Alzheimer's and Urinary Tract Infections
caregivers and families go to the Alzheimer’s Association website and sign up
on the message boards, alzconnected.org, searching the
Caregivers Forum with key words will pull about 30,000 posts containing the
word “Alzheimer’s”, 14,000 that include the word “brain” and 10,000 that
contain the word “neurologist.” No big surprises there, but here is the one
that may surprise the newer caregivers: If you type in “UTI”, you will pull
over 8,000 posts.
or urinary tract infections, can cause changes in someone with Alzheimer’s
disease that you might never expect. The impact can be very profound. Some of
the titles of the message board threads in which UTI's are mentioned tell the
story, including “Sudden decline,” “Yelling out” and “Manic episodes… WOW!”
NIH Awards $45 Million to Innovative Alzheimer’s Research Projects
The Alzheimer's Association commends the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for dedicating additional funds to Alzheimer's disease research. On September 18, 2013, an announcement was made about the fulfillment of a $45 million promise made by Dr. Francis Collins, NIH director, to advocates attending the Alzheimer's Association Advocacy Forum in the spring and all those who are impacted by Alzheimer's every day. Click here
to read more.
National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness
November marks the 30th anniversary of President Reagan declaring the first National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. There has been substantial progress in the fight against Alzheimer’s, but with more than 5 million American’s living with this disease that has no way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression, this is still a disease that needs a strong fight.
Recognizing early signs of Alzheimer’s is one of the first steps to take to create awareness and provide help for those facing this deadly disease. Individuals
may experience one or more of the 10 Warning Signs in different degrees. If you notice any of them, please see a doctor. Below are “10 Warning Signs” to help educate about the early signs of Alzheimer’s.
10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s
1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life. One of the most common signs of Alzheimer's is memory loss, especially forgetting recently learned information. Others include forgetting important dates or events; asking for the same information over and over; relying on memory aides (e.g., reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things they used to handle on one’s own.
What's typical: Sometimes forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later.
2. Challenges in planning or solving
problems. Some people may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. They may have trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills. They may have difficulty concentrating and take much longer to do things than they did before.
What's typical: Making occasional errors when balancing a checkbook.
3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at
home, at work or at leisure. People with Alzheimer's often find it hard to complete daily tasks. Sometimes, people may have trouble driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work or remembering the rules of a favorite game.
What's typical: Occasionally needing help to use the settings on a microwave or to record a
4. Confusion with time or place: People with Alzheimer's can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. They may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately. Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there.
What's typical: Getting confused about the day of the week but figuring it out later.
5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships. For some people, having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer's. They may have difficulty reading, judging distance and determining color or contrast. In terms of perception, they may pass a mirror and think someone else is in the room. They may not realize they are the person in the mirror.
What's typical: Vision changes related to cataracts.
6. New problems with words in speaking or writing. People with Alzheimer's may have trouble following or joining a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue or they may repeat themselves. They may struggle with vocabulary, have problems finding
the right word or call things by the wrong name (e.g., calling a "watch" a "hand-clock").
What's typical: Sometimes having trouble finding the right word.
7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps. A person with Alzheimer's disease may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again. Sometimes, they may accuse others of stealing. This may occur more frequently over time.
What's typical: Misplacing things from time to time, such as a pair of glasses or the remote
8. Decreased or poor judgment. People with Alzheimer's may experience changes in judgment or decision-making. For example, they may use poor judgment when dealing with money, giving large amounts to telemarketers. They may pay less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean.
What's typical: Making a bad decision once in a while.
9. Withdrawal from work or social
activities. A person with Alzheimer's may start to remove themselves from hobbies, social activities, work projects or sports. They may have trouble keeping up with a favorite sports team or remembering how to complete a favorite hobby. They may also avoid being social because of the changes they have experienced.
What's typical: Sometimes feeling weary of work, family and social obligations.
10. Changes in mood and personality. The mood and personalities of people with Alzheimer's can change. They can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious. They may be easily upset at home, at work, with friends or in places where they are out of their comfort zone.
What's typical: Developing very specific ways of doing things and becoming irritable when a
routine is disrupted.
Anyone with questions about Alzheimer’s disease or seeking information should contact the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 toll-free Helpline at 800-272-3900 or visit alz.org®. Experts are available to take calls from individuals concerned with their own cognitive health, as well as from family members and friends concerned about a family member and seeking resources.