Rochester Alzheimer’s research goes international

Jul 24, 2018
Anton Porsteinsson / University of Rochester Medical Center

Aggression, anger, and outbursts at family members and caregivers are common products of Alzheimer’s disease. Two researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center are in Chicago this week presenting their research on how to help patients and caregivers through some of those most difficult symptoms of the disease.

An expert in Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia says there are a number of misconceptions about the conditions, and he wants families to understand that people can live well with those diagnoses. One method proven to be effective in engaging people with dementia is personalized music. It's the subject of a remarkable documentary called "Alive Inside," part of the Reel Mind Theatre and Film Series

The film follows a social worker who brings iPods to people living with dementia at nursing homes; once many of the patients hear music from their past, it sparks memories in ways human interaction could not. We'll discuss the role music has in opening pathways in the brain, and the latest in Alzheimer's and dementia research with our guests: 

  • Dr. Al Power, M.D., Schlegel Chair in aging and dementia innovation at the Schlegel--U. Waterloo Research Institute for Aging
  • Brian LeBlanc, Alzheimer's advocate who is living well with Alzheimer's disease
  • Robin Lombardo, northeast regional director for Music & Memory

For Kathleen O’Brien it began with difficulty expressing herself clearly and transitioned to driving down Interstate-490 one day without any idea where she was going or why. O’Brien was in her mid-fifties at the time. Fast-forward about ten years, now she is living with early onset or early stage dementia. It’s a condition you would likely never expect a healthy individual working in the field of medicine to endure at such a young age. O’Brien shared her story with Need to Know in an effort to raise awareness and to let others on this journey know that they’re not alone.

Caregiver Respite Program Needs More Volunteers

Dec 7, 2015
freeimages.com/Bas van der Pluym

About 40 percent of those who are the primary caretaker for a loved one with dementia suffer from depression.

Many caregivers don't recognize their own stress because they are so focused on the needs of their family member with the disease.

Teresa Galbier, president of the Alzheimer's Association of Rochester and the Finger Lakes Region, says a local program that provides much-needed respite for caregivers needs more volunteers area-wide, but especially in Webster, Gates, and Chili.

Alzheimer’s disease only strikes an older population, right? Not so. Amy Norton was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at 43 years old and it’s changed the life of the family, including daughter Megan Norton who presented an essay for her class about her mom’s condition, titled "The Continuous Nightmare".

Megan and her father, Brian, will head the Walk to End Alzheimer’s next month in Mendon. They’re on Connections to tell their story, along with Teresa Galbier, president and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association of Rochester & Finger Lakes Region.

Here are resources from our television program "Second Opinion" about Living With Alzheimer's and Caregiving for Someone with Alzheimer's.

In the first part of this "Healthy Friday" program, a deep discussion on dementia, which affects nearly five million people in the U.S. Our guest is Dr. G. Allen Power, clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of Rochester, and author of a book on the topic.

Then, as the summer months are upon is, the chance for skin cancer or melanoma goes up. Dr. Brett Schulman, head of the Center for Dermatology at Rochester General Health System explains how to protect yourself while enjoying the summer sun.