Agent Orange Exposure Doubles Risk Of Developing Dementia Study Finds
A new study of more than 300,000 Vietnam-era U.S. veterans has found that those who were exposed to Agent Orange are nearly twice as likely to develop dementia as those who were not.
The new finding, , is among the most substantial to date linking cognitive decline with chemicals used for defoliation during the Vietnam War.
For the study, researchers at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Health Care System examined the medical records of thousands of veterans and found a two-fold risk of dementia for those whose medical records indicated evidence of exposure.
According to Deborah Barnes, a researcher with the University of California San Francisco and the Department of Veterans Affairs, the study authors found that, over the course of time, 5% of veterans with a documented exposure to Agent Orange were diagnosed with dementia compared with 2.5% of vets with no known exposure.
“Even though the absolute rates … are low, these veterans were still relatively young, so if the risk holds, we would expect that to increase as they age,” Barnes said in an interview with JAMA Neurology.
The research also discovered that the exposed vets were diagnosed an average of 15 months earlier than non-exposed veterans — a finding that can have a huge impact on former personnel, their families and society as a whole, Barnes said.
Lifestyle Changes To Improve Vascular Dementia Symptoms
A diagnosis of dementia is scary. But its important to remember that many people with dementia can lead healthy, fulfilling lives for years after the diagnosis. Dont give up on life! As much as possible, continue to look after your physical and emotional health, do the things you love to do, and spend time with family and friends.
The same strategies used to keep your brain healthy as you age and prevent the onset of dementia can also be used to improve symptoms.
Find new ways to get moving. Research suggests that even a leisurely 30-minute walk every day may reduce the risk of vascular dementia and help slow its progression. Regular exercise can also help control your weight, relieve stress, and boost your overall health and happiness.
Create a network of support. Seeking help and encouragement from friends, family, health care experts, and support groups can improve your outlook and your health. And its never to late to make new friends and expand your network.
Eat for heart health. Heart disease and stroke share many of the same risk factors, such as high LDL cholesterol , low HDL cholesterol , and high blood pressure. Adopting a heart-healthy diet may help to improve or slow down your dementia symptoms.
Make it a point to have more fun.Laughing, playing, and enjoying yourself are great ways to reduce stress and worry. Joy can energize you and inspire lifestyle changes that may prevent further strokes and compensate for memory and cognitive losses.
Symptoms And Signs Of Vascular Dementia
CT and MRI may show
Bilateral multiple infarcts in the dominant hemisphere and limbic structures
Multiple lacunar strokes
Periventricular white-matter lesions extending into the deep white matter
In Binswanger dementia, leukoencephalopathy in the cerebrum semiovale adjacent to the cortex, often with multiple lacunae affecting structures deep in the gray matter
In CADASIL and CARASIL, diffuse white matter hyperintensities with ischemic lesions in subcortical regions, including characteristic involvement of the anterior temporal lobe
The Hachinski Ischemic Score is sometimes used to help differentiate vascular dementia from Alzheimer disease .
The diagnosis of CADASIL and CARASIL can be confirmed by genetic tests, which identify characteristic mutations of the NOTCH3 gene for CADASIL and HTRA1 gene for CARASIL. Sometimes a skin biopsy can be done instead to confirm the diagnosis of CADASIL.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Vascular Dementia
The symptoms of vascular dementia depend on the location and amount of brain tissue involved. Vascular dementia symptoms may appear suddenly after a stroke, or gradually over time. Symptoms may get worse after another stroke, a heart attack, or major surgery. These are signs and symptoms of vascular dementia
- Increased trouble carrying out normal daily activities because of problems with concentration, communication, or inability to carry out instructions
- Memory problems, although short-term memory may not be affected
- Confusion, which may increase at night
- Stroke symptoms, such as sudden weakness and trouble with speech
- Personality changes
- Mood changes, such as depression or irritability
- Stride changes when walking too fast, shuffling steps
- Problems with movement and/or balance
- Urinary problems, such as urgency or incontinence
How To Support A Loved One Experiencing Dementia Symptoms
As your loved ones dementia worsens, it can become increasingly difficult for family caregivers to keep up with the levels of care your loved one needs.
Creating a care plan soon after your loved ones diagnosis is the best way to address their care needs over time.
Finding a loving community should be a part of your care plan, to ensure your loved one has a place to receive the type of advanced, loving care they need.
The Kensington was proud to partner with Jennie Clark of Stanfords Aging Adult Services at Stanford Health Care for this virtual presentation. During this open and honest discussion, Jennie guides you through common questions that caregivers have when caring for their loved ones with dementia.
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Who Has A High Risk Of Developing Vascular Dementia
Factors that increase your risk of encountering the early or late stages of vascular dementia include high blood pressure, smoking, excessive drinking, diabetes, and heart disease. In regards to the prognosis of vascular dementiamen, African Americans, and those between the ages of 60 to 75 tend to be at an increased risk.
What Is Transient Ischemic Attack
A transient ischemic attack also known as a ministroke, is a stroke lasts only a few minutes 36). A transient ischemic attack happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is briefly blocked 37). Since it doesnt cause permanent damage, it might seem like no big deal. But ignoring it is a big mistake. Thats because a transient ischemic attack may signal a full-blown stroke ahead 38). TIAs are often labeled mini-strokes, because they can be relatively benign in terms of immediate consequences. But the term warning stroke is more appropriate for these temporary episodes, because they can indicate the likelihood of a coming stroke 39). Like most strokes, TIAs are caused by a clot or blockage in the brain. TIAs should be taken very seriously. If you suspect a TIA or stroke of kind, be sure to call for an ambulance and go to the hospital emergency room immediately.
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Living With Vascular Dementia
Vascular dementia is a progressive disease that has no cure, but the rate at which the disease progresses can vary. Some people with vascular dementia may eventually need a high level of care due to the loss of mental and physical abilities. Family members may be able to care for a person with vascular dementia early on. But if the disease progresses, the person may need more specialized care.
Respite programs, adult daycare programs, and other resources can help the caregiver get some time away from the demands of caring for a loved one with vascular dementia.
Long-term care facilities that specialize in the care of people with dementias, Alzheimer’s, and other related conditions are often available if a person affected by vascular dementia can no longer be cared for at home. Your healthcare provider can recommend caregiver resources.
Life Expectancy And Vascular Dementia
Repeated small strokes can damage the brain and cause vascular dementia. Its the second most common cause of the disease. The pattern of disease progression is different from the gradual deterioration of Alzheimers disease. The symptoms may be steady for a while, then suddenly get worse followed by a further period of stability. This reflects times when blood clots interrupt the blood supply to the brain, causing damage.
Because people with vascular dementia is linked to strokes, people affected often have other illnesses and may have worse general health. Research suggests that the average life expectancy is around four years. However, sudden or severe deterioration can happen when there is a further stroke.
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Life Expectancy And Dementia With Lewy Bodies
Dementia with Lewy bodies accounts for around 7% of cases of dementia. Lewy bodies are tiny protein deposits that affect thought, memory and movement and are linked to both dementia and Parkinsons disease.
Hallucinations, sleep disturbance, and movement problems can be an early feature in dementia with Lewy bodies, so that diagnosis may be made at an earlier stage. Some research suggests that survival can be significantly shorter with this challenging condition, however, the Alzheimers Society says:
Eventually, someone with DLB is likely to need a large amount of nursing care. How quickly the condition progresses and the life expectancy of a person with DLB vary a lot. On average someone might live for about six to 12 years after the first symptoms, similar to a person with Alzheimers disease.
The Later Stage Of Dementia
People with later-stage dementia will eventually need full-time care and support with daily living and personal care, such as eating, washing and dressing. Whatever kind of dementia a person has, their life expectancy is on average lower.
The progression and stages of dementia
Dementia is a life-limiting condition and there is information about later-stage dementia and life expectancy on this page. Some people may find this upsetting and difficult to think about.
For more general information about the different stages of dementia, see The progression and stages of dementia page.
By the later stage of dementia, the condition will have a severe impact on most aspects of a persons life. The person will eventually need full-time care and support with daily living and personal care, such as eating, washing and dressing. This support can be provided by care at home but is more often given in a care home setting.
Symptoms of all kinds are likely to cause the person considerable difficulties in this stage, but altered perception and physical problems are often the most noticeable. By the late stage, the symptoms of all types of dementia become very similar.
The later stage of dementia tends to be the shortest. On average it lasts about one to two years.
Are you supporting a person with later-stage dementia?
Get practical advice and tips on supporting a person with later-stage dementia.
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Multi Infarct Dementia Prognosis Life Expectancy
While there is no perfect memory loss remedy, there are several things that you can do to prevent it. First of all, exercising regularly can help keep your lungs in good shape. People who get regular exercise have better memories, and a regular exercise program can reduce stress. Additionally, exercising can help prevent memory loss by keeping your mind active. Here are some of the best ways to make your brain healthier and keep your mind sharp. Read on to learn more. Multi Infarct Dementia Prognosis Life Expectancy
Are There Support Groups And Counseling For Stroke
If you have vascular dementia, you know how difficult this can be. It affects every aspect of your life, including family relationships, work, financial status, social life, and physical and mental health. You feel the frustration of being disabled and dependent. You may feel angry, resentful, or hopeless.
Caregivers have similar feelings of frustration. If you are a caregiver, 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 overwhelmed, resentful, and angry. These feelings may in turn leave you feeling guilty, ashamed, and anxious. Depression is not uncommon, but it usually gets better with treatment.
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 you, as a caregiver, are given no relief, you can burn out, develop your own mental and physical problems, and become unable to care for the person with dementia.
Support groups meet in person, on the telephone, or on the Internet. To find a support group that works for you, contact the following organizations. You can ask your health care provider, or go on the Internet. If you do not have access to the Internet, go to the public library.
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Do You Die From Dementia
The forgetfulness, confusion and communication problems of dementia are caused by increasing damage to cells in the brain. But the brain doesnt just control memory and thought it is also the control centre for the body. Progressive brain cell death will eventually cause the digestive system, lungs, and heart to fail, meaning that dementia is a terminal condition.
Studies suggest that, on average, someone will live around ten years following a dementia diagnosis. However, this can vary significantly between individuals, some people living for more than twenty years, so its important to try not to focus on the figures and to make the very most of the time left.
Alzheimers & Dementia Care Services
Support your loved one with vascular dementia in living a meaningful life at Terra Vista. Terra Vista is an Alzheimers care assisted living facility in Oakbrook Terrace with 24/7-on-site medical personnel, dementia-care-trained staff, and innovative social therapy programs. You and the family can feel a sense of peace knowing that your loved one will receive innovative memory care services while still keeping their independence.
Our dementia care assisted living community features private living rooms, communal dining rooms, and other stellar amenities to help your loved one live a fulfilling life. Take the next step with vascular dementia treatment and schedule a tour of our community to meet our highly skilled medical team today. Give our team a call by phone at 534-0886 to discuss the benefits of transitioning into a memory care community.
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A doctor will perform a physical exam to evaluate your mental processes. He or she will also ask you about any medications youre currently taking and any stressful situations youre facing. Your memory loss provider may also ask you about your symptoms and ask you to take notes on how youre feeling. The doctor may recommend that you get an appointment with a neuropsychologist. A neuropsychologist can help you figure out the best way to treat your memory loss.
A doctor will conduct a physical exam to determine the exact cause of your memory loss. He or she will also ask you about your medical history and whether youve experienced other forms of memory loss. After your medical history, your provider will discuss your options for treatment. If youre experiencing severe symptoms of memory loss, you should seek out a professional. It will help you get the right kind of care for your specific situation. So, take action today.
A healthcare provider will perform a physical exam to assess the condition of your memory. He or she will ask you about your family and friends and any medications youre taking. Once he or she has established the root cause, a proper treatment will be given. If you have a mild form of memory loss, you can still function independently and perform everyday tasks. If your symptoms are more severe, you may need to see a medical professional.
What Affects Life Expectancy In Dementia
The life expectancy of someone living with dementia depends on many factors. The type of dementia, the severity of dementia at the time of diagnosis, and the individuals age, sex, and their general health and wellbeing can all impact on the time they can live with the disease.
The key things that affect life expectancy include:
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What Should Be Your Role As A Caregiver In The End
During the final stage of dementia, the affected individual becomes completely dependent on the people around them to carry out basic activities.
If a person is a caregiver, they need to take care of the patient regarding certain important aspects, including:
The appetite of the affected individual may decrease in the final stages of dementia due to the inability to stay physically active. They may forget to eat food or drink fluids.
To help ensure that the person in the final stage of dementia receives adequate nutrition, try the following tips:
Bowel and bladder function
The patient may eventually lose control of bladder and bowel function in the final stage of dementia.
To maintain bowel and bladder function, try the following tips:
Skin and bone health
A patient with end-stage Alzheimers disease can eventually become bedridden or chair-bound. This can result in skin breakdown, pressure sores, and freezing of joints .
To keep the skin healthy and bones functioning, try the following tips:
Good oral hygiene reduces the risk of bacteria in the mouth that can lead to infections, including pneumonia. Brush the patients teeth every time after the patient eats. If the patient wears dentures, remove them and clean them every night.
Caring For Someone With Vascular Dementia
There is no cure for vascular dementia. Controlling the underlying cause of the disease may help slow the decline in mental and physical abilities. Drugs for the treatment of Alzheimers disease may also work to treat symptoms and slow the progression of vascular dementia. But eventually, people with vascular dementia will lose their independence because symptoms will interfere with their ability to care for themselves.
At first, family members will likely be able to offer the necessary care for someone with vascular dementia. Simple reminders, structured routines, and simplified tasks can help them with daily functions. Providing cues and context can be helpful for recall. But caregivers often find behavioral and personality changes difficult to deal with because they can be distressing.
If youre caring for a loved one with vascular dementia, support is vital. There are several types of resources available to assist caregivers. Respite care and adult daycare programs are examples. Support groups can also help caregivers work through their feelings and find comfort from those in similar situations.
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