Sunday, 20 April 2014

Anxiety and hypochondria

I have read posts by several carers for people living with dementia which mention that they, the carers, have an ever-present fear of getting dementia.  Usually the simplest common memory lapse will activate this fear.

Sometimes, when they have parents or siblings with dementia they worry about the possible genetic links, but often it's their knowledge of how common dementia is that causes the worry.

I don't have this particular worry  -  despite the fact that my mum had Alzheimer's  -  though I have, and have always had, a degree of hypochondria and, at a few points in my life, I've been convinced that I was dying.  Obviously, I was mistaken (except that we're all dying)!

Now that my life is largely involved with keeping someone I love alive, I worry about my own health in a different way.  I'm concerned not just about my own future, but also the effect any health problem may have on my wife.

Also, of course, as one gets old, and more and more friends and acquaintances fall by the wayside, real health issues, whether serious or trivial, tend to increase.

It all comes down to the well-worn cliche about taking each day as it comes.  It's not easy, but it makes sense.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

A sad and disturbing story

This story has been on TV and in various paper.  The Manchester Evening News has an embedded video  -  you can hear the old man's side of the story:

Walter tells his story

It seems clear that the Care Home in question had been under some pressure from the inspectors, the Care Quality Commission:

CQC Report

The Care Home's action may have been influenced by this.

At the very least, there seems to have been an over-reaction by the police and probably the Social Services.

Clearly, when someone has been looking after a loved one on their own for several years they will know a good deal about that person's need and will have been responsible for giving medication.  So what could be more natural than that the carer (the caring doesn't stop), seeing his wife in pain, would administer prescribed medication?

You can understand why some people would rather not grow old.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

That nasty virus rears its head again

The link below is to a research project that links HSV-1 (the 'cold sore' herpes virus) to cholesterol accumulation:

Journal of Biological Chemistry

I would stress that I have not read the whole article.  It is highly technical.  The abstract at the start gives you the gist.

The reason for drawing attention to it here is that it is yet another example of this very common virus being implicated in the kind of damage to the body (in this case to 'hardening of the arteries') that could lead to dementia.

Regular readers of AWD will know that I have posted about herpes viruses a number of times. This link will take you to these posts.

I should stress again that I have no medical training and have made no 'discoveries' myself.  Such research as I have undertaken has been via Google!

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Dementia fact sheets available online

The Alzheimer's Society have a collection of very helpful factsheets available

Dementia UK also have a very helpful factsheet which manages to pack in a large amount of very useful information into one document here.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

On of those more complex posts. I'm afraid.....

....but give it a go.  I'm not for one moment claiming to understand it properly, but I am excited by what it appears to suggest.  The researchers believe that they have found why some people with significant plaques and tangles in their brains do not develop dementia (see nuns study).

Note also the first comment at the end of the main article where the writer states as if it is well known that:  'A sizable proportion of elderly individuals with substantial AD pathology does not appear to progress to dementia...'  You would not think it was well-known judging by the number of times 'the causes of dementia' are discussed without this key fact being mentioned.

Perhaps there is some research hidden away somewhere that explains why some people who have few or no plaques and tangles do develop dementia (i.e. the other side of the nuns study coin)?

Here is the link:

I would welcome comments, particularly from any researchers.