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Showing posts from January, 2016

New test for Lewy Body dementia

Although Lewy Body dementia (LBD) is the second-most-common degenerative disease after Alzheimer's disease, it's not exactly a household name. It affects more than 1.3 million Americans, is poorly recognized, and diagnosis is often significantly delayed. Patients with LBD simultaneously experience losses in cognitive function, mobility and behavior. The late Robin Williams had this form of dementia as did legendary NHL coach Alger Joseph "Radar" Arbour, which also can cause visual hallucinations and make depression worse. Until now, there has been no way to assess or operationalize many of the cognitive and behavioral symptoms of LBD in clinical practice. A leading neuroscientist at Florida Atlantic University has developed the "Lewy Body Composite Risk Score" (LBCRS) to quickly and effectively diagnose LBD and Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD) in about three minutes. The LBCRS is a brief rating scale that can be completed by a clinician to assess cli…

Should charities be more Accountable

Over the last few days we have heard about charities bombarding people with appeals for more and more money, but I do wonder if they are controlled enough.

Sadly one elderly lady died partly because of all of the appeals she was getting through the post, it was not the total cause, but upsetting enough.
These days you cannot go to the shops without being bombarded by charity workers in the streets asking you to sign up to a direct debit to one charity or another.
Many years ago, if you were collecting for a charity you could hold a collection tin, but you were not allowed to stop people in the streets or shops, nor were you allowed to speak out, that was outlawed. 
These days people collecting money seem to get right in front of you, and shake their tin, just to put more pressure on you to pay up.
However these days I do feel that charities need to be monitored and should be accountable to the paying public.
While we may know generally who the money goes to, we rarely hear about wher…

Algae linked to neurodegenerative conditions

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Algae linked to neurodegenerative conditions similar to Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and motor neurone disease However experts have urged that the findings do not suggest that common algae can cause dementia 
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Alzheimer’s disease experts have sought to calm fears that toxins found in algae around the UK could be causing dementia.
Researchers in the US recently found evidence which suggested that blue-green alga or cyanobacteria - an organism found in water around the world - can produce a toxin linked to the development of a neurodegenerative disease similar to Alzheimer’s.
The mysterious illness among populations in the Pacific Island of Guam which is similar to Parkinson’s, motor neurone disease and Alzheimer’s prompted researchers to attempt to pinpoint a potential environmental cause.
The team at the Institute for EthnoMedicine in Wyoming reached their conclusion by analysing cyanobacteria that lives in marine, brackish and freshwater environments across the world, CB…

Eye tests and driving

Eye tests and driving Over the years, people with certain illnesses like dementia have always been restricted when it comes to things like driving. Giving up driving is one of those subjects which can cause a lot if distress, as families try to restrict those in their care from driving, and that sometimes leads to many arguments within the family.
This sometimes leads to people with these illnesses refusing to give up driving, because they are determined to carry on, and they think that because they have driven for many years, they are safe to carry on. 
To me this should always have been dealt with by consultants or family doctor, and they should have been responsible enough to tell the person that they should stop driving, not leaving it to the families. They should also have been responsible enough to tell the DVLA that this person is unsafe in their opinion to carry on driving
They also have the power to tell the person to do a driving safety test if they think it's the best wa…

Dementia drug could help stop falls

Dementia drug could help stop Parkinson's sufferers falling down Bone-breaking injuries suffered by people with Parkinson's disease could be reduced thanks to a drug used to treat dementia, a study has found. · · Bone-breaking injuries suffered by people with Parkinson's disease could be reduced thanks to a drug used to treat dementia, a study has found. Researchers discovered that giving patients the "breakthrough" medication rivastigmine reduced their chances of falling by 45%, while also steadying their walking. The oral drug is commonly prescribed in the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer's to help improve symptoms including those affecting thinking and memory. Around 70% of people suffering from Parkinson's experience a fall at least once a year, with more than a third (39%) saying they fall repeatedly, the report published in the Lancet Neurology journal said. Such falls often lead to broken bones. Over an eight-month period, scientists from the Univer…

Clinical trial looks at potential vaccine

Clinical trial looks at potential vaccine for Alzheimer’s disease A new clinical trial is underway to look at a potential vaccine that targets tau protein in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s is caused when proteins called amyloid and tau clump together in the brain – known as plaques and tangles respectively – and cause damage to cells. Current treatments for Alzheimer’s disease focus on improving the symptoms, but few are able to slow the progression of the condition. Scientists at the Research Institute for the Care of Older People (RICE) are hoping that a new drug will act as a vaccine; targeting tau tangles in the brain to prevent their build-up potentially remove them altogether. The clinical trial will look at whether the drug is safe for people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease to use. The researchers hope that it could potentially slow or halt the progression of the condition. Dr James Pickett, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Society said: “S…

6 health conditions doctors tend to misdiagnose

6 health conditions doctors tend to misdiagnose Some illnesses are much harder to diagnose than others. Here are six of the toughest.
The vast majority of patients are correctly diagnosed by medical professionals – but some conditions have symptoms that mimic other health problems, and that's when diagnosis can be much more challenging. Here are six of the illnesses that can be harder to spot in initial medical consultations: Cancer A 2011 Rarer Cancers Foundation study found family doctors were failing to diagnose one in four cancers – although misdiagnosed cancers often include the more common types like breast, colorectal, lung and pancreatic cancer. They may be misdiagnosed because symptoms mimic other, non-cancerous conditions - inflammatory breast cancer, for example, has similar symptoms to mastitis; colorectal cancer may be mistaken for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or ulcerative colitis; lung cancer symptoms can be similar to those caused by pneumonia, bronchitis, and tubercul…