De­men­tia: suf­fer­ing in more dark­ness

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Opinion -

De­men­tia is a gen­eral term for a de­cline in men­tal abil­ity se­vere enough to in­ter­fere with daily life. The catch is in the phrase “se­vere enough to in­ter­fere with daily life.”

The catch within the phrase is the word “in­ter­fere.” I sin­cerely doubt that hav­ing a se­nior’s mo­ment, of­ten re­ferred to a “brain fart” like try­ing to change the chan­nel on your T.V. us­ing you dial pad on your land line tele­phone re­ally in­ter­feres with your daily life.

Start­ing your house on fire by leav­ing an unat­tended pot on your stove with the burner on high will def­i­nitely in­ter­fere with your daily life.

My un­der­stand­ing, is that de­men­tia is caused by dam­aged brain cells which do not al­low cells in a spe­cific area to com­mu­ni­cate prop­erly. While this can­not be re­versed us­ing ex­ist­ing treat­ments, it can be de­layed, or even im­proved by some.

As the is­sue gets worse, one or all of the symp­toms in­crease.

Fur­ther, there are may kinds of de­men­tia, each with may stages and set backs. It is im­por­tant to note that that while many peo­ple have me­mory prob­lems, most are not ac­tu­ally de­men­tia.

A pro­tein that nor­mally folds in a way that its ends dis­like each other, helps to sta­bi­lize mi­cro­tubules, the skele­tons of ax­ons. When they mis-fold, the ends stick to­gether and the skele­tons crum­ble.

That is what con­sti­tutes the main is­sue for nine neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive dis­eases. Sci­en­tists are on the thresh­old of devel­op­ing ways to de­feat and treat the is­sue.

Pro­fes­sional eval­u­a­tion, as soon as pos­si­ble is very im­por­tant. Ig­nor­ing de­men­tia, or hop­ing it will go away is not an op­tion!

The tough is­sue for rel­a­tives and friends who must get in­volved is that re­sponses to their ef­forts to help are not of­ten well re­ceived by the per­son need­ing it. Vol­un­teer­ing for clin­i­cal tri­als or plan­ning for the fu­ture should be se­ri­ously con­sid­ered.

There is no one test to con­firm the ill­ness. Fol­low­ing are some ma­jor cul­prits that may be the cause: de­pres­sion, med­i­ca­tion side ef­fects, thy­roid prob­lems, vi­ta­min de­fi­cien­cies, car­dio­vas­cu­lar is­sues, poor phys­i­cal fit­ness and diet, and al­co­hol abuse:

Me­mory is­sues like com­mu­ni­ca­tion - lan­guage - abil­ity to fo­cus - at­ten­tion span - rea­son­ing - judge­ment and vis­ual per­cep­tion prob­lems are of­ten noted.

Ex­am­ples of short term me­mory loss like los­ing a purse or wal­let, scram­bled ef­forts at bill pay­ing or bank­ing, dif­fi­culty plan­ning or pre­par­ing meals, miss­ing ap­point­ments or get­ting lost in un­fa­mil­iar sur­round­ings should be taken se­ri­ously.

Al­most 48 mil­lion peo­ple suf­fer from de­men­tia world wide. A new case is di­ag­nosed ev­ery 4 sec­onds.

Help for those supporting loved ones with de­men­tia is avail­able at the 24 /7 helpline: 1800-272-3900.

If in­volved with de­men­tia, re­mem­ber, to pave the way for calm, rea­son­able com­mu­ni­ca­tion by first find­ing healthy out­lets for your neg­a­tive feel­ings. Also, as Wil­liam M. Dixon said; “The facts of the present won’t sit still for a por­trait. They are con­stantly vi­brat­ing, full of chat­ter and con­fu­sion.” Again, hugs never hurt when dark­ness sets in.

DALE FERREL

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