Recently the NHS has revealed that they have identified a new form of dementia which has symptoms similar to that of Alzheimer’s. After a team of international scientists reviewed the current studies related to the different types of senior brain diseases, the new study published a new statement where they dictated how this condition needs to be researched in the near future. There were researchers involved from 25 universities and institutes all over the world, including Australia, UK and Japan.
After the consequences of this study, researchers found a new type of dementia after they studied the proteins which actually cause damage to a part of human brain due to which dementia occurs. This newly identified type of dementia is said to have an impact on a quarter of the senior population and it may even occur to elderly people who already suffer from Alzheimer’s.
Little more on the research
Researchers from several institutions reviewed the evidence that already exists on brain disorders. Their previous studies involved findings on TDP-43 brain diseases and on Alzheimer’s. Those scientists who are engaged in this research enquired about the symptoms of dementia which don’t match with the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. After completing this analysis, the group had a discussion on this research and concluded a statement where they summarised what according to them was shown by the previous evidence and in what way the evidence should be interpreted. This new disease is now given the name Limbic-predominant Age-related TDP-43 Encephalopathy (LATE) and the scientists have demanded to carry on further research in the near future.
LATE – What is it actually?
LATE is a type of brain disorder which leads to thinking and memory issues, which are similar to the symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. This is the latest form of dementia that has been identified by the researchers and the NHS describes dementia as a syndrome which has got several types of symptoms related to decline in cognitive functioning. As mentioned earlier, this is a type of dementia that will develop among the elderly people who are above 80 years of age.
Recent statistics suggest that 20% of the population have been suffering from LATE. The chances of suffering from LATE becomes more likely in an individual though most seniors aren’t even aware of the fact that they’re suffering from LATE as it can occur along with a host of other health problems which can sometimes include dementia. The NHS reveals that the only way of diagnosing this kind of dementia is by examining the brain tissues post expiry.
LATE vs. Alzheimer’s – How are they different?
Though it is true that both are types of dementia yet the 2 syndromes differ due to their cause or origin and this is the main factor that separates one from the other. LATE or the newly identified type of dementia is said to be the consequence of a brain damage due to a protein named TDP-43. This protein is present at the middle portion of the nerve cells of the human brain and this protein can alter in its form and also enter into the body of the people who age.
On the contrary, the well-known brain disorder, Alzheimer’s is the result of accumulation or 2 or more proteins inside the brain called amyloid beta and tau. In spite of the difference in origin of the diseases, their symptoms are similar to each other and sometimes both of these disorders can be present inside the same individual.
How does it make any difference?
Besides pulling in attention and giving a new name to this specific brain condition, the research also has better implication in accordance with the understanding and diagnosis of LATE in the near future. What is the main goal behind this new name LATE? Well, it is used as a document to navigate the future researchers so that they can research and find out more details on this disease.
Presently, researchers thought that they understood the reason behind trials of treatments for Alzheimer’s which have emerged to be a huge failure. They are of the opinion that the previous treatments might have treated the proteins which led to a damage in the brain but LATE might have continue to occur within the same person with similar symptoms.
Prevention of Alzheimer’s and dementia – The 6 Pillars
Before you become dependent on dementia in-home support, you should try your best to keep this disease at bay. There’s no doubt about the fact that Alzheimer’s is a complicated disease which has got several risk factors. Few risk factors like genetics and age are out of control but there are 6 pillars for a healthy lifestyle which can be controlled by you. The sooner you strengthen the pillars, the brain will keep working to reduce the risk of suffering from dementia.
Pillar #1: Keep yourself engaged socially
There is no doubt about the fact that human beings are social creatures who hate to live in isolation. Not only do they physically detest isolation, their brains too don’t prefer to live alone. This is why experts suggest that it is vital to stay socially engaged in order to keep Alzheimer’s and dementia at bay. Try to maintain a strong network where you include your close friends as your top priority. No, that doesn’t mean you need to be a social butterfly but you can just stay connected with your friends and family members.
Pillar #2: Exercise everyday to stay active
According to what the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation says, if you perform regular exercise, this can diminish the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 50%. When your brain and body stays active, this can also slow down the deterioration rate of cognitive issues. Exercise and workouts are a shield against Alzheimer’s and several other forms of dementia and it also stimulates the ability of the brain to retain old connections while gaining new ones. Try to perform at least 150 minutes of exercise every week. Include a combination of strength training as well as cardio. For beginners, swimming and walking can be a perfect combo.
Pillar #3: Stimulate your brain
Those who keep learning new things and continue challenging their brains all over their life are much less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s. You will either need to use your brain or lose it. According to the ACTIVE study by NIH, the elderly who got less than 10 sessions of mental health training improved their cognitive functioning in regular activities but they also showed long lasting improvements even after a decade. You can learn something new, raise the level of some activity that you’ve been doing, memorize things and enjoy puzzles, games and riddles.
Pillar #4: Choose whatever you put inside your belly
In case of Alzheimer’s, resistance to insulin and inflammation can improve the communication between the cells of your brain. There are many researchers and scientists who call Alzheimer’s as brain diabetes and there is an increasingly large body of researches which reinstate a strong link between the signal processing systems and metabolic disorders. If you could bring about a positive change in your eating habits, you could possibly protect your brain and reduce inflammation. Cut down on sugar, avert having trans fats, have Mediterranean diet, take plenty of omega-3 fats, stock on veggies and whole fruits and cook at home more often than eating outside.
Pillar #5: Manage your stress levels
Persistent or chronic stress can have a serious impact on your brain which in turn leads to shrinking of a vital memory area thereby damaging the nerve cell growth. There are pretty simple stress management tools which can minimize all sorts of harmful impacts of this disorder. Practice breathing skills and schedule daily activities for meditation so that you can relax your mind. Pray regularly and make it a habit to engage yourself in religious practices. Retain your sense of humor so that you can laugh at your own mistakes.
Pillar #6: Get good quality sleep
Seniors who suffer from Alzheimer’s usually suffer from sleep issues and insomnia. However, according to new researches, it has been proved that disrupted sleep is not only an Alzheimer’s symptom but it is also one of the most important risk factors. Whenever you get poor sleep, the levels of beta-amyloid increase, which is a brain-clogging protein that interferes with your sleep. If you find deprived sleep gradually affecting your mood, you’ll possibly be at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Importance of a friendly face for a person living with dementia
As individuals age, they need in-home assistance to live independently and this is especially true for most seniors who have health issues and those who are suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s. Before you opt for home care Sydney, let’s take a look at regular in-home care and dementia in-home care.
Regular in-home care
Regular home care is called in-home care and this is non-medical. Personal care aides offer companionship and one-on-one assistance with ADLs or activities of daily living. They will also assist you with household chores, housecleaning, shopping for groceries, preparing meals, running jobs and will also offer transportation facilities to appointments, medication management and social outings.
Such home care is one of the best options for people who are able to do things on their own but who need assistance with few tasks. Regular home care is not perfect for a person who is going through the initial stage of Alzheimer’s but when the disease progresses, he will need advanced care. Here comes in the importance of dementia home care. Let’s take a look at what it is.
Dementia in-home care
Dementia home care is mainly tailored for those who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. As caregivers provide you with similar assistance as home care, dementia carers have enough knowledge on the disease and its various stages. Common care plans are made to focus on the personality of the person with dementia and the activities are planned to stimulate the memory of the person. You can include activities like viewing photo albums, doing art projects, listening to music or reading.
Home care needs during different stages of Alzheimer’s
Early stage dementia
People suffering from Alzheimer’s at its early stage are very much independent and they don’t require too much supervision or professional care. The person at an early stage can still drive, attend social gatherings and can clean himself, cook and walk. He might only need help with medication management, money management, organizing and remembering appointment dates.
During the middle stage of Alzheimer’s, one needs more care as compared to the early stage. This is the time when the memory of the person is greatly affected and the person is unable to recognize faces that are familiar. Mood and behavior can become erratic, he might become aggressive and his ability to reason will not remain normal. During this time, caregivers need to remain consistent about the help that they offer.
After living with 1-3 years with Alzheimer’s, you enter the last stage of this disease and this is when the individual will need intensive care throughout the day. The person will exhibit utter confusion in everything that he does, both with regards to present and past circumstances. He won’t have any ability to process details and the individual can have tough time to communicate verbally. Mood and behavior are both unpredictable and this is the time when the patient also experiences delusions and hallucinations.
The cost of dementia adult day care and home care varies based on the state in which the patient lives. If you have a family member who is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s, you should immediately get in touch with a mental health professional who will help you navigate through the best forms of treatment. Though there is no such cure for this disease but you can still prevent it from progressing at a fast pace.