Consequences Of Not Treating Pain For Persons With Dementia
When a person develops dementia and pain, some consequences that may arise when the pain goes undetected and untreated.
The most obvious is that the affected person will end up suffering unnecessarily.
The individuals may also receive inappropriate treatment in a bid to curb some of the behavioral changes they may adapt. For instance, a person may be put on antidepressants when chronic pain results in depression.
A person going through persistent pain may also experience decreased mobility which may affect the quality of life in the long-run.
Experts also agree that pain can affect thinking and other functions of the brain which can lead to worsening of dementia symptoms.
This is why it is crucial to recognize and treat any form of pain that a person with dementia may have before it results in poor medical outcomes and other proud negative implications in their lives.
Key Points About Early
Alzheimer disease commonly affects older people, but early-onset Alzheimer disease can affect people in their 30s or 40s.
It affects memory, thinking, and behavior.
Although there is no known cure, early diagnosis and treatment can lead to better quality of life.
Stay healthy with a good diet and regular exercise.
Avoid alcohol and other substances that may affect memory, thinking, and behavior.
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:
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Estimates Of The Number Of People With Alzheimer’s Dementia By State
Table lists the estimated number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s dementia by state for 2020, the projected number for 2025, and the projected percentage change in the number of people with Alzheimer’s between 2020 and 2025.,
|Projected Number with Alzheimer’s||Percentage Increase|
- Created from data provided to the Alzheimer’s Association by Weuve et al.,
As shown in Figure , between 2020 and 2025 every state across the country is expected to experience an increase of at least 6.7% in the number of people with Alzheimer’s. These projected increases in the number of people with Alzheimer’s are due solely to projected increases in the population age 65 and older in these states. Because risk factors for dementia such as midlife obesity and diabetes can vary dramatically by region and state, the regional patterns of future burden may be different than reported here. Based on these projections, the West and Southeast are expected to experience the largest percentage increases in people with Alzheimer’s dementia between 2020 and 2025. These increases will have a marked impact on statesâ health care systems, as well as the Medicaid program, which covers the costs of long-term care and support for many older residents with dementia, including more than a quarter of Medicare beneficiaries with Alzheimer’s or other dementias.
Stage : Mild Dementia
At this stage, individuals may start to become socially withdrawn and show changes in personality and mood. Denial of symptoms as a defense mechanism is commonly seen in stage 4. Behaviors to look for include:
- Difficulty remembering things about one’s personal history
- Difficulty recognizing faces and people
In stage 4 dementia, individuals have no trouble recognizing familiar faces or traveling to familiar locations. However, patients in this stage will often avoid challenging situations in order to hide symptoms or prevent stress or anxiety.
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World Failing To Address Dementia Challenge
Only a quarter of countries worldwide have a national policy, strategy or plan for supporting people with dementia and their families, according to the WHOs Global status report on the public health response to dementia, releasedtoday. Half of these countries are in WHOs European Region, with the remainder split between the other Regions. Yet even in Europe, many plans are expiring or have already expired, indicating a need for renewed commitment from governments.
At the same time, the number of people living with dementia is growing according to the report: WHO estimates that more than 55 million people are living with dementia. This number is estimated to rise to78 million by 2030 and to 139 million by 2050.
Dementia is caused by a variety of diseases and injuries that affect the brain, such as Alzheimers disease or stroke. It affects memory and other cognitive functions, as well as the ability to perform everyday tasks. The disability associated withdementia is a key driver of costs related to the condition. In 2019, the global cost of dementia was estimated to be US$ 1.3 trillion. The cost is projected to increase to US$ 1.7 trillion by 2030, or US$ 2.8 trillion if corrected for increases incare costs.
Impacts Of Medications Other Health Conditions
High LDL cholesterol linked to early-onset Alzheimer’sLow-density lipoprotein cholesterol may play a causal role in the development of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, according to a 2019 study. The results could help clinicians better understand how Alzheimer’s develops, said researchers with the Atlanta VA Medical Center and Emory University.
About 10% of all Alzheimer’s cases are early-onset, appearing in patients younger than age 65. The research team looked at the genomes of 2,125 people, 654 of whom had early-onset Alzheimer’s. They found that participants with elevated LDL levels were more likely to have early-onset Alzheimer’s. The team did not find a link between Alzheimer’s and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and only a very slight association with triglyceride levels.
The researchers suggest more research is needed to fully explain the connection between Alzheimer’s disease and cholesterol. They noted that the relative rarity of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease presents a challenge in finding enough samples to perform large genetic studies.
Anticholinergic drugs are associated with cognitive declineA class of drugs called anticholinergics may be associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline, especially in older adults at greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease. These drugs are typically used for a broad array of conditions, from allergies and colds to hypertension and urinary incontinence.
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Dementia: Clear Signs To Look Out For
Dementia is a group of disorders characterized by various symptoms of cognitive decline, such as memory loss and forgetfulness. Although the risk of dementia increases as one gets older, it should not be considered a normal part of aging. Dementia may be caused by neurodegenerative diseases, stroke, infection, a brain tumor, or brain cell death. While some cases are irreversible, medications and therapy are available once diagnosed. Here are the symptoms to look out for.
Mental Health Vs Physical Illness
We were surprised to find that mental health conditions were a much stronger predictor of dementia than chronic physical diseases, said Dr. Richmond-Rakerd.
This reinforces the need, said Dr. Richmond-Rakerd, to think about dementia prevention earlier in the life course because mental health conditions tend to peak in young adulthood, while chronic physical diseases do not typically emerge until later in life. Supporting young peoples mental health could be a window of opportunity to help reduce the burden of dementia in older adults.
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What Are The Most Common Types Of Dementia
- Alzheimers disease. This is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of cases. It is caused by specific changes in the brain. The trademark symptom is trouble remembering recent events, such as a conversation that occurred minutes or hours ago, while difficulty remembering more distant memories occurs later in the disease. Other concerns like difficulty with walking or talking or personality changes also come later. Family history is the most important risk factor. Having a first-degree relative with Alzheimers disease increases the risk of developing it by 10 to 30 percent.
- Vascular dementia. About 10 percent of dementia cases are linked to strokes or other issues with blood flow to the brain. Diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are also risk factors. Symptoms vary depending on the area and size of the brain impacted. The disease progresses in a step-wise fashion, meaning symptoms will suddenly get worse as the individual gets more strokes or mini-strokes.
- Lewy body dementia. In addition to more typical symptoms like memory loss, people with this form of dementia may have movement or balance problems like stiffness or trembling. Many people also experience changes in alertness including daytime sleepiness, confusion or staring spells. They may also have trouble sleeping at night or may experience visual hallucinations .
Making The Distinction Between Dementia & Mental Illness
Dementia is a health condition that affects your brain function. But as mentioned above, it isnt a mental illness. Instead, it is a disorder of the brain that causes memory loss and communication difficulties.
The chances of incorrect diagnosis are high, because mental illnesses have symptoms similar to dementia. It’s important to get a clear look at the symptoms of dementia and mental illness to conduct an accurate diagnosis.
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Understanding The Causes And Mechanisms Of Alzheimer’s Disease
Neuroimaging InitiativeThe Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative was established in 2004 to find new ways to diagnose and predict the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. VA researcher Dr. Michael Weiner is founder and principal investigator for ADNI. Weiner is affiliated with the VA-University of California Center for Imaging of Neurodegenerative Diseases located at the San Francisco VA Health Care System.
The $67 million initiativefunded by the National Institute on Aging and other partnersseeks to identify brain changes linked to Alzheimer’s disease. The funds are administered by a VA nonprofit corporation, the Northern California Institute for Research and Education . The program is coordinated by the Alzheimers Therapeutic Research Institute at the University of Southern California. ADNI is now in its third phase, in which researchers are working to validate biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials. ADNI-3 began in 2016 and will run through 2021.
ADNI-1 researchers found that people with Alzheimer’s disease can have high levels of a protein called beta-amyloid 42 in their brains. While dementia can result from any number of health problems, such as strokes, amyloid buildup happens only in patients with Alzheimer’s. At present, amyloid levels can be determined only through spinal taps or special diagnostic imaging.
Dementia Alzheimer’s Not An Inevitable Part Of Aging: Study
The study showed centenarians without cognitive decline despite risk factors.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease may not be an inevitable part of aging, according to a recent Dutch study, which identified 100-year-olds with high cognitive performance despite risk factors for decline.
This six-year study of centenarians — people who are over 100 years old — found that despite high levels of a brain marker associated with cognitive decline, called amyloid beta, these centenarians were still sharp and performed well on cognitive tests. The researchers concluded these elderly subjects may have resilience mechanisms protecting them from memory loss.
In fact, they said the risk of dementia may not necessarily increase once you pass your 100th birthday.
“A person between 70 and 95 years old is exposed to the same dementia risk as a person who lives between age 100 and 102,” said Henne Holstege, Ph.D., of Amsterdam University Medical College in the Netherlands, who was involved in the study.
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Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease
There are very many questions people have about dementia one of the most popular ones revolves around dementia and pain.
Some people wonder whether its true that persons with the illness experience pain or they just fake it.
Honestly, persons with dementia will feel pain and it is usually challenging to assess.
Lets look at some of the areas that both persons with dementia and carers should be knowledgeable about when it comes to pain and dementia.
Avoidable Use Of Health Care And Long
6.5.1 Preventable hospitalizations
Preventable hospitalizations are one common measure of health care quality. Preventable hospitalizations are hospitalizations for conditions that could have been avoided with better access to, or quality of, preventive and primary care. Unplanned hospital readmissions within 30 days are another type of hospitalization that potentially could have been avoided with appropriate post-discharge care. In 2013, 21% of hospitalizations for fee-for-service Medicare enrollees with Alzheimer’s or other dementias were either for unplanned readmissions within 30 days or for an ambulatory care sensitive condition . The total cost to Medicare of these potentially preventable hospitalizations was $4.7 billion . Of people with dementia who had at least one hospitalization, 18% were readmitted within 30 days. Of those who were readmitted within 30 days, 27% were readmitted two or more times. Ten percent of Medicare enrollees had at least one hospitalization for an ambulatory care-sensitive condition, and 14% of total hospitalizations for Medicare enrollees with Alzheimer’s or other dementias were for ambulatory care sensitive conditions.
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Symptoms Specific To Vascular Dementia
Vascular dementia is the second most common cause of dementia, after Alzheimer’s. Some people have both vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, often called “mixed dementia”.
Symptoms of vascular dementia are similar to Alzheimer’s disease, although memory loss may not be as obvious in the early stages.
Symptoms can sometimes develop suddenly and quickly get worse, but they can also develop gradually over many months or years.
Specific symptoms can include:
- stroke-like symptoms: including muscle weakness or temporary paralysis on one side of the body
- movement problems difficulty walking or a change in the way a person walks
- thinking problems having difficulty with attention, planning and reasoning
- mood changes depression and a tendency to become more emotional
Read more about vascular dementia.
How Is Dementia Diagnosed
To diagnose dementia, doctors first assess whether a person has an underlying, potentially treatable, condition that may relate to cognitive difficulties. A physical exam to measure blood pressure and other vital signs, as well as laboratory tests of blood and other fluids to check levels of various chemicals, hormones, and vitamins, can help uncover or rule out possible causes of symptoms.
A review of a persons medical and family history can provide important clues about risk for dementia. Typical questions might include asking about whether dementia runs in the family, how and when symptoms began, changes in behavior and personality, and if the person is taking certain medications that might cause or worsen symptoms.
The following procedures also may be used to diagnose dementia:
Early detection of symptoms is important, as some causes can be treated. However, in many cases, the cause of dementia is unknown and cannot be treated. Still, obtaining an early diagnosis can help with managing the condition and planning ahead.
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If You Want To Know Is Dementia A Mental Illness You’re Not The Only One Asking
People worldwide are having conversations about dementia. It’s becoming more common and less stigmatized to talk about in families and communities. You may wonder if its considered a mental illness or a neurocognitive disorder.
Despite the health care industrys best efforts to educate the public about dementia and mental illness, there is still a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation out in the world. Couple that with how closely dementia resembles some symptoms of depression or schizophrenia, and its no wonder theres confusion.
In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association updated the official guide for mental health professionals in the US. This book, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health, was first published in 1952. The most recent version answers the question, Is dementia a mental illness? by describing dementia as a neurocognitive disorder. Scholars and scientists debated if this change was helpful or not in articles with titles like “Dementia and DSM-5: Changes, Cost, and Confusion” and “Mild Neurocognitive Disorder: An Old Wine in a New Bottle.”
Dementia and mental illness can look similar, but they are very different. Mental illnesses like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder can cause symptoms that imitate dementia. And conversely, Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia could be mistaken for a mental illness. This is just one reason it is so essential to get a diagnosis from a medical professional.
Symptoms In The Later Stages Of Dementia
As dementia progresses, memory loss and difficulties with communication often become severe. In the later stages, the person is likely to neglect their own health, and require constant care and attention.
The most common symptoms of advanced dementia include:
- memory problems people may not recognise close family and friends, or remember where they live or where they are
- communication problems some people may eventually lose the ability to speak altogether. Using non-verbal means of communication, such as facial expressions, touch and gestures, can help
- mobility problems many people become less able to move about unaided. Some may eventually become unable to walk and require a wheelchair or be confined to bed
- behavioural problems a significant number of people will develop what are known as “behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia”. These may include increased agitation, depressive symptoms, anxiety, wandering, aggression, or sometimes hallucinations
- bladder incontinence is common in the later stages of dementia, and some people will also experience bowel incontinence
- appetite and weight loss problems are both common in advanced dementia. Many people have trouble eating or swallowing, and this can lead to choking, chest infections and other problems. Alzheimer’s Society has a useful factsheet on eating and drinking
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