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We Just Love: Fred Astaire

Born on May 10, 1899, in Omaha, Nebraska, Fred Astaire is regarded by many as the greatest popular music dancer of all time. Astaire is usually remembered for his pairings with Ginger Rogers, who starred in several films with him, including Swing Time (1936).

Light on his feet, Fred Astaire revolutionized the movie musical with his elegant and seemingly effortless dance style. He may have made dancing look easy, but he was a well-known perfectionist, and his work was the product of endless hours of practice.

Astaire started performing as a child, partnering up with his older sister Adele. The two toured the vaudeville circuit before making it to Broadway in 1917. Among their many productions the brother-sister team starred in the 1927 George and Ira Gershwin musical Funny Face. For all his early success, though, career in the movies alluded Astaire. He had done a screen test, but he failed to attract any interest. A studio executive wrote at the time, "Can't sing. Can't act. Slightly balding. Can dance a little."

Finally, Astaire landed a small role in 1933's Dancing Lady with Joan Crawford. The role opened the door to new opportunities, and Astaire signed a contract with RKO Radio Pictures. He was matched up with another Broadway talent, Ginger Rogers, for Flying Down to Rio, also in 1933. Cast as supporting players, their dance number stole the movie. Astaire and Rogers appeared in several more films together, including The Gay Divorcee (1934) and Top Hat (1935). The duo became film's most beloved dance team. Their routines featured a hybrid of styles—borrowing elements from tap, ballroom and even ballet.

Off-screen, Astaire was known for his relentless pursuit of perfection. He thought nothing of rehearsing a scene for days, and Rogers eventually tired of the grueling schedule. The pair went their separate ways after 1939's The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle. Years later, they reunited once more for 1949's The Barkleys of Broadway.

After the split with Rogers in 1939, Astaire performed with such leading ladies as Rita Hayworth, Cyd Charisse, Judy Garland, Leslie Caron and Audrey Hepburn. Some of his most famous musicals from his later career include Easter Parade with Garland and Funny Face with Hepburn.

As his movie roles tapered off, Astaire worked more in television. He often appeared as himself for special tribute shows. Astaire had a growing interest in dramatic parts, working on such series as Dr. Kildare. He also worked with another legendary dancer, Gene Kelly, on the documentary That's Entertainment, which explored the golden era of the movie musical.

Around this time, Astaire received his only Academy Award nomination for his supporting role in the 1974 disaster film The Towering Inferno. He also won an Emmy Award for his work on the television special A Family Upside Down in 1978. More accolades soon followed. Astaire received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute in 1981.

A few years later, Astaire was hospitalized for pneumonia. He died on June 22, 1987, in Los Angeles, California. With his passing, Hollywood had lost one of its greatest talents. Former actor and president Ronald Reagan, upon learning the news, called Astaire "an American legend" and "the ultimate dancer." Ginger Rogers said Astaire "was the best partner anyone could ever have."

In This Issue

  • In Old Age, Lack Of Emotion, Interest May Signal Brain Is Shrinking
  • Modified Stem Cells May Offer Way To Treat Alzheimer's Disease
  • Cancer Drugs Block Dementia-Linked Brain Inflamation, Study Finds
  • A Caregiver's Story: Getting Into A Dementia Patient's Head
  • Alzheimer's Store Featured Product
  • Recipe Of The Week
  • Newsletter Promotions
  • Events Calendar
  • Trivia Questions
  • Information On Clinical Studies

"I just put my feet in the air and move them around."

- Fred Astaire

I Love The Rain

- LotsofPoems.Com

Rain drops falling in my head,
and never knowing when it will end.
Should I run for cover,
or let another rain drop fall in my head again?
I would love to dance in the rain,
and knowing somehow it’ll help erase the pain.
Sometimes when I’m all alone,
and I see rain drops are falling outside again.
There’s happiness that I feel

Editorial Note: Healthcare Products LLC reviews the news wires looking for press releases and current articles relating to Alzheimer's and dementia. We write a brief description of each article and by clicking on its heading will bring you to the originally written story ...hope you enjoy The Alzheimer's News...

In Old Age, Lack Of Emotion, Interest May Signal Brain Is Shrinking

(Source: Science Daily) - Older people who have apathy but not depression may have smaller brain volumes than those without apathy, according to a new study published in the April 16, 2014, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Apathy is a lack of interest or emotion.

“Just as signs of memory loss may signal brain changes related to brain disease, apathy may indicate underlying changes,” said Lenore J. Launer, PhD, with the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD, and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “Apathy symptoms are common in older people without dementia. And the fact that participants in our study had apathy without depression should turn our attention to how apathy alone could indicate brain disease.”

Launer’s team used brain volume as a measure of accelerated brain aging. Brain volume losses occur during normal aging, but in this study, larger amounts of brain volume loss could indicate brain diseases.

For the study, 4,354 people without dementia and with an average age of 76 underwent an MRI scan. They were also asked questions that measure apathy symptoms, which include lack of interest, lack of emotion, dropping activities and interests, preferring to stay at home and having a lack of energy.

Cancer Drugs Block Dementia-Linked Brain Inflammation, Study Finds

(Source: MedicalXPress) A class of drugs developed to treat immune-related conditions and cancer – including one currently in clinical trials for glioblastoma and other tumors – eliminates neural inflammation associated with dementia-linked diseases and brain injuries, according to UC Irvine researchers.

In their study, assistant professor of neurobiology & behavior Kim Green and colleagues discovered that the drugs, which can be delivered orally, eradicated microglia, the primary immune cells of the brain. These cells exacerbate many neural diseases, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, as well as brain injury.

"Because microglia are implicated in most brain disorders, we feel we've found a novel and broadly applicable therapeutic approach," Green said. "This study presents a new way to not just modulate inflammation in the brain but eliminate it completely, making this a breakthrough option for a range of neuroinflammatory diseases."

The researchers focused on the impact of a class of drugs called CSF1R inhibitors on microglial function. In mouse models, they learned that inhibition led to the removal of virtually all microglia from the adult central nervous system with no ill effects or deficits in behavior or cognition. Because these cells contribute to most brain diseases – and can harm or kill neurons – the ability to eradicate them is a powerful advance in the treatment of neuroinflammation-linked disorders.

Modified Stem Cells May Offer Way To Treat Alzheimer's Disease

(Source: Medical News Today) - A new study suggests genetically modified stem cells may offer a new way to treat Alzheimer's disease. When implanted in mice bred to have symptoms and brain hallmarks of Alzheimer's, they increased connections between brain cells and reduced the amyloid-beta protein that accumulates to form plaques that clog up the brain.

A report on the study, led by neurobiologists at the University of California (UC) - Irvine, is published in the journal Stem Cell Research & Therapy.

While the team showed that the approach worked in two different mouse models of Alzheimer's, they say there is still a long way to go before we know if it will benefit patients with the human form of the disease.

Alzheimer's is a progressive disease where brain cells stop working and lose connections with each other, and eventually die off. This gradual wasting of the brain is what leads to memory failure, personality changes, difficulty coping with day-to-day living and other symptoms.

There are two distinct hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease: deposits of tau protein that accumulate inside brain cells, and plaques of amyloid protein that clog up the spaces between brain cells. It is not easy to investigate how these changes take place in living human brains, which is why mice bred to have similar hallmarks are so useful in research.

A Caregiver's Story: Getting Into A Dementia Patient's Head

(Source: AgingCare.Com) - Dad was adamant. He was waiting for his medical degree to come from the University of Minnesota and wondered why it was taking so long. I did what I usually did, and waited a few days to see if this episode of delusion thinking would pass. It did not. So, I went to my computer and designed a medical degree with my dad's name on it, scribbled some "signatures" on the bottom, put it in a mailing envelope and brought it to him, in the nursing home, the following day. He was delighted.

I added it to the other awards and degrees hanging on the wall; the entomology "degree," his legitimate college degree, some other earned awards, an "award" for helping direct Lawrence Welk's band. The wall was cluttered with the real and the fake, but I knew I would need to find room for more. Dad's brain would tell him he had earned something and eventually I would need to produce it.

Dad had, indeed, gone to medical school at the University of Minnesota, but that was before World War II. He took some time off to be an archaeologist and then the war broke out. During maneuvers in the Mohave Desert, Dad passed out from the heat. He smacked his head against the baked desert floor and sustained a closed head injury. He was in a coma for months and had to learn to walk and talk again. He succeeded, and stayed in the army until the war ended, but kept Stateside and trained as a sanitarian.

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Recipe Of The Week
Poaching fish with a little flavorful liquid may be the easiest way to cook fish! This quick poached-fish recipe stars salmon, but tuna, mahi-mahi or cod work just as well. Look for pea sprouts, also called “pea shoots,” at farmers’ markets and in well-stocked supermarkets. Or use 1 more cup thinly sliced snap peas instead.
- Recipe From Eating Well
Mirin-Poached Salmon With Spring Salad


1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons mirin (see Tips)
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh ginger matchsticks (see Tips)
1-1 1/4 pounds salmon, tuna, mahi-mahi or cod, skinned if desired, cut into 4 portions
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup radish matchsticks
1 cup thinly sliced snap peas
1 cup pea sprouts


Combine water, mirin, soy sauce, vinegar and ginger in a large skillet. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 4 minutes. Add fish; sprinkle with salt. Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook, turning once, just until opaque in the center, 4 to 8 minutes (depending on thickness).

Meanwhile, combine radishes, snap peas and pea sprouts in a medium bowl. When the fish is done, pour the braising liquid into the bowl and toss to coat. Serve the salad on the fish.

TIPS: Look for mirin—a sweet, low-alcohol rice wine used in Japanese cooking—near other Asian ingredients in well-stocked supermarkets. Use it to add a touch of sweetness to sauces and marinades. Refrigerate for up to 6 months.

Learn how make “matchsticks” or "julienne": Slice ingredients crosswise into very thin slices. Make a stack of 2 to 3 slices at a time, then slice into fine matchsticks (about 1/8 inch wide).

Newsletter Promotions - Enjoy 15% Off Of The Following Products..

Available Only To Subscribers...

Events Calendar: (if you would like to list your upcoming event, email us at contact@alzstore.com)

Apr 21st - 8:00 am-4:30 pm - Understanding Dementia & Alzheimer's Conference / Statesboro, GA

Apr 22nd - 10:00 am-12:00 pm - Understanding Behaviors / East Sandwich, MA

Apr 23rd - 12:00-1:00 pm - Reason To Hope Luncheon / Oak Brook, IL

Apr 24th - 4:00-7:00 pm - Wine & Watercolors Alzheimer's Fundraiser / Morton Grove, IL

Apr 25th - 10:00 am 12:00 pm - Living With Alzheimer's / Jupiter, FL

Apr 26th - 5:00-9:00 pm - Memories & Melodies / Rhinelander WI


Take a guess at these trivia questions ..answers will be posted in next week's newsletter

1. How many musicals did Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers make together?

2. In the video for Lionel Ritchie's song, "Dancing On The Ceiling", he uses a technique that Fred Astaire employed in which movie?

3. What was the first style of dance Fred Astaire learnt?

**email your answers to contact@alzstore.com & include your name & address to be in the running for a free gift! Winner will be chosen at random at the beginning of each month... Thank you for participating in our trivia challenge!!

Answers to last week's trivia; Chicago White Sox & Cincinnati Reds / Alex Rodriguez / Hot dogs, Peanuts, Fries, Cotton Candy & Popcorn


* The A4 Study is a clinical study for older individuals (ages 65-85) who have normal thinking and memory function but who may be at risk for developing Alzheimer's disease (AD) memory loss sometime in the future. The A4 study is for people without any outward signs of Alzheimer's disease, and is designed to evaluate the effectiveness, safety and tolerability of an investigational drug for AD. The purpose of the Anti-Amyloid Treatment in Asymptomatic Alzheimer’s study (the”A4 study” for short) is to test whether a new investigational treatment can slow the memory loss caused by Alzheimer’s disease. The overall goal of the A4 study is to test whether decreasing amyloid with antibody investigational treatment can help slow the memory loss associated with amyloid buildup in some people. The A4 Study lasts for three years, and participants will be assigned at random to receive either the investigational drug or a placebo and will be monitored over that period. / Learn more...

* NOBLE is a clinical study to evaluate an investigational drug for patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. Participants will receive the study drug or a placebo. During this study, if you are already taking Aricept or Namenda, you will probably continue to take it along with the study drug or placebo. Studies already done have shown that this investigational drug appears safe. It may work by protecting brain cells which would result in improved memory. But, this has not been proven yet. / Learn more...

* SNIFF - The purpose of the SNIFF study is to find out whether a type of insulin, when administered as a nasal spray, improves memory in adults with a mild memory impairment or Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The rationale behind the study is growing evidence that insulin carries out multiple functions in the brain and that poor regulation of insulin may contribute to the development of AD. Insulin resistance, reduced cerebrospinal fluid insulin levels, and reduced brain insulin signals have been found in AD patients, suggesting that a therapy aimed at correcting these deficiencies may be beneficial. Learn more...

* Trial Match / Learn more...

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