Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Mental or physical?

'If problems in living are due to some brain disorder, then this a physical illness, not a mental illness.'

This is a quote from a letter in today's 'Guardian'.  It's hard to disagree with.

Of course, there are some conditions where it's not clear whether there's a physical cause but most dementia has an obvious physical cause, indeed the discovery of physical signs on a brain scan are now often used to establish a diagnosis.  We know that some people with dementia object strongly to having to attend mental health clinics.  Of course, mental health should not be stigmatised but also people's deeply-held views  -  prejudices even  -  need to be acknowledged.

The statement above should give food for thought to those who unthinkingly categorise all dementia as mental illness.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Herpes and AD - yet again

I've come across yet another article about the link between HSV1 (the 'cold sore virus) and Alzheimer's disease:


It's more recent than some of the other research I've seen and posted about.  And the researchers seems pretty 'upfront' about the link.

For new readers, if you wish to see several past posts on this important topic, you can do so simply by putting the word 'herpes' into the search box (top left).

For the avoidance of doubt, nobody anywhere is suggesting that all Alzheimer's disease is caused by the herpes virus.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Disturbing yet moving self-portraits

The linked article is pretty self-explanatory (pity about all the garbage on the page):


It's interesting that he was able to paint such expressive self-portraits even when the dementia was quite advanced.

Monday, 4 August 2014

They should make trackers for people

This is what someone wrote on an online forum after discussing the problem of trying to keep track of someone living with dementia who is still mobile.

They do, of course.  Google it if you are interested.

I know that cold fear when you look around and the person you're caring for is no longer there.  Now that S is more settled and doesn't move as fast it is hardly a problem.  But I still have to pack supermarket stuff with one hand  -  the other is holding onto S!  And if I let go she will sometimes set off to who knows where.

Increasingly I answer yes to 'Would you like help with your packing?'.