Friday, 13 April 2012

Dementia in the news again.

While out buying eggs, I noticed the following headline on the front page of the Daily Express:-

Time to take a peek at Google News.

Oh, dear!

I took another look at The Cochrane Library.

A search for "Dementia NOT "Down Syndrome" NOT Vascular NOT Aids NOT carer and Reviews" produced only 31 results, compared to 44 back in the day when I wrote Dementia: A review of the evidence.


My own research led me to write Look after your brain.

Recently, I found Vitamin D Stimulates Amyloid Clearance in Alzheimer's, which also suggests that curcumin (found in Turmeric) is important in the fight against dementia.


Kade Storm said...

That's a real shame.

It was actually your posts on dementia that initially introduced me to your blog.

I've been investigating preventative theories and ideas on dementia since the loss of my grandfather to a strange and rapid onset of Alzheimer's.

The man was an active healthy individual into his early 70s, and then suddenly, he went into rapid decline.

His descent -- as I can best describe it -- began with random falls; he had become peculiarly clumsy on his feet. These unfortunate falls -- some of them quite serious -- were followed closely by mild but very noticeable bouts of incoherent speech where he would really struggle to articulate his statements, which was an odd development for a man who was quite good with his words. Finally, it all closed off on the typical symptoms of agitation, aggression, lack of mobility, speech, displaced cognitions, and eventually being bed ridden. Within about 6 years he went from an active outspoken senior to his death bed.

Looking back on it, some of the regressions were very sudden and almost had that overnight effect. It actually took around three years for the primary issues to set in, after which he levelled off but was largely unable to do much from speech to physical mobility and required constant supervision.

As I recall, he passed away just a couple of weeks short of your 'Look after your brain' post.

Anyway, you've done some very appreciable research on the subject and one can only hope that the interest picks up in the future.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

From your description, it sounds like your grandfather was having TIAs, possibly caused by spasms in the walls of the arteries in his brain.

You know where I'm going with this, don't you?

Kade Storm said...

Yes, it did seem like he was suffering from TIAs, but by the time a proper investigation was completed, most of the damage was already done. One of the consultants considered believed that it was a case of mini strokes.

I see where you're going with this; the 'specialists' were too keen to surrender to this idea that it was an inescapable fate by virtue of a hidden familial condition that never showed. Some of us had a different opinion, so I started to do further research, traversing various websites, including this blog.

I also don't think the highly "anti-cholesterol" slanted diet, ridden with seed oils helped his situation. It's interesting how he was often craving butter and getting put off by food that was heavily fried in vegetable oil. These had become peculiarly common complaints with his food in the immediate couple of years that lead to up to the problem.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

Unfortunately, where brains are concerned, once damage is done, it's permanent.

Younger people can recover from strokes, as different bits of the brain take over from the dead bits, but TIAs (which is the same thing as mini strokes) cause cumulative damage that doesn't appear to be taken over by other bits of the brain.

TIAs can be also caused by bits of plaque breaking off from one place and being carried to another.

Kade Storm said...

A very unfortunate truth. Your comment remind me of the years gone when we studied the case of HM's lobotomy. Informative times.

Brain cells are a precious and finite resource. I am of the mind set that there is little to worry about since most of us normal folk hardly manage to use even a small percentage of our brain through our life spans. Nevertheless, once the there's major degradation by way of infractions/TIAs., what's lost is lost, and that is just a very unfortunate situation that cannot be reversed. . . through conventional means.

With my grandfather, it was like watching all these consultants and specialists speculate over a situation where all the damage was already done. Lots of conjecture, theories, and ideas -- all good, but very little evidence or facts to determine the source or underlying pathology.

I should add that his cholesterol and blood pressure numbers and general heart scans were always excellent. Although this doesn't rule out the chance of the odd plaque formation or other chips of plaque slipping into the brain. The only issue he developed was a very mild case of hypothyroidism around his late 60s.

My grandmother -- his widow -- had a TIA just a year later, but that showed clear signs of active affect in her case. Then again, she is hypertensive and has heart problems, so it wasn't a huge surprise.