When Dementia Strikes at an Early Age

In frontotemporal dementia, portions of the brain that lie behind the forehead and ears shrink, resulting in dramatic personality changes, socially inappropriate or impulsive behavior and emotional indifference. Movement and memory problems typically develop later in the course of the disease. According to the Mayo Clinic, frontotemporal dementia often begins between the ages of 40 and 65 and may be misdiagnosed as a psychiatric problem.

Lewy body disease is another cause of dementia in younger adults. It is associated with abnormal deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein in the brain that affects brain chemistry and leads to behavioral, thought and movement problems. Most of the symptoms are similar to those seen in other dementias, and additional symptoms like hallucinations may resemble schizophrenia, but the decline in brain function occurs significantly faster. A distinguishing symptom of Lewy body dementia is having violent dreams and attempting to act them out, Dr. Knopman said.

Alzheimer’s disease remains the most common cause of dementia in younger as well as older adults. There is an inherited form of Alzheimer’s that typically arises at younger ages, but those cases account for fewer than 10 percent of young-onset disease. Most cases of Alzheimer’s occur sporadically, for unknown

Read more

UPMC picks CEO of its first hospital in China

Cleveland native Dr. Randy Jernejcic first realized his love for China in medical school at Ohio State University. He spent the summer of 1994 working at a hospital in Wuhan, a city that at the time had few foreigners coming through.

“It started off my real long history of going back to China and taking part in different aspects of healthcare in China,” Jernejcic said.

Jernejcic will soon return to the county of more than 1.4 billion people as CEO of Chengdu Wanda UPMC International Hospital, China’s first hospital run by an American academic medical center. The 500-bed hospital still under construction is slated to open in March 2023. It’s the first of five hospitals UPMC plans to develop with Wanda Group, a multinational conglomerate based in Beijing that specializes in film and real estate.

There was a relatively small pool of people qualified for the top job at UPMC’s Chengdu hospital, and Jernejcic fits the bill. He’s an American trained physician who has held leadership roles at hospitals both in the U.S. and China. He comes from University Hospitals of Cleveland, where he started in 2017 and was most recently vice president of ambulatory quality and clinical transformation.


Read more

US Surgeon General Warns That Omicron Has Not Yet Peaked

Dr. Vivek Murthy, the U.S. surgeon general, warned on Sunday that the Omicron surge of coronavirus cases had not yet peaked nationally, saying that the next few weeks would be very difficult in many parts of the country as hospitalizations and deaths rise.

In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Dr. Murthy noted the “good news” of the plateaus and drops in known cases in the Northeast, especially in New York City and New Jersey.

But “the challenge is that the entire country is not moving at the same pace,” he said, adding “we shouldn’t expect a national peak in the coming days.”

“The next few weeks will be tough,” he said.

The highly contagious Omicron variant has fueled an explosive surge of known cases, with an average of more than 800,000 new cases a day reported on Saturday, according to a New York Times database.

Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, also expressed concerns that the next several weeks would overwhelm hospitals and staff. “Right now we’re at about 150,000 people in the hospital with Covid,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.” “That’s more than we’ve ever had. I expect those

Read more