|Disorders - Alzheimer's Disease|
| Written by Ronald L. Hoffman, MD, CNS |
The Story of E.K.
The following is an actual case study of a patient with Alzheimer's Disease treated at our center. E.K. began developing memory lapses at the age of 73. She became increasingly forgetful, crying every morning, believing her dead parents were alive, began getting lost while going out alone, hiding her possessions, accusing her family of wanting to steal her things. Over a course of three years she developed profound memory loss and began to forget who her immediate family were. A neurologist rendered a diagnosis of Alzheimer's dementia. Blood tests performed by her neurologist revealed a normal SMAC and CBC. A serum B12 was 280, considered in the normal range. She was started on Tacrine, with minimal response.
When first seen at our center at the age of 76, EK. Could state her name but did not know where she was ofr the date. Physical exam was otherwise unremarkable, but she was uncooperative and suspicious. Homocysteine was found to be elevated at 16.8 (optimal 25).
The patient was given a series of B12 shots 3 times weekly for two weeks, then started on monthly injections. She was started on a gluten-free diet. She was placed on a combined regimen of nutritional supplements which were faithfully administered to her by her son who lived with her, as follows:
The patient underwent gradual improvement in memory, mood and functional status. An early observation by her family was that she became relatively calmer and day/night reversal of her sleep pattern abated. She no longer could not be left alone, which had in the past prompted panic and calling out of windows that she needed help. Spells of anger, paranoia and obstinacy became less frequent. The patient's ability to name objects returned, and her ability to dress, bathe and eat with minimal assistance returned. After two years, her improvements were so significant that her neurologist noted the following on an insurance report:
"Patient seems to have recovered significant memory over the last 2 years from natural process/or the employment of vitamin supplementsin collaboration with family members. Improvement has been seen especially in areas of ADL (Activities of Daily Living), i.e. independence in self dressing, eating and light cooking. There is absolutely no issues [sic] about continence. There is no evidence of alteration of sleep-wake cycle, mood changes, agitation, wandering or other affective or personality disorders. She has reached a stable plateau in her neurological state with no evidence of progressive deteriora...
|Disorders - Dementia|
| Written by Better Health Channel of Australia |
Diagnosis is important
It is important to confirm a diagnosis. This will:
A local doctor or specialist should conduct a full assessment. Cognitive Dementia and Memory Service (CDAMS) clinics are available throughout Victoria to assist in diagnosis. If the person will not go to a doctor or the doctor is unwilling to take your concerns seriously, seek advice on how to deal with this from the Alzheimer's Association Victoria.
Getting help early will make a difference
The earlier help is found, the better the family and person with the disease will be. It is important to:
There is a wide range of community services which help both the person with dementia and their carers throughout the course of the disease. These include:
Things to remember
Dementia is a progressive decline in mental functioning. There are many causes of dementia - Alzheimer's disease is just one. While dementia is more common in older people, it is not a normal part of ageing.