There are a number of steps to take once the dementia is confirmed by a neurologist. The steps don’t have to be done exactly in this order, but if you address them you will be in much better shape to follow your dementia journey.
These are strange days indeed. The Stay-at-Home orders have plunged us into a new realm we have never been in before.
Once New York was given the order to shut down schools, restaurants, and non-essential industries I saw a way I could help. It made my heart beat faster when I heard I could make cloth masks for hospitals in our area. I couldn’t move fast enough. This was a way I could cope and contribute even though I was a retired microbiologist and 71 years of age.
Caregiving during the COVID-19 virus restrictions can add additional stress and isolation to your already burdened lifestyle. Now more than ever, it is important for the caregiver to maintain your “lifelines” of socialization with friends and family. Take this moment in time to learn new ways of keeping in touch to keep yourself rooted in your community!
Last week I had dinner with a friend who ended her dementia caregiving journey a year and a half ago. She brought up an experience where out of the blue something triggered an upwelling of intense grief that she could not control. She said she knew it had a name, but couldn’t remember it. Later on I saw it on Facebook in an article from Next Avenue about STUG! I sent the article to her and she affirmed the acronym.
After diagnosis, if it was made relatively early in your journey, you may have many moments when you can almost convince yourself that things are the same as before . . . that life will just continue as it has, uneventful and unchanging. It’s that defense called “denial” that is alive and well for most caregivers. We have hopes and dreams that we don’t want to relinquish. We want to pretend that life is normal.
Periodically I will search the web for newly publicized results of trials and will post them here. So far, no “magic bullets” have been discovered and many scientists are focusing on present healthy populations to see what lifestyle differences may benefit/protect the participants as they age.
It’s a multi-year study so we won’t be hearing what they have learned for a while!
When drug trials are performed, there is a standard protocol and language for how they are to be designed so that the clinicians can be sure that what they are measuring is truly the effect of the drug in question and not any other extraneous data.
A Dublin based United Neurosciences Company has been pursuing a vaccine trial even though some past vaccine trials ended in brain swelling and cancellation. This drug called UB-311 is completing it’s phase 2a Clinical Study. The 2b study for efficacy and then Phase 3 for proper potency will follow if all goes well.
It is thought that the blood-brain barrier becomes more permeable as we age, allowing molecules harmful to neurons to enter the brain, triggering inflammation and cell death. It has long been assumed that dementia was due to the accumulation of beta-amyloid proteins, but numerous studies focusing on beta-amyloid have failed to make headway in the fight to find a cure for dementia. Now focus is being placed on the study of the blood-brain barrier to develop new treatments.