News from the 11th Congress of the International Psychogeriatric Association

August 19, 2003

GOOD SMELLS & BRIGHT LIGHT ARE GOOD "MEDICINE" FOR PEOPLE WITH ALZHEIMER'S & OTHER DEMENTIAS
Specific alternative medicine practices can improve the quality of life for some patients with Alzheimer's and other dementias. Aromatherapy and bright light therapy were shown to improve symptoms in randomized, controlled clinical trials being presented at the Congress.

EARLY LIFESTYLE FACTORS MAY INCREASE RISK OR PROTECT AGAINST DEMENTIA LATER IN LIFE
Much has been reported recently on life style and diet factors that may influence your risk for Alzheimer's disease. New studies to be presented at the international Congress add to this body of information, and report on other early life risk factors that may influence the onset of the disease. Additional studies link early life risk factors to suicide in older people.

DRIVER REHABILITATION PROGRAM MAY IMPROVE SAFETY OF ELDERLY DRIVERS; EXPERTS CALL FOR HEALTH SYSTEM INTERVENTION IN ASSESSING DRIVING ABILITY OF SENIORS
When is a person too old to drive? A 1997 study by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reported that while older people make up 9 percent of the population, they account for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities and 17 percent of all pedestrian fatalities. Drivers Rehabilitation Programs, which will be discussed at the Congress, may reduce traffic fatalities caused by and to elderly drivers.

MOST DOCTORS DON'T RECOGNIZE EARLY SIGNS OF ALZHEIMER'S, OTHER COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT IN THEIR ELDERLY PATIENTS
Four out of 5 elderly patients with the early signs of Alzheimer's and other dementias go undiagnosed and untreated, depriving them of the benefits of early treatment and the opportunity to get their affairs in order while they are still competent. Among the implications for our aging society: an increase in contested wills as today's senior generation passes along an estimated $1 trillion in assets over the next 20 years.
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Public Communications Inc.

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