- 04.14.2014 Al Jazeera America In the fight against Alzheimer's, med students pair up with patients
More than five million Americans have Alzheimer's disease. There is no cure for this form of dementia. But as Ash-Har Quraishi reports, some medical students at Northwestern University in Chicago are trying to build relationships with patients to understand the disorder.
- 03.27.2014 Feinberg School of Medicine Marsel Mesulam, MD, awarded 2014 Potamkin Prize
The American Academy of Neurology and American Brain Foundation have named M. Marsel Mesulam, MD, director of the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center (CNADC), the 2014 Potamkin Prize winner.
- 01.23.2014 New York Times Sandra Weintraub, PhD, discuses dementia patients who do not know they are ill.
Soon after his wife was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, Bill Floyd consulted a neurologist who had been a member of his church. People with this illness don’t know they have it, the doctor warned. They don’t understand that anything is wrong.This little-known yet common consequence of this kind of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and other brain disorders is called anosognosia, and it leaves people unaware that they are compromised by illness. Imagine someone who survives a stroke and is paralyzed on the left side of his body, but is convinced he can walk without assistance. A less extreme example: Someone with moderate memory deficiency gets lost on the road or has accidents, but thinks she is driving just as well as ever.
- 12.01.2013 Chicago Tribune Retired physician teaching about Alzheimer's disease — his own. Pioneering CNADC program pairs him with first-year medical student
Dr. Daniel Winship and Jared Worthington wandered through the stacks at the Pritzker Military Library, pausing whenever curiosity called. "'Memoirs of an Army Surgeon – 1948,'" Worthington read from a book he pulled from the shelf. "Can you imagine?" Their interest in medicine is mutual. Worthington, 25, is a first-year medical student at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. Winship, 80, is a retired physician with a particular interest in medical education, including a stint as dean of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine .
- 09.04.2013 NBC Today Show Emily Rogalski, PhD, and the Northwestern SuperAgers were featured on the NBC Today Show on a segment focusing on the prevention of Alzheimer's disease
While scientists have struggled to find a real therapy for Alzheimer’s disease, a new trend focuses on earlier prevention, with a first prevention trial underway. NBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman reports.
- 09.03.2013 NBC Today Show Alzheimer's patients mentor med students in CNADC's buddy program
Few medical students receive extensive classroom training about Alzheimer’s disease or have much experience with someone diagnosed with the incurable, brain-robbing disease. With as many as 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer's -- and that number expected triple by 2050 -- there’s a pressing need for physicians who can recognize it, treat its symptoms, and better communicate with patients and their caregivers. That's where the Buddy Program comes in. The program is helping improve medical student knowledge and familiarity with Alzheimer's, while heightening sensitivity and empathy towards dementia patients, according to recent research.
- 08.23.2013 CBS Nightly News How do "super agers" have such good memories?
People over the age of 80 with the memory of someone 20 to 30 years younger, are known as "super agers." Researchers have found that a part of the brain called the cortex -- responsible for functions like thinking, attention and memory -- is thicker in "super agers." Dr. Jon LaPook reports.
- 08.22.2013 Associated Press Study seeks super agers' secrets to brain health
They're called "super agers" — men and women who are in their 80s and 90s, but with brains and memories that seem far younger. Researchers are looking at this rare group in the hope that they may find ways to help protect others from memory loss. And they've had some tantalizing findings: Imaging tests have found unusually low amounts of age-related plaques along with more brain mass related to attention and memory in these elite seniors.
- 08.13.2013 USA TODAY Emily Rogalski, PhD, and Tamar Gefen featured in USA Today article titled, "People with early dementia don't know some famous people."
People ages 40 to 65 with a type of early-onset dementia are less likely to be able to name — or even recognize — very famous folks such as Princess Di, Oprah Winfrey, John F. Kennedy, Lucille Ball and Elvis Presley than those who don't have this type of dementia, a new study shows.
- 08.13.2013 AARP The Doctor Will (Really) See You Now: An Alzheimer’s Program
The Buddy Program, an initiative that pairs medical students with those in the early stages of Alzheimer’s for social activities, not doctoring, is proving therapeutic for both sides. Students learn about dementia outside the classroom so it is demystified and humanized, while people with Alzheimer’s get to act as mentors. The mentors not only have fun, but also feel that they are contributing to future physicians’ understanding of a disease they will inevitably face with their patients.
- 07.30.2013 Neurology Marsel Mesulam's, MD, 2013 H. Houston Merritt Lecture, "Primary progressive aphasia and the language network," featured in Neurology.
Not long ago, the terms dementia and Alzheimer disease (AD) were used synonymously, and memory loss was considered an inevitable feature of dementia. This is no longer the prevailing opinion. We now know that there are multiple neurodegenerative entities that can cause dementias without Alzheimer pathology or memory loss. Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) is one of the syndromes that led to this broadening of concepts related to dementia specifically and cortical neurodegeneration in general.
- 07.19.2013 Chicago Tribune Marsel Mesulam, MD, quoted in Chicago Tribune Editorial Titled, "Bolstering Your Brain Against Dementia."
For years, the news about Alzheimer's and other dementia-related illness has been unrelentingly grim. We don't know many of the causes. We don't have a cure. Researchers warned that the number of people with brain-robbing diseases would double in the next three decades as the baby boom generation aged. In other words, if you lived long enough, you'd likely suffer from it. Finally, however, good news: Dementia rates in England and Wales plunged by 25 percent over the past two decades, according to a recent study in The Lancet. Another recent study, from Denmark, found that people in their 90s now are mentally sharper than those who reached that age a decade ago. Researchers suspect, but can't say for certain, that such trends are also afoot in the United States.
- 07.18.2013 NBC News CNADC's Buddy Program provides Valuable Knowledge on Memory Loss and Aging to Medical Students
Warren McGee is a medical student who is gaining valuable knowledge about memory loss and the aging process through his mentor, a woman who has been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment and wishes to remain anonymous. McGee and his mentor were paired up through a program at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. People in the early stages of dementia spend a year with young med students with the goal of increasing awareness about the disease, along with reducing stigma associated with memory loss
- 07.17.2013 Boston Herald CNADC's Buddy Program improves medical student knowledge and familiarity with Alzheimer’s
While the global population is aging, and the personal and economic burdens due to Alzheimer's disease and related disorders are skyrocketing, the number of doctors trained to effectively diagnose and treat people with Alzheimer's is already woefully inadequate. Experts in health policy and practice have indicated the need for more comprehensive education for health care professionals in dementia and aging to meet the needs of the growing number of older adults in the United States.
- 07.05.2013 Northwestern Medicine Promising Alzheimer's 'Drug' Halts Memory Loss
A new class of experimental drug-like small molecules is showing great promise in targeting a brain enzyme to prevent early memory loss in Alzheimer's disease, according to Northwestern Medicine® research.
- 05.28.2013 Wall Street Journal Older, Yes, but Sharp as a Tack
Mr. Karczmar and the others are part of a group of 42 people over the age of 80 identified by Northwestern University researchers as having excellent cognitive function and memory capability typical of those decades younger. The researchers have been studying the group of so-called SuperAgers for years, but a party this week at the medical school's downtown campus was the first time they'd all been brought together.
- 05.07.2013 Chicago Health CNADC and Lookingglass use Improv to Help Alzheimer's Patients
Physicians encourage Alzheimer’s patients to stay intellectually stimulated and socially connected, but when they are no longer working and have trouble attending their favorite leisure-time book club or volunteer activity, they have a hard time following the doctor’s orders. An improvisational theatre class called The Memory Ensemble, developed by the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Lookingglass Theatre Company, fills that gap.
- 04.15.2013 www.npr.org Inside The Brains Of People Over 80 With Exceptional Memory
Most research on memory loss in the elderly focuses on dementia, Alzheimer's disease or other brain diseases. But neuroscientist Emily Rogalski from Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine knew there is great variation in how good memory is in older people. Most have memory loss to varying degrees, but some have strong memories, even well into old age. Rogalski wanted to know just how good. So she began recruiting volunteers age 80 and up from the Chicago area to test their memories. The study appeared in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society. The volunteers came into Rogalski's memory lab and were given a barrage of tests. Rogalski says she told the participants: "We want individuals who are over age 80 to perform on memory tests like 50- to 60-year-olds, or better."
- 04.08.2013 www.nwi.com Lookingglass Theatre adaptation of 'Still Alice" Inspired by The Memory Ensemble
Dunford's adaptation of the novel 'Still Alice' was inspired, in part, by her longtime work with The Memory Ensemble, which she co-founded with The Northwestern Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center (CNADC). The Memory Ensemble is an improvisational theater intervention designed to improve the quality of life for persons with early stage Alzheimer's disease and related disorders (ADRD). It uses improvisational theater to provide a unique therapeutic intervention for people in the early stages of ADRD.
- 03.30.2013 NY Times CNADC Life Enrichment Program, The Memory Ensemble, featured in the New York Times Health Blog
This spring the Alzheimer’s Association will help expand similar “social engagement” groups nationwide for people in the early stages of dementia. The association will also help chapters launch peer-to-peer programs in which a person with early-stage Alzheimer’s counsels those newly diagnosed or already living with the condition.
- 03.27.2013 www.hhs.gov CNADC honored by HHS for Connecting to Combat Alzheimer's
Connecting to Combat Alzheimer’s brings together National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Centers (ADCs) that conduct research with the Administration for Community Living’s (ACL) aging services agencies, which annually reach over 10 million older people and family caregivers.
- 03.27.2013 Northwestern University Dr. Cynthia Thompson, Affiliated Faculty Member of CNADC, Recieves $12 Million for Aphasia Research Center
Northwestern University has received a $12 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to establish a center devoted to research on aphasia, a devastating language disorder that essentially robs the brain of language. The grant is the largest ever awarded to a School of Communication researcher.
- 03.18.2013 Office of Research Marsel Mesulam, MD, and Alfred Rademaker, PhD, named as part of Northwestern's 50 most influential researchers
Alfred Rademaker and Marsel Mesulam named as Northwestern's most influential researchers.
- 03.13.2013 www.alforum.org First Plaque-Based GWAS Revives Enzyme Link
In the first genomewide association study (GWAS) based on amyloid imaging, researchers have uncovered single nucleotide polymorphisms near the genes encoding butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) and ApoE, the strongest genetic risk factor for sporadic AD. The two loci account for 15 percent of the genetic risk for amyloid deposition. “For a genetics study, that’s a pretty powerful effect,” said Andrew Saykin, Indiana University School of Medicine, senior author on the paper, which was published online February 19 in Molecular Psychiatry. The results reveal clues about the genetics behind plaques specifically, and may point to future therapeutic targets, Saykin told Alzforum.
- 03.11.2013 www.the-sbcn.org M.-Marsel Mesulam, MD, to be honored by the Society for Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology
M.-Marsel Mesulam, MD, to be honored by the Society for Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology for significant contributions to the field.
- 03.11.2013 www.aan.com M.-Marsel Mesulam, MD, chosen for the 2013 Presidential Plenary Session by the AAN.
M.-Marsel Mesulam, MD, chosen by peers as lecturer for the 2013 Presidential Plenary Session held on Tuesday, March 19, during the 65th AAN annual meeting in San Diego.
- 08.17.2012 Feinberg School of Medicine Secrets of Superager Brains
- 08.16.2012 CNN 'Super brains' in old folks identified
A group of 80-year-olds is making scientific waves because of an uncanny ability to age gracefully, from a cognitive standpoint. The moniker they've been given by scientists is "SuperAgers," because as they age, their brains seem immune to typical declines in thinking and memory.
- 08.16.2012 Chicago Tribune Researchers tracking some particularly sharp seniors
Northwestern study finds that brains of 'superagers' look those of most people in middle age. Log in required.
- 06.18.2012 CharlotteObserver.com Charlotte man runs to raise money for dementia research
More than 900 marathon runners started the race along the wall, but only 570 crossed the finish line. Charlotte’s Jason Boschan was among those who can say they conquered 5,000-plus stairs, miles of dirt roads, rocky terrain and heat while staying ahead of dehydration, physical and mental exhaustion. Boschan, 33, ran the Great Wall Marathon May 19 as the culmination of a year-long fundraising and awareness initiative he created called “Run4Papa.”
- 04.10.2012 CNN.com Building relationships amid memory loss
Rethinking and adjusting relationships is one of the often overlooked parts of being a family caretaker, aging experts said.
- 03.21.2012 Chicago Tribune Little-known type of dementia strikes at behavior
A little-known form of dementia called frontotemporal dementia, or FTD. It's estimated that about 250,000 Americans have FTD, believed to be the second leading cause of dementia for people in middle age.
- 02.11.2012 Chicago Sun-Times Why are some 80-plus-year-old seniors as sharp as people 30 years younger?
“As you age, things change,” said Emily J. Rogalski, an assistant research professor at the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Your memory gets worse, your muscles decline. What we noticed is that sometimes people don’t fit this criteria. They are over 80 and still cognitively sharp.”
- 01.29.2012 Daily Herald Schaumburg man doesn’t let his loss of speech crush his spirit
In 2007, Steve had just been diagnosed with Primary Progressive Aphasia, a rare, incurable form of dementia that strikes people as young as in their 40s and destroys the brain’s ability to communicate.
- 09.21.2011 Chicago Tribune Health Younger onset Alzheimer's patients stay active
Alzheimer's can progress at different rates, with many younger onset patients remaining engaged and enthusiastic for years after the diagnosis, experts say. That message got a major boost when Pat Summitt, 59, the University of Tennessee's legendary women's basketball coach, recently announced that she had symptoms of Alzheimer's but pledged to continue coaching.
This page last updated Mar 27, 2012