Tuesday, March 22, 2016
There are still no effective treatments for dementia; how sad. The pills that your hear about on TV that reportedly treat dementia do nothing to stop the progression. Next time you see one of these ads, listen carefully. The ad will likely report that the pill improves the symptoms. It also says it does NOTHING to stop the progression of the disease. In other words, after a year or so on the medication, the control of the symptoms abates, and the person will find that their disease has progressed to where it would have, even if they had not been on the medication in the first place.
Reducing your risk factors that are within your control is important. Science shows that controlling high blood pressure, cholesterol, exercising, eating healthy, keeping mentally active are all things that can help to reduce the risk of developing dementia. But even doing all of this is no guarantee.
There is an interesting article in MNT (Medical News Today). http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/308180.php
Essentially the article says that science has discovered on autopsy that those with dementia most often have a blend of several conditions, not just one disease process. There are several types of dementia; Alzheimers, Lewy Body, Frontotemporal, are some of the more common types.
It is estimated that 1 in 6 women and 1 in 10 men who live past the age of 55 will develop dementia. This sobering statistic suggests that most of us know or perhaps live with someone afflicted with this progressive condition.
The fallout from this disease process can be devastating. As we baby boomers age, we will see more evidence of this as our friends, loved ones succumb. It will impact on housing, caregiving, medical care and end of life issues for all of us.
As Jim would say, "one of life's little surprises"....
How about you? Are you impacted by this disease process in any way?