A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Most Kyians with Alzheimer’s are at least 65, have chronic illness, putting them at high risk of COVID-19

People with Alzheimer’s disease are considered at high risk for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, not only because they have Alzheimer’s but also because most of the 272,000 Kentuckians with the disease are over 65 and most of them have at least one other chronic illness, Hillary Smith reports in a University of Kentucky news release. The increased risk of COVID-19 for...

Shani Bardach: When should you worry about your memory? When is forgetfulness an indicator?

Have you ever been ready to head out the door but can’t seem to remember where you put your keys? Or have you been standing in the grocery store trying to remember what else you need? Most people have had their own bouts of forgetfulness. When is this forgetfulness a concern or an indicator of something else going on? According to the Alzheimer’s Association, memory loss is one of the first signs...

Constance Alexander: Exploring the power of Alzheimer’s through metaphor and medicine

The official description is bleak: Alzheimer’s is a progressive disorder that causes brain cells to waste away and die. But Eugenia Zuckerman, who has been diagnosed with the disorder, sees it another way. In her memoir about coping with the dreaded condition, she compares the experience to falling through a cloud. Internationally known as a flutist and a writer, Ms. Zuckerman is also known to...

Study says genes linked to body’s use of cholesterol, fat and heart disease also increase Alzheimer’s risk

A study of more than 1.5 million people found that some of the genes that increase the risk of heart disease also increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. It might mean, eventually, that managing cholesterol and fat in the diet could lower some people’s risk for Alzheimer’s. Illustration by Michael Worful The study, published in the journal Acta Neuropathologica, looked at the differences...

Eleven WKU fraternity members to make cross country ride, raise money for Alzheimer’s research

Eleven members of a Western Kentucky University fraternity will make the sixth Bike4Alz cross country ride this summer to raise money for Alzheimer’s research. The members of WKU FIJI (Phi Gamma Delta) are riding with the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization Bike4Alz, which was founded by WKU students in 2010. The previous five teams have biked more than 13,000 miles and raised nearly $250,000 for research. The...

Keven Moore: Home DNA kits have become a hot item; know the ins and outs before you order

In theory, you could be discriminated against for health or for racist reasons. In theory. DNA is a double helix formed by base pairs attached to a sugar-phosphate backbone. Source: National Institutes for Health This will probably be a more real issue in the future, but right now, the data, algorithms, and accessibility aren’t there. Voluntary records from familial DNA searching sites can be used...

Lexington area caregiver Brown honored for outstanding service by Home Instead Senior Care

The Home Instead Senior Care office serving the greater Lexington area is honored to highlight Mary Brown as an exemplary caregiver in our region. Brown’s personal story is just as inspiring as the care she provides to her elderly clients. Her parents helped Brown form a strong value system from a young age, and she went on to devote her career to serving others as a social worker. This career included...

Tips for caring for yourself while providing care for someone else — don’t ignore your needs

By Robin Hamon Special to KyForward Caring for someone with dementia can be exhausting but many caregivers ignore their own needs in order to care for others — at the expense of their own health and welfare. You might think you have too much on your plate or feel guilty about doing anything for yourself when someone else desperately needs you. But you can be a more effective caregiver when you carve...

SmartHealthToday: Though there’s no cure for Alzheimer’s early detection offers key advantages

By Peggy O’Farrell SmartHealthToday There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. But as researchers continue to search for better options to treat and prevent the devastating disease, it’s important to get checked if you notice warning signs of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia in yourself or a loved one. Early detection offers three key advantages, according to the Alzheimer’s Association: Longer...

What can beagles teach us about Alzheimer’s disease? A lot, says Sanders-Brown researcher

Researcher Elizabeth Head of the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging said, ‘If we can find ways to improve brain health in old dogs, there’s hope that these approaches can translate to healthy aging in people as well.’ (Photo provided)   A commentary by Elizabeth Head of the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging was recently featured on the website, “The Conversation,”...

Constance Alexander: Caring for elderly parent not for faint of heart, but there is help

A daunting situation is succinctly described in an email from a reader in the Lexington area: “I read your article and it hit home. I’m caring for my parents – Dad has Alzheimer’s and Mom has Lewy body dementia. I’m one of the ‘lucky’ ones. Mom and Dad have some financial resources (but they’re going fast)…The last two years have been harrowing and exhausting and it’s only going...

Constance Alexander: Talk about Ebola virus causes ‘plague’ of Alzheimer’s to go unnoticed

“When leaving his surgery on the morning of April 16, Dr. Bernard Rieux felt something soft under his foot. It was a dead rat lying in the middle of the landing. The doctor kicked the varmint aside and reported the incident to the building manager. ‘There weren’t no rats here,’ was the indignant response.   “After that, the doctor headed home for the day. Arriving at his...

Constance Alexander: Everyone has a friend who has lost someone to a form of dementia

After decades of marriage, couples can finish each other’s sentences, so when one cannot recall the title of the movie last seen, for instance, the other one fills in the blanks. No problem. That’s a normal part of a long-term relationship.   But about eight years ago, Marcia found herself completing her husband’s unfinished thoughts more often. He began suffering from dizziness and occasional...

Alzheimer’s News: Deaths much higher than thought; new blood test predicts disease

Thousands walked last September in the annual march to promote awareness of Alzheimer’s in Louisville. (Photo from Ky./Ind. chapter)   By combining the results of a study published recently in the journal Neurology and another published online this week in Nature Medicine, the Kentucky and Indiana Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association believe that up to a half a million deaths a year...

Alzheimer’s Diary: As one-year anniversary approaches, lessons learned prove invaluable

(This is part of an ongoing diary as Ginger Sanders shares the emotional journey she is taking with her husband, John, as they discover his onset of Alzheimer’s. Over 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease; one in eight older Americans has it. Ginger and John Sanders did not expect to be among those statistics. Ginger’s touching story puts a real face and real name on the statistics...

2012 Review: By the numbers, here are
most popular KyForward stories of the year

Each of us has our own notion of what makes a good story – and we thought there were PLENTY of good stories at KyForward in 2012. We could have made our own Top Twelves List for 2012, of course – but we preferred to let the numbers speak for themselves, since we can track these things. Thanks to our own Jon Hale for compiling. And, yes, we were surprised by a few of them ourselves, which makes...

For people with Alzheimer’s, holidays can be stressful; preparation, understanding needed

By Teri Shirk Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Kentucky and Southern Indiana   With all their potential for joyous reunions with family members and friends, the holidays also can generate a great deal of angst at the prospect of visiting a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another memory disorder.  The upcoming visit may lead to several questions:   • How should I respond...