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athgarvan

Dementia

images4XO3P6FQBecause I now experience more and more difficulty with memory I have been reading articles on Dementia - I shudder at the thought of using the term "Alzheimer's". Am I being morbid?

I see my mind as "me".  My mind is my essence. It can be frightening to consider losing that self or having it impaired. I can't decide which is more frightening: to lose myself, or to be myself but not be able to show it.

I understand that in the early stages of dementia changes are slight and it is possible to continue to do lots of things. One may:

• forget things easily, repeat things frequently,
• experience problems with language, such as appearing to be stuck for words or losing track of a conversation,
• find new situations or places confusing,
• show poor judgement or find it hard to make decisions,
• lose interest in other people or activities,
• be unwilling to try new things,
• experience low mood, become anxious or withdrawn,
• feel easily frustrated or angry.

All of these I can identify in myself. How should I be reacting?

Comments

Cautiously! Proactively! Ideas to consider:
* Talk to your doctor about your concerns. Prepare for the appointment with a list, including specific examples. (Forgetting where you put your keys, normal. Forgetting your brother's name? Not so much.) Ask for a cognitive evaluation.
* Make the doctor work! Also ask for: a sleep study (quantity, quality, and oxygenation matter); blood tests for Vitamin D, B12, and B6, for cholesterol, for.glucose levels, for thyroid function. All can affect cognition.
* Perhaps add a.post-meal stroll, once or thrice a day, and especially after.large.or starchy meals. Apparently, that helps minimize the post-meal glucose spike, which can be problematic.even.in folks who don't meet the criteria for.diabetes.
* Add a glass.of water four.times a day. Many peiple (I believe it may have been a tenth, in one study) who are formally diagnosed with dementia actually have dehydration. (!)
* Consider a mid-afternoon nap.
* If you wear glasses, be sure your prescription is up-to-date and lenses are clean and scratch-free. Eye strain is exhausting and distracting.
* Avoid.distraction; try to.do one thing at a time, mindfully, even if it's putting down.the keys. (Especially the keys, if you ever want.to.see them again!)
* Get.organized, if you are not. It makes.life easier anyway, and.if there is a problem, it's all the more important.
* If today were the best day of the rest.of your.life, what.would you want.to.do while you.still can? What changes and preparations would you need.to make?
Great strides are being.made on the.subject at present!

Dx improvements, helping target early Tx:
http://m.lef.org/news/LefDailyNews.htm?NewsID=21038&Section=AGING

Exercise, tea, vitamin D - all help:
http://m.lef.org/news/LefDailyNews.htm?NewsID=9919&Section=Vitamins

A forward-looking summary article:
http://m.lef.org/protocols/neurological/alzheimers_disease_01.htm


there's an online quiz I meant to link here, but I can't recall the name.