Almost a week ago, my aunt died from Lewy Body Dementia.
After the initial shock passed, I began researching the disease so that I can reduce my odds of getting it. I have about 20 years to prevent it, if I can.
Dementia, in general, is a condition that is not very well understood. The symptoms are varied, but include personality changes, forgetfulness and hallucinations later in the disease process.
My aunt went through embarrassing changes including generalized apathy (something I noticed about 5 years ago), telling people about a couple of trips like they had happened recently (when they were 15-20 years ago), and even calling the sheriff to report a problem that was only in her mind! I can't imagine anything more terrifying or embarrassing than losing your mental faculty.
Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) is difficult to diagnose and can mimic other forms of dementia such as Parkinson's. It's important to get it right because Parkinson's drugs can kill someone with LBD. In my aunt's case, she was only diagnosed a week or so before she died. But, as a nurse in her working life, it's very possible that she "gave up the ghost" at that point, not wanting to go in that direction.
(By the way, it's an uncommonly known fact that at the time of death, Robin Williams had Lewy Body Dementia. Perhaps this was a key factor in his untimely passing.)
Someone with the diagnosis of dementia may still have another 2-20 years to live, but the only treatments are for the symptoms, not the disease itself.
Here are some of the details about the types of dementia from KindlyCare. There are also a number of useful graphics that you can find online.
How to avoid Dementia
For my own purposes, I put together this graphic of some things you can do to prevent dementia. The image itself is from ActionforAgeing.com and is used for educational purposes.
For me, it was interesting to see that Benedryl (diphenhydramine) and Chlortrimeton (chlorpheniramine) are both anticholinergic medications, but Sudafed (pseudophedrine) is not. I think I will be making a change there.
(Update: reading the study, the other meds implicated were: oxybutynin chloride, 5mg, chlorpheniramine maleate, 4mg, olanzapine, 2.5mg, meclizine hydrochloride, 25mg, doxepin hydrochloride, 10mg, diphenhydramine, 50mg was also mentioned - daily for three years or more... these are normal med doses. Don't stop taking these without consulting your doctor, but it would be good to find natural replacements for these medications if dementia runs in your family at all - or if you have other risk factors such as a malfunctioning thyroid.) Source
Anyway, lots of "food for thought" here. I hope some of it is of interest for you. Feel free to print out the image for your own personal medical library. I plan to do more of these.
Crossposted at Steem, Whaleshares, WeKu, Hyperspace
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I am not a medical doctor. I am a solver of problems. I do the best I can to research and come up with possibilities that you may find useful, but I cannot diagnose your medical issue, nor can I tell you the best way to handle your situation. If in doubt, seek professional assistance.
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