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#Aging Or #Alzheimer's: The Signs You Need To Know. #Dementia #caregiver



How do you know if that forgetfulness you’ve had is an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease, or just normal aging?

You may forget the occasional name or sometimes have trouble thinking of the right word to use. Maybe you walk into another room and wonder what you were looking for. Is it Alzheimer’s, aging, or just plain being distracted, doing one thing while you’re thinking of another?

There are signs to look out for, signs that tell you it’s time to get to the specialist and get checked out. Treatments for Alzheimer’s disease work best in the early stages so it’s vitally important to get an early diagnosis. An early diagnosis and early treatment can give you more years of normal functioning, and save you and your family tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Warning Signs

Memory Loss: We all forget things like appointments, names, and phone numbers occasionally, and that’s normal. Forgetting freshly learned information more often can be a warning sign though.

Communication Problems: Having trouble finding the right word is not unusual, but the Alzheimer’s sufferer often forgets simple words and may use unusual words or strange descriptions. A camera may become “that box that makes pictures”.

Problems with everyday tasks: A person with Alzheimer’s disease can start having trouble doing jobs or hobbies that they’ve had many years of experience with. For example, they may be halfway through their favourite recipe and forget how to finish it though they’ve done it many times before.



Misplacing Things: This isn’t the normal losing the car keys, but more like putting things in unusual places such as the ice-cream in the oven, or clothes in the dishwasher.

Disorientation: A person with Alzheimer’s disease can get lost in their own street or stay sitting at the bus station because they can’t remember where they were going. They may not remember how to get home.

Impaired Judgement: Wearing a thick jacket on a blazing hot day or a swimsuit in the middle of winter could be a sign of dementia. Having poor judgement with money can be a symptom too, such as spending big amounts of money with telemarketers or buying products that aren’t needed.

Trouble with Complex Tasks: Having trouble with tasks that require abstract thinking like balancing a check book or playing a favourite game can be difficult for the Alzheimer’s sufferer.

Mood Swings, and Personality Changes: Mood changes for no apparent reason can be another symptom. The sufferer could be happy and cheerful one minute, and then suddenly become extremely angry over something that is quite trivial, or that they have imagined. They can become clingy with a family member, or suspicious of the neighbours.

Loss of Initiative: We can all get tired of housework or our business activities sometimes. But someone suffering from Alzheimer’s disease can become quite passive, watching television for hours, not wanting to do their normal activities, or spending more time sleeping.


Many more people are worried that they may have Alzheimer’s disease than actually get the disease. However, if you are suffering from these symptoms, see a specialist.


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#Diabetics: #Diabetic Control avoid: white flour, white Salt, tea and coffee


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Wheat is the most common cereal used throughout the world for making bread. It is a good source of energy. With its essential coating of bran, vitamins and minerals, it is an excellent health-building food.

Wheat is usually ground into flour for use as food. However refined wheat flour constitutes a serious health hazard of the various processed foods being used today for their delicious taste, white flour (maida) is especially harmful. The colossal loss of vitamins and mineral in refined wheat flour has led to widespread prevalence of constipation and other related disgestine disturbance and nutritional disorders, particularly diabetes. The consumption of white flour is thus an important contributory cause of diabetes, and its aggravation, if the disease has already developed.

White Salt

Common salt or sodium chloride is a major factor in maintaining the acid base equilibrium of the body. It is also essential for the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Thus, while a certain amount of salt essential for the body system, it is required in very small quantities, ranging from 10 to 15 g per day.

Excessive use of salt puts extra burden on the kidneys, may cause high blood pressure, which is closely linked with diabetes. Excessive intake of salt promotes water retention in the body, which in due course may lead to obesity, which is a potent cause of diabetes. Too much salt is thus harmful and may promote or hasten the onset of diabetes.

Salt (sodium chloride) and sodium preservatives are added to most processed foods. A sodium-controlled diet must avoid or limit salted snacks; pickles and many others processed convenience foods.



Tea and Coffee

Drinking tea and coffee is a serious health hazard for the diabetic. The most alkaloid principle in both tea and coffee is caffeine. Caffeine is an addictive drug similar to cocaine in as much as it stimulates the central nervous system. While these effects are short-lived, it has been observed that they lead to withdrawal symptoms of irritability, lethargy, headaches and anxiety. The daily intake of tea and coffee causes indigestion and gas formation, diarrhea, and constipation. They also increase the blood sugar level, which may lead to diabetes or aggravate its symptoms where the disease is already present.
 



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#Prostate #Health , What YOU Don't Know Could Kill You!



"Prostate cancer is a major killer of men!" How is it then that in a poll 96% of men knew nothing at all about the prostate gland.

Prostate Cancer is the most common diagnosed cancer in the USA and UK. Next to lung cancer it is the second leading cause of cancer death in men in the USA."

Women know more about men's health than men do themselves and that's a fact. Why is that? Is it because we find it hard to discuss these things? Is it because it's not macho! From the time that we are young, we are taught that boys have to act tough and shouldn't cry. You must have heard the saying "Big Boys don't cry!"

Most of us carry this thought process into adulthood and feel by showing concern for our health, it will be seen as a male weakness. I am guilty of that myself.

I know when my prostate troubles began, I knew absolutely nothing about the prostate. I was one of the 96%. Mainly because it didn't cross my mind that I'd ever have any problems.

In addition, the prostate is in a "private" area, and it wasn't something I wanted to examine. Many people, including myself, feel uncomfortable talking about the prostate, since the gland plays a role in both sex and urination.

I have had prostate troubles, survived a cancer scare and watched my sister die from Cancer. Believe me, when I say that when you think you are going to die, it concentrates your mind on what is really important. Suddenly your priorities get focused.

Due to my prostate troubles, I became interested in learning about the prostate and how it affected my health.


I cried the day they took a biopsy and I cried with relief the day I was told it was benign. I cried many times as I watched my sister die.

I got so frustrated having to get up every night 3-4 times due to my prostate troubles and then finding I couldn't get back to sleep.

What is prostate cancer?


Prostate Cancer develops by the growth of cancerous cells within the prostate gland. Prostate cancer occurs when some of the cells that make up the prostate gland escape from the normal controls on their growth and start to divide, grow and spread in an uncontrolled manner. In its advanced form, it can produce the same symptoms as BPH. (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia)

Warning Signs

Early prostate cancer often does not cause symptoms. When symptoms of prostate cancer do occur, they may include some of the following problems:

A need to urinate frequently, especially at night; Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine; Inability to urinate; Weak or interrupted flow of urine; Painful or burning urination; Painful ejaculation; Blood in urine or semen; and/or Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs.

Any of these symptoms may be caused by cancer or by other, less serious health problems, such as BPH or an infection (Prostatitis). Only a doctor can tell the cause. A man who has symptoms like these should see his family doctor . Do not wait to feel pain; early prostate cancer does not cause pain.

These are two other main prostate problems

1) BPH - (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) is the abnormal growth of benign prostate cells. In an enlarged prostate , the prostate grows larger and pushes against the urethra and bladder, blocking the normal flow of urine. BPH is often the result of prostatitis.

2) Prostatitis refers to prostate inflammation and infection, which can be brief or long-lasting, mild or severe symptoms can include frequent, urgent and painful urination, erectile problems or pain during ejaculation.

Prostatitis is rampant in the US, affecting at least 80% of American men. Most is without major symptoms. Prostate enlargement, called Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH) is often the result of prostatitis.

Treatment for Prostate Cancer
The treatment given for prostate cancer depends on how advanced or widespread the disease is. If the cancer is small and only present within the prostate gland, it is possible to treat it with

surgery (radical prostatectomy) radiotherapy (either external beam radiotherapy or brachytherapy) hormone therapy

I sincerely hope that this article can be of use to you, your partner, someone in your family or indeed a close friend.

Health to me is both physical and mental. The two cannot be separated.

Without #Zinc You Are Headed Towards #Dementia Or #Alzheimer's #brain

Zinc is one of those minerals that have been discovered necessary to hold off the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Most older people and those with dementia and other mental disorders have been found to be deficient in zinc. In most studies zinc has been shown to improve mental capacity in elders.

To get zinc into your blood stream you need to have a specific acid that is excreted by the pancreas. This acid is called “picolinic acid” When food containing zinc or zinc supplements reaches the small intestine, duodenum, the pancreas excretes picolinic acid. This acid binds with zinc and moves it across your intestine wall and into the blood stream.


Picolinic acid is created in the liver and kidneys from the amino acid tryptoph. This amino acid then moves into the pancreas. If you have diabetes or if your pancreas is overworked or weak, you will not be excreting enough picolinic acid and will not be providing enough zinc to your brain. You will need to supplement your diet with zinc.

The type of zinc you need is one that is bound with picolinic acid. This type is called “zinc picolinate.” There are other type of zinc supplements such as zinc citrate and zinc gluconate, but there are not absorb as good as zinc picolinate. If you cannot get zinc picolinate then the next best is zinc gluconate.

The body has many uses for zinc and this can contribute to a deficiency of zinc in the blood for the brain. The body uses zinc for helping,



* in chemical reactions with enzymes

* with antioxidants to prevent arteriosclerosis

* with DNA to prevent dementia or Alzheimer’

* with cells activity

* kidneys to maintain acid base balance.

* with carbon dioxide removal

* make pancreatic enzymes

* your liver to detoxify alcohols

* and the list goes on and on.

Here are some of the foods to add to your diet to get more zinc.

beef, lamb, cheese, yeasts, oysters, Shrimp, herring, sunflower seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sesame Seeds, wheat germ & bran, Mushrooms, Spinach, Squash, Asparagus, Collard Greens, Broccoli ,Chard, Miso, Maple Syrup

Zinc can be toxic in excessive amounts. A safe amount to take is 20 – 25 mg per day. Do not take more than 40 mg per day. Toxic effects are stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, cramps, and diarrhea.

Add these foods and zinc picolinate to your diet in an effort to starve off dementia and Alzheimer’s. There are a few more special nutrients that you should include in your diet to prevent degradation of your mental thinking.

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#Alzheimers:You Need To Know About Senior #Health.#dementia #brain


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As one progresses in age, he retreats in health or fitness. Though senior citizens are counseled to stay fit, it is barely the case like. Numerous natural transformations occur in the body as it moves towards fragility. For instance, the bones and muscles lose their potential reducing the stamina of the body, the kidneys and other internal organs start malfunctioning and the vigor of the skin recedes.

But the fact is that health is wealth at every stage of life. It is more crucial when one enters into the senior citizens category because there are few caretakers in those times. So, the elderly should concentrate on fitness as much as possible. There are quite a few ways in which the aged can enjoy a good physical and mental health.

1. Health Insurance- it is the first and foremost requirement of every senior citizen. A medical insurance is the greatest friend in the time of need. It can provide you and your family the financial aid in worst times of your life.

But one should be pretty careful in purchasing a health care policy. The plan that facilitates maximum benefits should be taken up.

2. Diet and Exercise- the diet of individual varies with the age along with other factors. But at an older age, a person should be extra careful in matters of eating. This is because, the antibodies or the immunity system receives a setback in this age and one becomes more prone to all sorts of illnesses. The diet therefore should be thriving in vitamins, minerals, proteins and carbohydrates. Fats should be strictly avoided as they make one susceptible to numerous diseases particularly heart problems. There must be an extra intake of calcium to support the diluting bones.

But a rich diet is not enough. Some exercises should be a part of daily routine in this age. Individuals need to be extra cautious about movements of their limbs for the natural strength and the disease fighting ability of the body keeps on retiring in older ages.


3. Those who have a family history of ailments like prostrate and colon cancer, the diseases that most likely hit men in fifties and above, should get regular medical check ups done. They must follow the doctor’s advice and all the injunctions and prohibitions.

4. Women are more likely to be affected by breast cancer. They also are vulnerable to other diseases due to menopause. Though the course of destiny can never be averted yet prevention should never be ignored. There are some medicines that women should take after menopause in order to minimize the risk factor.

5. Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia are even threatening for women. The former is a fall in certain cognitive brain functions. It is a type of dementia. Dementia impedes an individual’s intellectual functioning and capability to work. These diseases mostly affect women in sixties and above that. Such women gradually become forgetful and incompetent in doing skilful work.

As soon as some of these symptoms are evident, doctor should be consulted without delay. Drugs at early stage might stop the situation from worsening.

6. Avoid stress. Stress is as harmful as any other contagious disease. Don’t stoop to drugs so called stress busters. Consult a psychiatrist if conditions run out of control.


Men: Fight #Prostate #Cancer and Win.


Over the past few years Prostate Cancer has been targeted by health authorities as the largest hidden killer of men over 45 years of age. Although there have been advances in education and general public awareness, men are still demonstrating reluctance to acknowledge the need for vigilance in their everyday lives.

There are a number of ways that men can reassure themselves however.

Here is a list of facts and suggestions collated from a number of sources that you should know about.




One in every 6 men will suffer from prostate problems in their lives. So there is no need to feel isolated or a victim. Just take action and get to a doctor quickly at the first sign.

It is almost certain that quick action will lead to successful recovery. The sooner you visit your doctor and get referred to a Urologist the better your chances of successful treatment.

There is hope for the future. In 2002, scientists at Liverpool University in the UK isolated the gene that promotes the spread of prostate cancer. This information is still being explored to hopefully produce new drugs which will assist treatment of Prostate cancer outside of the normal Chemotherapy regimes currently in use.

Dietary habits are the common thread in most of the literature about prostate cancer.

Next #Epidemic: #Alzheimer's! #Caregiver, #Dementia #Brain


Alzheimer’s disease is a disease that strikes terror into many of us, especially as we get older.


Alzheimer’s is a very serious brain disease that attacks the parts of the brain responsible for the creation of memory and for thinking.

As the disease progresses, more and more parts of the brain become affected. The patient loses the ability to live independently, and the sense of self and identity disappears. Eventually the patient dies.

Alzheimer’s is not the only disease that causes dementia, but it is probably the best known to the general public.

When Alzheimer’s strikes someone, we watch as the person afflicted slowly fades away in front of us, and eventually disappears to a place where they can’t be reached.

We may personally know people, who have been afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease. We may have visited a nursing home where many of the elderly residents sat staring blankly and unaware. We shuddered inwardly, thinking, “I hope that never happens to me.”

Part of the reason we fear this disease so much is because it is so mysterious. We don’t know what causes Alzheimer’s. We don’t know how to cure it. We don’t even have a surefire test to diagnose Alzheimer’s while the victim is still alive.

The incidence of Alzheimer’s disease tends to get higher as the population ages. In the age group 65-75, approximately four per cent of the population may be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. In the age group of 85 years or older, about 50% of the population has Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is a growing problem all over the world because the population in most countries is growing older and older on average. In many countries, more and more people are surviving to the age where the incidence of the disease becomes more common.



At the present time, up to four million North Americans are believed to be affected by Alzheimer’s disease. In twenty years, that number may go up to ten million. India has the some of the lowest rates of Alzheimer’s in the world, but scientists don’t know why the rate of the disease in India is so low.

Alzheimer’s disease is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer who studied and described this disease in Germany in the early years of the twentieth century. Dr. Alzheimer was the first to discover and analyze the massive destruction of brain cells in a middle-aged woman who had been stricken with dementia and eventually died from it.

When Dr. Alzheimer studied this woman’s brain after she died, he noticed that her brain was filled with microscopic plaques and tangles. These plaques and tangles had killed her brain cells.

The disease starts out with small lapses in the ability to make and retrieve short-term memories. With this comes a decline in the ability to reason and the ability to concentrate. The person affected may forget the names of familiar objects, or get lost in a familiar place. Personality changes may become apparent.

This decline in mental processing happens because of the destruction of brain cells that are needed to form and retrieve memories. At the same time, there is a progressive decline in the the brain’s supply of neurotransmitters required to carry messages from one brain cell to another.

In the initial stages, it is very hard to differentiate Alzheimer’s disease from other types of memory loss.


As the disease progresses, more and more brain cells die. Memory test scores may decline by 10 to 15% each year. Eventually, the patient will have difficulty performing the simplest actions required for daily living. The vocabulary dwindles to a few dozen words, then disappears altogether. Friends and family will not be recognized. The “self” fades away.

In the final stages, the patient will be completely unable to look after herself, unable to feed, walk or control the bladder and bowel. Death often occurs from pneumonia or infection.

Alzheimer’s may strike people in their twenties, but is very rare in that age group. It becomes increasingly common with advanced aging. As women tend to live longer than men by several years, they are more likely to live long enough to be afflicted with Alzheimer’s.

From the initial diagnosis to the time of death may be a period of seven to twenty years. The toll of the disease on the family and on society is very high.



Unless a cure is found soon, the costs of institutionalizing those millions who will fall victim to Alzheimer’s in the coming decades will consume many billions of dollars.

The toll on the families of those afflicted is very high. For the person who is afflicted with this disease, the loss of memory, of thinking ability, of the personal sense of self is the greatest tragedy of all.

What is the cause of Alzheimer’s disease? Is the cause genetic? Is it environmental? Is Alzheimer’s caused by a virus? Does Alzheimer’s have only one cause, or are there many contributing factors? Will a cure for Alzheimer’s be discovered?

These are questions that scientists are racing to answer.


#Dementia: Can #Alzheimer's Be Prevented? #caregiver #brain


Alzheimer’s disease is a condition affecting up to 4.5 million Americans. While there is no known cure, studies have been conducted that indicate there may be ways of preventing the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.


The disease is characterized by symptoms such as forgetfulness, memory loss, and reduced ability to concentrate, and in later stages the sufferer may display anxiety and delusions, loss of speech and inability to sit up or walk. It is a slow disease with symptoms manifesting and worsening over the period of many years.

The now famous, groundbreaking “nun study” went a long way toward identifying characteristics that would indicate the likelihood of Alzheimer’s onset later in life. 100 nuns have been studied over a period of fifteen years, beginning in 1991. Over the course of those years, their genes have been tested and analyzed, physical balance and strength charted, and cognitive tests run to determine how many words the women could remember several minutes after reading them, how many animals they could name in a minute, and if they could correctly count coins. The research shows that people who scored lower on cognitive ability tests when young were more likely to develop Alzheimer’s later in life. Early cognitive ability was measured based on writings done by the nuns while in their early 20’s. Those showing more “idea density” – the number of ideas expressed in the fewest number of words – and better linguistic and grammar skills had a much lower incidence of Alzheimer’s later in life. Scientists are of the opinion that good cognitive skills early on creates a sort of “neurocognitive reserve” which will be drawn on later, effectively preventing Alzheimer’s. Exercising and improving cognitive skills via writing, reading and learning – anything that stimulates the brain – may go a long way toward active, clearheaded and graceful aging.


There are a number of other things, as well, that you can do to help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s. Many of these prevention techniques involve limbering the mind and working on memory skills long before Alzheimer’s onset is a danger. Just having a mentally stimulating job that involves creative thinking or manipulation of data is shown to have a connection to lower incidence of Alzheimer’s later in life. Doing crossword puzzles and playing card games were found to have a significant positive impact on later mental dexterity. Employ memorization techniques used by actors. Actors don’t merely memorize a series of words. They also combine appropriate movements, and evaluate the intent behind the words to be delivered. This “active-experiencing” method of memorization was shown to also improve the memory and cognitive skills in older people who were taught the technique. Limbering your mind now may promote a limber mind in your latter years.

Proper diet and exercise promote good health in general and may ward off countless problems including Alzheimer’s onset. The addition of fish oils, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C to the diet have all shown to contribute to a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s. Keeping cholesterol at a healthy level prevents build-up of amyloid plaques in the brain – a characteristic in Alzheimer’s. Finally, physical activity has been shown to prevent deposits in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Exercise your mind and body, and make good lifestyle choices, as the only “cure” for Alzheimer’s as yet, is prevention. While there is believed to be a genetic component which would predispose someone to the risk of Alzheimer’s, awareness, early planning and mental exercise, and smart dietary choices may aid to reduce your likelihood of developing this mysterious and debilitating disease. A healthy mind and a healthy body now will make for a healthy mind and body later.

#Longevity: Primary Carer For A Relative With #Alzheimer's #dementia, #brain Disease


By: Alane Brown
“I am a Carer”. There you go, “straight off the bat” as they say, I write this article (the first in a series) in my role as a Primary Carer first and author second. At present I am the primary carer for my elderly mother who is suffering from the advance stages of Alzheimer’s disease. It is desperately cruel disease (most are, I know) in that it robs people (by and large) of their dignity and their independence at a stage in life when they need it most.

In the United Kingdom, the Alzheimer’s Society claimed in a recent survey that over 750,000 people suffered from Alzheimer’s and related dementia problems. In the United States it is calculated that an estimated 4.5 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s and that this figure has doubled since 1980.



Further alarming statistics highlight the fact that it is possible that in the US alone, the number of people suffering from Alzheimer’s could more than double to between 11.5 and 13 million sufferers by 2050.

Alzheimer’s disease is what is described as a progressive disorder of the brain that gradually destroys a persons’ memory, ability to learn, reason, make judgements, communicate and carry out daily activities. As the disease progresses, sufferers may also experience changes in their personality and display such behavioural changes ranging from anxiety, agitation or suspicion right up to and / or including delusions and hallucinations

Although there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, new treatments are on the horizon as a result of accelerating insight into the biology of the disease. Research has also shown that effective care and support can improve quality of life for individuals and their caregivers over the course of the disease from diagnosis to the end of life.

Considering the long term implications for Alzheimer’s sufferers, the hidden sociological impact will in reality be born on the shoulders of those who will be caring for the sufferers for it is indeed a bittersweet irony that those who care for the sufferers in reality suffer more than the sufferers do themselves.

This fact in itself has been largely responsible for another survey finding recently and that was the fact that Americans are equally afraid of caring for someone who has Alzheimer’s as much as they are of developing the disease themselves. Approximately 1 in 2 American adults are more apprehensive of caring for partner or loved one who has developed Alzheimer’s. Just less than 1 in 5 American adults have indicated that they are more afraid of getting the disease themselves (17%).

The real problem from a carer’s perspective is that no two people experience Alzheimer’s disease in the same way. As a result, there’s no one approach to care giving. Your care giving responsibilities can range from making financial decisions, managing changes in behaviour, to helping a loved one get dressed in the morning.

Handling these duties is hard work. But by learning care giving skills, you can make sure that your loved one feels supported and is living a full life. You can also ensure that you are taking steps to preserve your own well-being.

Caring for someone who has Alzheimer’s disease or another illness involving dementia can be very difficult, time-consuming, and stressful – (serious understatement here). Here are some more things a care giver can do to help the person with Alzheimer’s disease while also reducing the substantial burden that comes with care giving:

* Stay Informed – Knowledge equals power. The more you know about Alzheimer’s disease or any other signs of dementia, the better you can prepare yourself to deal with problems that may arise.

* Share concerns with the person – A person who is mildly to moderately impaired can assist in his/her own care. Memory aides and other strategies can be created by the person with dementia and the caregiver together. This is easier said than done I know but you have to give it a try. But, and this is a big but (no laughs here please) it is essential that you realise that you are probably dealing with a person who if they have any cognisance at all, will be in denial.

* Solve problems one at a time – A multitude of problems may occur that may seem insurmountable at the time. Work on one specific problem at a time — you do not have to solve every problem all at once. As the saying goes “Success by the inch is a cinch, by the yard it’s hard” and in this case this has never been more true.

* Use your imagination – One of the keys to handling this disease is your ability to adapt. If something can’t be done one way, try another. For example, if the person only uses his or her fingers for eating, do not keep fighting; just serve as many finger foods as possible!

* Establish an environment that encourages freedom and activity within limits Try to create a stable, balanced schedule for meals, medication, etc. but also encourage activities that the patient can handle such as taking a walk or visiting an old friend. Remember, the person with AD is not the only one whose needs must be taken into consideration. You as a caregiver have needs and desires that must also be met. First, try and find some time for yourself. Even though this suggestion may seem like an impossibility, find some time during the week where you can have someone else watch the patient — be it a relative, friend, or neighbour — and do something for yourself.


* Avoid social isolation – Keep up contacts with friends and relatives. It’s easy to get burned out when it seems like you have no one to turn to. Another way to establish contacts is by joining the Alzheimer’s Association or other such support groups. Talking with other families who share many of the very same problems can be reassuring as it helps you know you are not alone in your round-the-clock struggles.

#Pandemic: #Alzheimer’s #Disease. #dementia #brain

Alzheimer’s disease causes more worry for people over 55 than any other condition. Suspecting you or a loved one may be exhibiting signs of Alzheimer’s can be a stressful and emotional experience.
Just because you forget things, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have Alzheimer's. Even when you fear the worst, the earlier you seek help, the better your chances of getting the care you need and maximizing your quality of life.

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

 

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, a serious brain disorder that impacts daily living through memory loss and cognitive changes. Although not all memory loss indicates Alzheimer’s disease, one in ten people over 65 years of age, and over half of those over 85 have Alzheimer’s disease. Currently, 26 million people worldwide have this dementia, and over 15 million Americans will be affected by the year 2050.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease usually develop slowly and gradually worsen over time, progressing from mild forgetfulness to widespread brain impairment. Chemical and structural changes in the brain slowly destroy the ability to create, remember, learn, reason, and relate to others. As critical cells die, drastic personality loss occurs and body systems fail.

What else can cause Alzheimer’s symptoms?

Significant cognitive and memory loss are not symptoms of normal aging. However, these symptoms do not always indicate Alzheimer’s disease. Other conditions can also cause mental decline.
Symptoms that mimic early Alzheimer’s disease may result from:
  • Central nervous system and other degenerative disorders, including head injuries, brain tumors, stroke, epilepsy, Pick’s Disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease.
  • Metabolic ailments, such as hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, malnutrition, vitamin deficiencies, dehydration, kidney or liver failure.
  • Substance-induced conditions, such as drug interactions, medication side-effects, alcohol and drug abuse.
  • Psychological factors, such as dementia syndrome, depression, emotional trauma, chronic stress, psychosis, chronic sleep deprivation, delirium.
  • Infections, such as meningitis, encephalitis, and syphilis.

Diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease

Since there is no single definitive medical test for identifying Alzheimer’s disease, arriving at the correct diagnosis can take time and patience. Diagnosing Alzheimer's requires a detailed evaluation, including:
  • A thorough history of symptoms from the patient and spouse or family, including past and present functioning. Determining classic patterns can help your doctor eliminate other causes of Alzheimer’s symptoms, and also distinguish Alzheimer’s from other forms of dementia.
  • A physical and neurological exam, including cognitive tests to assess such things as orientation (ability to recall details about self, place, and time), attention span, speed of information processing, working memory, and mood and personality.
  • Other tests, such as brain imaging and blood tests, to rule out other medical causes.
To diagnose Alzheimer's disease from your symptoms, a doctor will look for:
  • Significant memory problems in immediate recall, short-term, or long-term memory.
  • Significant thinking deficits in at least one of four areas: expressing or comprehending language; identifying familiar objects through the senses; poor coordination, gait, or muscle function; and the executive functions of planning, ordering, and making judgments.
  • Decline severe enough to interfere with relationships and/or work performance.
  • Symptoms that appear gradually and become steadily worse over time.
  • Other causes to be ruled out to ensure memory and cognitive symptoms are not the result of another medical condition or disease, such as mild cognitive impairment.

How is Mild Cognitive Impairment different from Alzheimer’s?

Recent research examining mild cognitive impairment (MCI) reveals biological changes identical to those seen in an Alzheimer’s brain. Considered by some to be an intermediate stage between normal aging and the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, MCI is characterized by persistent forgetfulness, but lacks many of the more debilitating symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
MCI often precedes the early stages of Alzheimer’s. In other cases, patients plateau at a relatively milder stage of decline, and are able to live independently with little help from others. Understanding how these conditions progress to dramatically different outcomes continues to be a source of scrutiny and study.

#Diabetics: A Glossary of Key #Diabetic, #T1D Terms




Confused by words like glucagon and diabetic retinopathy? Cut through the medical jargon with these easily understandable definitions of diabetes-related terms.


Learning that you have diabetes can be overwhelming — with lifestyle changes, new medications, and the variety of tests needed to stay healthy. One stumbling block for anybody managing a chronic condition can be the vocabulary of medical terms. Here's a glossary of some of the most common diabetes terms you need to know.

A1C: a test that reveals exactly how well your blood sugar (glucose) has been controlled over the previous three months.

Beta cells: cells found in the pancreas that make insulin.

Blood glucose: also known as blood sugar, glucose comes from food and is then carried through the blood to deliver energy to cells.

Blood glucose meter: a small medical device used to check blood glucose levels.

Blood glucose monitoring: the simple blood test used to check the amount of glucose in the blood; a tiny drop of blood, taken by pricking a finger, is placed on a test strip and inserted in the meter for reading.

Diabetes: the shortened name for diabetes mellitus, the condition in which the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or your body is unable to use insulin to move glucose into cells of the body.

Diabetic retinopathy: the eye disease that occurs in someone with diabetes when the small blood vessels of the retina become swollen and leak liquid into the retina, blurring vision; it can sometimes lead to blindness.

Gestational diabetes: the diabetes some women develop during pregnancy; it typically subsides after the baby is delivered, but many women who have had gestational diabetes may develop type 2 diabetes later in life.

Glucagon: the hormone that is injected into a person with diabetes to raise their blood glucose level when it's very low (hypoglycemia).

Glucose: blood sugar that gives energy to cells.

Hyperglycemia: also known as high blood glucose, this condition occurs when your blood glucose level is too high; weight loss, thirstiness, and frequent urination are typical symptoms.

Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome: a condition usually caused by an infection or illness that results in blood sugar levels rising to dangerously high levels; HHNS can lead to seizures, coma, and death.

Hypoglycemia: also known as low blood sugar, severe hypoglycemia can cause a variety of symptoms ranging from dizziness to seizures.

Insulin: a hormone made by the pancreas that assists in the use of glucose for energy; people with diabetes who don't make enough insulin will inject it.

Ketoacidosis: a condition often caused by an infection or other illness like dehydration, or from taking too little insulin; when the body begins to break down muscle and fat for needed energy, ketones are released into the urine and blood, leading to diabetic ketoacidosis.

Ketones: the chemical substance made by your body when there isn't enough insulin in your blood; a build-up of ketones can lead to serious illness or coma.

Nephropathy: a diabetic kidney disease in which protein is spilled into the urine; it can progress over time and result in significant kidney damage.

Neuropathy: diabetes-caused nerve damage, typically in the feet and hands; major organs can also be affected. 


Pancreas: the organ that makes insulin, needed to convert glucose to energy.

Type 1 diabetes: insulin-dependent diabetes that requires life-long insulin treatment; type 1 occurs when the pancreas doesn't make enough insulin, preventing your body from properly using blood glucose as energy.

Type 2 diabetes: non-insulin-dependent diabetes, a condition in which your body either doesn't make enough insulin or doesn't use it properly and can't properly use blood glucose as energy; type 2 may be treated with oral medication, but could eventually require insulin. 



B. Smith, #Model And Restaurant Entrepreneur, Battling #Alzheimer’s. #Dementia



For decades the “B” was for beautiful — now it’s also for brave.

Legendary model and entrepreneur B. Smith — one of the first black faces to grace the cover of “Mademoiselle” — has gone public with her fight with Alzheimer’s disease.



 Her husband had noticed something was a little off, too. "You know, going from being a multitask person to more of a sequential person, which was different, or doing things that were a little out of the ordinary, sort of like, "'Well, what was that?,'" said Dan Gasby.

When Smith, iconic model, restaurateur and effervescent host of the popular TV show "B. Smith with Style" took her concerns to the doctor, the diagnosis was heart-breaking: it was Alzheimer's disease.
The willowy former model is battling the progressive condition that affects the brain and brings on gradual dementia that can become severe.




“It meant something bad, really bad,” she said, when asked if she knew what Alzheimer’s meant.

Later, asked if she knows the date, Smith struggled and failed to name the day, month or year.
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“Things like that make me very sad,” Smith said, tears welling in her eyes.

Four years ago the successful businesswoman — who parlayed her fresh-faced good looks into a chain of restaurants and lucrative design career — went to her doctor to discuss some disturbing symptoms.

That message may be especially important for African Americans and Hispanics. According to the Alzheimer's Association, African-Americans are twice as likely as Whites to develop the disease, while Hispanics are one-and-a-half times as likely as Whites to develop it.

#Aging, #Alzheimer’s and #Dementia Prevention


How to Reduce Your Risk and Protect Your Brain as You Age

For many years, we've been told that there's little we can do to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia but hope for the best and wait for a pharmaceutical cure. But the truth is you can reduce your risk by eating right, exercising, staying mentally and socially active, and keeping stress in check. By leading a brain-healthy lifestyle, you may be able to prevent Alzheimer’s symptoms and slow down, or even reverse, the process of deterioration.

Alzheimer’s & dementia prevention pillar #2: Healthy diet

Just like the rest of your body, your brain needs a nutritious diet to operate at its best. Focus on eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats.
Eating habits that reduce inflammation and provide a steady supply of fuel are best. These food tips will keep you protected:

  • Follow a Mediterranean diet. Eating a heart-healthy Mediterranean diet rich in fish, nuts, whole grains, olive oil, and abundant fresh produce. Treat yourself to the occasional glass of red wine and square of dark chocolate.
  • Avoid trans fats and saturated fats. Reduce your consumption by avoiding full-fat dairy products, red meat, fast food, fried foods, and packaged and processed foods.
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet. What’s good for the heart is also good for the brain, so by reducing your risk of heart disease, you also lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Get plenty of omega-3 fats. Evidence suggests that omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Food sources include cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, and sardines. You can also supplement with fish oil.
  • Eat 4-6 small meals throughout the day, rather than 3 large meals. Eating at regular intervals helps to maintain consistent blood sugar levels. Also avoid refined carbohydrates high in sugar and white flour, which rapidly spike glucose levels and inflame your brain.
  • Eat across the rainbow. Emphasize fruits and vegetables across the color spectrum to maximize protective antioxidants and vitamins. Daily servings of berries and green leafy vegetables should be part of your brain-protective regimen.
  • Enjoy daily cups of tea. Regular consumption of green tea may enhance memory and mental alertness and slow brain aging. White and oolong teas are also particularly brain healthy. Drinking 2-4 cups daily has proven benefits. Although not as powerful as tea, coffee also confers brain benefits. 

Eat to protect glial cells

Researchers believe that glial cells may help remove debris and toxins from the brain that can contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. Consuming foods such as ginger, green tea, fatty fish, soy products, blueberries, and other dark berries may protect these important cells from damage.

What about supplements?

Folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin D, magnesium, and fish oil are believed to preserve and improve brain health. Studies of vitamin E, ginkgo biloba, coenzyme Q10, and turmeric have yielded less conclusive results, but may also be beneficial in the prevention or delay of Alzheimer’s and dementia symptoms.
Talk to your doctor about medication interactions, and review current literature to make a personal decision about the costs and benefits of dietary supplements.

Give up smoking and drink in moderation

Smoking and heavy drinking are two of the most preventable risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. Not only does smoking increase the odds for those over 65 by nearly 79 percent, researchers at Miami’s Mt. Sinai Medical Center warn that a combination of these two behaviors reduces the age of Alzheimer’s onset by six to seven years.
When you stop smoking, the brain benefits from improved circulation almost immediately, no matter your age. However, brain changes from alcohol abuse can only be reversed in their early stages.

Alzheimer’s & dementia prevention pillar #3: Mental stimulation

Those who continue learning new things throughout life and challenging their brains are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, so make it a point to stay mentally active. In essence, you need to “use it or lose it.”
Activities involving multiple tasks or requiring communication, interaction, and organization offer the greatest protection. Set aside time each day to stimulate your brain. Cross-training with these brain-boosting activities will help keep you mentally sharp:
  • Learn something new. Study a foreign language, learn sign language, practice a musical instrument, read the newspaper or a good book, or take up a new hobby. The greater the novelty and challenge, the larger the deposit in your brain reserves.
  • Practice memorization. Start with something short, progressing to something a little more involved, such as the 50 U.S. state capitals. Create rhymes and patterns to strengthen your memory connections.
  • Enjoy strategy games, puzzles, and riddles. Brain teasers and strategy games provide a great mental workout and build your capacity to form and retain cognitive associations. Do a crossword puzzle, play board games or cards, or work word and number games, such as Scrabble or Sudoku.
  • Practice the 5 W’s. Observe and report like a crime detective. Keep a “Who, What, Where, When, and Why” list of your daily experiences. Capturing visual details keeps your neurons firing.
  • Follow the road less traveled. Take a new route, eat with your non-dominant hand, rearrange your computer file system. Vary your habits regularly to create new brain pathways.

Mental exercises have long-lasting benefits for seniors

In a groundbreaking study, older adults who received as few as 10 sessions of mental training not only improved their cognitive functioning in daily activities in the months after the training, but continued to show long-lasting improvements 10 years later.
The ACTIVE study of 2,832 seniors involved 60-75 minute training sessions in memory, reasoning, or speed of processing, using exercises such as memorizing lists, detecting patterns in number series, and operating a touch-screen program.

Ten years after the training, nearly three-quarters of the participants who received reasoning training and over 70 percent of speed-trained participants were still performing tasks above their pre-trial baseline level, compared to about 62 and 49 percent of control participants.

While there was not the same improvement in memory performance, the results highlight the importance of mental training in delaying the onset of functional symptoms of dementia.