Providing Support For Cognitive Issues
As a loved one or caregiver, you can make all the difference by noticing any changes in your loved one’s thinking, reasoning, or behavior. If your loved one’s memory and judgment seem to be deteriorating over time, then it might indicate the progressive cognitive decline associated with dementia. In these cases, it’s important to know when to seek professional care for your loved one.
If, however, your loved one experiences a sudden onset of confusion at home, in the hospital, or after surgery then it’s important to alert emergency medical professionals right away. Want to learn more about how to help your loved one remain safe and healthy? Please don’t hesitate to contact us today.
How To Cope Up With Slurred Speech
Slurred speech or slurred speech after a stroke is something that you can still live your everyday life with. There are a number of ways that you can get through the day and communicate with people in social settings.
If you have slurred speech just speak slower. This gives the listener a chance to comprehend and understand what you are trying to say.
Make your sentences concise, this prevents you from rambling on and confusing the listener with words. Know who you are talking to. You can generally see if someone is easily understanding you or not while talking to them.
Have a backup plan, keep a notebook on you to write stuff down, keep photos, use your cell phone to convey messages if they do not understand your words. Use sign language or gestures.
Physical communication is a great way to convey any message you need to get across.
Whatever the case may be, slurred speech can cause some difficulties in your daily life. Whether it is permanent or slurred speech that comes and goes, there are ways to cope with it.
When dealing with a diagnosis, time is important. If you believe someone is having a stroke, make sure you call 911 immediately as any delay can cause more damage.
Look into alternative speech methods to help you in social settings. You dont need to let slurred speech control your life.
Frontotemporal Dementia With Parkinsonism
One form of familial FTD, also known as frontotemporal dementia with Parkinsonism-17 , is caused by genetic changes in the gene for tau protein, located on chromosome 17. No other risk factors for this condition are known.
FTDP-17 is rare and accounts for only three per cent of all cases of dementia. Symptoms progressively get worse over time and usually appear between the ages of 40 and 60. The condition affects both thinking and behavioural skills and movements such as rigidity, lack of facial expression and problems with balance .
It can be distressing to be told that you have a genetic disorder or are at risk of having one. Genetic counselling provides the person and their family with information about a genetic disorder and its likely impact on their lives. This can assist a person with FTDP-17 to make informed medical and personal decisions about how to manage their condition and the challenges it presents to their health and wellbeing. Prenatal genetic counselling is also available for parents to help them decide about a pregnancy that may be at risk of FTDP-17.
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Warning Signs Of Alzheimers Disease
Alzheimers is a progressive disease of the brain. Patients face cognitive decline that ultimately will take their ability to capture and form any memories at all. While they may eventually have recall of events from long ago, current events and very recent communications will not become permanent memories. In addition to losing the ability to form lasting memories, many who suffer from the disease suffer from poor judgment and slurred speech.
Early warning signs of Alzheimers disease include the following:
1. Memory lossMany who suffer from this disease will cling to a thought or an idea that they can remember well and refer to it constantly in their conversations. As they struggle to connect with those around them, they revert to what they know. If youre monitoring a loved one for early warning signs of Alzheimers disease, try to help them make other connections tied to the fixation.
2. Problem solving difficultiesThere is a condition known as aphasia that refers to the inability to recall a word. Early Alzheimers symptoms can include aphasia. Sufferers may also struggle with recalling the purpose of objects. For example, they may know that a vessel with a handle is for coffee, but not be able to remember the word cup. Those in the early stages of Alzheimers may know they need to cook lunch, but try to do it in a plastic bowl instead of a metal pan. If your loved one is suffering from small injuries, note what tools they use in household chores.
What Causes Slurred Speech In Elderly And How Is It Treated
When you grow older some of your body functions do not work the way they used too. Your motor skill ability may decrease over the time.
Slurred speech in elderly occurs when there is a lack of coordination between the brain, tongue, mouth and vocal cord. The medical term for slurred speech is known as dysarthria.
It is characterized by abnormal speech with poor pronunciation of words, with change in speed of the speech and rhythm. Slurred speech and dizziness may be caused by dysarthria.
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Prevention Efforts Are Important
Since treatments for vascular dementia are limited, prevention is important. A scientific statement from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association offers recommendations for preventing vascular dementia. They include:
- controlling blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar
- not smoking
- adopting a heart-healthy diet, such as a Mediterranean-type diet, that is rich in vegetables and fruits, whole grains, oily fish, and unsaturated fats
- exercising regularly
- drinking alcohol in moderation, if at all
- spending time with family and friends
- keeping your mind active with education, volunteering, and hobbies
- identifying and treat depression
Contributors To Cognitive Decline
Some conditions may raise your risk for dementia. Your best bet is to get them under control.
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Are Childhood Alzheimers And Childhood Dementia The Same
Childhood Alzheimers and childhood dementia might sound like they describe the same condition. But just like Alzheimers and dementia are two separate conditions in adults, childhood dementia is a separate condition from childhood Alzheimers.
Childhood dementia is caused by a group of conditions called neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis . When a child has NCL, proteins, and lipids build up in their body and lead to decline.
Like childhood Alzheimers, NCL is fatal. Children often die when theyre between 10 and 15 years old.
Diseases Associated With Speech Impairment
There can be temporary causes of speech impairment, but in most cases, there is an underlying condition impacting the speech region of the brain. Sudden speech impairment can be a sign of a serious medical condition that requires immediate medical attention.
Stroke: Speech impairment and disorders are common after a stroke, but they can also be signs of an impending stroke. Slurred speech, along with facial muscle changes, can indicate a stroke and should not be ignored.
Cardiovascular disease: Heart disease can cause structural changes in the brain as a result of reduced blood flow. Cognitive abilities and communication can be impacted as a result.
Multiple sclerosis: This condition causes lesions that damaged parts of the brain, which can impair speech patterns.
Infections: Viral and bacterial infections that reach the brain can cause damage to the areas that process language, causing temporary speech impairment.
Huntingtons Disease: This disease mostly affects movement, but the majority of patients with Huntingtons also report speech difficulties.
Alzheimers disease: Speech impairment can develop as a result of plaques in the brain that are associated with Alzheimers disease.
Parkinsons: Difficulty speaking and swallowing is common with Parkinsons disease and gets worse as the disease progresses.
Cancer: A tumor in your brain located near the speech center will cause speech impairments as well as changes in memory, seizures, and severe headaches.
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Alzheimer’s Disease Causes Stages And Symptoms
Alzheimer’s disease is a common cause of dementia. Symptoms and warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease include memory loss, difficulty performing familiar tasks, disorientation to time and place, misplacing things, and more. The biggest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease is increased age. Treatment for Alzheimer’s is often targeted toward decreasing the symptoms and progression of the disease.
Dementia Vs Delirium: Key Differences
When it comes to these separate cognitive conditions, it’s important to realize that an individual can experience both at the same time. For example, if your loved one has Alzheimer’s disease but then experiences an episode of extreme hallucinations, radical mood changes, and unusual confusion and disorientation, then they may need to seek medical treatment for delirium.
However, in general, here are the key differences to look out for:
- Memory: One of the major differences between delirium and dementia is that, while delirium affects attention and concentration, dementia is primarily associated with memory loss.
- Attention: Though seniors with dementia may have some issues with attention in the late stages of the condition, for the most part, they are able to remain relatively attentive. By contrast, individuals in a state of delirium will be easily distracted, unable to concentrate, and generally going in and out of consciousness.
- Speech: Although individuals with dementia in late stages may have difficulty putting their thoughts to words, they usually won’t demonstrate the sudden slurred speech common to delirium.
- Hallucinations: Though hallucinations occasionally occur with dementia, they are very common with delirium.
- Illness: Delirium is often caused by illness, surgery, or drugs. Those with dementia often will have no signs of physical illness or conditions.
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Certain Speech Changes May Be Early Sign Of Mental Decline
Your speech may, um, help reveal if you’re uh… developing thinking problems. More pauses, filler words and other verbal changes might be an early sign of mental decline, which can lead to Alzheimer’s disease, a study suggests.
Researchers had people describe a picture they were shown in taped sessions two years apart. Those with early-stage mild cognitive impairment slid much faster on certain verbal skills than those who didn’t develop thinking problems.
“What we’ve discovered here is there are aspects of language that are affected earlier than we thought,” before or at the same time that memory problems emerge, said one study leader, Sterling Johnson of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
This was the largest study ever done of speech analysis for this purpose, and if more testing confirms its value, it might offer a simple, cheap way to help screen people for very early signs of mental decline.
But don’t panic lots of people say “um” and have trouble quickly recalling names as they age. It doesn’t necessarily mean trouble is on the way.
“In normal aging, it’s something that may come back to you later and it’s not going to disrupt the whole conversation,” another study leader, Kimberly Mueller, explained. “The difference here is, it is more frequent in a short period,” interferes with communication and gets worse over time.
The study was discussed Monday at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in London.
What Causes Childhood Alzheimers
Both types of childhood Alzheimers are caused by genetics. The diseases are recessive, so both parents need to be a carrier of the gene for a child to inherit the condition.
Children born to parents who both carry the genes that cause childhood Alzheimers have a 1 in 4 chance of developing the condition.
Parents pass down genes that are unable to produce the correct protein cells need to work. When the lysosomes of cells cant work as they should, the body cant produce the other things it needs to function properly.
Eventually, fats, cholesterol, or sugars will build up in the cells of an affected child. This will lead to a decline in brain and organ function.
Causes Of Slurred Speech
Various parts of the mouth and upper airway are responsible for the speech articulation. These areas are known as the places of articulation and includes the lips, tongue, palate, teeth, uvula, pharynx , glottis and epiglottis. A structural problem in any of these areas may be responsible for slurred speech. The muscles in these areas may also be the site of the problem either due to muscle disorders itself, the nerves stimulating these muscles or the brain centers that coordinate the muscle activity.
Therefore the following diseases and conditions may be responsible for slurred speech :
- Alcohol intoxication
- Recreational drugs and illicit substances
Slurred speech can also occur secondarily as a complication in other diseases like with mouth ulcers, oral thrush , temporomandibular joint dysfunction and other jaw problems.
Speaking And Voice Problems And Stroke
If you see someone with the following symptoms, call 911 right away:
- They suddenly have trouble trying to speak, they slur their words, or mumble.
- They struggle to read, write, or understand others when they could before.
- When you ask them to smile, their face looks uneven or droops on one side.
- They have new weakness or numbness in one or both arms or in one or both legs.
Talk to a doctor about ways to prevent a stroke, including watching your loved oneâs blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and weight. Try to get them to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day and to eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits and veggies. Help them remember to take all their medicines at the right times every day.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Slurred Speech
Symptoms of slurred speech are almost the same when looking at all the cases. Generally, slurred speech can be diagnosed from all of these symptoms.
listed below are some possible signs and symptoms of slurred speech:
- Poor speech that is difficult to comprehend
- Slow or rapid speech
- Limited movement of tongue and facial muscles
- The duration of the symptoms temporary or permanent.
- The side of the mouth may drop slightly if the person is suffering from a stroke
- The mouth will not be moving at the correct speed for what the person is trying to convey.
How To Prevent Voice And Speaking Problems
Because they have many different causes, it might not be possible to keep them from happening. But you can take steps to make them less likely.
- Help your loved one drink plenty of fluids, such as water, soup, and juice. Ask their doctor how much is right for them.
- Help them cut down or stay away from alcohol and caffeine.
- Include plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in their diet. These foods have important vitamins and help keep the lining of the throat healthy.
- Help them exercise regularly. Exercise makes muscle tone better and helps provide good posture and breath control, which are necessary for a healthy voice.
- Voice exercises can help keep problems from happening. For instance, encourage the person to read a book aloud for 10 to 15 minutes a day, or have them sing along to their favorite music.
- Donât buy mouthwash that has alcohol or chemicals that irritate. If your loved one really wants to gargle, try to get them to use a saltwater rinse instead.
- Unless their doctor says otherwise, try to stay away from most cold or allergy medicines. These can dry out their vocal cords.
- Try to stay away from things that irritate the nose and throat, like smoke, air pollution, and fumes. Also stay away from things that trigger allergies for some people, like dust, animal dander, mold, and pollen.
- If they smoke and might be able to stop, ask a doctor about programs and products that may help.
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Is Slurred Speech A Serious Health Condition
To understand this health condition, we must first look at what causes slurred speech. Slurred speech is when there is a disconnect between the motor functions of the brain and the mouth.
This can be caused by temporary exhaustion or alcohol intoxication, but also could be attributed to a stroke or something more severe.
If your slurred speech lasts for more than just a temporary amount of time you should see a medical professional as soon as you can.
The psychological aspects of slurred speech can cause depression, social isolation, and difficulty working or going to school. Most people will experience mild cases of slurred speech in their lifetime.
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