Reverse Placebo: People Wrongly Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Go Senile

Psychologists in the Netherlands have documented the case of a 58-year-old woman who was misdiagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. Her condition deteriorated to the point where she became permanently confused, and at one point suicidal — before another doctor realized the diagnosis was incorrect.

What happens to people who are wrongly diagnosed with having cognitive difficulties? It turns out that even if your brain is perfectly healthy, you’ll start having more problems with concentration.

io9: What happens when you’re wrongly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease

(Thanks Bill!)

See also: The placebo effect is real apparently even when you know it’s a placebo

Dementia Caregivers More Likely to Also Get the Disease

older couple

Elderly people who care for a spouse who has dementia are at increased risk of developing dementia themselves, a study finds. The stress of attending to a mentally incapacitated spouse may somehow contribute to the added risk, scientists report in the May Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

sciencenewsPrevious studies have shown that chronic stress leads to increased levels of the hormone cortisol in the body, which can suppress immunity, says study co-author Peter Rabins, a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore who teamed with researchers at Utah State University in Logan to do this study. “It’s long been thought that this might have adverse outcomes psychologically and physiologically.”

Taking care of a spouse with dementia takes a toll in other ways as well, Rabins says. “Caregivers often complain that they lose their friends,” he says, because they don’t have time to socialize. But the biological mechanisms that might link these challenges to heightened dementia risk remain unclear.

Wired Science: Dementia Caregivers More Likely to Also Get the Disease

Prior research on social life and aging:

Socializing Appears to Delay Memory Problems

Socializing Can Help Elderly Women Stay Sharp

The Effect of Social Engagement on Incident Dementia

To Increase Longevity, Friends Are More Important Than Family

Stem Cells From Testes Produce Wide Range of Tissue Types

U.S. researchers say they’ve successfully reprogrammed adult stem cells from the testes of male mice into a wide variety of cell types, including functional blood vessels, contractile cardiac tissue, and brain cells.

If the same can be done with adult testes stem cells from humans, they may offer a source of new therapies to treat men with health problems such as heart disease, vascular diseases, diabetes, stroke, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and even cancer, the researchers said.

Full Story: Washington Post.

(via Hit and Run).

Portland Occulture participating in the Memory Walk for the Alzheimer’s Association

PDX Occulture is registered for the Memory Walk to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.
Sunday, October 7th
9AM at Pioneer Courthouse Square

Help fund Alzheimer’s research by donating funds. Our team page is here and my fund raising page is here.

Charlton Heston May Have to Give Up His Guns

Charlton Heston has announced that he may have Alzheimer’s. I’ve always wanted to hang-out with Cheston, and it now looks like I may never get the chance. Well, not while he’s sane anyway. Further, it looks like the president of the NRA may loose his guns.

Slate: Will Charlton Heston Have To Give Up His Guns?

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