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HomeHealthDoes Illness Make Dementia Worse

Does Illness Make Dementia Worse

Support Groups And Counseling For Caregivers

What is dementia? Alzheimer’s Research UK

Caring for a person with dementia can be very difficult. It affects every aspect of your life, including family relationships, work, financial status, social life, and physical and mental health. You may feel unable to cope with the demands of caring for a dependent, difficult relative. Besides the sadness of seeing the effects of your loved one’s disease, you may feel frustrated, overwhelmed, resentful, and angry. These feelings may, in turn, leave you feeling guilty, ashamed, and anxious. Depression in caregivers is not uncommon.

Different caregivers have different thresholds for tolerating these challenges. For many caregivers, just “venting” or talking about the frustrations of caregiving can be enormously helpful. Others need more but may feel uneasy about asking for the help they need. One thing is certain, though: If the caregiver is given no relief, he or she can burn out, develop his or her own mental and physical problems, and become unable to care for the person with dementia.

This is why support groups were invented. Support groups are groups of people who have lived through the same set of difficult experiences and want to help themselves and others by sharing coping strategies. Mental health professionals strongly recommend that family caregivers take part in support groups. Support groups serve a number of different purposes for a person living with the extreme stressof being a caregiver for a person with dementia.

Risks For People With Dementia Living In Residential Care

People with dementia in a care home are at higher risk of getting coronavirus.

This is partly because frailer older people have weaker immune systems that are less able to fight off infections unless they are vaccinated against coronavirus. Its also because people in care homes live very closely together.

The person may easily catch coronavirus from another resident, from a care worker, or from a communal surface with the virus on it.

Which Is Worse Dementia Or Alzheimers

Dementia is an overall term used to describe symptoms that impact memory, performance of daily activities, and communication abilities. Alzheimer’s disease gets worse with time and affects memory, language, and thought. While younger people can develop dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, your risk increases as you age.

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Are Dementia Symptoms Worse In Winter

A new study concludes that the changing of the seasons has a significant impact on cognition in older adults. According to the findings, winter may cause a measurable drop in mental ability.

The four seasons are already known to hold some power over our brains, perhaps most famously in the form of seasonal affective disorder.

This is a type of depression that predominantly occurs during the winter months.

Similarly, some studies have concluded that the onset of schizophrenia is studies have demonstrated seasonal variation in memory and attention performance.

Recently, researchers from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the University of Toronto, both in Canada, set out to see whether Alzheimers disease might have a seasonal component.

If symptoms do fluctuate across the year, it could be important for both diagnosis and management of the condition. The teams findings are now published in the journal PLOS Medicine.

Causes Of Vascular Dementia

Dementia: Alzheimer

Vascular dementia is caused by reduced blood flow to the brain, which damages and eventually kills brain cells.

This can happen as a result of:

  • narrowing and blockage of the small blood vessels inside the brain
  • a single stroke, where the blood supply to part of the brain is suddenly cut off
  • lots of “mini strokes” that cause tiny but widespread damage to the brain

In many cases, these problems are linked to underlying conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, and lifestyle factors, such as smoking and being overweight.

Tackling these might reduce your risk of vascular dementia in later life, although it’s not yet clear exactly how much your risk of dementia can be reduced.

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End Of Life Dementia Care And Covid

Older adults and people with serious underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Older adults also have the highest rates of dementia. Given the risks that older adults face from both COVID-19 and dementia, its important to understand how to protect yourself and your loved one. Find more information about dementia and COVID-19 from the CDC.

When a dementia like Alzheimers disease is first diagnosed, if everyone understands that there is no cure, then plans for the end of life can be made before thinking and speaking abilities fail and the person with Alzheimers can no longer legally complete documents like advance directives.

End-of-life care decisions are more complicated for caregivers if the dying person has not expressed the kind of care he or she would prefer. Someone newly diagnosed with Alzheimers disease might not be able to imagine the later stages of the disease.

Why Dementia Symptoms Fluctuate

The common perception that symptoms come and go is an important area worthy of additional study. From what we know now, here are five considerations when thinking about why your loved one might experience increasing and decreasing signs of dementia.

  • Your loved one is in the early stages of dementia. The onset of dementia is confusing and frightening for patients and family alike. In early-stage dementia, memory problems and confusion come and go and may be accompanied by periods of completely normal behavior. As one writer puts it, One day the person may be calm, affectionate and functioning well, the next, forgetful, agitated, vague and withdrawn.
  • Co-existing medical conditions. Its very common for those who suffer from dementia to have other diseases that may worsen symptoms. For example, when an Alzheimers patient is also depressed, it may be that a deepening depression is to blame for emotional problems. Sometimes, treating the other condition will appear to improve Alzheimers. This is why its important for loved ones as well as the medical support team to not make any assumptions as to why the patient seems better or worse.
  • Maybe its not Alzheimers. There usually arent major changes in cognitive function from day to day for Alzheimers patients. On the other hand, its common with another form of dementia called Lewy body dementia. This under-recognized and under-diagnosed dementia can result in an apparent improvement in symptoms.
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    What Are The Main Types Of Dementia

    Alzheimers disease is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for around 2 out of every 3 of cases in older people. Vascular dementia is another common form, while dementia with Lewy bodies and frontotemporal dementia are less common.

    It is possible to have more than one type of dementia at the same time. Alzheimers is sometimes seen with vascular dementia or dementia with Lewy bodies. You might hear this called mixed dementia.

    The symptoms of dementia vary depending on the disease, or diseases, causing it. You can read more about the symptoms associated with different types of dementia on the Alzheimers Society website .

    Can Sepsis Cause Dementia

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    A study published in 2017 looked at more than 20,000 patients with no history of dementia who were admitted to the hospital with sepsis for the first time. The researchers found that patients who had sepsis were more likely to develop signs of dementia after discharge. The researchers also found that younger age didnt protect patients from developing dementia. In this study, some patients in their 20s were affected. And for all ages, the worse the sepsis, the greater the risk of developing dementia. Another study estimates that every year, there may be as many as 20,000 new cases of dementia caused by sepsis.

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    What Happens In Rapidly Progressive Dementia

    The presentation and progress of RPD will vary between individuals. People affected will usually develop problems with their memory, thought processes and communication. Many people also have personality or behavioural changes and mood disturbance. Movement changes can also occur as a result of the brain cell injury.

    Some forms of RPD are treatable and, if diagnosis is made quickly, early symptoms may be reversed. Regrettably, for other causes of the condition, there are no available cures. There is an inevitable increase in symptoms and decline in function. Sadly, within months or years, the rapidly progressing dementia will cause failure of all body systems and death.

    What Does The Beginning Of Dementia Feel Like

    Confusion. In addition to starting with visual hallucinations like the loss of her hand or face-blindness, Barbara had difficulty recognizing things and places she knew well. As an athlete, Barbara loved to run, bike, and swim, but often found herself lost in her own neighborhood or on familiar paths.

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    What Causes Parkinson Disease

    Parkinson disease arises from decreased dopamine production in the brain. The absence of dopamine makes it hard for the brain to coordinate muscle movements. Low dopamine also contributes to mood and cognitive problems later in the course of the disease. Experts don’t know what triggers the development of Parkinson disease most of the time. Early onset Parkinson disease is often inherited and is the result of certain gene defects.

    How Is Parkinson Disease Treated

    Does Gum Disease Cause Dementia?

    Parkinson disease can’t be cured. But there are different therapies that can help control symptoms. Many of the medicines used to treat Parkinson disease help to offset the loss of the chemical dopamine in the brain. Most of these medicines help manage symptoms quite successfully.

    A procedure called deep brain stimulation may also be used to treat Parkinson disease. It sends electrical impulses into the brain to help control tremors and twitching movements. Some people may need surgery to manage Parkinson disease symptoms. Surgery may involve destroying small areas of brain tissue responsible for the symptoms. However, these surgeries are rarely done since deep brain stimulation is now available.

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    Can Lyme Disease Cause Dementia

    There have been reports of Borrelia burgdorferi , the bacterial agent of Lyme disease, triggering primary dementia, such as Alzheimers disease. Researchers who examined the records of 1,594 patients with dementia found that 1.25% had a positive intrathecal anti-Borrelia antibody index , specific for neuroborreliosis. They concluded, Pure Lyme dementia exists and has a good outcome after antibiotics. 1

    In a retrospective study, entitled Secondary dementia due to Lyme neuroborreliosis, Kristoferitsch and colleagues describe several case reports of patients diagnosed with dementia-like syndromes due to Lyme neuroborreliosis or Lyme disease that help address the question can lyme disease cause dementia.2

    Rapid improvement with antibiotic treatment

    The authors case report featuring a 76-year-old woman demonstrates how Lyme disease can cause dementia-like symptoms. The patient developed progressive cognitive decline, loss of weight, nausea, gait disturbance and tremor over a 12-month period. She was referred to a neurology clinic for evaluation.

    Three months earlier, the woman had been diagnosed with tension headaches and a depressive disorder. Medications, however, did not improve her symptoms.

    LNB was diagnosed when further CSF examinations disclosed a highly elevated Bb-specific-AI indicating local intrathecal Bb-specific antibody synthesis, Kristoferitsch writes.

    Woman admitted to psychiatric ward with severe dementia

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    Detecting Dementia And Infections

    There is a major interplay between dementia and infections, and it can go in a couple of different directions.

    A bad infection in an elderly person may not cause the typical symptoms that younger people often experience. In fact, it can create more mental symptoms than physical, mimicking dementia.

    Recognizing the signs of an infection in an elderly person can point to a different illness causing their dementia symptoms. In this case, a heavy duty course of antibiotics may reverse their symptoms completely and restore their full mental function.

    Knowing the signs of dementia, you can also see how a person faces a risk for contracting secondary infections. Dementia can cause infection in different ways.

    A person with dementia may not even remember falling, leaving them unknowingly injured. Falls can lead to broken bones. Broken bones left alone can sometimes lead to infection.

    Their cognitive state also puts them at risk for unknowingly developing more typical infections, such as pneumonia or urinary tract infections. As their mental state declines, they may find it more difficult to recognize changes in themselves.

    This means that easy to treat illnesses may progress into something more serious before anybody detects them. This can threaten a persons life.

    If you care for somebody who suffers from dementia, you should regularly watch them for signs of infection. These include:



    Appetite Changes



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    The Truth About Aging And Dementia

    As we age, our brains change, but Alzheimers disease and related dementias are not an inevitable part of aging. In fact, up to 40% of dementia cases may be prevented or delayed. It helps to understand whats normal and whats not when it comes to brain health.

    Normal brain aging may mean slower processing speeds and more trouble multitasking, but routine memory, skills, and knowledge are stable and may even improve with age. Its normal to occasionally forget recent events such as where you put your keys or the name of the person you just met.

    In the United States, 6.2 million people age 65 and older have Alzheimers disease, the most common type of dementia. People with dementia have symptoms of cognitive decline that interfere with daily lifeincluding disruptions in language, memory, attention, recognition, problem solving, and decision-making. Signs to watch for include:

    Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias are not an inevitable part of aging. There are 7 ways to help maintain your brain health.

    • Not being able to complete tasks without help.
    • Trouble naming items or close family members.
    • Forgetting the function of items.
    • Repeating questions.
    • Taking much longer to complete normal tasks.
    • Misplacing items often.
    • Being unable to retrace steps and getting lost.

    If you have one or more of the 10 warning signs, please see your health care provider. Early diagnosis gives you the best chance to seek treatment and time to plan for the future.

    Heres what you can do:

    The Effect Of Dementia On Sepsis Survival

    This makes the behavior worse

    Not a lot of research has been done yet on patients with dementia and their outcomes following sepsis. A study published in 2015 looked at patients with COPD who also had dementia. The researchers found that patients in this group had a higher risk of dying than patients with COPD who did not have dementia.

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    Impact Of Medication On Persons With Dementia

    When looking for answers to the query can dementia medication make dementia worse, it is important to note that different people react differently to the medicines.

    Weil Institute for Neurosciences states that generally there are 3 ways people with dementia may react to the pharmaceutical drugs:

    1. At times, the medicine may lead to improvement in cognition, memory, or behavior.

    2. For some individuals, the medication may not make any notable difference. However, behavior, cognition, and memory may not decline or worsen as fast without the medicines.

    3. Sometimes the medication may not work at all and it can seem like a person becomes worse and suffers various side effects.

    What Is The Life Expectancy For A Person With Dementia

    The outlook for most types of dementia is poor unless the cause is an early recognized reversible condition. Irreversible or untreated dementia usually continues to worsen over time. The condition usually progresses over years until the person’s death. Life expectancy after diagnosis averages about 8-10 years with a range from about 3-20 years.

    Making decisions about end-of-life care is important.

    • The earlier in the disease these issues are discussed, the more likely the person with dementia will be able to express his or her wishes about medical care at the end of life.
    • The issues may be presented by your health care professional. If not, ask about them.
    • These issues include use of aggressive interventions and hospital care, artificial feeding, and medical treatment for medical illnesses.
    • These issues should be discussed by family members and decisions made about how to deal with them when the time comes.
    • The decisions should be documented in the person’s medical records.

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    A Caregivers Asks: Does Anesthesia Make Dementia Worse

    by Bobbi Carducciin Alzheimer’s, care giving, Caregiving, Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia, sandwich generationTags: Alzheimer’s disease, Bobbi Carducci, caregiver advice, Caregiver Support, elder care

    It can. It doesnt always. This ambiguous response is true of many questions regarding what happens when someone has Alzheimers disease or one of the many other forms of dementia. What is true for one person is not true for many others.

    Some factors that can have an effect on whether or not someone experiences cognitive decline after general anesthetic are:

    Age The older we are, the more vulnerable we are to side effects of anesthesia. Our brain, like the rest of us does not respond in the same way it once did.

    Medical Conditions and Medications The more health issues one has and the more medication one requires the greater the chances of cognitive decline with the added stress of surgery.

    Loss of Blood Blood loss during surgery can reduce oxygen flow to the brain resulting in cognitive impairment.

    Type of Anesthesia Needed and What Procedure has to be Done Depending on the circumstances, the surgeon may need to use heavy sedation over a relatively long period of time increasing the chance of a negative reaction. For less extensive procedures, he or she may opt for a spinal block and twilight sleep. Doing this could lessen the risk of cognitive decline.

    Addressing The Worsened Symptoms

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    Immediately following a stroke, your loved one will need to meet with a variety of medical specialists to come up with a long-term treatment and recovery plan. Your loved ones medical team will most likely include a neurologist, a speech pathologist, and an occupational therapist. These specialists can give you tips on how to address your loved ones symptoms at home. Their advice will probably include lifestyle changes such as following a strict daily routine, sticking to a healthy diet, and engaging in daily at-home therapy. You will also need to install safety devices throughout your loved ones home.

    Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who dont have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesnt have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimers, dementia, stroke, and Parkinsons care.

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