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Can Shingles Make Dementia Worse

What If I Have Shingles And A Poor Immune System

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If you have a poor immune system and develop shingles then see your doctor straightaway. You will normally be given antiviral medication whatever your age and will be monitored for complications. People with a poor immune system include:

  • People taking high-dose steroids. per day for more than one week in the previous three months. Or, children who have taken steroids within the previous three months, equivalent to prednisolone 2 mg/kg per day for at least one week, or 1 mg/kg per day for one month.)
  • People on lower doses of steroids in combination with other immunosuppressant medicines.
  • People taking anti-arthritis medications which can affect the bone marrow.
  • People being treated with chemotherapy or generalised radiotherapy, or who have had these treatments within the previous six months.
  • People who have had an organ transplant and are on immunosuppressive treatment.
  • People who have had a bone marrow transplant and who are still immunosuppressed.
  • People with an impaired immune system.
  • People who are immunosuppressed with HIV infection.

The Human Form Of Mad Cow Disease

As a geriatric psychiatrist, I recognized that Marjories symptoms warranted careful evaluation. Even though she was only in her late 50s, very young for the onset of a dementia, her problem seemed unlike a routine case of depression. Her memory difficulty and her trouble carrying out tasks that had been simple a few months earlier suggested a neurocognitive problem such as delirium or dementia. The careful work of a local neurologist to whom I referred Marjorie led to a sad discovery. Marjorie was suffering from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, an infection of the brain that produces rapidly progressive dementia. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, sometimes called the human form of mad cow disease, and is caused by microscopic particles called prions, which are simple and potentially devastating proteins that cause certain host proteins to undergo a destructive change in shape. Although no curative treatment is available for this disorder, recognition of the diagnosis allowed Marjories family to prepare for her death and to ease her final weeks of suffering by providing a palliative and loving environment.

Exposure To Toxic Mold

For Lew, the 67-year-old pilot who had to give up flying due to fuzzy thinking, lab testing and brain SPECT imaging showed that his brain fog stemmed from exposure to toxic mold after his home had some water damage. If Lew had simply continued taking the medications hed been prescribed for dementia, he wouldnt have gotten any better, and he never would have discovered that toxic mold was the root cause of his cognitive dysfunction issues. Through a cleansing program that included nutrition, supplements, meditation, and exercise, Lews memory and thinking began to improve. After three months, he said, Im fully functional again.;

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Special Concerns For Caregivers

  • If a senior is complaining about one-sided burning pain or skin sensitivity, look for a red rash under clothing. The rash has been described as belt-like because it follows the course of the nerve.
  • Be aware that herpes zoster can also affect the nerves of the face. A rash in the area of the ear can indicate can indicate infection of the facial nerve and a rash at the tip of the nose can indicate infection of the eye. Shingles in these areas can be especially dangerous and can cause ear pain, facial paralysis, vertigo and blindness.
  • Ask your seniors doctor about the possibility of a vaccination against shingles. The FDA has approved a vaccine for seniors over age 60. Some studies show that the vaccine may reduce shingles by 50 to 75 percent.

Symptoms Of Shingles In The Eye

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When you have shingles in the eye, the blistering rash will form on your eyelids, forehead, and possibly on the tip or side of your nose. This rash might show up at the same time as the skin rash, or weeks after the skin blisters have gone away. Some people only have symptoms in their eye.

Along with the rash, you might have:

  • burning or throbbing pain in your eye
  • redness around and in the eye

You might also have swelling in parts of your eye, such as:

  • your eyelid
  • your retina, which is the light-sensitive layer in the back of your eye
  • your cornea, which is the clear layer in the front of your eye

If you have one or more of these symptoms, call your primary care doctor or an eye doctor for an appointment. The sooner you get treatment, the less likely it is that youll have long-term complications.

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Is Mothers Cold Intolerance Part Of Dementia

Dear Dr. Roach: My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimers disease in 2009, and she is taking Namenda and Aricept to help slow the advancement of the disease.

I am writing because she complains of being cold all the time. She and my father keep the temperature in their house at 80 degrees, and my mother wears winter clothes, a coat and a blanket in the house. She sometimes sweats through the clothes, but we cant persuade her to remove any layers.

The house is uncomfortably hot for anyone else, and yet she says she is cold.

Her general practitioner has said that this is part of her disease.

Is there any other condition that you have heard of that could explain this?

C.L.

Dear C.L.: I have seen a lot of people with dementia of all kinds, but I havent personally seen this degree of intolerance to cold. Her doctor may have more experience than I do, but I didnt find much about it written in the medical literature.

Every person is different, and its possible this is just part of how the dementia is affecting her.

However, cold intolerance to this degree suggests some alternate possibilities.

The most important and likely is low thyroid levels, which can also cause a condition that looks like dementia and would certainly make any dementia worse.

I would be sure bet her doctor has checked for it. If not done recently, she should have her thyroid level checked.

Other, less-common causes include Addisons disease , iron deficiency, anemia from any cause and severe malnutrition.

Tips For Family Members

What should a patient, or a patients family, do to make sure that infections are not overlooked in someone with suspected Alzheimers disease or another dementia? First and foremost, make sure to express your concern to the clinicians who are caring for someone with an altered mental state. Also, it is crucial to ensure that the patients history is known by his or her health care providers. This is especially important if the cognitive changes are recent, or developed rapidly, or were associated with a known medical illness or known exposure to an infectious disease. Identifying an infection can require special tests of blood or cerebrospinal fluid that are not routinely ordered in many treatment settings. Awareness of a disease history or of an exposure may lead to further assessment and earlier identification of an infection even when typical medical symptoms such as fever, cough, or pain with urination are subtle or absent.

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Week Four: Healing Scabs

Most people with shingles do not develop a blister-related infection. Instead, scabs appear once the blisters dry up and crust over. That typically occurs seven to 10 days post-blistery outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its important to remember that until scabs appear, your blisters contain the virus, which can cause others to catch the chickenpox. Its also important to continue to wash the area with a fragrance-free cleanser daily until the rash, blisters and scabs are completely clear. Within a month, your skins appearance will most likely return to normal, though some people are left with darker or lighter spots where the shingles rash occurred.

Passing Shingles To Others

Causes and treatments for shingles

Its important to note that while shingles are not contagious and cannot be passed from one person to another person, the virus that causes it is contagious. This means that its possible to spread it from an individual who has active shingles to someone who has never had chickenpox.

In such a situation, the person contracting the virus would not develop shingles, but he or she would develop chickenpox.

This virus can be spread through direct contact with the fluid produced by the blisters that appear with shingles. Before the blisters appear, the individual is not infectious. The person is no longer contagious after the rash has crusted.

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Risks Related To Seniors With Shingles

Research has now shown that seniors who develop shingles face an increased risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Findings from a recent study indicate that the risk of stroke is more than doubled in the week following an outbreak of shingles. Heart attack risk also increases, although not as much as the risk of stroke.

While a case of shingles might not be as severe in someone in their 30s or 40s, the virus can be much more painful in someone over the age of 60.

Beyond age, other factors that can increase the risk of shingles, along with associated complications, include immune-compromising conditions and stressful life events.

The pain associated with shingles can affect the quality of ones life and be quite debilitating. When shingles-related pain lasts for an extended period, it can prevent individuals from engaging in everyday activities.

In some cases, outbreaks that begin near the eyes or face can result in a hearing or vision problems. If the cornea of the eye is affected, shingles can even lead to permanent blindness.

Does Alzheimer’s Make The Brain More Susceptible To Infection

The blood-brain barrier protects the brain by controlling what substances can pass from the blood into brain tissue. In Alzheimer’s disease, the blood-brain barrier is damaged, particularly in the brain region affected by Alzheimer’s.

Evidence ;suggests that inflammation, the Alzheimer’s hallmark amyloid protein and the ApoE4 gene, which are all linked to Alzheimer’s disease, can contribute to the breakdown of the blood-brain barrier. Once it has been weakened, bacteria, viruses, and other harmful substances can get through into the brain more easily. This may explain why certain viruses and bacteria, such as herpes and spirochetes, are more common in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.

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People Who Previously Had A Stroke Made Up 96% Of Covid

According to the Stroke Association, a stroke itself doesn’t put a survivor in immediate danger of the coronavirus. However, many of those who experience strokes fall into other at-risk categories.;

“You’re at greater risk of complications if you are an older person, or have a health condition like diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease or chronic kidney disease,” the Stroke Association wrote in a statement. “Having a suppressed immune system or being on some treatments like steroids and chemotherapy may also make you more at risk.”

Week One: Hearing Balance Or Eye Issues

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For those whose shingles rash is in or around the eyes, forehead, nose or ear, risk of complications is high. For instance, if shingles has caused your eye to be red or swollen, youre at risk of a painful eye infection or vision loss. In addition, shingles infections withinor nearthe ear can cause Ramsay Hunt syndrome, where facial nerve damage can bring about hearing or balance issues and even paralysis on the affected side of the face. Other early symptoms to tune into include: Ear pain or ringing, difficulty shutting one eye, a loss of taste and dry mouth/dry eye.

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The Flu Shot And Alzheimer’s

In another study this year, people who got one or more flu vaccines were 17% less likely to get Alzheimer’s disease. Those who got their flu shot more often had an additional 13% lower risk. Getting the first flu shot earlier in life — at age 60 — seemed to offer better protection than waiting until age 70 to get the vaccine.

“Overall, we found that flu shots, and more frequent flu shots, were associated with less cases of Alzheimer’s disease,” says Albert Amran, a fourth-year medical student at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, who led the study.

These aren’t the only studies to link vaccines with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease. An older study of 4,000 people ages 65 and older found that people who’d been exposed to the diphtheria, tetanus, polio, or flu vaccine had a lower risk for dementia. In another study, people with chronic kidney disease who got the flu vaccine were 30% to 40% less likely to get dementia, compared to those who weren’t vaccinated.

Viral Infections Linked To Dementia

Infection With Common Viruses May Increase Dementia Risk

Aug. 14, 2003 — Certain viral infections may increase the likelihood of mental decline and dementia, especially among older adults with heart disease.

A new study shows that elderly people with evidence of infection with three common viruses — viruses that cause cold sores, genital herpes, and a mono-like illness — were more than twice as likely to suffer from dementia.

Researchers say the study adds new evidence to the theory that inflammation, which is part of the body’s natural response to infection, plays an important role in the development of several health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, and dementia.

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Diagnosis Of Shingles In The Eye

Your doctor should be able to diagnose shingles just by looking at the rash on your eyelids, scalp, and body. Your doctor might take a sample of fluid from the blisters and send it out to a lab to test for the varicella-zoster virus.

An eye doctor will examine:

  • your cornea
  • help the rash fade more quickly
  • relieve pain

Starting the medicine within three days after your rash appears can help you avoid long-term shingles complications.

To reduce swelling in your eye, your doctor might also give you a steroid medicine in the form of a pill or eye drops. If you develop postherpetic neuralgia, pain medicine and antidepressants can help relieve the nerve pain.

What Are The Symptoms Of Shingles

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Usually, shingles develops only on one side of the body or face and in a small area rather than all over. The most common place for shingles is a band that goes around one side of your waistline.

Most people have some of the following shingles symptoms:

  • Burning, tingling, or numbness of the skin
  • Feeling sickchills, fever, upset stomach, or headache
  • Fluid-filled blisters
  • Skin that is sensitive to touch
  • Mild itching to strong pain

Depending on where shingles develops, it could also cause symptoms like hiccups or even loss of vision.

For some people, the symptoms of shingles are mild. They might just have some itching. For others, shingles can cause intense pain that can be felt from the gentlest touch or breeze.

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When To Talk With A Professional

If you havent talked with a medical professional about the shingles vaccine, be sure to do so soon. You should also consult with a health professional within 72 hours after the first sign of shingles.

Remember, a band of blisters on one side of the face or torso, or on one leg or arm, suggests shingles.

Even if youre unsure whether its shingles or some other conditions causing a rash, have it checked out. A medical professional can make an initial diagnosis just by visually inspecting your skin.

A small piece of skin tissue may be removed and sent to a lab to confirm the diagnosis or determine whether its something else.

Neurological Complications Of Hiv

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. HIV weakens and slowly destroys the bodys immune system, leaving you vulnerable to life-threatening complications from an infection or certain cancers.

As HIV and AIDS battle your immune system, your central nervous system is also affected. HIV and AIDS both cause a number of neurological complications, particularly if HIV progresses to AIDS.

Today, antiretroviral medicineswhen taken correctly and promptlyhelp to slow down the progression of HIV. They also help to delay the onset of or to decrease the risk of progression to AIDS. Controlling HIV can also reduce your risk for neurological complications of HIV.

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Which Infections Are Thought To Be Linked To Alzheimer’s Disease

Some of the infections that are thought to be linked to Alzheimer’s include;oral herpes, ;pneumonia and ;infection with spirochete bacteria ;. ;

There have also been links between Alzheimer’s disease and other infections that cause a long-term activation of the immune system, a process known as chronic inflammation.;

What Is In The Shingles Solution

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For all its power, Julissa Clays The Shingles Solution is a simple plan delivered in 2 straightforward phases over just 4 weeks.

Each phase comes with a daily instruction sheet. I knew what to do and when to do it. No guesswork. Just do it and feel the change.

The first 7 days are a little more strict than the rest of the plan but thats because we want to quickly see the end of the fever, itching, pain, and fatigue that accompanies the disease.

We adjust back to a more relaxed protocol as soon as you feel better.

But as a result of these gentle changes I enjoyed powerful benefits:

  • I got quick, lasting relief from the itching and pain I had been suffering from the onset of the illness
  • my immune system became much stronger so shingles just couldnt reactivate again
  • my body was able to remove cells from throughout my body that had been corrupted by the virus
  • my body was able to repair all those damaged nerve endings
  • the immunity boost I got reduced the chances of me ever getting the liver disease, heart disease, or stroke
  • it also protects me against degenerative brain disease
  • and it acts strongly against brain inflammation, nerve damage, paralysis, and chronic pain

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