple test of memory and some other common cognitive or thinking skills; it is usually part of a complete neurological exam.
  • Neuropsychological Testing
  • Blood Tests
  • Lumbar Puncture (Spinal Tap) - A procedure performed by inserting a hollow needle into the lower back (lumbar spine).
  • Urinalysis - Laboratory examination of urine for various cells and chemicals, such as red blood cells, white blood cells, infection, or excessive protein.
  • Chest X-Ray - A diagnostic test which uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) - A procedure that records the brain's continuous electrical activity by means of electrodes attached to the scalp.
  • Computed Tomography Scan (also called a CT or CAT Scan) - A diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce horizontal, or axial, images (often called slices) of the body.  A CT Scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT Scans are more detailed than general X-Rays.
  • Magnetic Resonance Iimaging (MRI) - A diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body.
  • Genetic Testing - Some genetic testing is available, especially in some research settings. Because there is no cure or effective treatment for Alzheimer's, the decision to undergo genetic testing is one that requires careful consideration and counseling with a specialist in genetics.

Can Alzheimer's Disease Be Prevented?
Because the cause of the disease is unknown, there are no prevention protocols to follow at this time. And, because the controllable risk factors for Alzheimer's disease are unknown, it is not yet possible to reduce the chances of developing the disease.
What is the Treatment for Alzheimer's?
Specific treatment for Alzheimer's disease will be determined by your doctor based on:

·                Your age, overall health, and medical history
·                Extent of the disease
·                Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
·                Expectations for the course of the disease
·                Your opinion or preference

At this time, there is No Cure for Alzheimer's, No Way of slowing down the progression of this disease, and no treatment available to reverse the deterioration of Alzheimer's disease. New research findings give reason for hope, and several drugs are being studied in clinical trials to determine if they can slow the progress of the disease or improve memory for a period of time.

There are some medications available to assist in managing some of the most troubling symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, including the following:

·                Depression
·                Behavioral disturbance
·                Sleeplessness

In managing the disease, physical exercise and social activity are important, as are proper nutrition, health maintenance, and a calm and well-structured environment.

What are Alzheimer's Rehabilitation Programs?

The Rehabilitation Program for people with Alzheimer's differs depending on the symptoms, expression, and progression of the disease, and the fact that making a diagnosis of Alzheimer's is so difficult. These variables determine the amount and type of assistance needed for the Alzheimer's individual and family.

With Alzheimer's rehabilitation, it is important to remember that, although any skills lost will not be regained, the caregiving team must keep in mind the following considerations:

·                To manage the disease, plan a balanced program of physical exercise, social activity, proper nutrition, and health maintenance activities.

·                Plan daily activities that help to provide structure, meaning, and accomplishment for the individual.

·                As functions are lost, adapt activities and routines to allow the individual to participate as much as possible.

·                Keep activities familiar and satisfying.

·                Allow the individual to complete as many things by himself or herself as possible. The caregiver may need to initiate an activity, but allow the individual to complete it as much as he or she can.

·                Provide "cues" for desired behavior (for example, label drawers, cabinets, and closets according to their contents).

·                Keep the individual out of harm's way by removing all safety risks (for example, car keys and matches).

·                As a caregiver (full-time or part-time), understand your own physical and emotional limitations.

(Source: John Hopkins Medicine Health Library)



A person with Alzheimer's or other dementia doesn't have to give up the activities that he or she
loves.  Many activities can be modified to the person's ability.  In addition to enhancing quality of life, activities can reduce behaviors like wandering or agitation.   

Choosing Activities                                               
In the early stages of dementia, the person may withdraw from activities he or she previously enjoyed.  It is important to help the person remain engaged.  Having an open discussion around any concerns and making slight adjustments can make a difference.  For example, a large social gathering may be overwhelming, but the person may be able to interact more successfully in smaller groups.

As Alzheimer's progresses, you may need to make other adjustments to the activity. Use the following tips:

·      Keep the person's skills and abilities in mind
A person with dementia may be able to play simple songs learned on the piano years ago. Bring these types of skills into daily activities.

·      Pay special attention to what the person enjoys
Take note when the person seems happy, anxious, distracted or irritable. Some people enjoy watching sports, while others may be frightened by the pace or noise.

·      Consider if the person begins activities without direction
Does he or she set the table before dinner or sweep the kitchen floor mid-morning?  If so, you may wish to plan these activities as part of the daily routine.

·      Be aware of physical problems
Does he or she get tired quickly or have difficulty seeing, hearing or performing simple movements?

·      Focus on enjoyment, not achievement
Find activities that build on remaining skills and talents. A professional artist might become frustrated over the declining quality of work, but an amateur might enjoy a new opportunity for self-expression.

·      Encourage involvement in daily life
Activities that help the individual feel like a valued part of the household — like setting the table — can provide a sense of success and accomplishment.

·      Relate to past work life
A former office worker might enjoy activities that involve organizing, like putting coins in a holder or making a to-do list. A farmer or gardener may take pleasure in working in the yard. 

·      Look for favorites
The person who always enjoyed drinking coffee and reading the newspaper may still find these activities enjoyable, even if he or she is not able to completely understand what the newspaper says.

·      Consider time of day
Caregivers may find they have more success with certain activities at specific times of day, such as bathing and dressing in the morning.

·      Adjust activities to disease stages
As the disease progresses, you may want to introduce more repetitive tasks. Be prepared for the person to eventually take a less active role in activities.

Your approach
·      Help get the activity started
Most people with dementia still have the energy and desire to do things 
but may lack the ability to organize, plan, initiate and successfully complete the task.                                   

·      Offer support and supervision
You may need to show the person how to perform the activity and provide simple, easy-to-follow steps.

·      Concentrate on the process, not the result
Does it matter if the towels are folded properly?  Not really. What matters is that you were able to spend time together, and that the person feels as if he or she has done something useful.

·      Be flexible
When the person insists that he or she doesn't want to do something, it may be because he or she can't do it or fears doing it. Don't force it. If the person insists on doing it a different way, let it happen, and change it later if necessary.

·      Assist with difficult parts of the task
If you're cooking, and the person can't measure the ingredients, finish the measuring and say, "Would you please stir this for me?"

·      Let the individual know he or she is needed
Ask, "Could you please help me?" Be careful, however, not to place too many demands upon the person.

·      Stress a sense of purpose
If you ask the person to make a card, he or she may not respond. But, if you say that you're sending a special get-well card to a friend and invite him or her to join you, the person may enjoy working on this task with you. 

·      Don't criticize or correct the person
If the person enjoys a harmless activity, even if it seems insignificant or meaningless to you, encourage the person to continue.

·      Encourage self expression
Include activities that allow the person a chance for expression. These types of activities could include painting, drawing, music or conversation.

·      Involve the person through conversation
While you're polishing shoes, washing the car or cooking dinner, talk to the person about what you're doing. Even if the person cannot respond, he or she is likely to benefit from your communication.

·         Substitute an activity for a behavior
If a person with dementia rubs his or her hand on a table, provide a cloth and encourage the person to wipe the table. Or, if the person is moving his or her feet on the floor, play some music so the person can tap to the beat.

·         Try again later
If something isn't working, it may just be the wrong time of day or the activity may be too complicated. Try again later, or adapt the activity.