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Alzheimer’s disease

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Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory star Gene Wilder has died at the age of 83, his family has confirmed.

Gene Wilder also starred in classic movies such as The Producers, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein.

The actor frequently collaborated with writer and director Mel Brooks as well as stand-up comedian Richard Pryor.

Photo Wikipedia

Photo Wikipedia

Gene Wilder died on August 28 in Stamford, Connecticut, due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease, his family said.

“It is almost unbearable for us to contemplate our life without him,” his nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman said.

Gene Wilder first made waves on Broadway before transitioning to the silver screen for a brief role as a kidnapped undertaker in Bonnie and Clyde (1967).

Mel Brooks then cast him as Leo Bloom, an anxious accountant in the 1968 comedy The Producers.

In 1971, Gene Wilder took on the role of one of his most beloved characters, Willy Wonka, in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

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Oscar-nominated actor Robert Loggia has died at the age of 85 on December 4 in Los Angeles, his widow Audrey confirmed to Variety.

Robert Loggia had been battling Alzheimer’s disease for the past five years.

He was nominated for a Supporting Actor Academy Award for 1986’s Jagged Edge for his portrayal of a blunt private detective.

Robert Loggia’s most notable movie roles included Scarface, Independence Day, Prizzi’s Honor, An Officer and a Gentleman, Big and Problem Child.

The actor was nominated for an Emmy in 1989 for his portrayal of FBI agent Nick Mancuso in the series Mancuso FBI and again in 2000 for his guest star role in Malcolm in the Middle.Robert Loggia dead at 85


Robert Loggia was a versatile supporting actor, assembling credits on three different episodes of The Rockford Files as three different characters. He also portrayed a violent mobster named Feech La Manna on several episodes of The Sopranos.

He was born to Italian immigrants in Staten Island. After serving two years in the US Army, Robert Loggia began classes with Stella Adler and at The Actors Studio.

Robert Loggia is survived by his widow; three children, Tracy, John and Kristina, and a stepchild, Cynthia.

His family has asked that donations be made to the Motion Picture and Television Fund.

Robert Loggia was an active supporter of the fund.

Funeral services will be private.

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A new study suggests that Alzheimer’s disease can be detected decades before onset, using a virtual reality test.

People aged 18 to 30 were asked to navigate through a virtual maze to test the function of certain brain cells.

According to German neuroscientists, those with a high genetic risk of Alzheimer’s could be identified by their performance.

The findings could help future research, diagnosis and treatment, researchers report in the journal Science.Virtual reality test for dementia

The scientists, led by Lukas Kunz of the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Bonn, say the high risk group navigated the maze differently and had reduced functioning of a type of brain cell involved in spatial navigation.

The findings could give an insight into why people with dementia can find navigating the world around them challenging, they say.

“Our results could provide a new basic framework for preclinical research on Alzheimer’s disease and may provide a neurocognitive explanation of spatial disorientation in Alzheimer’s disease,” Science report says.

Although genes play a role in dementia, their effects are complex with many unknowns.

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Data on Solanezumab, the most promising drug in treating Alzheimer’s disease, is set to be unveiled on July 22.

Patients and scientists hope Solanezumab (Alzforum) could become the first medication to slow the pace of brain decline.

The decline in Alzheimer’s is unstoppable – drugs can help with symptoms, but nothing prevents the inexorable death of brain cells.

Hints at the drug’s effectiveness will be outlined, but Solanezumab has been the great hope of dementia research.

Eli Lilly’s drug targets deformed proteins called amyloid that build up in the brain during Alzheimer’s.

Solanezumab is thought the formation of sticky plaques of amyloid between nerve cells leads to damage and eventually brain cell death.Solanezumab dementia drug

Trials of Solanezumab seemingly ended in failure in 2012.

When the company looked more closely at the data, there were hints it could be working for patients in the earliest stages of the disease.

Those people have continued to take the drugs and results on how they have progressed are due to be revealed later at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Washington.

It is known that these drugs are not stopping, halting or curing dementia.

The closer analysis of the 2012 data showed that all patients continued their cognitive decline – but seemingly at a slower pace in those taking the drugs.

Yet developing a drug that just slows the pace of dementia would be regarded by experts as a groundbreaking moment.

Estimates suggest that delaying the onset of dementia by five years would reduce the number of cases by a third.

Data being released on July 22 could represent a step closer to that breakthrough drug, but the critical moment will be a fresh clinical trial expected to report next year.

The idea that amyloid is the main culprit in Alzheimer’s is still hotly debated so promising drug trial data would also hint that scientists are at least on the right track.

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Omar Sharif has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, the actor’s agent Steve Kenis confirmed to the Associated Press.

Omar Sharif, now 83, is best known for his roles in the 1960’s movies Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago.

The news come after Omar Sharif’s son Tarek gave an interview to Spain’s El Mundo newspaper at the weekend.Omar Sharif Alzheimers disease

Tarek El-Sharif told the paper: “It’s difficult to determine what stage it is at. It’s obvious he’ll never improve and it will get worse.”

Egypt-born Omar Sharif won two Golden Globe awards and an Oscar nomination for his role as Sherif Ali in David Lean’s 1962 epic Lawrence of Arabia.

Omar Sharif won a further Golden Globe three years later for Doctor Zhivago.

“He still knows he’s a famous actor. The loss of memory affects above all specific things, details like when he was in a specific place or who he acted with in a specific film,” Tarek El-Sharif told El Mundo.

“He remembers, for example, that it was Doctor Zhivago but he’s forgotten when it was filmed.

“He can talk about the film but he forgets its name or he calls it something else instead like Lawrence of Arabia.”

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British fantasy author Terry Pratchett has died at the age of 66, eight years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

“The world has lost one of its brightest, sharpest minds,” said Larry Finlay of his publishers Transworld.

The creator of the Discworld comic fantasy book series died at home, surrounded by his family, “with his cat sleeping on his bed”, Larry Finlay has said.

Terry Pratchett wrote more than 70 books during his career and completed his final book last summer.

He “enriched the planet like few before him” and through Discworld satirised the world “with great skill, enormous humor and constant invention,” said Larry Finlay.

Terry Pratchett leaves wife Lyn and daughter Rhianna.Terry Pratchett dead at 66

The announcement of Sir Terry Pratchett’s death was made on his Twitter account on March 12, with Rhianna later writing: “Many thanks for all the kind words about my dad. Those last few tweets were sent with shaking hands and tear-filled eyes.”

Despite campaigning for assisted suicide after his diagnosis, Sir Terry’s publishers said he did not take his own life.

The Discworld series – which started in 1983 – was based in a flat world perched on the backs of four elephants which, in turn, stand on the back of a giant turtle.

By 2013, Terry Pratchett had written more than 40 installments.

At the peak of his writing powers, Terry Pratchett – known for his striking dress sense and large black fedora – was publishing more than three books a year. His quirky and satirical view of the world won him a worldwide following.

At the turn of the century, Terry Pratchett was Britain’s second most-read author, beaten only by J.K. Rowling.

In August 2007, it was reported Terry Pratchett had suffered a stroke, but the following December he announced that he had been diagnosed with a very rare form of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease which, he said, “lay behind this year’s phantom stroke”.

Knighted in 2009, Terry Pratchett said: “It would appear to me that me getting up and saying <<I’ve got Alzheimer’s>>, it did shake people.”

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A new research suggests that middle-aged women with a neurotic personality style and prolonged stress may have a heightened risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

The Swedish study on 800 women over nearly four decades found that those who were most anxious, jealous and moody – which they defined as neurotic – and experienced long-standing stress had double the risk of developing Alzheimer’s compared to women scoring lowest in these traits.

Study author Lena Johansson, a researcher at University of Gothenburg, said: Continue reading below…

“No other study has shown that [one style of] midlife personality increased the risk of Alzheimer’s disease over a period of nearly 40 years.”

However, the study results don’t prove that neuroticism triggers Alzheimer’s, but they do suggest an association between the two.

The study was published this month in the journal Neurology.

The most common type of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease causes profound memory loss and impairments in language, focus, judgment and visual perception, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Middle-aged women with a neurotic personality style and prolonged stress may have a heightened risk of developing Alzheimer's disease

Middle-aged women with a neurotic personality style and prolonged stress may have a heightened risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease

About 5.2 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, which is progressive, incurable and ultimately fatal.

Lena Johansson said she believes the results would also be true for men. But study data – pulled from research that began in the 1960s – happened to include only women in an era when few medical studies focused on females.

In the new study, participants with an average age of 46 were tracked for 38 years and given memory tests and personality tests measuring their levels of neuroticism and extraversion (defined as being outgoing) and introversion (defined as reserved or shy).

Study authors defined neuroticism as being easily distressed and exhibiting personality traits such as anxiety, jealousy or moodiness. People with this personality style are more likely, they said, to express guilt, anger, envy, worry and depression.

The women were also asked if they had experienced any period of prolonged stress lasting one month or longer and to rate their stress on a scale from zero to five, which represented constant stress during the previous five years. Stress responses included nervousness, sleep disturbances, fearfulness, irritability and tension.

Being introverted or extroverted alone didn’t seem to affect dementia risk, but women who were both easily distressed and withdrawn (introverted) had the highest risk of Alzheimer’s among all women analyzed. One-quarter of them developed the disease, compared to only 13% of those considered outgoing (extroverted) and not easily distressed.

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Queen Elizabeth II is having health problems as she shows early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a Globe Magazine report.

Queen Elizabeth, 88, has long been subject to rumors and speculation. The same magazine reported late last year that the queen was suffering continuous shortness of breath, and that doctors didn’t really know what was wrong with her.

The report even claimed that the Queen informed Kate Middleton to make sure her funeral arrangements were ready because she could die at any time.

The new report from Globe Magazine says that the queen is actually fighting Alzheimer’s disease.

“The palace is desperately trying to hide the new health crisis Queen Elizabeth is facing–the 88-year-old monarch is reportedly showing the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease,” the magazine reported in the cover story of its October 20 edition.

Queen Elizabeth II is reportedly having health problems as she shows early stages of Alzheimer's disease

Queen Elizabeth II is reportedly having health problems as she shows early stages of Alzheimer’s disease (photo Getty Images)

The Queen has been found wandering “lost and confused” in the palace garden, the tabloid claims.

She also can’t remember the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and she has mistaken her son Prince Charles for her husband Prince Philip, it says.

Sources told the magazine that that queen has multiple symptoms and that some fear that Prince Charles’ wife Camilla Parker-Bowles, with whom the queen reportedly has an ongoing feud, will try to take advantage of the queen’s plight.

The claim that the Queen has Alzheimer’s is unverified, though the royal has acknowledged her failing health recently.

She began handing over power to Prince Charles earlier this year leading up to her birthday, having him take on more head of state-style responsibilities as the Palace starts to make tentative plans for his eventual succession, the Daily Mirror reported.

One sign of the historic “job-share” agreement with Prince Charles, a first for the royals, was the merging of their press offices.

“This is about passing the baton to the next generation. The Prince of Wales’s diary is chock-full. Even he realizes with the best will in the world he can’t go on like that. This is not going to be a sudden shift. It is a gradual process which will be borne out over the next few years. It’s a gentle succession,” one aide said.

“It’s important to note that the Queen is still working very hard. Every day you see her with the red box of Government papers and giving audiences.

“Charles will be doing less of his campaigning and the things he likes to do and more of the head of state role.

“While the Queen is still in excellent health, she is inevitably becoming a little more frail because of her age. Charles and Camilla will be doing much more of the public work on her behalf.” 

Prince Charles and courtiers have been studying the Regency Act, which would enable him to take over the throne even if Queen Elizabeth is still alive.

Britain’s last regency happened in the early 1800s, when King George III’s mental illness left him unable to carry out his duties, prompting his son, George IV, to be given his father’s powers under the Regency Act.

Prince Charles became the longest serving heir to the throne in April 2011, beating Edward VIII’s record of 59 years, two months, and 13 days.

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According to a research published in Nature Neuroscience, the human brain may be able to compensate for some of the early changes seen in Alzheimer’s disease.

The study suggests some people recruit extra nerve power to help maintain their ability to think.

Scientists hope the findings could shed light on why only some people with early signs of the condition go on to develop severe memory decline.

However, experts warn much more research is needed to understand these processes.

The study, led by researchers at the University of California, involved 71 adults with no signs of mental decline.

The human brain may be able to compensate for some of the early changes seen in Alzheimer's disease

The human brain may be able to compensate for some of the early changes seen in Alzheimer’s disease

Brain scans showed 16 of the older subjects had amyloid deposits – tangles of protein that are considered a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.

All participants were asked to memorize a series of pictures in detail while scanners were used to track their brain activity.

They were then asked to recall the gist and later the detail of all the pictures they had seen.

Both groups performed equally well but those with tangles of amyloid in their brains showed more brain activity when remembering the images in detail.

Scientists say this suggests their brains have an ability to adapt to and compensate for any early damage caused by the protein.

Scientists say they need to understand why some people with an accumulation of this protein are better at using different parts of their brain than others.

Dr. William Jagust, a researcher on the study, said: “I think it is very possible that people who spend a lifetime involved in cognitively stimulating activity have brains that are better able to adapt to potential damage.”

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According US researchers, exposure to a once widely used pesticide, DDT, may increase the chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

A study, published in JAMA Neurology, showed patients with Alzheimer’s had four times as much DDT lingering in the body as healthy people.

Some countries still use the pesticide to control malaria.

DDT was a massively successful pesticide, initially used to control malaria at the end of World War Two and then to protect crops in commercial agriculture.

However, there were questions about its impact on human health and wider environmental concerns, particularly for predators.

Exposure to DDT may increase the chances of developing Alzheimer's disease

Exposure to DDT may increase the chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease

It was banned in the US in 1972 and in many other countries. But the World Health Organization (WHO) still recommends using DDT to keep malaria in check.

DDT also lingers in the human body where it is broken down into DDE.

The team at Rutgers University and Emory University tested levels of DDE in the blood of 86 people with Alzheimer’s disease and compared the results with 79 healthy people of a similar age and background.

The results showed those with Alzheimer’s had 3.8 times the level of DDE.

However, the picture is not clear-cut. Some healthy people had high levels of DDE while some with Alzheimer’s had low levels. Alzheimer’s also predates the use of DDT.

The researchers believe the chemical is increasing the chance of Alzheimer’s and may be involved in the development of amyloid plaques in the brain, a hallmark of the disease, which contribute to the death of brain cells.

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A new research suggests that a diet rich in vitamins and fish may protect the brain from ageing while junk food has the opposite effect.

Elderly people with high blood levels of vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids had less brain shrinkage and better mental performance, a Neurology study found.

Trans fats found in fast foods were linked to lower scores in tests and more shrinkage typical of Alzheimer’s.

A UK medical charity has called for more work into diet and dementia risk.

The best current advice is to eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, not smoke, take regular exercise and keep blood pressure and cholesterol in check, said Alzheimer’s Research UK.

The research looked at nutrients in blood, rather than relying on questionnaires to assess a person’s diet.

US experts analyzed blood samples from 104 healthy people with an average age of 87 who had few known risk factors for Alzheimer’s.

They found those who had more vitamin B, C, D and E in their blood performed better in tests of memory and thinking skills. People with high levels of omega 3 fatty acids – found mainly in fish – also had high scores. The poorest scores were found in people who had more trans fats in their blood.

Trans fats are common in processed foods, including cakes, biscuits and fried foods.

The researchers, from Oregon Health and Science University, Portland; Portland VA Medical Center; and Oregon State University, Corvallis, then carried out brain scans on 42 of the participants.

They found individuals with high levels of vitamins and omega 3 in their blood were more likely to have a large brain volume; while those with high levels of trans fat had a smaller total brain volume.

Study author Gene Bowman of Oregon Health and Science University said: “These results need to be confirmed, but obviously it is very exciting to think that people could potentially stop their brains from shrinking and keep them sharp by adjusting their diet.”

Co-author Maret Traber of the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University said: “The vitamins and nutrients you get from eating a wide range of fruits, vegetables and fish can be measured in blood biomarkers.

“I’m a firm believer these nutrients have strong potential to protect your brain and make it work better.”

Commenting on the study, Dr. Simon Ridley, head of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“One strength of this research is that it looked at nutrients in people’s blood, rather than relying on answers to a questionnaire.

“It’s important to note that this study looked at a small group of people with few risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease, and did not investigate whether they went on to develop Alzheimer’s at a later stage.

“There is a clear need for conclusive evidence about the effect of diet on our risk of Alzheimer’s, which can only come from large-scale, long-term studies.”

Glen Campbell released "Ghost of Canvas" and he will start "Glen Campbell Goodbye Tour"

Glen Campbell released "Ghost of Canvas" and he will start "Glen Campbell Goodbye Tour"

 

On August 30, Glen Campbell, the legendary pop-country singer, released his (intended) farewell (to studio recording) album Ghost of the Canvas.

 

The album was announced in March 2010, as a companion for Meet Glen Campbell, but only in June 2011 Glen Campbell has revealed his intention to make it a farewell recording.

Ghost of the Canvas includes new melodies written by Paul Westerberg, Robert Pollard, Jakob Dylan and Campbell himself. It also features recording sessions (Dandy Warhols, Billy Corgan and classic surf-guitarist, Dick Dale). A better place (an autobiographical song) opens the album.

He will also start Glen Campbell Goodbye Tour on September 2. He will perform in US, Canada and UK. The tour begins in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada at the Casino New Brunswick and ends in Silver Springs, Florida at the Twin Oaks Amphitheatre on February 11 2012.

 

In June 2011 Glen Campbell shared he was diagnosed with Alzheimer‘s disease.

 

Glen Campbell, 75, has learned about his diagnosis last year, but he had experienced short-term memory loss for a long time.

The singer and his wife, Kimberly, took the decision to declare Glen Campbell’s condition because he wanted to organize farewell events.

“Glen is still an awesome guitar player and singer. But if he flubs a lyric or gets confused on stage, I wouldn’t want people to think, ‘What’s the matter with him? Is he drunk?'” said Kim.

When the diagnosis of senile dementia was confirmed Kim Woolen, 53, was very troubled, then she tried to cope.

“The indicators were there, so I kind of accepted it. You go through a stage of worry then you start trying to educate yourself. The last stages are horrifying. They can forget. They can’t hold their head up. I guess they can forget how to swallow. I try to focus on making each day as happy as we can. We savour every experience with him while we still have him.”

Glen Campbell said he was confident and felt he had found his place in this universe.

“I think where I am at right now in this universe, I wouldn’t want to be anything else than what I am.”

Campbell wants to stay active and he has very good reasons to do this. The progression of Alzheimer’s disease, like progression of early- onset dementia, can be slow down if a person maintains intellectual activities.

 

Glen Campbell has a 50 years carrier in show business. He launched over 70 albums, 12 went gold, 4 platinum and one double-platinum.

 

He is renowned for Rhinestone Cowboy, Wichita Lineman, By the Time I Get to Phoenix, Southern Nights, Crying Time (with Ray Charles), Gentle on My Mind.

 Rhinestone Cowboy (written by Larry Weiss), 1975, was used in movie soundtracks and TV shows (including Desperate Housewives), and inspired the 1984 Dolly Parton/Sylvester Stallone movie Rhinestone.

Glen was member of the Wrecking Crew (Los Angeles) studio musicians who worked with artists like Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, the Beach Boys, Dean Martin and hosted The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour (1969-1972) on CBS television.

Meet Glen Campbell (2008) album features contemporary and classic hits by the likes of John Lennon, U2, the Foo Fighters and Green Day.

Campbell has been married four times and has five sons and three daughters. Debbie, 55, Cal, 28, Shannon, 26 and Ashley, 24, are members of Instant People, his roots band.

 

Early-onset dementia: symptoms and the importance of early diagnosis.

Alzheimer’s progression could be slowed by insulin.