Jan 5, 2013

What You Need to Know About Alzheimer's and Infection

Researchers have found a link between common infections, such as a cold, stomach bug or urine infection and an increase in inflammation like reactions in the brain which lead to an increased rate of cognitive decline.

Study results show that people who got an infection had twice the rate of cognitive decline as people without infections.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

What You Need to Know About Alzheimer's and Infection
If you are healthy person, you can fight off the above. However, if you have any type of dementia it is likely that you will suffer a cognitive decline, negative change in behavior and mood, or worse when you get an infection.

Here is the deal. Most persons living with dementia cannot tell you they are sick. Fifteen urinary tract infections and pneumonia, and my mother never said these two words,

"I'm sick".

So what happens when a person with dementia gets an infection and you don't catch it right away? It gets worse. So bad sometimes that it leads to a trip to the emergency room. And yes, the consequences can be death.

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Let me ask you a simple question. Do you ever give Tylenol or something similar to a dementia patients when they are not feeling well, or have a temperature above their core body temperature? Do you know the core body temperature? If not, I suggest you read this article -- Urinary Tract Infection, You Can Learn From My Experience.

When you give Tylenol it might lower the body temperature and in turn - mask an infection. An infection that is likely to worsen if you don't get the dementia patient to the doctor-- now.

Before I learned how to detect an infection in Dotty, I lived a life of misery over and over. That is right misery. Dotty would get mean. Dotty would get dull. Doty would seem to me like her memory was dropping like a lead stone. It was both scary and disheartening.

I cannot tell you how many times I thought that

Life as we knew it was coming to an end.

I really thought Dotty was going down hill so fast that the end was coming fast and soon.

Then I finally learned that infections were the cause of the problem. I learned this after an enormous amount of heartache that I could have avoided.

There is some good news. I now know how to detect an infection as soon as it is starting. You should learn how also. Now.

Consider this

Delirium is a sudden alteration in mental status -- brain failure in a vulnerable individual, often an older adult with multiple health issues, caused by something else such as medications, urinary tract infection, lack of sleep, excessive light or noise or pain.

Delirium, which occurs suddenly, is not the same as dementia, although individuals with dementia are more susceptible to developing delirium during hospitalization than individuals without dementia.

Every happen to you? I hope not. Scary thought right? Read about this here -- Alzheimer's, Delirium, and the Dreaded Urinary Tract Infection.

Okay, enough already with the lecture. Along with Carole Larkin,  I put together a page that covers pee, urniary tract infections, and I even threw in an article on poop.

How to beat urinary incontinence, identify or stop urinary tract infections, and how to deal with the dreaded Alzheimer's bowel movement problem -- Poop

You might go over to the page and think, wow, that is a lot of reading. Or, I can't read all that information. If so consider this, an enormous amount of time and effort went into the creation of that page.

We made that page so you won't have to lament, vent, or email me from the emergency room. We made that page because we don't want you to go through the misery that comes along if you don't control infection with persons living with dementia.

The mental anguish is horrific when you have to deal with a full blown out of control infection that went undetected.

Not to forget that your loved one is relying on you to spot the infections because in most cases they cannot do it themselves.

A word to the wise is sufficient.

You might want to consider doing some heavy duty sharing of this article.

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Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room