Does Surgery Cause Or Worsen Dementia
Question: My father needs surgery. Will this worsen his dementia?
Answer: This is one of the more common questions I get asked as a dementia specialist. Similarly, there are numerous families that come to me on the first visit, convinced that their relatives dementia started immediately after some type of surgery. So, does surgery cause or worsen dementia?
There have been numerous studies over the years that have attempted to answer this question. Unfortunately, the results are often conflicting, with some studies showing an increased risk of dementia and/or cognitive impairment following surgery, and others suggesting no increase risk. As you might imagine, the reasons for these discrepancies are that the results likely depend on a multitude of factors including the characteristics of the patients , the type of condition requiring surgery , the type of surgery, the anaesthetic and the operative complications .
The story of surgery and dementia is not all negative. In a future blog, I will highlight some surgical procedures that might actually improve cognition and examine new ways that might specifically help protect the brain during operations.
Does Xanax Cause Blurry Vision
Common side effects of Xanax include: ataxia, cognitive dysfunction, constipation, difficulty in micturition, drowsiness, dysarthria, fatigue, memory impairment, skin rash, weight gain, weight loss, anxiety, blurred vision, diarrhea, insomnia, decreased libido, increased appetite, and decreased appetite.
Dementia And Hallucinations And False Ideas
- Do not argue it is better to acknowledge that the person may be frightened by the delusions and hallucinations.
- Do not scold the person for losing objects or hiding things.
- Investigate suspicions to check their accuracy.
- Attempt to distract the person if possible.
- Try to respond to the underlying feelings that may be at the bottom of the statements that the person makes.
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Strategies To Help You Manage These Feelings
- Talk to someone about how you feel. This is one way to get these feelings out into the open. Talk to a close friend, a family member or someone with whom you feel comfortable.
- Meet with other people who live with dementia. Together, you can share your feelings and experiences and offer each other social and emotional support.
- Contact your local Alzheimer Society to see if there is a support group in your area. If not, you may be interested in helping the Society start one. Another option may be to have the Society get you in touch with someone who can provide one-on-one support.
- Recognize that each of us has our own way of dealing with our feelings. The important thing is to find a way or ways of coping with these emotions that makes you feel better.
- Listen to what other people living with dementia suggest. When we asked the same people who shared their reactions and feeling how they coped with their emotions, here’s what they said:
- “Acknowledge it.”
- “Take one day at a time.”
- “Join a support group. The more you speak, you get a load off your chest.”
- “Be with people you can laugh with.”
- “Go for a walk with someone.”
- “Don’t be shy. Ask for help.”
- “Tell people if they hurt your feelings.”
- “Animals are good for people. Animals are calming.”
- “Don’t stay enclosed, isolated. Get out.”
- “Never give up hope. Living is worth it.
Medication That Can Make Dementia Worse
Some medicines used to improve dementia seek to increase choline levels in the brain. This is a chemical that the brain cells use to communicate with each other.
Some types of pharmaceutical drugs are âanti-cholinergicâ which means that they decrease choline levels.
They may also cause difficulties while urinating, constipation, and a dry mouth.
Examples of such medication include:
- Benadryl: This is mostly found in over-the-counter sleeping and allergy pills as well as cough syrups.
- Tropsium/Sanctura: these aid persons who need to urinate frequently but they can also cause agitation and confusion.
- Bladder pills like Detrol/Tolterodine.
- Atropine/AtroPen: Caution needs to be exercised when using eye drops in dementia.
- Glycopyrrolate/Robinul: it dries secretions and also causes agitation and confusion
- Diphenoxylate and Lomotil/atropine: it is often prescribed for persons who have diarrhea. It may be okay when used one or two times. Frequent use, however, may cause problems for persons who have dementia.
- Amitriptyline: In the past, this was used to treat depression. Today, it is prescribed to treat irritable bowel conditions and neuropathy.
- Steroids: medicines that are often used to reduce various types of inflammation can cause pose health problems for individuals with dementia. An example is Prednisone that which can cause insomnia, agitation, and confusion.
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What Are The Cons Of Xanax
An Extensive List of Xanax Abuse Symptoms
- Forgetfulness, lack of focus, and/or trouble thinking or speaking in a coherent manner.
- Feelings of anxiety, agitation, aggression, hostility, depression, and/or rage.
- Periods of mania, confusion, and/or disorientationor even hallucinations and/or delusions.
Why Is It Important To Get A Diagnosis Of Anxiety Or Depression For Someone With Dementia
Identifying anxiety and depression means the person with dementia can be treated and supported in the correct way. Untreated, these conditions can become more severe, resulting in further distress or deterioration in their health.
Alleviating anxiety and depression could:
- help improve appetite, ensuring good nutrition and improving the persons overall health
- improve sleep quality so they feel well rested
- improve motivation, helping them take part in activities they enjoy
- help them engage with family members and friends and not be socially isolated
- make it easier for the family to support the person, by improving their willingness to be involved in everyday life
- improve their overall quality of life and their family members too
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Memory Loss And Dementia
- events the person may forget part or all of an event
- words or names the person progressively forgets words and names of people and things
- stories on TV, in movies or books the person progressively loses the ability to follow stories
- stored knowledge over time, the person loses known information such as historical or political information
- everyday skills the person progressively loses the capacity to perform tasks such as dressing and cooking.
What To Do When You Feel Like You Have Dementia
Dementia is fairly easy for doctors to diagnose, so seeing your doctor is step one. You should also know that dementia isn’t just something you realize is happening, or something that comes and goes pretty easily in short increments. Dementia is a very serious, gradual, long lasting condition, and while even those with dementia have their lucid moments it’s very rare for someone that suffers from the issue to worry that they have it.
One of the reasons dementia patients often have anxiety themselves is because they cannot comprehend what’s going on, and their confusion isn’t something that goes away. This is different from anxiety, where the person is aware of the feeling that they’re losing their mind, which often indicates that they aren’t.
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Causes Of Vascular Dementia
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
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.
Frequently Asked Questions :
Are there medications to slow dementia?
While it may not be possible to eliminate the disease, certain medications can slow down the procession.
Are there medications to help treat dementia?
Yes, there are several medicines prescribed to dementia patients to help with symptoms and progression.
Is Alzheimer’s a type of dementia?
Yes, Alzheimer’s is characterised by the loss of memory and, in severe cases, an inability of motor functions. It is a common type of dementia.
Can I stop medications linked to dementia if I see any symptoms?
It is strictly prohibited to stop medications by yourself. Consulting a doctor is a must and cannot be skipped as they may help you find alternatives.
Are all over the counter drugs linked to dementia?
Over-the-counter drugs that come under the class of anticholinergics are linked to dementia and can be stopped without the doctors consultation.
How to convince dementia patient to take medication?
Counsel them properly and talk to them about how important it is for their health.
Is dementia a medical or mental illness?
Dementia cannot be described as a mental illness, but rather a disorder of the brain.
Does taking medication for dementia help prolong life?
Taking medication for dementia helps slow down the progression of the disease which may ultimately prolong life to some extent.
What are the top 5 dementia medications?
Are there any side effects of medication for dementia?
How does dementia medication work?
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Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease
Dementia researchers for a long time have been fascinated by the potential link between the risk of developing dementia after a concussion.
Mayo Clinic defines a concussion as a traumatic brain injury that affects the functions of the brain.
Its effects are normally temporary and can include headaches as well as problems with memory, coordination, balance, and concentration.
Are Your Conversations Getting Stalled
We all have to search for the right word from time to time. And its normal for this to happen more often as we get older, Yasar notes. Whats not: extreme difficulty remembering words, calling things and people by the wrong words or names and withdrawing socially as a result. Having more and more trouble following, joining or continuing a conversation or even following plot on TV may also be a red flag for dementia risk.
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Can Exelon Patch Make Dementia Worse
willExelon PatchEXELON PATCH doesworse
. Keeping this in view, does rivastigmine make dementia worse?
Rivastigmine is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. It slows the breakdown of ACh, so it can build up and have a greater effect. However, as Alzheimer’s disease gets worse, there will be less and less ACh, so rivastigmine may not work as well.
Likewise, what are the side effects of the Exelon Patch? Common side effects of Exelon Patch include:
Why Has Stress Been Linked To Dementia
There are many logical reasons why stress could be linked to dementia. Stress affects the immune system, which is known to play an important role in the development of dementia.
A key hormone released when youre stressed, cortisol, has been linked to problems with memory. Stress is also closely linked to conditions such as depression and anxiety, which have also been suggested as factors that could increase the risk of dementia.
Some research has found that stress appears to have a direct impact on some of the mechanisms underlying dementia in animal models.
However, as with many things in the research world, understanding whether any of these theories are correct has turned out to be a long and winding road.
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The Clinical Relationship Between Alzheimer’s Disease And Stress
While many studies have applied stress in animals and observed accelerated AD pathogenesis, demonstrating the impact of stress in humans has proven difficult. The vast majority of clinical or epidemiological studies have provided evidence for the converse arc of the Vicious Cycle of Stress. Early stage AD-related dementia is associated with elevated Cort and anxiety-related neuropsychiatric conditions that correlate with increased disease risk. This was first shown in cohorts of patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment . Patients with MCI have higher average circulating Cort levels at all diurnal time points in the daily oscillation of Cort, compared to age matched controls . In addition, dementia patients show decreased dexamethasone suppression of Cortisol release, indicating impaired negative feedback on the HPA axis . Follow-up studies found that higher levels of circulating Cort correlate with more rapidly advancing disease . These findings suggest that a hyperactive HPA axis is an indication of more advanced disease. Elevated HPA axis activity and resulting increases in Cort release, in turn, would be predicted to accelerate and intensify disease progression.
Things That Might Cause Dementia To Get Worse
By Gleria Anderson 9 am on August 5, 2021
Dementia is a progressive condition that causes symptoms, such as memory loss, confusion, poor decision-making, and agitation, to worsen over time. However, developing a proper care plan, taking medications correctly, and letting go of bad habits could slow the progression of this neurological disorder and boost quality of life. Below are some of the things that could make dementia worse and steps your family can take to mitigate these issues.
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Health Fears Are An Anxiety Symptom
One of the problems with living with anxiety is that it tends to cause itself, using its own symptoms. Feelings of dementia are a great example of this. Anxiety causes the mind to think differently and feel funny, and this causes people to worry they have a serious brain condition, which in turn causes them to be oversensitive to the way their mind works and suffer from the very problems they’re monitoring.
Men and women of all ages have convinced themselves of:
- Early Onset Alzheimer’s
- Brain Tumors
- Huntington’s Disease
These are all serious diseases, and if you truly think you have one of these, you should see a doctor. But you should also note that anxiety causes the very same issues. Not just dementia, but also the nerve impulses and other brain health issues that make people fear those diseases in the first place.
Why anxiety causes dementia like feelings is a bit less clear and less obvious. It is likely caused by many different factors, including those below:
These are all examples of issues that can cause feelings of dementia, despite no dementia present.
Anticholinergic Drugs Can Increase Dementia Risk By 54%
Seniors who dont have Alzheimers or dementia still need to be careful of anticholinergic medications.
Thats because these drugs can increase the risk of developing dementia in the future.
A study of adults aged 65+ found that those who took an anticholinergic drug for three or more years had a 54% higher dementia risk.
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Strategies To Help You Manage Grief
- Feel the pain. Allow yourself to really feel what you are feeling, no matter what that is. Denying your feelings only intensifies and prolongs the pain.
- Talk about what your grief. Share the pain. It’s important to talk about your feelings even at the most difficult times. Sharing grief will help diminish it. It can be helpful to talk to a person outside the family, such as a counsellor or trusted friend. Joining an Alzheimer Society support group gives you the opportunity to talk with others who are on a similar journey.
- Keep a journal. A journal is a private place where anything can be written including unfulfilled wishes, guilt, anger and any other thoughts and feelings. A journal is a place where you can explore your frustrations and express your thoughts and ideas without interruption.
- Find comfort. Different people have different ways of finding comfort. For many there is comfort in rituals, such as prayer, meditation or other activities.
- Hold off. Tread carefully before making decisions. Thoroughly explore all options before making major steps. You may be unable to make important decisions at times.
Keeping Dementia Risk In Perspective
Although a number of studies have found a link between stress and dementia, its still not clear how stress might cause dementiaor even if stress does cause dementia. A correlation between stress and dementia doesnt mean every stressed person will develop dementia.
Healthy coping tools can help you manage stress, potentially reducing your risk of dementia. Meditation, healthy sleep, and even therapy can make unmanageable stress feel more manageable. If you have difficulty sleeping, talk to a doctor or psychotherapist about what you can do to get some shuteye.
Studies have also shown that exercise can help with stress and depression. Thats good news, because exercise also reduces the risk of dementia. Some research has even found that exercise can cancel out the effects of a gene for Alzheimers.
People concerned about their stress level should know that everyone experiences stress. Most research suggests that stress itself isnt the problem. The issue, instead, is chronic stress. Thats a powerful incentive to get your stress under control, no matter how old you are.
Even if you struggle to manage stress, stress is just one among many risk factors for dementia. One landmark study found that nine risk factorsmost of them fixableare the best predictors of dementia. Keep these in check and watch your risk decline. Those risk factors are:
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Ways Anxiety Increases Your Risk Of Dementia
4 Ways Anxiety Increases Your Risk of Dementia
In a review of four studies that looked at over 40,000 participants, researchers found a positive connection between moderate to severe anxiety and the likelihood of developing dementia within 10 years.
Learn more about the four ways that anxiety can increase your risk of dementia and the steps that you can take to keep your brain healthier.