Sunday, August 31, 2014

CBS 60 Minutes: "Living to 90 and Beyond": surprising finds about dementia for those in their 90s

Sunday, Aug 31, CBS 60 Minutes aired “Living to 90 and Beyond”, link here

The program started out by debunking the myth that if you reach 90 without dementia, you’ll never get it.  

My own mother’s history proves that.

The report indicated that some people in their 90s have plaques but without the disabling memory and cognition loss of Alzheimer’s.  On the other hand, some people in their 90s have dementia but not the plaques, but instead display a history of multiple mini-strokes.  That seemed to be the case with my mother (who lived to 97), who had very mild plaques but did have a significant stroke 19 months before her passing. 

Another finding was surprising indeed. At age over 90, low blood pressure is often associated with dementia.  That is true even though throughout most of life, high blood pressure is a bad thing.  When my mother took medication to reduce fluid in the lungs, her blood pressure dropped.  Ironically, the day before her final lapse into coma, her medical examination was relatively normal.

Today, there was another announcement om CNN, of a new medication for congestive heart failure, which may well reduce dementia further.  

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