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Old 10-29-2018, 06:47 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,614 posts, read 17,598,460 times
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One thing on the genetic component of this. Many folks who may not think they have a family of history may in fact do - it's just that the family members aren't living long enough to get to the typical "dementia ages."

Two of my maternal grandmother's brothers died in separate fatal DUIs. Another brother collapsed at her house and died in is 60s. Only one brother, who is around 67-70, is still alive. If all those other men had lived, would someone have had dementia?

Life expectancy is also higher than it used to be. A lot of people who might have gotten dementia died of other causes before that would occur.
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Old 10-29-2018, 06:56 AM
 
Location: NJ
10,730 posts, read 21,375,591 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
I've been doing some reading ever since my cousin was diagnosed this past spring and mostly it says it's 1/3 genetic, 1/3 diet, 1/3 environmental. I THINK it said 1/3 diet.

Anyway, I'm all for prevention, if possible. More fresh vegetables, less junk food that contains, well, junk. The junk in that kind of food isn't even food so who knows what it does to the brain? Air pollution, household chemicals. I know I never used to pay much attention when I was younger to warnings on products like the paint stripper I would use when refinishing a table, for instance. Warning! Make sure the room is well ventilated! Well, I didn't bother, just went ahead and used the products.

Maybe you can get away with that when you are younger, and maybe if you just do it a few times, and maybe you'll get lucky and just get away with it no matter what! Lucky for me that I got sick from a lot of stuff so I couldn't use it anymore.

And people on this forum alerted us to the risks to older people of some prescription drugs. You can google that and it's probably a good idea because I don't think a lot of drs are aware. My cousin was put on a too high dose of neurontin when she was 70. By the time a specialist called her pcp about it, my cousin didn't know one day from the next! Her memory came right back when they took her off the very high dose but she was never the same after that. It was all downhill.

The say some of the cholesterol drugs too. I feel like making my own list in case someone else is in charge of me and the drs don't know enough. If I am in the hospital and the drs put me on some prescription drug, I'd like my spouse or relative to check my list and get me off that drug. Better still, never put me on that drug in the first place because I think once it starts, there's no turning back. It is definitely scary.

https://www.aarp.org/health/drugs-su...mory-loss.html
I was on neurontin about 10 years ago (in my 40's). I stopped taking it one day when my son and I went to DMV, I had no clue why I was there. My son said for the paperwork in your hands! I used to forget where I was driving too. I wasn't sure if I was zoning out or what. Now at 53 I'm having memory issues. I highly doubt I could pass that 10 minute dementia test.
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Old 10-29-2018, 09:11 AM
 
Location: NJ
10,730 posts, read 21,375,591 times
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Originally Posted by Roselvr View Post
I was on neurontin about 10 years ago (in my 40's). I stopped taking it one day when my son and I went to DMV, I had no clue why I was there. My son said for the paperwork in your hands! I used to forget where I was driving too. I wasn't sure if I was zoning out or what. Now at 53 I'm having memory issues. I highly doubt I could pass that 10 minute dementia test.
It's random things such as I put my daughters spare set of car keys down a week ago and can't find them. Normally I'd put them by my pocket book or where they belong, they're neither place. I've tried retracing my steps but couldn't and there wasn't that much time that went by. I did the same thing with the Desitin Saturday night. I walked back downstairs from my grandson's room, could have sworn I threw it where I keep it because I sat right down but it's where to be found.

Have issues finding words when talking. I stopped talking on the phone a few years ago because of it. I'm much better when I can type a reply via text or messenger because I can go back and read and edit. There are days where I leave spaces because I can't think of words.

I have a few very dear people that have passed away within the last 5 years but can't recall the dates or years. This is so not like me either to have to go to my family tree or their contact in my phone where thankfully I have the date.

I'm clueless what day it is besides Monday. I always knew that it was October 29th Monday (I cheated by looking at my watch)

Have issues with names unless they're right in front of me. Even with shows I watch. Takes me forever to learn names when I never used to be bad with that.

Even my own medical history which I've always known is not remembered now.

I do suffer from horrible chronic pain but have had it for 15 years.

I'm gonna do more gooling because what I've read I have some issues of different ones. I'm also having new serious sleep issues that I never had. I'm living on 4 to 5 hours sleep with a prescribed sleeping pill that normally knocks me out all night for at least a decent 6 hours.

I did do the SAGE test (1) and passed, except for the date.
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Old 10-29-2018, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,623 posts, read 9,692,127 times
Reputation: 11000
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicet4 View Post
Do I have it?

Lately I sometimes wonder if perhaps.....

We're not prepared for the coming dementia crisis



I am 70 and I sometimes wonder if I am starting down the road because I can not remember things that I should. Little things like the name of a niece or nephew.

I guess at 70 my chances are higher than 1 in 10. 1 in 8 maybe?

Another thing I have noticed lately is I don't handle stress anywhere near like I used to.

I do the same thing and it's aggravating to say the least. I don't think it's the beginning of dementia though, just what happens when you get older. My mom used to be talking away and use a word that was completely out of context then she'd laugh and say she was having a 'brain leak'. Far as I know there's only been one case of true dementia in my family and it was my granddad. He lived to 91 and probably had full blown dementia from about age 85. No idea when it actually began though.


I can still handle stress but when it gets to be too much I get rid of the cause! I live my life in a way that keeps stress and drama out of it. It works most of the time but it requires keeping other people at arms length and they tell me that's not good.
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Old 10-29-2018, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,623 posts, read 9,692,127 times
Reputation: 11000
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicet4 View Post
I did that about two years ago and was told I didn't have any issues.

I did it this past spring when my Medicare provider insisted on a complete health exam. I don't/didn't have any issues either. It just aggravates me when I can't think of a name, a TV show or some other simple thing. I usually think of it in a while when I'm doing something else.
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Old 10-29-2018, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,623 posts, read 9,692,127 times
Reputation: 11000
Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
I've been doing some reading ever since my cousin was diagnosed this past spring and mostly it says it's 1/3 genetic, 1/3 diet, 1/3 environmental. I THINK it said 1/3 diet.

Anyway, I'm all for prevention, if possible. More fresh vegetables, less junk food that contains, well, junk. The junk in that kind of food isn't even food so who knows what it does to the brain? Air pollution, household chemicals. I know I never used to pay much attention when I was younger to warnings on products like the paint stripper I would use when refinishing a table, for instance. Warning! Make sure the room is well ventilated! Well, I didn't bother, just went ahead and used the products.

Maybe you can get away with that when you are younger, and maybe if you just do it a few times, and maybe you'll get lucky and just get away with it no matter what! Lucky for me that I got sick from a lot of stuff so I couldn't use it anymore.

And people on this forum alerted us to the risks to older people of some prescription drugs. You can google that and it's probably a good idea because I don't think a lot of drs are aware. My cousin was put on a too high dose of neurontin when she was 70. By the time a specialist called her pcp about it, my cousin didn't know one day from the next! Her memory came right back when they took her off the very high dose but she was never the same after that. It was all downhill.

The say some of the cholesterol drugs too. I feel like making my own list in case someone else is in charge of me and the drs don't know enough. If I am in the hospital and the drs put me on some prescription drug, I'd like my spouse or relative to check my list and get me off that drug. Better still, never put me on that drug in the first place because I think once it starts, there's no turning back. It is definitely scary.

https://www.aarp.org/health/drugs-su...mory-loss.html

I think I've been very lucky all my life having very good health. I do have COPD now but caused by my own stupidity. I have always been a fruit and veggie-holic. Fresh and very little canned. Love it all. I am not a junk food fan and I mostly stay away from processed foods and those awful frozen dinners, etc. that so many seniors stock up on. As a cashier I was always amazed at how much of those things people bought. The only prescription I have is for my COPD inhaler. I do take some vitamins and my last blood work showed I was doing fine. I don't think any of those are messing with my memory. I'm just getting old. My long term memory is still good. It's the short term that's 'slipping' now and then.
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Old 10-29-2018, 10:01 AM
 
13,946 posts, read 7,429,050 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mircea View Post
Alzheimer's and Dementia are two totally separate things. You can have Alzheimer's without having Dementia, and you can have Dementia without having Alzheimer's.

Your doctor is not qualified to diagnosis either.

What you need is a neuro-psychologist.

My mother is a neuro-psychologist, and she has 74 years and that's what she does at work two days a week (she's also a clinical psychologist and does individual and couple's counseling the other 3 days).

She has on rare occasions attended Social Security Disability hearings for people with early onset Alzheimer's. These are people ages 45-55 who get it. That's largely genetic. Some of them will make it another 10 years, but many don't. They're usually dead before age 60.

My grandmother did fine the first 98 years, but a couple months after her 98th birthday she started showing signs of Dementia, and it came on pretty fast. She died four days before her 99th birthday.

The value of testing with a neuro-psychologist is that it creates a baseline, so that 5, 10, 15 or 20 years from now when you have another test, you can make comparisons and see the extent of progression or damage.

None of the tests last more than an hour, and they are neither painful nor invasive, so you're not stuck with needles, no drugs are used and no prep is necessary.

My mother sees a lot more high school kids, plus collegiate athletes than in the past. I think that has to do with concussion protocols used in sports now.

Those tests diagnose a variety of issues like Alzheimer's, Dementia, Parkinson's, Huntington's, Agnosia, Asphasia, strokes, concussions and other traumatic brain injuries. If stroke affected speech, you can tell whether someone will or will not regain speech, and if they can, how many months of speech therapy will be required, or for mobility issues, whether they'll regain full or partial use of their limbs, or no use at all, and how many months of physical and occupational therapy are necessary to restore them.

Not everyone with Dementia actually has Dementia, what they actually have is mini-strokes.

These tests can differentiate.

Mini-strokes can affect almost any area of the brain, and they can affect that area of the brain, leading people to believe they have Dementia (or Alzheimer's), when in fact they don't. If you're having mini-strokes, you need to know, so you can take the necessary medication to help prevent future mini-strokes, or a full-on stroke.

This isn't accurate. Dementia is a symptom. Strokes or Alzheimer's are the two most common causes but there are a number of others. You can often pick up evidence of strokes as a cause of vascular dementia from a CT scan or MRI but that's not conclusive. There is no conclusive test to diagnose Alzheimer's short of an autopsy. This is all likely to improve over the next decade but that's the state of medicine today.


My father had vascular dementia from untreated afib. It showed up clearly in the CT scan. My mother has dementia. Being female, she's a much higher Alzheimer's risk but they can't diagnose Alzheimer's as the cause of her dementia symptoms.
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Old 10-29-2018, 10:33 AM
Status: "Disagreeing is not the same thing as trolling." (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Texas
9,589 posts, read 3,676,728 times
Reputation: 19727
People are living longer and the baby boomers are aging. Dementia and lack of elder care services is going to be a huge issue. I've been saying this for a long time. Nursing homes continue to refuse to pay caregivers more than $9 or $10 an hour which means there is a shortage of people to do this work, and even importing people from other countries isn't helping. CNAs and home health aides are paid less than a Wal Mart cashier.
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Old 10-29-2018, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Cushing OK
14,547 posts, read 17,559,867 times
Reputation: 16777
Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
I've been doing some reading ever since my cousin was diagnosed this past spring and mostly it says it's 1/3 genetic, 1/3 diet, 1/3 environmental. I THINK it said 1/3 diet.

Anyway, I'm all for prevention, if possible. More fresh vegetables, less junk food that contains, well, junk. The junk in that kind of food isn't even food so who knows what it does to the brain? Air pollution, household chemicals. I know I never used to pay much attention when I was younger to warnings on products like the paint stripper I would use when refinishing a table, for instance. Warning! Make sure the room is well ventilated! Well, I didn't bother, just went ahead and used the products.

Maybe you can get away with that when you are younger, and maybe if you just do it a few times, and maybe you'll get lucky and just get away with it no matter what! Lucky for me that I got sick from a lot of stuff so I couldn't use it anymore.

And people on this forum alerted us to the risks to older people of some prescription drugs. You can google that and it's probably a good idea because I don't think a lot of drs are aware. My cousin was put on a too high dose of neurontin when she was 70. By the time a specialist called her pcp about it, my cousin didn't know one day from the next! Her memory came right back when they took her off the very high dose but she was never the same after that. It was all downhill.

The say some of the cholesterol drugs too. I feel like making my own list in case someone else is in charge of me and the drs don't know enough. If I am in the hospital and the drs put me on some prescription drug, I'd like my spouse or relative to check my list and get me off that drug. Better still, never put me on that drug in the first place because I think once it starts, there's no turning back. It is definitely scary.

https://www.aarp.org/health/drugs-su...mory-loss.html

Back when I was being 'treated' for bipolar disorder, after several years of a collection of diagnosis, I did all the things I should. But it just got worse and worse. The anti depressent sent my moods sky high followed by an equally energentic crash. I told the doctor. He had no idea what to do so said take more. Then again. I was sleeping three hours and awake unable to 'turn off' the rest of the time. And I often couldn't remember yesterday, or what I'd done, or hadn't.


I put myself on a treatment plan. Of the eleven pills I took three times a day, I picked the worse offender first, and skipped just one pill a day for a week. Then I skipped it for two days. And so on. And when I was done, 4 to 6 weeks, I kept enough so if for some reason I needed one I had it. Still have that bottle with not a one more used, and will keep the empty bottle when I find a turn in.


There were four meds, and I did the same with all of them. The AD was the hardest. It I had a reserve for bad days which I used now and then, and the origional stronger ones for a really bad crash. But one day, I woke up and realized that I felt like ME inside, not any of the people I invented along the way. In a real way, I didn't participate. This other self did or this other. I didn't think they were 'real' in terms of flesh and blood, but stood for things, and were always on my side, *except* when I knew it was the wrong one.


I told the pdoc, a new one since I'd been 'stable' so long, about the plan, and he was all for it. I did it right. There were still things to resolve, still are for that matter, but I'd already started down my new pathway.


I would advise anyone with conditions like BP (bipolar) get a good reference to the drugs used and check each one at a time for normal/common/undesirable side effects. Do NOT expect the doctor to. Mostly they just say just use it since you need it. But its is up to YOU to read up on the drug's history, especially the side effects, but also even more important the effect on any existing ailment. Turns out one of the AD meds was about as bad as you could do for my dietary problems from all that surgery and should have been a NO from the start.


So be informed. Nobody is going to look so look yourself. Get a very good, detailed and coherient list with examples, before speaking to the doctor about this. And if you have to, find a new doctor who does not live off of pharma.



It's very good to hear that I'm not alone and others out there defy the medical orders and try something different, and take the time to let it work. Changing a med always takes time and your awareness of effects is the primary of progress or not, and honesty to yourself is vital.


And if you do your research, and show your doctor and its dismissed as not good, then let him/her talk and then yourself, and stay calm and keep the emotion down and maybe you might plant a seed in him for the next who didn't get any good from pharma.
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Old 10-29-2018, 11:11 AM
 
13,946 posts, read 7,429,050 times
Reputation: 25448
Quote:
Originally Posted by PriscillaVanilla View Post
People are living longer and the baby boomers are aging. Dementia and lack of elder care services is going to be a huge issue. I've been saying this for a long time. Nursing homes continue to refuse to pay caregivers more than $9 or $10 an hour which means there is a shortage of people to do this work, and even importing people from other countries isn't helping. CNAs and home health aides are paid less than a Wal Mart cashier.

You're not looking at the whole picture. Nursing homes and long term care now account for 42% of Medicaid spending. Roughly 65% of nursing home residents are paid for through Medicaid. Where I live in an affluent state, the state pays 50% of the Medicaid bill and the Federal government the other 50%. Fully 25% of the state budget is Medicaid. Even paying minimum wage, a nursing home likely doesn't break even on Medicaid patients. Without private pay, they'd shut the doors.


You can't blame the nursing homes. The issue is public policy that limits Medicaid reimbursement for nursing homes.


My state has adopted a $15 minimum wage where it's $11 now and will be $15 in a few years. Labor is the dominant cost for long term care. If Medicaid reimbursements don't go up, an awful lot of nursing homes are going to close. Granny ends up in the street in the name of tax cuts for 1%ers.
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