doctor explaining medication to senior man and his adult daughter

The Cancer Medication That May Be a Treatment for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

doctor explaining medication to senior man and his adult daughterIs it possible that there is one single medication that has already been developed that can be a treatment for not only leukemia, but Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease as well? At Georgetown University Medical Center, researchers are hopeful that nilotinib is that medication. Currently approved for use in individuals with one type of leukemia, a small trial is creating great excitement in its encouraging results to rid the brain of toxic proteins.

Georgetown’s medical director of the translational neurotherapeutics program, Fernando Pagan, explains it this way: “Our drug goes into the cells to turn on that garbage disposal mechanism. And if we’re able to degrade these proteins, we could potentially stop the progression of this disorder.”

Because of the exciting results with the small trial, a new trial is being launched. This trial will be more in-depth and will involve 75 Parkinson’s patients and 42 Alzheimer’s patients. Hopefully these results will be equally as exciting, but regardless, the many years of research that have gone into evaluating nilotinib, as well as other new potential developments, are helping pave the way towards practical treatment methods, or perhaps an eventual cure.

Trials in mice have produced some amazing results, actually curing Parkinson’s disease in mice. It’s also proven effective in a small number of human tests in those with Parkinson’s and dementia, for which there currently is not a treatment designed to stop or even slow the continuing development of the diseases. For those in the initial testing phase, improvements in a variety of areas were noted: speech and mobility, most notably.

The next part of the study is expected to be completed in about a year, and patients with either Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s are currently being enrolled for the study. More information in regards to the upcoming Alzheimer’s study is available here, and information about the Parkinson’s study is available here.

For additional resources on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, turn to the aging care experts at Endeavor Home Care. We can provide a full range of professional home care solutions with our fully trained and knowledgeable specialized Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s caregivers. Contact us at 480.535.6800 to schedule a free in-home assessment or to allow us to answer any questions you might have. We provide home care solutions throughout much of Arizona, as well as San Diego dementia care and home care solutions to families in Southern California. Check out our service area.

New Treatment Shows Promise for Stroke Recovery in Elderly

stroke recovery in elderlyIs deep-brain stimulation only beneficial for Parkinson’s patients, or might it be helpful for stroke recovery in elderly people as well? Doctors at Cleveland Clinic are determined to find out the answer. Deep-brain stimulation involves the implantation of an electrode to stimulate a certain area of the brain. Doctors are hoping that the end result will be an end to the paralysis people often experience after a stroke.

To understand how a stroke hinders normal brain activity, Laurie Ann Bonkoski, a speech therapist, compares a stroke to a home whose front entrance has all of a sudden become blocked by a fallen tree. In her studies, she’s determined to evade that blockage and access different paths that can help regain as much functionality to the person as possible.

To operate in conjunction with therapy to create new neural pathways, Dr. Andre Machado of the Cleveland Clinic implanted the first deep-brain stimulating electrode into a stroke patient as the first step in this clinical human trial. The next step will be to turn it on, delivering the electrical impulses that he hopes will encourage brain growth. Depending on the results of this trial, various other conditions are lined up for similar tests. University Hospital neurosurgeon Jennifer Sweet shares, “People are studying the benefit of this for addiction; we know that it can be effective in obsessive compulsive disorder, it’s been used to treat Tourette’s; it may even be an option for anorexia or obesity or hypertension.”

Endeavor Home Care, is going to be keeping an eye on developments in this trial. In the meantime, if you have a family member who’s suffered a stroke, call us at 480.535.6800 for Arizona home care assistance to maximize his or her wellbeing. We’re able to provide support in the following ways:

  • Preparing healthy meals according to any prescribed dietary plan
  • Helping with light housekeeping and laundry
  • Conducting a safety evaluation of the home to reduce fall risks
  • Providing escorted transport to health appointments or other outings
  • Picking up prescription drugs and running errands
  • And much, much more


Looking to Declutter a Senior’s Home? These Tips Can Help!

DeclutterMost of us have areas of our homes designated as storage areas. But oftentimes those storage areas spill over into other areas of the home as increasingly more memorabilia is saved with the thought of, “I can’t get rid of this. I may want it someday.”

So, what happens when “someday” never arrives, and those heaps of things are getting to be more of an encumbrance than a benefit? For seniors who’ve gathered an entire life of mementos, it can feel impossible to deal with the job of deciding what to do with everything through the entire declutter and downsizing process that a lot of older people experience in later years.

One helpful tip to determine what is kept and what is either repurposed, recycled, given away or thrown away is to ask yourself for each item: “Does it spark joy?” This tactic, based on the approach in Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” enables significant decluttering as well as an opportunity to revisit the past and come to peace with it. This process can be difficult or even emotional, but the end result is liberating.

A change in mindset helps make a big difference between the difficulty of downsizing and the convenience of ensuring an older adult’s home is well organized. A term has even been invented to get rid of the negative connotations of “downsizing”: “rightsizing”. “Rightsizing” is used as a way to celebrate changes in the next life phase by making one’s living environment better suited for that phase of life. It places the focus on cherishing the things being kept, instead of on the loss of items that may, in point of fact, have simply been gathering dust.

Endeavor Home Care in Phoenix, AZ is available to help seniors declutter and organize the home, and can coordinate larger scale work such as removing home furniture along with other large items. Our helpful caregivers are also available to share in reminiscing over beloved treasures, going through picture albums, and being attentive as the senior shares life experiences, in addition to hands-on help with the “rightsizing” project itself. Call us at 480.535.6800 for assistance.