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Aging Beagles and Humans: More Alike Than You Know

January 30, 2015

Though many scientific studies use genetically modified mice to replicate what the effects of Alzheimer's disease would be in a human brain, there are several species of animals that naturally develop brain changes that resemble Alzheimer's in humans, namely dogs. Like people, when dogs age, some develop learning and memory problems, while some remain sharp and as capable of learning as younger dogs. Dogs even have symptoms of cognitive decline that are very similar to those in humans, such as disrupted or irregular sleeping schedules and difficulty recognizing family members and friends. Elizabeth Head, PH.D, of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, said their lab began studying beagles in the early 1990s due to interest in developing a drug to treat...

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New Alzheimer's Pill to be Tested in Victoria

January 28, 2015

Many current drugs made to combat Alzheimer's have so far only been able to improve the symptoms of the disease, but have failed to stop long-term deterioration. However, Alzheimer's patients in Victoria, Australia are being given a unique opportunity to be the first to test a new Alzheimer's pill, Anavex 2-73, that is designed to both relieve symptoms and slow the disease's progression. It is estimated that every six minutes, one Australian is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, and these numbers are expected to rise with an aging population. The leader of Anavex 2-73's trial, Associate Professor Steve Macfarlane, director of Aged Psychiatry at Caulfield Hospital, says that because of the global race to cure or find better treatments for Alzheimer's,...

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Best Friends Day Center in Lexington, KY Looks for Male Volunteers

January 21, 2015

 Photo by Tom Eblen Three decades ago, the Best Friends Day Center in Lexington, KY began creating a new approach to caregiving for people with Alzheimer's and dementia called the "Best Friends Approach", which is now an internationally recognized care model that has been implemented in over 30 countries. Virginia Bell began the Best Friends program in 1984, and has co-authored several books on the subject of Alzheimer's therapy, and at 92 years old, continues to be an energetic force behind the Best Friends initiative.The center says they are always looking for volunteers to spend time with residents (volunteers' ages range from high school students to those in their 80s and 90s), however, they are particularly looking for men, who...

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Pets 2 People Donation in Time for Christmas for Alzheimer's Patients

January 19, 2015

  This Monday's blog post celebrates a generous donation of two Memorable Pets by Robyn from Long Beach, CA via our Pets 2 People program. Rather than purchasing a gift for her friend Carla for Christmas, Robyn instead made a donation through Memorable Pets to send a pair of loving stuffed animals, a Golden Retriever and orange tiger cat, to two very grateful Alzheimer's patients in Magnolia Manor Nursing Home on St. Simons Island, GA. Ms. Harris, a patient at Magnolia Manor, received her Golden Retriever before asking excitedly, "Oh my, how did you know I love doggies?" Ms. Harris' husband was with her also, and was delighted that his wife had been the recipient of such a donation. Ms....

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