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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Study: Ritalin treats apathy in patients with Alzheimer's disease

By Cynthia Billhartz Gregorian




The findings of multiple studies offer hope


JewishWorldReview.com |

S T. LOUIS — (MCT) Leslye Nathe did not realize the profound effect that Ritalin was having on her mother's Alzheimer's disease until a doctor stopped the prescription.

Her mother, Susan Brown, 74, a resident at Provision Living in Webster Groves, Mo., began sleeping nearly all the time. And during rare moments, when she was awake, she was tearing the sheets off of her bed and scratching wounds into her arms.

"She was like a child having a tantrum and she kept telling people to leave. She was very paranoid," Nathe said. "She would beg me, 'Please, please get me some medication. There's something wrong. I can't deal with it anymore.'"

Brown had been taking Ritalin for many years even before she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, to treat attention deficit disorder and depression.

When her physician, Dr. George Grossberg, director of geriatric psychiatry at St. Louis University, heard about her alternating bouts of lethargy and meltdowns, he put Brown back on the Ritalin.

Her reaction to being taken off the drug was more extreme than usual, but it supported the long-held notion that Ritalin is key to controlling some Alzheimer's symptoms.

Grossberg and a team of researchers at the university, recently received a $183,540 grant from Noven Pharmaceuticals Inc. to study Ritalin as a therapy for apathy and fall risk in Alzheimer's patients. Both are common symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, affecting about 70 percent patients who have it.



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Noven is a joint-venture partner of Novartis Pharmaceuticals, which manufactures Ritalin. Novartis paid Grossberg $28,000 in 2010 to speak about its products to other physicians.

Grossberg said family members frequently notice that loved ones are indifferent, socially disengaged and have lost all enthusiasm.

"It's serious couch-potatoism, and it drive relatives crazy," Grossberg said. "There's a lot of evidence that Ritalin has mood-elevating effects and also makes them more aware of their environment and obstacles. They also make better decisions."

Scientists are not sure what causes apathy in patients with Alzheimer's disease but early data indicate that it might be related to a decrease in the transmission of dopamine, a feel-good chemical in the brain. Ritalin, which is commonly used to treat attention deficit disorder, increases the transmission of dopamine in the brain.

A previous international clinical trial, funded by the National Institute on Aging, showed marked improvements on clinical testing for apathy among Alzheimer's patients who were given Ritalin compared to those who were not.

"Once you have depression, or apathy in this case, it makes it harder to focus on the environment," Grossberg said. "So by improving patients' energy levels, we think it will contribute to them being less likely to fall."

Falling and balance do not involve the hippocampus, which is most responsible for memory and most profoundly affected by the disease.

"But in the balance section of brain, there may be cells dying or chemical alterations that increase the risk for falls. It could be a combination of different things," Grossberg said.

"We do know that there are extremely high rates of apathy and that the risk of falls is much higher in Alzheimer's patients than in age-matched non-Alzheimer's patients," he said.

"It's very safe," Grossberg said. "We're using ultra-low doses in patch form. A lot of older people with Alzheimer's have trouble swallowing. Plus, with the patch you can have a gradual introduction to the blood stream and keep it level without peaks and valleys. So it's better tolerated."

When Nathe told Grossberg about her mother's behavior after being taken off the Ritalin, "he said, 'you know your mom's history. Let's go with what you're saying,'" Nathe said. "Within two days she was back to her normal self. And Grossberg adjusted other medications for her mood disorders, which helped.

"My mom is on 5 mg in the morning and 5 mg after lunch. That's not very much," Nathe said. "But it worked and it works now. I want her up and participating in as many things as she can. And that's what she does now."

Grossberg and his team are in the process of recruiting 40 St. Louis-area Alzheimer's patients at three nursing homes to participate in the four-week study. They hope to have data within a year.

"This is a high-risk population for falls, so they have to be watched round the clock to see if they tolerate the treatments and don't fall," Grossberg said. "Plus we need continuous observation to see what the results are."


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© 2013, St. Louis Post-Dispatch Distributed by MCT Information Services

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