Showing posts from 2014

Seasonal Greetings

Seasonal Greetings I would just like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas where ever you are around the world, and hope that you are able to share this time with family or friends.

There are a lot of very lonely people these days, and as Christmas is a time for sharing, its nice to be able to get involved with others.

I  admit that many will be struggling as they either live alone, or live in areas of conflict, but we should try to remember these people at this time.

Mild cognitive impairment

From the Alzheimer's Society web page Mild cognitive impairment
  Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a term used to describe a condition involving problems with cognitive function (their mental abilities such as thinking, knowing and remembering). People with MCI often have difficulties with day-to-day memory, but such problems are not bad enough to be defined as dementia. This factsheet explains the link between MCI and dementia, and the benefits of having MCI diagnosed. It then looks at reducing your risk of developing MCI and dementia. What is MCI? MCI describes a set of symptoms rather than a specific medical condition or disease. A person with MCI has subtle problems with one or more of the following:
day-to-day memoryplanninglanguageattentionvisuospatial skills ('visuo' referring to eyesight and 'spatial' referring to space or location), which give a person the ability to interpret objects and shapes. In MCI, these symptoms will have been noticed by the indivi…

Christmas and Neurological illnesses

Christmas is a time of good cheer, and a time for meeting up with loved ones.

Yet many people who have neurological illnesses, struggle to cope either because they live alone, or they simply find it hard to cope with noise etc.

These people may or may not require or want support from others at this time of year, and this must be respected, while ensuring that they are well looked after by the services.

If you are with a family there may well be young children around, all making noise, there may also be Balloons, Christmas decorations, or flashing lights on a Christmas tree.

Illnesses like dementia can be mood changing, and this causes extra stress on families and friends.

We have to plan around those in the later stages of the illness, who may well find this situation to be very stressful and upsetting.

While I love having the family around I don't cope with noise very well these days, but I am very lucky to have a family and grandchildren who are very caring and understanding.

Energy firm staff trained to spot signs of dementia

Energy firm staff trained to spot signs of dementia in customers in "groundbreaking" move Staff at energy company SSE have been trained to recognise signs of dementia in customers in a move described as ground-breaking by researchers. Staff at energy company SSE have been trained to recognise signs of dementia in customers in a move described as ground-breaking by researchers. Sorry, you must sign in before you can print full articles.
Experts at Stirling University provided the company's Perth-based customer service advisors with the knowledge and skills to help them better meet the needs of those living with the condition. As a result, some of the changes SSE will look to make for people with dementia include reducing background noise when on the telephone or changing the times of day advisors contact customers. Staff will also adopt new verbal and written communication styles and techniques, as well as signposting customers to support groups such as local dementia cafes. …

People with dementia attending meetings and conferences

Many people with dementia attend, meetings and conferences, where this illness is the main topic, whether to listen or to take an active part in it.

Yet in many cases they are not treated with the respect they really deserve

It takes a lot of time to set up a presentation when your living with or caring for a person with the illness, yet many Organisers make them wait until the end of the conference to speak

These people know what its like to live with the illness or care for someone living with it, so they should be given prime spots, rather than making the wait

This is because its gets very tiring sitting listening to others, while trying to think about your presentation, wondering if you missed anything out, or have written something totally wrong.

Many of these people have a knack of setting the right tone, and should therefore be used better.

I know from my own experience that afternoons are or can be hazardous as I get tired after lunch if I don't get a good break, although…

University Education and Memory problems

People with memory problems who have a university education could be at greater risk of a stroke, suggests research from the Netherlands.
In a study published in Stroke, they were found to have a 39% greater risk of stroke compared with those with a lower level of education,

This could be because their early defences against cognitive decline have been eroded.

Around 9,000 people in Rotterdam were tracked over 20 years.

They were all healthy and aged 55 and over. In a questionnaire, participants were asked if they had any issues with their memory.

Continue reading the main story
After analysing the results, researchers from Erasmus University Rotterdam found an increased risk of stroke in people who had earlier complained of memory lapses.
But the risk of stroke was even higher if participants had a high level of education, defined as higher vocational education or university training.
Cognitive reserve
Arfan Ikram, associate professor of neuroepidemiology at Erasmus Univer…

Keep your memory sharp with a nasal spray:

From the Daily Mail Keep your memory sharp with a nasal spray: New twice-a-day therapy could help combat Alzheimer's disease Scientists have trialed a new twice-a-day nasal spray to help memory loss Researchers believe that brain cells need insulin to survive in old age A drop in insulin levels causes damage and can lead to memory loss The trial showed insulin spray helped slow the progress of memory loss Scientists have developed an insulin nasal spray to tackle memory loss. In a new trial, patients with a form of memory loss called mild cognitive impairment are using the spray twice a day. This condition affects one in five older people and triggers problems with day-to-day memory, such as forgetting people’s names or losing your train of thought. In some cases, the condition can progress to Alzheimer’s disease. It is thought that brain cells need insulin to survive, and that a drop in levels can lead to brain cell damage.
Copy link to paste in your message Researchers h…

Poor sleep may be linked to proteins in the brain associated with Alzheimer's disease

From the Alzheimers Society Poor sleep may be linked to proteins in the brain associated with Alzheimer's disease

Published 9 December 2014 Poor sleep quality may be a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, a report presented at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology annual meeting in Arizona has found today (Tuesday 9 December). Ninety-eight cognitively healthy adults from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer's Prevention participated. Participants reporting greater sleepiness showed a greater amyloid burden. Higher amyloid was also associated with reports of less restful sleep.

Dr Clare Walton, Research Manager at Alzheimer's Society said:
'This study adds to an existing body of research suggesting that poor quality sleep is associated with the build-up of amyloid plaques in the brain, a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. However, while those who reported less restful sleep in this study were more likely to have amyloid in certain regions of their bra…

Could VIAGRA improve memory?

From the Daily Mail There are more well known drugs being trialed for dementia these days, and it this is proved to be true  it will open the gates to many other medications being tried, and who knows we may well end up with something which kills this illness dead. We all live in hope it can happen
Could VIAGRA improve memory? Drug used to treat erectile problems could be used to stave off dementiaVascular dementia is the second most common form of dementiaIt is caused by damage to blood vessels in the brain which bring oxygenThis leads to decreased blood flow to the brain, starving it of oxygen Means parts of the brain become damaged, causing memory problemsTadalfil - a drug similar to Viagra - works by dilating blood vesselsExperts think it could treat dementia by increasing blood flow to the brain 
Viagra could be used to stop the onset of dementia, scientists believe. A trial has been launched to see if the drug – normally used to treat erectile problems in men – could help stave o…

Brain's dementia weak spot identified

Brain's dementia weak spot identifiedBy Michelle RobertsHealth editor, BBC News online

The brain has a weak spot for Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia, according to UK scientists who have pinpointed the region using scans.
The brain area involved develops late in adolescence and degenerates early during ageing.

At the moment, it is difficult for doctors to predict which people might develop either condition.

The findings, in the journal PNAS, hint at a potential way to diagnose those at risk earlier, experts say.

Although they caution that "much more research is needed into how to bring these exciting discoveries into the clinic".

“Start Quote Early doctors called schizophrenia 'premature dementia' but until now we had no clear evidence that the same parts of the brain might be associated with two such different diseases” End QuoteProf Hugh Perry of the MRC Weak spot
The Medical Research Council team who carried out the study did MRI brain sc…

Winding down for Christmas

We have achieved a lot this year, and although we have done less that other years, but  I think we have got through quite a lot of work on the dementia front.
We travelled around 12 Lloyds bank branches talking to staff, in the hope that they would become Dementia Friends and this was successful and well accepted.
We have also done quite a few sessions with Graduate nurses in Northumbria University talking about treating people with dementia and memory problems with dignity and respect.
This is along with many other conferences and meetings where we have talked about illnesses around memory problems, like the Samaritans, who deal with many calls from people struggling to deal with the diagnosis of dementia.
 It always amazes me how many people come up to us in the street, and say that their father or mother experienced similar problems, but they had no idea of what was going on, and thanking us for our talks, and trying to explain things in laymans terms rather than medical jargon
I have m…

County council encourages people to sign up as a Dementia Friend

County council encourages people to sign up as a Dementia Friend DEMENTIA FRIEND: Councillor Clare Wood and 600th Dementia Friend Martin Feekins listen to Chris Riley playing ‘With a little help from my friends’. share on Facebookshare
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on Google+email(0) commentsprint PEOPLE are being encouraged to give the gift of their time this Christmas and become a Dementia Friend. North Yorkshire County Council is supporting the national campaign launched in May, which is an Alzheimer’s Society project with more than 400,000 volunteers from across the country. Its aim is to give people an understanding of dementia and the small things that can be done to make a difference to people living with the condition. County councillor Clare Wood, executive member in adult social care, said: “We were very keen to support Dementia Friends when the campaign was launched in the spring. “In North Yorkshire we have an ageing population and more than 9,000 of our over 65s are living with dementia. …

Dementia Friendly Transport

We often hear of towns and villages becoming dementia friendly, these days and that is wonderful.

I know that many bus companies claim to have had their staff trained to support people with dementia, yet many are very rude when asked simple questions.
These people may have jobs to do, but why get stressed with us when we panic or get confused
One large bus company in the North East, paints their buses with different colours and sometimes have their routes painted on the sides of the buses, which is a good way of recognising, your bus from a distance.  But there are days when these same buses are used in totally different areas and routes which causes confusion, so are they totally dementia friendly.

I think not because the operators simply do not understand the confusion they are causing.
But every time I travel to London the transport system fills me with complete fear. 
While I can just about cope with some of the buses, the underground is becoming a no go area. 
I cannot see how t…

People with dementia and voting

As we are coming up to a general election there is a great deal of discussion about how people with dementia etc, are supported in voting.
In the UK there is a general lack of interest in voting, possibly because we now have three main political party's and there is very little difference between them.

These days we seem to have the equivalent of three Tory party's, all variations of the same party, all looking after themselves and the wealthy, while totally fogetting the poor, sick and elderly.

The days of the three independant parties has long gone, and the days when politicians told the truth has passed us by, as they all seem to distort the truth to fit their needs, or as they say, put a spin on it so that normal people never get the real truth.

Yet many elderly people especially those with dementia may remember the political parties of old, where there were real differences, between the working class parties like Labour where people came up through the ranks from industr…

Off to London

Today we leave our Daughter and Grandchildren behind and head off to London, were we are staying for two nights.

Tomorrow we are at the National Dementia Action Alliance, which is being help at Westminster Central Hall.

It was here a few years ago, that I did my very first talk about the diagnosis of Dementia, something I never ever thought that I could do.

It was the first time I had ever spoken in front of a large audience, and although I do not remember very much about it, I have heard on numerous occasions that it went off well.

So although I am not speaking tomorrow it will be amazing to go back to the place where it all started

One or two old friends will be there along with a few new virtual friends, I have met via the Internet, and I am really looking forward to meeting up with them all again.

Changes in diagnosis

Many people struggle to get a diagnosis of dementia, either because they refuse to accept that there is nothing wrong, or because they cannot get beyond a family doctor.

The diagnosis is difficult anyway as there are so many variations.
 There may well be around 12 types of dementia, but within that there are over 120 variations, so no two people have the same problems and symptoms, even in the same type of dementia.
This starts with memory or cognitive problems, leading for full blown dementia.
However I have been totally amazed at the number of people, who were given a diagnosis of dementia, only to have it overturned later by a different consultant.
Some  of these have said that this re diagnosis was done in a very uncaring manner, as if they had been putting the illness on.
But who in their right mind would want dementia, let alone make it look as if you were struggling with an illness you do not have 
This must be very hard, when you still have the same problems, yet the liness na…

What is Dementia with Lewy Bodies

Image is Dementia with Lewy Bodies

Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), also known as Lewy body disease, is the second most frequent cause of age-related neurodegenerative dementia. At least 5 percent of people aged 85 and older are thought to suffer from this little known but not uncommon and devastating disease. In the UK approximately 100,000 are thought to suffer from DLB. There are presently over 700,000 people with dementia in the UK and this number is projected to rise to 1,000,000 by 2021 unless cures are found. There are currently about five million people with dementia in the European Union. These figures represent only patients; caregivers double or treble the number of people whose lives are directly affected by dementia and relations and friends increase these numbers further. DLB shares mental symptoms, such as confusion and loss of memory, with Alzheimer's disease and motor symptoms, such as gait and slow movement, with Parkinson's disease. For th…