August 29, 2008

Japan Scientists Find the Drug for Alzheimer's Disease?

Scientists from the Laboratory for Proteolytic Neuroscience at RIKEN are providing various research on Alzheimer's disease especially in the study of somatostatin, a neuropeptide that inhibits the secretion of growth hormone and could lead to the discovery of new drugs for Alzheimer's disease.

RIKEN is currently conducting bio-chemical and histological analysis of the brain using an Alzheimer's disease model mouse.

August 26, 2008

A Caregiver’s Guidance on Bathing for Alzheimer’s Patients (2)

As far bathing goes, it is significant to simplify the process. Let them do as much as they can. Sometimes patients recognize they need a bath but may have forgotten how to wash. If that happens, quietly remind them of the necessary steps to take and as much as possible let them wash alone if possible. It’s important to allow the patients do as much as they can. Your loved one might be proud and independent-minded and never wanted anyone to do him or her favors. You might see some of your patients or loved ones feel the same way. That’s why the advice is to allow the patient as much self-esteem as possible and let them feel proud of the effort they put forth, even if it’s just a little.

It’s possible that in such an intimate situation as bath time, an Alzheimer’s or dementia patient will feel uncomfortable. This is perfectly natural and it is advisable that if they feel very self-conscious to go ahead and cover private areas of their body with a rag or towel. If will help them feel comfortable and will help establish trust with your patient, so it is worth doing.

There may come some times when your patient refuses to take a bath and can’t be reasoned with. If that happens, don’t try and force him or her to go after your orders. It’s best that you just let it go, let the patient feel comfortable again, and then try at a later time when their frame of mind might have changed. This generally works, but if you notice it becoming a persistent problem then you may have to seek professional support and get someone else to do it.

Be sure and keep the bathroom a safe place. Bathrooms are a wet and slippery place to be and the patient’s safety, as well as the caregiver’s, is a concern. A fine idea would be to buy some grab rails, a non-slip mat and an extra chair for support. Just a few extra dollars spent can prevent some very serious accidents.

Yes, it is the least you can do for your loved one - to give back some of the expense and hardship he or she once showed you when you were a baby. While these situations were not always pleasant, let them show you that they serve reminders that you have unconditional love for your family. If you are a caregiver, while you might not be personally dealing with a family member, always keep in mind that these are full grown human beings you’re dealing with, with real feelings and hearts. Many of them had children at one time and probably sacrificed a great deal for them. When you show as much love and tolerance as you can, even in such personal matters like bath time, you are showing your patients that you care. It’s essential for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients to know that it’s a caregiver’s will, not just his job, to provide help.

August 22, 2008

Alzheimer's Disease - What Will it Take to Cure It?

In this short video you'll see, how an Alzheimer's patient talks with her granddaughter about the Alzheimer's disease.

August 19, 2008

A Caregiver’s Guidance on Bathing for Alzheimer’s Patients (1)

If you know somebody with dementia or Alzheimer’s, you might say, “It is the least I can do.” You may feel that he or she gave so much of his or her time in you youth when you were a baby, and then on into you teenage years, as well. You might even think about the period when even into young adulthood he or she still lent me his or her time and understanding. When your loved one have Alzheimer’s (a form of dementia) it is devastating to the family. As the disease gets poorer, he or she may become unable to carry out basic activities and daily routines. Before long, he or she might be unable to clothe him or herself or bathe and will become totally dependent upon the family.

A number of caregivers might say something like, “I took care of him for several years before his death and I did have to regularly bathe him. It was a hard situation, and so I understand what many people are going through right now, whether you’re a family member that has taken in a relative with Alzheimer’s disease, or another form of dementia, or if you’re just a caregiver that gives generously of your time”. You might have to read up on the topic and get a lot of advice when the disease was first diagnosed. It is a new experience for most, and it might be hard to understand the idea of giving a full-grown person a bath. Of course, you might have bathed your children in years past, but this is different. What is the most dignified way to handle this situation? Are there any safety issues you should know about?

Education and experience are your best teachers in this case. You should look up a professional caregiver’s advice, but also put your heart into the job and learn new things along the way. One of the first things that you might learn is that the experience is whatever you put into it. You do not want it be a forced chore that makes you both uncomfortable. Do your best to make the activity enjoyable and relaxing.

You must remember that you as the caregiver are the one required to set up the schedule of bath time. A patient with dementia may forget to take bath, may not recognize the need or even forget how to do it. So it’s not only a caregiver’s job to bathe a person, but also to plan convenient and regular times to do so. You have to set the schedule and stick to it.

At times it might be a test to get your loved one motivated into wanting to take a bath. There are times when he or she will resist, which make the experience frustrating. What you can study, however, is that when you associate bath time with a social activity, it can prompt a person to want to wash. You may tell him or her that you have to wash first before he or she goes out to dinner or has a visitor over. That positive reinforcement makes him or her more agreeable to bathing. You should not force your loved one to wash; just try to make it an enjoyable experience. Rather than criticize a patient because of their cleanliness, try and use praise and encouragement to get them to wash.

Some advice is to not use showers for bath time unless the patients have been used to it for quite a while. A shower can be alarming and the person’s comfort is the most important factor.

August 15, 2008

Ask the Doctor About Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's Disease is the Number One type of dementia in the elderly -- about 60-80% of cases, about 4 million Americans. Occurs between ages 40-90, is progressive, and causes memory loss, global cognitive dysfunction, personality changes, and loss of independence due to poor executive functioning. It comes on slowly, generally starting with short-term memory loss.

We don't know what causes Alzheimer's Disease and we don't have a cure, though medicines help delay the progressive symptoms.

August 12, 2008

Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease - Why Some Treatments are so Similar (2)

While a one hundred percent correct diagnosis is not possible until brain tissue is examined, which are usually only done in autopsies, a complete diagnosis have to be made through the process of elimination. An accurate diagnosis can sometimes be not easy to make, the more particular details are learned. For instance, Alzheimer’s disease and multi-infarct (or vascular) dementia can exist together. Also, if a person is aged and is showing signs of severe and progressive brain dysfunction, while it could technically be some another irremediable form of the condition, Alzheimer’s disease is generally diagnosed since it is the most regular type. It is possible, though largely improbable, that a misdiagnosis will be given to a dementia patient. Nevertheless, treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other irreversible forms of dementia remain largely the same.

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease or other severe forms of dementia. Thus, medication and alternative therapy is available to reduce the symptoms as well as to enhance the memory. For Alzheimer’s disease, the drug Aricept is often prescribed to delay the worsening of symptoms, like memory loss and disorientation. In dealing with multi-infarct dementia, it is imperative to control high blood pressure and cholesterol, and so treating those conditions with medication would be an option. Medication for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can also be prescribed to reduce agitation, anxiety, depression and insomnia.

Still, medication for behavioral symptoms is not always necessary. This is particularly advised in mild to moderate cases of dementia, where Alzheimer’s disease has not been diagnosed, or even in a few cases where the dementia is reversible. Instead of medication, alternative forms of therapy like psychotherapy, aromatherapy, acupuncture, and herbal supplements have been used. A plan of healthy dieting and regular activity can be a treatment against dementia. Plain strategies designed to naturally enhance the patient’s memory, like visual aids or planning a schedule of daily routines, are also helpful.

Treatments in dementia and Alzheimer’s sufferers are similar because Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia. Yet, as we learn more about the disease, we also see that not every case of dementia requires the same kind of treatment. A patient and his or her family should consult a doctor to find out what treatment is best for them.

August 08, 2008

Two Popular Drugs May be Able to Fight Off the Alzheimer’s Disease.

Now researchers are trying to discover medications that can prevent or slow down Alzheimer's disease. What does the new research shows? See this video...

August 05, 2008

Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease - Why Some Treatments are so Similar (1)

Treatments in dementia and Alzheimer’s sufferers are a lot similar because while not the same thing, the two conditions can be related to one another. Dementia is a progressive brain dysfunction that eventually leads to the restriction of daily activities. Dementia is not a disease, but a general description of symptoms, which could include various different specifics depending on the cause. There are many causes of dementia, some fifty different types of diagnosis, and among them are Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Pick’s disease, brain tumors and even some cases of HIV or syphilis.

Alzheimer’s disease is a specific kind of dementia and it’s defined as a form of degenerative brain disease resulting in progressive mental deterioration. This deterioration can lead to memory disorder and confusion just like other cases of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the mainly common type of dementia, accounting for seventy percent of diagnosed cases, and certainly one of the most severe cases, as it is incurable.

The symptoms that affect Alzheimer’s and dementia sufferers are also similar. Symptoms of dementia include asking the same questions repeatedly, getting lost in familiar surroundings, being unable to follow directions, disorientation of time and people, and neglecting hygiene and nutrition. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s are generally the same, yet in many cases become more severe as the disease progressively worsens. Finally some patients need constant care as serious mental impairments begin to set in.

Treatments for Alzheimer’s and dementia sufferers are similar in many ways because of the fact that Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia. What happens first is that a diagnosis is needed. Sometimes symptoms of forgetfulness and general confusion are not proof of dementia at all, let alone a severe case of Alzheimer’s disease. If a doctor believes the symptoms to be serious a thorough physical, neurological and psychiatric evaluation is then ordered for the sufferer. A complete medical history is also required, including prescription and OTC medicines that have been taken, diet, and any other general health issues. An accurate diagnosis depends on accurate information and so the doctor may also ask a family member for more information about the person.

August 01, 2008

The Young Boy And The Alzheimer’s Disease

See this video and the boy who writes a book about his grandmother's Alzheimer's disease.