Thursday, 24 March 2016

Music on the Brain

I am very grateful to a member of the Alzheimer's Society's 'Talking Point' forum for posting a link to this very interesting video:

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Memory retrieval, not storage, hinders mouse models of Alzheimer’s

I found this report on a research project very interesting:

All the usual caveats apply, of course  -  many years before this knowledge could lead to a treatment, probably doesn't apply to all dementia, etc. But I've always felt that S's most significant problem as the dementia progressed was retrieval of memories rather than storage. I felt many times that the memory was still in there somewhere and occasionally its retrieval could be 'triggered' by an event, what someone else said, a picture, music.....

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Alzheimer’s disease could be caused by herpes virus, warn experts

Link to an article in the Daily Telegraph:

Regular readers of the blog will know that the herpes virus HSV-1 has been linked to Alzheimer's Disease by several research studies. There are a number of posts that discuss this. Please enter 'herpes' in the search box (top left) to find these posts.

Interestingly, google shows a link to several other major diseases such as MS and type 2 diabetes. 

Monday, 14 March 2016

End-of-life care

The British Medical Association has produced a report which addresses some important issues and prompts some questions about how people approaching the end of their lives should be treated. These issues are often of great concern to the carers of such people:

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

The loss of abilities

This post was prompted by someone mentioning online that her husband is only able to blow his nose intermittently which is, of course, very frustrating.  But it seems to me that this is the way that abilities mostly disappear - gradually. S hasn't been able to blow her nose for ages and prior to losing the ability it was very much hit or miss as it was also with, for example, spitting out teeth cleaning water or successfully negotiating stairs. I suppose at least when it starts to happen you can look at ways to compensate for the loss (if they exist!). So when the stairs are increasingly difficult it's time to look at stairlifts or moving downstairs. When an ability disappears suddenly it can be devastating. Following S's first fit she effectively lost her mobility in 48 hours and it has taken me months to accept this.

However abilities disappear, it's always a sad reminder of what else is to come. So I think it's all the more important to celebrate things that can still be done. For ten days or so, S has been more vocal than she has for many months. She's not making any sense but it's still somehow good to hear. Her first sounds this morning were "I know!" followed by made up words and unintelligible sounds. I haven't heard her say very much that makes sense apart from 'yes' 'no' or 'thank you' for a long time so it was quite a good way to start the day