Communication During Late Stage Alzheimers
It is a mistake to assume that because language skills have declined, patients cannot communicate. Despite their condition, they are aware of their surroundings in the moment and can express their feelings, though not in a straightforward manner.
The way you talk says a lot. A friendly and familiar tone tells patients you are someone they can trust. At this stage, memories are so fleeting everyone is a stranger. No matter how long you have known them, every time you walk in, they are meeting you for the first time. Make sure your words set them at ease.
Other tips for successful communication:
Resist the Urge to Reorient
So How Can Dementia Lead To Loss Of Movement
Dementia is not a disease in itself, more a collective term for a range of problems that gradually affect the brains ability to function as it once did. And that includes its ability to manage critical neurological functions of the body one of which is being able to move.;
Depending on the type of degenerative condition someone is experiencing, damage caused to the brain happens in different ways. For people living with vascular and frontotemporal dementia, experts agree that muscle weakness and limb paralysis is often due to a series of mini, or large strokes in the brain. Both of these can massively impair someone with a range of physical as well as cognitive damage.;
DID YOU KNOW? Doctors used to think that stroke and dementia were unrelated. But research has gone on to reveal that the two are very interlinked.;
What Are The Signs Of Cns Problems
Some neurologic problems require urgent medical attention. If you have serious headaches, especially with a fever, stiff neck, vomiting, or vision problems, or if you develop new weakness or loss of feeling, you should see your health care provider immediately.
The main symptoms of nervous system problems are with thinking, behavior, and movement.
- Thinking: memory loss, trouble concentrating, mental slowing, trouble understanding. This can include forgetting telephone numbers that you use a lot, having trouble with simple math like making change at the store, People with CNS problems may have difficulty taking their medications on schedule
- Behavior: Depression, agitation, lack of caring, irritability
- Movement: Balance problems, unsteady walking, slower movement, poor coordination, tremor
A physical examination may show reduced reflexes in the ankles, especially when compared to reflexes in the knees.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging a radiologic procedure, may show abnormalities in brain tissue.
Read Also: How Fast Does Dementia Kill
Lubrication Model Of The Poroelastic Bm
The aim of this model is to quantify the amount of fluid eliminated from the brain tissue along the intramural vascular BM as a consequence of muscular contractions of cerebral arteries. The intramural vascular BM is modeled as a slowly varying sheet of width 2h, running through the wall of a cylindrical vessel which is itself centered along the z-axis, undergoing axisymmetric deformation , as illustrated in Figure 2. On its top and bottom boundaries , the BM is exposed to compressive stresses dependent on the contractile activity of the VSMCs. Given its anatomical properties , the BM is treated as deformable spongy material filled with interstitial fluid. More specifically, the BM is modeled as a fluid-filled poroelastic medium comprised of a porous solid phase denoted by the superscript s and a fluid phase denoted by the superscript f. The pores in the solid matrix provide a path for the movement of fluid. Since the BM thickness is significantly smaller than the arterial radius , we assume that its upper half behaves identically to its lower half. For visual purposes, the following notation is adopted: 2H is the undeformed thickness of the BM and 2h is the deformed thickness of the BM.
2.1.1. Governing Equations
H ) relates the stress in the BM to its deformation and is derived from a given strain energy function. The reader is referred forward to Equations for the particular forms of the stress-strain relationship and the strain energy function used in this work.
Creating A Beneficial Environment For People With Dementia
People with dementia can benefit from an environment that is the following:
What Is Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimers disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting up to 70% of all people with dementia. It was first recorded in 1907 by Dr Alois Alzheimer. Dr Alzheimer reported the case of Auguste Deter, a middle-aged woman with dementia and specific changes in her brain. For the next 60 years Alzheimers disease was considered a rare condition that affected people under the age of 65. It was not until the 1970s that Dr Robert Katzman declared that “senile dementia” and Alzheimers disease were the same condition and that neither were a normal part of aging.
Alzheimers disease can be either;sporadic;or;familial.
Sporadic;Alzheimer’s disease can affect adults at any age, but usually occurs after age 65 and is the most common form of Alzheimer’s disease.
Familial;Alzheimers disease is a very rare genetic condition, caused by a mutation in one of several genes. The presence of mutated genes means that the person will eventually develop Alzheimer’s disease, usually in their 40’s or 50’s.
The Healthy Human Brain
Behind the ears and temples are the temporal lobes of the brain. These regions process speech and working memory, and also higher emotions such as empathy, morality and regret. Beneath the forebrain are the more primitive brain regions such as the limbic system. The limbic system is a structure that is common to all mammals and processes our desires and many emotions. Also in the limbic system is the hippocampus a region that is vital for forming new memories.
Study Shows Link Between Alzheimers And Heart Disease
Recently, researchers discovered that Alzheimers is caused by amyloid beta proteins building up in the spaces between brain cells. While this causes noticeable symptoms in the brain first, this same protein plaque can build up around the heart.
This was discovered in a study that examined 22 patients with Alzheimers and 35 patients without, all of whom were 78 or 79 years old. The goal was to analyze the stiffness present in the hearts left ventricle; the thickest chamber of the heart responsible for transporting blood throughout the body.
During the study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers discovered that those with Alzheimers had a thicker left ventricle than those without Alzheimers. This thickness was caused by the same plaque protein buildup that was building in the Alzheimers patients brains. The thickness can lead to various cardiovascular issues if and when the left ventricle becomes too thick to successfully pump blood through the body. As a result, this puts Alzheimers patients at a higher risk of heart attack and stroke.
Alzheimers Disease And Its Affect On The Nervous System
This article relates to Alzheimers disease and its affect on the central nervous system. According to Guy , Alzheimers disease is a disorder that over time destroys ones memory and disables their ability to learn, make judgments, communicate, and participate in daily activities. This disease has been growing more and more every year. It eventually leads to death resulting from its destruction of neurons over time, which leads the nervous system Brain Research Body”>brain system to break down. Neurons allow us to do many things that involve the higher human thought system like for example, speech. When it is defected it may result in great or minor changes in personality or behavior. The leading cause to Alzheimers disease is still unknown which is primarily the reason why its still incurable.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Frontotemporal Dementia
Frontotemporal dementia affects everyone differently. Its symptoms vary a lot and depend on which areas of the frontal and temporal lobes are damaged and so the type of FTD the person has.
As with most forms of dementia, FTD is progressive. This means its symptoms may be mild at first, but they will get worse over time.;
Find out more about FTD symptoms below.
Causes Of Alzheimer Disease
What causes Alzheimer disease is unknown, but genetic factors play a role: About 5 to 15% of cases run in families. Several specific gene abnormalities may be involved. Some of these abnormalities can be inherited when only one parent has the abnormal gene. That is, the abnormal gene is dominant. An affected parent has a 50% chance of passing on the abnormal gene to each child. About half of these children develop Alzheimer disease before age 65.
One gene abnormality affects apolipoprotein E the protein part of certain lipoproteins, which transport cholesterol through the bloodstream. There are three types of apo E:
Epsilon-4: People with the epsilon-4 type develop Alzheimer disease more commonly and at an earlier age than other people.
Epsilon-2: In contrast, people with the epsilon-2 type seem to be protected against Alzheimer disease.
Epsilon-3: People with the epsilon-3 type are neither protected nor more likely to develop the disease.
However, genetic testing for apo E type cannot determine whether a specific person will develop Alzheimer disease. Therefore, this testing is not routinely recommended.
Risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol levels, and smoking, can increase the risk of Alzheimer disease. Treating these risk factors as early as midlife can reduce the risk of mental decline in older age.
Is There Treatment Available
At present there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. However, one group of drugs called cholinergeric drugs appears to be providing some temporary improvement in cognitive functioning for some people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
Drugs can also be prescribed for secondary symptoms such as restlessness or depression or to help the person with dementia sleep better.
Community support is available for the person with Alzheimer’s disease, their families and carers. This support can make a positive difference to managing dementia. Dementia Australia provides support, information and counselling for people affected by dementia. Dementia Australia also aims to provide up-to-date information about drug treatments.
For more information contact the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.
For a range of books and videos contact our;Library.
For advice, common sense approaches and practical strategies on the issues most commonly raised about dementia, read our Help Sheets.
What Is Frontotemporal Dementia
Dementia describes a group of symptoms that can include problems with memory, thinking or language, and changes in mood, emotions and behaviour. It is caused when the brain is damaged by disease.
The word frontotemporal refers to the two sets of lobes in the brain that are damaged in this type of dementia. FTD occurs when disease damages nerve cells in these lobes.
This causes the connections between them and other parts of the brain to break down. The levels of chemical messengers in the brain also get lower over time. These messengers allow nerve cells to send signals to each other and the rest of the body.
As more and more nerve cells are damaged and die, the brain tissue in the frontal and temporal lobes starts to get smaller.
There are two broad types of FTD:;
- Behavioural variant FTD where damage to the frontal lobes of the brain mainly causes problems with behaviour and personality. These lobes are found behind the forehead and process information that affects how we behave and the control of our emotions. They also help us to plan, solve problems and focus for long enough to finish a task.
- ;Primary progressive aphasia occurs when damage to the temporal lobes on either side of the head nearest the ears causes language problems. This part of the brain has many roles. A key function of the left temporal lobe is to store the meanings of words and the names of objects.;The right temporal lobe helps most people recognise familiar faces and objects.;
Muscle Strength And Change In Global Cognitive Function
Because AD develops slowly over many years and its hallmark is change in cognitive function, we examined the association of muscle strength with cognitive decline. At baseline, scores on the composite measure of global cognition ranged from 1.8 to 1.4 , with higher scores indicating better performance. We constructed a mixed-effects model that controlled for age, sex, and education and included terms for time, time-squared, muscle strength, and the interaction of muscle strength with time to examine the association of strength with cognitive decline. Scores on the composite measure of global cognitive function showed both linear and non-linear decline . Further, each one-unit increase in muscle strength at baseline was associated with about a 0.04 standard unit decrease in the rate of decline in global cognition . shows that the rate of cognitive decline for a participant with a high level of muscle strength was considerably slower than that of a participant with a low level of strength . The addition of covariates did not substantially affect the association between muscle strength and rate of cognitive decline .
Recommended Reading: Does Alzheimer’s Run In Families
Cerebrovascular Smooth Muscle Cells As The Drivers Of Intramural Periarterial Drainage Of The Brain
- 1Mathematical Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom
- 2Clinical Neurosciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, United Kingdom
- 3Department of Physiology, Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, United States
Health Environmental And Lifestyle Factors
Research has shown that many factors other than genetics may also have a role to play in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. While scientists are still researching, there seems to be a connection between cognitive decline and vascular conditions, such as stroke, heart disease, and hypertension. It is thought that controlling risk factors for these serious diseases may actually help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, but there is no concrete research to confirm it yet. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle as you age may also help lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Read Also: Senile Dementia Of The Alzheimer Type
It Affects Your Digestive System
Alzheimer’s disease affects your digestive system in many ways. You are likely to develop swallowing problems in the earlier stages of the disease. Many patients find it extremely difficult to eat without choking. The accidental entry of liquids and food into the airways may increase the risk of pneumonia which is a common cause of death of people with Alzheimer’s disease. People with Alzheimer’s disease may also develop an impaired sense of smell and this in turn leads to an impaired sense of taste. These impairments can make eating very difficult. Poor bowel control is also associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Late Stage Alzheimers Care
The needs of Alzheimers patients change considerably during the final stages of the disease. Their physical and mental decline accelerates, leaving them dependent on their caregivers. Patients have to be monitored round the clock, with family members watching their own health to guard against burnout and exhaustion.
But regardless of the difficulties, there will still be bright and welcome moments. Even in late stage Alzheimers, it is possible to express your feelings and create happy memories to hold onto after the disease has reached its end.
Jose Escobar is the Hospice Executive for Parentis Health. He works with patients and families across Southern California, providing support and education, in order to alleviate the pain and suffering of chronic and terminal illness.
Lewis Jackson writes about technology and healthcare. His work provides practical insight into modern medicine and healthy living.
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