Mood Or Personality Changes
Someone with Alzheimers disease may start to experience a low mood. They may feel irritable, confused, anxious, or depressed. They may also lose interest in things they used to enjoy.
They may become frustrated with their symptoms or feel unable to understand the changes taking place. This may present as aggression or irritability toward others.
Individuals With Dementia Who Speak Out
Dr Richard Taylor was diagnosed with Alzheimers disease in the mid-1990s when he was 58 years old. Dr Taylor has his own website, produces a newsletter and speaks at dementia conferences throughout the world. He now says that, thinking, speaking, and writing about what it is like for me to live with this condition has become the purpose of my life.
Another important figure is Christine Bryden, an Australian woman who was diagnosed in 1995 at the age of 46. She has written two books about her experiences and speaks at major conferences throughout the world. Visit Christin Bryden’s website.
Dr Daphne Wallace, a retired old-age psychiatrist, was diagnosed with early vascular dementia in 2005. She is currently co-chair of the National Dementia Strategy for England Implementation Reference Group and an extremely active member of the Alzheimers Society.
Obviously not every younger person will want to get involved in public life to this extent. It is perfectly natural for some individuals to want a quieter, more private life, which should be respected. The issue is not to assume a person cannot or would not want to be active in their local community just because they have dementia.
Growing Body Of Proof
The new findings revealed at AAIC also indicate that these risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, disproportionately affect African Americans. This is critical information when you consider that older African American adults are twice as likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimers disease than older white adults.
Perhaps if young adults are diagnosed and treated for contributing diseases, it would reduce the number of senior African American adults who are diagnosed with Alzheimers later in life.
In an AAIC press release, Maria C. Carrillo, PhD, the Alzheimers Associations chief science officer, said, By identifying, verifying, and acting to counter those Alzheimers risk factors that we can change, we may reduce new cases and eventually the total number of people with Alzheimers and other dementia.
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What Conditions Can Be Mistaken For Dementia
The term dementia refers to a specific group of symptoms related to a decline in mental ability. Often, people who experience subtle short-term memory changes, are easily confused, or exhibit different behaviors or personality traits are mistakenly thought to have dementia. These symptoms could be the result of a variety of other conditions or disorders, including other neurocognitive disorders such as Parkinsons disease, brain growths or tumors, mild cognitive impairment , and mood disorders, like depression.
For Parents And Adults Who Work With Children
Finding out that someone close to you has dementia, and coping with the ongoing illness, can be distressing for anyone, including children and young people. This fact sheet explains how children and teens can be affected and suggests ways parents can talk with their children about dementia and help them feel secure and involved.
When a family member has Alzheimers, it affects everyone in the family, including children and grandchildren. This article suggests ways to help children and teenagers cope with their feelings and find ways to spend time with the person with Alzheimers.
Published by the National Institute on Agings Alzheimers and related Dementias Education and Referral Center. Phone: 1-800-438-4380. . Free online access.
This brochure is intended to help parents talk to their children and teenagers so they can understand whats happening to a relative with Alzheimers disease. It outlines the emotions children and teens may feel and how they might express them, as well as questions they may ask. The brochure also suggests activities kids can do with the person with Alzheimers and other ways parents can help kids cope.
Published by the Alzheimers Association. Phone: 1-800-272-3900. . Free online access.
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Theyre Going To Forget
Both Jeste and Empeño said teens, as they grow into adults, can sometimes tap into their family experience with dementia in positive, transformative ways. Empeño noted that teens partake in Alzheimers walks or become advocates for funding for the disease.
Jeste cited one high school student in particular who participates in UC San Diegos summer training in aging research, who said two of her grandparents have Alzheimers.
She decided to apply to our program because she wanted to learn more about the changes in the brain as we age, he said. She aspires to become a medical doctor and her goal is to help people age more successfully.
A lot of those students who come through the door, they have that experience, Maxwell said.
Not all, however.
Victoria Mendieta, 22, a human development major at Cal State San Marcos, said that she had always felt a connection with elderly people, more so than with kids my own age. I just really enjoy hearing their stories.
Mendieta had never known anyone with dementia before she starting volunteering with Guardian Angels in June. The experience has been eye-opening.
Sometimes they call me by another name and they dont know who I am, even though weve met. Its a little challenging. Then I just reintroduce myself. Its something thats a part of , that they are going to forget.
The skills shes developing, she hopes, will help her in the future.
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Thats according to a new study which has detected the ealiest-ever signs of the condition in the brains of people with a rare inherited form.
Last year Channel 4 News visited families in northern Colombia, many of whom carry the Paisa mutation a genetic fault which means a carrier is certain to develop Alzheimers. We then followed them as they were recruited into a clinical trial in the US, the first to investigate whether Alzheimers can be prevented.
Now new research published in the journal Lancet Neurology reveals the results from preliminary tests conducted on the families.
Most carriers show symptoms of the disease around the age of 40. But some of the Colombian volunteers already had a key Alzheimers protein in their spinal fluid from as young as 18.
These findings suggest that brain changes begin many years before the clinical onset of Alzheimers disease, said Dr Eric Reiman of the Banner Alzheimers Insititute in Arizona.
They raise new questions about the earliest brain changes involved in the predisposition to Alzheimers and the extent to which they could be targeted by future prevention therapies.Eric Reiman
They raise new questions about the earliest brain changes involved in the predisposition to Alzheimers and the extent to which they could be targeted by future prevention therapies.
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Campaigning For A Better Deal
Without something meaningful and challenging to do in life, a persons health and wellbeing are likely to deteriorate more quickly. Many people with dementia including younger people with dementia are finding a valuable role in campaigning for a better deal for people with dementia from society and from the services they receive or may one day receive. Dementia campaigning organisations can give people a real sense of achievement and purpose in life.
The Scottish Dementia Working Group is one example. James McKillop set up the SDWG in 2002 after he was told he could not attend a dementia conference, even though he had dementia. He thought a campaign group might change that and raise awareness of the social exclusion that people affected by this condition often face. Now, the SDWG has over 100 members, all of whom have a diagnosis of dementia.
The SDWG seeks to influence policies and attitudes about dementia. The group employ a paid support worker to assist the smooth running of the group, which is based in Glasgow and has strong links with Alzheimer Scotland. The group is extremely active and members meet regularly. The group continues to evolve. It has produced DVDs to raise awareness among health professionals and the general public , a joke book, a website and an annual newsletter. A core group of members regularly speak at national and international conferences.
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Does Puberty Affect Your Brain
Puberty is a normal part of development, but it is also different for everyone. However, researchers have discovered that puberty not only changes your body, but also your brain. This is because puberty involves changes in hormones that also attach to your brain cells and change how the brain learns and grows.
Treatments For Frontotemporal Dementia
There’s currently no cure for frontotemporal dementia or any treatment that will slow it down.
But there are treatments that can help control some of the symptoms, possibly for several years.
- medicines to control some of the behavioural problems
- therapies such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language therapy for problems with movement, everyday tasks and communication
- dementia activities such as memory cafes, which are drop-in sessions for people with memory problems and their carers to get support and advice
- support groups who can offer tips on managing symptoms from dementia experts and people living with frontotemporal dementia, and their families
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Is Dementia A Mental Illness
Dementia is a mental health disorder as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association changed the name to Major Neurocognitive Disorder, which is a mouthful. The change was made in order to provide a clearer description of the problem. Whats most important to know is that dementias can involve changes to emotions, behaviors, perceptions, and movements in addition to memory and thinking.
What Happens In Alzheimer Disease
You probably know that your brain works by sending signals. Chemical messengers, called neurotransmitters , allow brain cells to talk to each other. But a person with Alzheimer disease has lower amounts of neurotransmitters.
People with Alzheimer disease also develop deposits of stuff that prevent the cells from working properly. When this happens, the cells can’t send the right signals to other parts of the brain. Over time, brain cells affected by Alzheimer disease also begin to shrink and die.
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What Is Alzheimer Disease
Alzheimer disease, which affects some older people, is different from everyday forgetting. It is a condition that permanently affects the brain. Over time, the disease makes it harder to remember even basic stuff, like how to tie a shoe.
Eventually, the person may have trouble remembering the names and faces of family members or even who he or she is. This can be very sad for the person and his or her family.
It’s important to know that Alzheimer disease does not affect kids. It usually affects people over 65 years of age. Researchers have found medicines that seem to slow the disease down. And there’s hope that someday there will be a cure.
Memory Loss That Impedes Daily Activities
The most noticeable symptom of Alzheimers disease is often memory loss. A person may start forgetting messages or recent events in a way that is unusual for them. They may repeat questions, having forgotten either the answer or the fact that they already asked.
It is not uncommon for people to forget things as they get older, but with early onset Alzheimers disease, this happens earlier in life, occurs more often, and seems out of character.
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When To See A Doctor
Forgetfulness and memory problems dont automatically point to dementia. These are normal parts of aging and can also occur due to other factors, such as fatigue. Still, you shouldnt ignore the symptoms. If you or someone you know is experiencing a number of dementia symptoms that arent improving, talk with a doctor.
They can refer you to a neurologist who can examine you or your loved ones physical and mental health and determine whether the symptoms result from dementia or another cognitive problem. The doctor may order:
- a complete series of memory and mental tests
- a neurological exam
- brain imaging tests
If youre concerned about your forgetfulness and dont already have a neurologist, you can view doctors in your area through the Healthline FindCare tool.
Dementia is more common in people over the age of 65, but it can also affect younger people. Early onset of the disease can begin when people are in their 30s, 40s, or 50s. With treatment and early diagnosis, you can slow the progression of the disease and maintain mental function. The treatments may include medications, cognitive training, and therapy.
Possible causes of dementia include:
How Do People Know They Have It
The first sign of Alzheimer disease is an ongoing pattern of forgetting things. This starts to affect a person’s daily life. He or she may forget where the grocery store is or the names of family and friends. This stage may last for some time or get worse quickly, causing more severe memory loss and forgetfulness.
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Dementia Affects The Whole Family
Carrie Steckl earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology with a Minor in Gerontology from Indiana University Bloomington in 2001.She has spent over…Read More
I recently had the pleasure of speaking to a group of high school seniors about dementia. These were no ordinary students they were all members of an advanced placement psychology class taught by one of my favorite teachers when I was in high school. I knew they were already well-versed in basic psychology and brain anatomy, but I wasnt sure how much they had discussed dementia, either in class or at home.
What in the world would teenagers want to know about dementia? And perhaps most importantly, why should they care? Granted, I knew darn well that they should care about dementia the challenge was making this truth relevant and meaningful to them.
Its easy to see why society as a whole should care about dementia. According to the Alzheimers Associations 2013 Facts and Figures Report, an American develops Alzheimers disease every 68 seconds, and more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimers disease right now. One in three older adults dies with Alzheimers disease or another dementia, and Alzheimers disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. This year alone, Alzheimers disease will cost the United States $203 billion that number is expected to rise to $1.2 trillion by 2050 if a cure is not found.
Focus On The Seniors Remaining Abilities
Here is one final tip as you prepare to talk with your child or teenager about a grandparents diagnosis. Try to focus on what the generations can still do together. Emphasize the grandparents remaining abilities instead of focusing on what theyve lost.
You might write down a list of activities your kids can still do with their senior loved one despite the disease:
- Creating arts and craft projects
- Listening to music
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Physiological Changes With Dementia
A person with dementia will experience physiological changes that is, changes within their body as the dementia slowly affects different parts of the brain. Many people with dementia report that they tire easily this fatigue is due to the extra demands the illness places on their cognitive processes. Dementia affects the parietal lobe or the body-senses lobe so a person will often experience strong emotions and sensations within their body that they cannot explain or predict. For instance, Diana McGowin experienced changes to her sex drive: it increased so dramatically that it became a problem for her and her husband .
Dementia also affects the occipital lobe or the visual lobe. This is the bit that lets us see and also processes what we see. Damage to this area of the brain means that people are unable to interpret what they see properly, and see shapes and shadows instead of meaningful objects. It is why someone with dementia might see patterns on a carpet as a moving entity, such as spiders crawling on the floor. Visual disturbances are one of the earliest symptoms of dementia but they often go unnoticed by other people.