About the Author

Lynne Christensen

Articles by Lynne Christensen


11. The Future of Alzheimer’s Research

Over the past several years, many promising new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease have emerged from research laboratories and raised hope initially, only to be found lacking when subjected to more rigorous study. But trial and error is the nature of medical advancement. Through this process, researchers believe they are getting


10. Practical Advice: Legal, Financial, Healthcare

Receiving an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be emotionally charged, and practical matters may be neglected. But at some point, early on, it will be necessary to make certain legal and financial decisions and to think about future care. Even if a person with Alzheimer’s disease is still capable of handling his


9. Handling Caregiver Stress

When a family member or close friend has Alzheimer’s disease, the focus of attention naturally shifts to the needs of the person with the condition. Decisions must be made about living arrangements, caregiving, and financial and legal matters. The people who will be caregivers must learn how best to assist


7. Treatment

Despite reports of promising new therapies for Alzheimer’s disease, there is still no cure. One or more of the drugs currently being tested may offer hope, but the results of those studies are still a few years away. In the meantime, there are drugs that can treat some of the


6. How Alzheimer’s Disease Affects Mental Function

A person with Alzheimer’s disease will have increasing difficulty with memory, language, time perception, visual-spatial orientation, and problem-solving ability. Mood and behavior changes will also occur. But these don’t come on suddenly. A person with Alzheimer’s disease won’t be entirely normal one day and completely incapacitated the next. The effects


5. Diagnosis

No one test will prove that a person has Alzheimer’s disease. However, a skilled physician can conduct a comprehensive evaluation and make the diagnosis with more than 90 percent accuracy.
Alzheimer’s disease actually starts to develop before symptoms become apparent. The plaques and tangles most likely exist within the brain for


4. Can You Reduce Your Risk for Dementia?

While we’re waiting for scientists to locate just the right drugs to treat or prevent Alzheimer’s disease, there are positive and active steps everyone can take right now. One message from research is that exercise, a healthy diet, mental stimulation, and social interaction may help preserve brain function longer. Because


3. Who is at Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease?

A good deal of research has been done to try to pinpoint who is at greatest risk for getting Alzheimer’s disease. Simply getting older raises your risk, but age alone does not mean a slow decline toward dementia. Beyond age, there are certain factors that may further increase risk. Most


2. Normal Changes in Memory with Age

Many people in middle and older age complain that their memory just isn’t as sharp as when they were young. It becomes harder to remember names of people you just met. You may spend more time than you’d like looking around for your reading glasses, watch, or car keys. As