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Archive for the ‘Alzheimer’s/Dementia’ Category

If you’re a runner, you probably already know the many great health benefits you receive from participating in this great activity, but did you know that running can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease? Exercise is the best way to prevent this frightening illness.

A report that was released early this year warned that one out of every eight baby boomers, including those born from about the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s, will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. That equates to up to ten million boomers that can expect to develop the disease, for which there is no prevention or cure.

Those are scary statistics, but if you already participate in an exercise routine for at least 30 minutes three or four times per week, you’re well on your way to greatly lessening your risk of the devastating illness.

As many as 50% of Alzheimer’s cases can be prevented through lifestyle changes, including leading an active lifestyle rather than a sedentary one.

If you’re a runner, the chances are that you don’t have high blood pressure, aren’t obese, don’t smoke or have diabetes; all factors that can lead to the illness. In addition to reducing your risk of those negative aspects, the exercise itself has been proven to lower your risk. The p hysical activity appears to inhibit Alzheimer’s-like brain changes in mice, slowing the development of a key feature of the disease.

The Director of the Alzheimer’s Research Center at the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Ronald Petersen remarked, “Regular physical exercise is probably the best means we have of preventing Alzheimer’s disease today, better than medications, better than intellectual activity, better than supplements and diet.”

While Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, it is not a normal part of aging. If you need another excuse to motivate yourself to get into the good habit of running, or any type of aerobic activity consistently, this is a good one.

Alzheimer’s is a fatal brain disease and a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, behavior and thinking that gradually worsen over time. Eventually people with the illness completely lose their independence. Early symptoms can include memory loss , difficulty solving problems, inability or difficulty completing simple tasks, confusion as to the date and/or time, trouble interpreting distances or problems with reading, communication difficulties, losing things, poor judgment or a decrease in judgment, withdrawing from involvement in social or work activities, and changes in mood.

It’s not a disease anyone should want to wish even on their worst enemy.

If you’ve been living on the couch or at the keyboard far too much lately, it’s time to get up and get active.

(Source: Yahoo Contributor Network – K.C. Dermody has been an avid runner, hiker, and yoga enthusiast for twenty years, and as a trained yoga instructor she taught a variety of students from senior citizens to competitive athletes. She also has an addiction to disc golf – especially promoting the sport to others, and enjoys combining her passion for sports, emotional and physical well-being with her love of writing.)

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Hi Visitors,

Good for your read 🙂

An 80-year-old couple were having problems remembering things, so they decided to go to their doctor to get checked out to make sure nothing was wrong with them. When they arrived at the doctor’s, they explained to the him about the problems they were having with their memory.

After checking the couple out, the doctor told them that they were physically okay but might want to start writing things down and make notes to help them remember things. The couple thanked the doctor and left.

Later that night while watching TV, the old man got up from his chair and his wife asked, “Where are you going?”

“To the kitchen,” he said.

“Will you get me a bowl of ice cream?” she asked.   

“Sure,” he said.

She then asked him, “Don’t you think you should write it down so you can remember it?”

“No, I can remember that,” he answered.

“Well, I’d also like some strawberries on top,” said said. “You’d better write that down, because I know you’ll forget that.”

“I can remember,” he said. “You want a bowl of ice cream with strawberries.”

“Well, I also want whipped cream on top. I know you’ll forget that, so you better write it down.”

With irritation in his voice, he said, “I don’t need to write that down, I can remember that.” He then fumed into the kitchen.

After about 20 minutes, he returned from the kitchen and handed her a plate of bacon and eggs.

She stared at the plate for a moment and said, “You forgot my toast.”

(Source: caring.com staff, 17 November 2011)

“A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.” – By Eleanor Roosevelt, former U.S. First Lady.

 

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ALZHEIMERS’ EYE TEST

Count every ” F” in the following text:

FINISHED FILES ARE THE RESULT OF YEARS OF SCIENTIFIC STUDY COMBINED WITH THE EXPERIENCE OF YEARS…

Anyone who counts all 6 “F’s” on the first go is a genius.

**** **** **** ****

THIS PIECE IS REALLY COOL !!! READ ON …

O lny srmat poelpe can raed tihs.

cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uin ervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm.

Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs psas it on !!

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Dear Caregivers,

I came across this list and it’s timely for sharing with our new Caregivers.

NEVER LIST FOR CAREGIVERS

As a caregiver I know first hand how important it is to avoid aggravating, agitating, confusing or making demands on my loved one. The lbd forum is a good place for more insights.

I repeat the NEVER list from that source.

1. Never “argue”, instead “agree”

2. Never “reason”, instead “divert”

3. Never “shame”, instead “distract”

4. Never “lecture”, instead “reassure”

5. Never “remember”, instead “reminisce”

6. Never “I told you”, instead “repeat”

7. Never “you can’t”, instead “do what you can”

8. Never “command or demand”, instead “ask or maybe”

9. Never “condescend”, instead “encourage or praise”

10. Never “force”, instead “reinforce”

(Source: David Thomas, MD, http://knittingdoc.wordpress.com)

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Isobel Jeffrey The AlzheimerA 13-year-old girl is suffering from Alzheimer’s-like dementia after developing an extremely rare form of the disorder.

Isobel Jeffery displays the same symptoms as some victims in their 70s, and can no longer feed or dress herself or walk or talk properly. She becomes easily confused and suffers memory loss, nightmares and hallucinations. Isobel was diagnosed with early onset dementia aged nine after she began to slur her words, lose the ability to swallow and became unsteady on her feet.

She now needs 24-hour care and will never develop the basic day-to-day skills to look after herself.

Child dementia is extremely rare and affects about one in 12million – about 500 worldwide. It is sometimes treatable, but although there are 100 different types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, doctors say Isobel’s condition has not responded to any medication.

Her mother and full-time carer, Nicola, 39, says her daughter has lost understanding of the world around her as her mind has gradually shut down. But she described her as a ‘rare cookie’ who retains a sense of humour and goes about her life with enthusiasm.

The mother of two from Exeter said: “When she was nine she suddenly started slurring her words and was less clear in her talking. It sounded like she was drunk.”

“Now it is a relentless loss of skills and mobility. We’ve been told that she will slowly deteriorate. She has undergone extensive tests but the outcome is always the same.”

“The prognosis is she will get gradually worse.” She added: “The cruel thing about dementia is that she is semi-aware of the fact that she is losing her skills.”

“Despite all this she is one of the most vibrant people I have ever known, with a wicked sense of humour and enthusiasm about life.”

After her diagnosis Isobel gradually lost the ability to concentrate and her conversation became ‘fixed’ and ‘rigid’.

Doctors have said that the condition will eventually rob her of her ability to walk, speak and even communicate with her family at all. She has been given just ten to 15 years to live – meaning she could be dead before her 30th birthday.

Dementia is a degenerative and progressive disease which can affect all areas of mental and physical functions, not just memory. Diagnosis before the age of 65 is considered as early onset. For Isobel it has meant learning difficulties, impaired memory and sensory processing problems.

Isobel lives with her mother, father Keven, 39, a nuclear safety engineer, and sister, Katie, eight.

Mrs Jeffery said: “Two years ago we took the painful decision to have an operation to enable her to be tube fed directly into her stomach because she was no longer able to swallow.”

“We don’t know why it is happening. Izzie effectively has Alzheimer’s although she is only 13. But she is a rare cookie and really has made every attempt to live her life to the full.”

Terry Roberts, of the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “This is a very sad state of affairs which re-emphasizes how important support is for the young person and the carers.”

Mrs Jeffery is taking part in a four-day, 370-mile bike ride from London to Paris to raise awareness of her daughter’s condition and funds for research. It begins on September 16.

To sponsor her, visit http://www.justgiving.com/nicolajeffery2.

(Source: The Daily Mail, September 12, 2009 – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1212904/The-girl-13-whos-dementia-nine.html?printingPage=true)

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Doctors have identified the following list of conditions can cause dementia or dementia-like symptoms. Many of these conditions are reversible with appropriate treatment.

(1) Reactions to Medications.
Medications can sometimes lead to reactions or side effects that mimic dementia. These dementia-like effects can occur in reaction to just one drug or they can result from drug interactions. They may have a rapid onset or they may develop slowly over time.

(2) Metabolic Problems and Endocrine Abnormalities
Thyroid problems can lead to apathy, depression, or dementia. Hypoglycemia, a condition in which there is not enough sugar in the bloodstream, can cause confusion or personality changes. Too little or too much sodium or calcium can also trigger mental changes. Some people have an impaired ability to absorb vitamin B12, which creates a condition called pernicious anemia that can cause personality changes, irritability, or depression. Tests can determine if any of these problems are present.

(3) Nutritional Deficiencies
Deficiencies of thiamine (vitamin B1) frequently result from chronic alcoholism and can seriously impair mental abilities, in particular memories of recent events. Severe deficiency of vitamin B6 can cause a neurological illness called pellagra that may include dementia. Deficiencies of vitamin B12 also have been linked to dementia in some cases. Dehydration can also cause mental impairment that can resemble dementia.

(4) Infections
Many infections can cause neurological symptoms, including confusion or delirium, due to fever or other side effects of the body’s fight to overcome the infection. Meningitis and encephalitis, which are infections of the brain or the membrane that covers it, can cause confusion, sudden severe dementia, withdrawal from social interaction, impaired judgment, or memory loss. Untreated syphilis also can damage the nervous system and cause dementia. In rare cases, Lyme disease can cause memory or thinking difficulties. People in the advanced stages of AIDS also may develop a form of dementia. People with compromised immune systems, such as those with leukemia and AIDS, may also develop an infection called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). PML is caused by a common human polyomavirus, JC virus, and leads to damage or destruction of the myelin sheath that covers nerve cells. PML can lead to confusion, difficulty with thinking or speaking, and other mental problems.

(5) Subdural Hematomas
Subdural hematomas, or bleeding between the brain’s surface and its outer covering (the dura), can cause dementia-like symptoms and changes in mental function.

(6) Poisoning
Exposure to lead, other heavy metals, or other poisonous substances can lead to symptoms of dementia. These symptoms may or may not resolve after treatment, depending on how badly the brain is damaged. People who have abused substances such as alcohol and recreational drugs sometimes display signs of dementia even after the substance abuse has ended. This condition is known as substance-induced persisting dementia.

(7) Brain Tumours
In rare cases, people with brain tumours may develop dementia because of damage to their brains. Symptoms may include changes in personality, psychotic episodes, or problems with speech, language, thinking, and memory.

(8) Anoxia
Anoxia and a related term, hypoxia, are often used interchangeably to describe a state in which there is a diminished supply of oxygen to an organ’s tissues. Anoxia may be caused by many different problems, including heart attack, heart surgery, severe asthma, smoke or carbon monoxide inhalation, high-altitude exposure, strangulation, or an overdose of anesthesia. In severe cases of anoxia the patient may be in a stupor or a coma for periods ranging from hours to days, weeks, or months. Recovery depends on the severity of the oxygen deprivation. As recovery proceeds, a variety of psychological and neurological abnormalities, such as dementia or psychosis, may occur. The person also may experience confusion, personality changes, hallucinations, or memory loss.

(9) Heart and Lung Problems
The brain requires a high level of oxygen in order to carry out its normal functions. Therefore, problems such as chronic lung disease or heart problems that prevent the brain from receiving adequate oxygen can starve brain cells and lead to the symptoms of dementia.

(B) WHAT CONDITIONS ARE NOT DEMENTIA?

(1) Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
Some people develop cognitive and memory problems that are not severe enough to be diagnosed as dementia but are more pronounced than the cognitive changes associated with normal aging. This condition is called mild cognitive impairment. Although many patients with this condition later develop dementia, some do not. Many researchers are studying mild cognitive impairment to find ways to treat it or prevent it from progressing to dementia.

(2) Age-Related Cognitive Decline
As people age, they usually experience slower information processing and mild memory impairment. In addition, their brains frequently decrease in volume and some nerve cells, or neurons, are lost. These changes, called age-related cognitive decline, are normal and are not considered signs of dementia.

(3) Depression
People with depression are frequently passive or unresponsive, and they may appear slow, confused, or forgetful. Other emotional problems can also cause symptoms that sometimes mimic dementia.

(4) Delirium
Delirium is characterized by confusion and rapidly altering mental states. The person may also be disoriented, drowsy, or incoherent, and may exhibit personality changes. Delirium is usually caused by a treatable physical or psychiatric illness, such as poisoning or infections. Patients with delirium often, though not always, make a full recovery after their underlying illness is treated.

(Source: U.S. National Institutes of Health.)

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HEALTH-US-INFECTIONS-MEMORYA split-view image showing PET scans of a normal brain (L) and a brain with Alzheimer’s disease. Reuters/National Institute on Aging/Handout

Catching a cold or the flu could speed memory loss in people with Alzheimer’s disease, researchers reported

In a study of patients with mild to severe Alzheimer’s disease, they found that people who suffered acute or chronic infections, or even bumps and bruises from a fall, were much more likely to have high blood levels of a protein involved in inflammation and also experienced faster memory loss than people who did not have infections and who had low levels of this protein.

It’s possible that finding a way to reduce inflammation in the body “could be beneficial for people with Alzheimer’s disease,” study chief Dr. Clive Holmes, from the University of Southampton, UK, said in a prepared statement.

Over about 6 months, Holmes and colleagues measured the cognitive abilities and blood levels the inflammatory protein TNF-alpha of 222 people with Alzheimer’s disease. They also interviewed each subject’s main caregiver several times during the study.

During follow up, roughly half of the study subjects experienced a sudden infection or injury that led to inflammation, and a spike in TNF-alpha levels. These people, the researchers found, experienced memory loss that was at twice the rate of those who did not have infections or injuries.

People who had high levels of TNF-alpha in their blood at the beginning of the study, a sign of chronic, ongoing inflammation, had memory loss at four times the rate of those with low levels of the protein at the start of the study.

By contrast, subjects with low levels of TNF-alpha throughout the study showed no decline in brain function, the report indicates.

“One might guess that people with a more rapid rate of cognitive decline are more susceptible to infections or injury, but we found no evidence to suggest that people with more severe dementia were more likely to have infections or injuries at the beginning of the study,” Holmes noted in a prepared statement.

(Source: Neurology, September 8, 2009.)

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