By Jennifer Hay
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Extra info for Alzheimer's & Dementia: Questions You Have...Answers You Need
Q: So are Alzheimer's disease and dementia the same thing? A: They are and they aren't. Alzheimer's disease is a major cause of dementiain fact the major causebut not all dementia is the result of Alzheimer's. All people with Alzheimer's disease have dementia, but not all people with dementia have Alzheimer's. Q: Let's back up a bit. I think I need to know a little more about dementia before we go any further. For starters, what is it? A: Dementia is a loss of intellectual function. It includes impairment of more than one cognitive, or intellectual, ability, is persistent, is severe enough to interfere with a person's daily functioning and is often progressive, meaning it gets worse with time.
Treatment includes rest, a low-salt diet and medications such as the heart drug digitalis, diuretics (which promote urination and speed the elimination of sodium and water from the body) and vasodilators (which dilate the arteries, reducing the work the heart has to do and allowing it to pump blood more effectively). Depending on the cause of the problem, surgery may also be warranted. Generally, confusion or any other dementia symptoms that accompany congestive heart failure reverse or at least stop progressing when the heart is able to pump blood more effectively.
No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the publisher. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Hay, Jennifer, 1964 Alzheimer's & dementia : questions you haveanswers you need / by Jennifer Hay. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. Alzheimer's diseaseMiscellanea. Title. 8'3dc20 95-53678 CIP 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 First printing, March 1996 Page 5 Contents Introduction 9 Chapter 1 Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia: An Overview 13 Cognitive Symptoms 19 Emotional Symptoms 20 Behavioral Symptoms 21 Chapter 2 Causes of Reversible Dementia 25 Drug Intoxication 25 Alcohol and other Poisons 28 Depression 30 Nutritional Deficiencies 32 Brain Disorders 33 Diseases 36 Metabolic Conditions 37 Organ Dysfunction 38 Chapter 3 Causes of Irreversible Dementia 41 Parkinson's Disease 42 AIDS 44 Multiple Sclerosis 45 Huntington's Disease 46 Wilson's Disease 47 Vascular Dementia 48 Alzheimer's Disease 52 Progression 52 The Mechanics 55 Theories on Causes 57 Prevention 64 Page 6 Pick's Disease 67 Lewy Body Dementia 68 Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease 69 Chapter 4 Diagnosing Dementia 72 Physical Examination 73 Medical History 73 Neurological Tests 74 Laboratory Tests 77 Brain Imaging and Function Tests 79 Chapter 5 Medical Treatment 84 Treatments for Vascular Dementia 84 Treatment for Alzheimer's Disease 87 On the Horizon 89 Cholinergic Drugs 89 Drugs that Slow Neuron Degeneration 90 Nerve Growth Factor 92 Anti-Inflammatory Drugs 92 Treatments for Dementia Symptoms 93 Agitation and Anxiety 94 Hallucinations, Delusions and Paranoia 96 Depression 97 Sleep Disturbances 97 Chapter 6 Living with Dementia: An Overview 99 The Needs of People with Dementia 101 Meeting Needs 103 Formulating a Plan 105 Planning for the Future 107 Financial Planning 107 Health-Care Planning 110 Putting the Plan into Action 112 Page 7 Chapter 7 Home Care 113 Preparing the Home 113 Daily Care 116 General Guidelines 117 Activities of Daily Living 119 Eating and Drinking 120 Dressing 121 Bathing and Grooming 122 Toileting 123 Dementia Symptoms and Behaviors 124 Memory Loss 125 Communication 125 Delusions and Hallucinations 129 Sleep Disturbances 130 Wandering 131 Incontinence 133 Anxiety and Agitation 134 Catastrophic Reactions 135 Other Problem Behaviors 136 Recreational Activities 137 Overall Health 139 Finding Assistance 141 Chapter 8 When Home Care is Inappropriate 148 Chapter 9 For the Caregiving Family 161 Dealing with Changes 162 Dealing with Caregiving Responsibilities 163 Informational and Mutual-Aid Groups 168 Glossary 173 Suggested Reading 183 Index 185 Page 9 Introduction Back in the early 1960s when I was a teenager, I had a close friend whose family lived a block away from mine.