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Should advanced dementia be considered a terminal illness?

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posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 02:43 PM
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Advanced dementia has often been treated as an amalgamation of symptoms in the aging, rather than a deadly illness in itself. A new study, published online today in The New England Journal of Medicine, proposes that it may be beneficial—for patients and caretakers alike—to take the latter approach.

"As the end of life approaches, the pattern in which patients with advanced dementia experience distressing symptoms is similar to patients dying of more commonly recognized terminal conditions, such as cancer," Susan Mitchell, a senior scientist at the Institute for Aging Research, part of Hebrew SeniorLife, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School in Boston, and lead paper author, said in a prepared statement. Common symptoms for patients include pain, agitation and shortness of breath; the most common immediate causes of death are from pneumonia, fever or eating problems, the authors report.
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Being in the health care field and from personal observation I don't agree with this article, dementia has never been considered fatal unlike Alzheimer's, they are not the same thing and it seems they are trying to lump them together. I have had clients in the past who are being treated with Aricept a medication for Alzheimer's and in my experience it seems to make dementia worse..




posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 02:57 PM
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Sorry, off topic, I just had this info and it fitted in with diseas... !!!

Hmm, aging is the splitting of the DNA, humans can live to be 100 or more with eas.

it is the 'corporate pharma / food' poisoning that limits our life span ..

Like Vets are treating dogs for Diabetes all the time.
They fix the problem and not the symptom, all diseases are related to deficiency in minerals or vitamins.

The doctors do not know there are ways around it ..

Money, Money is all that matter, you and I are worth 'This Much' , then they pull the plug...

Google : Joel Wallack ... You'll see..

Havent you ever thought about why the Govt. is trying to tell you that Nature is Bad for you , or Hazardous.
Why in the world would the 'lord' put us an a planet that is full of Plants and Urbs that are dangerous to us ? and why did we live as long as we have if all things around us is That Freggin Poisonous. ???

[edit on 16/10/2009 by ChemBreather]



posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 02:59 PM
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reply to post by Aquarius1
 
I believe it should be on a case by case basis as the causes of dementia vary. My husband has it and we have done everything possible to find the exact cause of his version of it. Early on he helped with the decisions and now, well, I try to do as he would've wanted. His version of it is progressing rapidly, probably within a year he will pass over, at home, in his own bed, with his family here and caregivers here, taking a piece of us with him. 30 years tax law, historian, brilliant speaker, he's only 61.

STM



posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 03:02 PM
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Isn't Joel Wallack the one who put out a tape years ago called 'Dead Doctors Don't Lie' or something like that, just going from memory. Read somewhere it was a scam, but don't see how taking care of yourself and taking vitamins is a scam..

[edit on 16-10-2009 by Aquarius1]



posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 03:07 PM
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reply to post by Aquarius1
 


Yes, that is right.
He is a veterinarian, and he was just on A.Jones a few days ago.

He said that all diseases is a result of 'lack' of some vitamin and things like that ..

If you do research on water amongst things, it can heal , some doctors even say : Your not sick , just thirsty..

I for one think it makes sense, just take painkillers for the headache, it dont fix the reason for the headacke, it just numbs your brain so you dont feel it, when the drug wears off, the headache returns because the Problem havent been fixed...

( Sorry for my english )



posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 03:15 PM
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My husband took vitamins all his life, worked out from his teenage years on, drank water, and he still got dementia. If that doctor thinks it's lack of water or vitamins well not in this case. Also, my husband looks to be in his forties, I mean he is in great shape.

Turmeric is the latest thing in fighting this illness, but once again, will it fight all the forms of this illness? They're studying it at UCLA right now and our doctor is monitoring the studies to see if it would help my husband. In the meantime I'm putting it in his scrambled eggs every morning. It's been over a month, nada.

STM



posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 03:21 PM
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If y'all have any other natural cures for this illness please let me know, as he and I am not adverse to trying ANYTHING to keep this illness from becoming terminal.



posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 03:25 PM
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my mother in law has what is desribed as suspected vascular dementia. Her brain has shrunk, she has mini brain bleeds which result in a downturn in her condition.

She does not have diagnosed alzheimers (this can only be confirmed after death) The resulting behaviours of both diagnoses are the same.....................hallucinations, paranoia, inability to function without constant care/support,incontinence, lack of language et al, et al.

so I would say that it is the outcome not the 'cause' that is the key.



posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 03:30 PM
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That is a very interesting question to bring up, and not an easy one to answer.

1. Dementia from aging is not normal. It is predominantly reserved to the United States, and a small handful of other Western Nations, and is a recent phenomenon, indicating an environmental cause for it (such as the predominance of metals in diet).

2. Many forms of Dementia are treatable, and in some cases preventable, just not using means that the A.M.A. or F.D.A. allow. There are common pharmaceuticals that have been around for so long that they are not only universally considered safe, but are no longer protected by patent, and can be manufactured by any pharmaceutical company as a generic brand. The reason these pharmaceuticals are not allowed by the A.M.A. or F.D.A. is monetary interests on part of the pharmaceutical companies. Very little profit can be gained from producing a generic drug. If a drug cannot be patented, there is little economic incentive to produce it. Therefore, the pharmaceutical companies have strongly lobbied to keep these drugs banned in the United States until they can develop similar drugs that can be patented.

3. Some forms of Dementia, with lifestyle changes, and behavior modification, do not have to lead to a decrease in one's standard of living. My grandfather suffered severe Alzheimer's for decades and remained fully functional, continuing to work his job as a consultant for the DoD, as well as keep a semblance of a family life by documenting everything on a hand-held computer (doing this since the late 1970s until his death in the early 1990s). Whenever he didn't recognize someone, or forgot what he was doing, or forgot where he lived he habitually would consult his pocket computer to reacquaint himself. It was painful to watch his growing frustration through the years, but he used that frustration to drive him to keep trying to be functional despite his growing illness.

However, some forms of Dementia are so debilitating that they leave both the patient, and their families and care-givers in painful, and sometimes dangerous situations. In almost all cases, the financial burden is heavy upon their loved ones.

Of course, this is something that a Living Will can aid, making that choice for yourself while you are of sound mind.

However, it becomes problematic when it is either the Doctor or the Family making those choices, as their decision may not truly be in the best interest of the patient.

And that is truly where it begins to get sticky, regardless of whether you are in support or morally against Doctor Assisted Suicide.

If a patient with severe dementia wants to live, but his family is worried about the cost, they may chose to have him classified as terminal and have his life cut short for purely economic reasons. The same could be done by a Doctor looking to make room in an over-crowded hospital, despite the patient and family wanting him to live. Both situations could be considered gross abuses of decision over who deserves to live and who deserves to die...and is a situation that no one should ever be in to begin with.

Really, without a declaration in a Living Will, this becomes a bad idea. However, if declared in a Living Will, it should be honored as terminal.



posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 03:38 PM
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reply to post by seentoomuch
 


Just google the disease, Im not saying all diseases are curable, I just thinkthere is some thing to it.

I dont know the disease you are speaking of,and I am not a doctor, I just listen to alot of stuff and when I hear people more than once speak of treatments for the same diseas, I tend to think it makes sense...

Big Pharma do not want people to be healthy, they need us to be sick so they can treat a patient over and over, it is all money...



posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 03:40 PM
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Dementia is progressive and incurable, but when my Grandmother was fading away the doctors said it didn't become terminal until she could no longer swallow.

At that point their recommendation was to nourish by drip until such point as they were 100% confident she wasn't aware of her predicament, her surroundings, that she was entirely unresponsive to all external stimuli ... at that point all nourishment was withdrawn.

Sadly for her & us, she survived for nine long days once that happened. But she wasn't in pain, she was unconscious. Didn't make it any easier for the family though.

Seentoomuch ... *hugs* ... we found that familiarity was the most important thing with my Grandmother, we kept her at home until we simply couldn't anymore, the level of care she came to need was just beyond our family. She was fine in surroundings she knew, she had no anxiousness. In respite care she became panicky and worried. Familiarity is good and I see you intend keeping your husband at home.

I hope it doesn't sound insincere, this medium can be so often, I hope things go as well as they can for you, your husband and family.

xx



posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 03:55 PM
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reply to post by ChemBreather
 


I take anything on Alex Jones with a grain a salt, don't waste my time listening to him.



posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 03:56 PM
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reply to post by ChemBreather
 
Thanks, we'll keep looking. His form might be hereditary as he had a grandmother with a similar illness (we found it in his adoption records) but without a name for it. So it might be his body is producing too much or too little of something, not so much environmental. Hopefully there is a supplement out there that has what he needs to reverse it.

And to be on topic I'll add this: he signed a living will after his initial diagnosis which will show his intent but would not be valid in a court of law.

STM



posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 03:58 PM
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reply to post by Ulala
 


Very sorry to hear about your Grandmother Ulala, have seeen too many Hospice patients and see first hand what families go through.



posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 04:07 PM
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reply to post by fraterormus
 




Many forms of Dementia are treatable, and in some cases preventable, just not using means that the A.M.A. or F.D.A. allow. There are common pharmaceuticals that have been around for so long that they are not only universally considered safe, but are no longer protected by patent, and can be manufactured by any pharmaceutical company as a generic brand. The reason these pharmaceuticals are not allowed by the A.M.A. or F.D.A. is monetary interests on part of the pharmaceutical companies. Very little profit can be gained from producing a generic drug. If a drug cannot be patented, there is little economic incentive to produce it. Therefore, the pharmaceutical companies have strongly lobbied to keep these drugs banned in the United States until they can develop similar drugs that can be patented.


fraeterormus thank you so much for a very informative post, you mention metals being the cause, I agree with that, there is some evidence of aluminum being one, for years people cooked with aluminum pots and pans and of course use aluminum foil, I stooped that years ago and am very much into alternative medicine and am a vegetarian, I have incorporated what I can with my clients, not always an easy thing.



posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 04:09 PM
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Thank you for posting this Aquarius1. This disease is very close to home for me.

Last year my father passed away at his home of an unrelated illness but very unexpectedly. The fallout of this was my mother. My siblings and I had no idea the condition my mother was in. We new she had been diagnosed with mild dementia 5 years prior. But since we only saw her during visits and family functions we were unaware of the extent of this disease.

Following my fathers passing I had my mother move in with my family so we could take care of her.

I have since done a fair amount of reading up on alzheimers/dementia. Her doctors are somehwat reluctant to actually firmly label her condition with either of the 2. However, she has been taking Reminyl for 5 years and according the the docs, it has helped her considerably. they say without it, she would likely be much much worse.

I have been told though, that things will only get worse and all that can be done is delay the progress. So it is essentially terminal. At some point her brain functions will cease in their abilities to simply eat. It is crushing for us to watch her slowly deteriorate without being able to do anything about it.

Someone asked about herbal medicine I think. I have read about a couple of things. One being Ginko Biloba which has conflicting tests.

Another is Huperzine which seems to actually have some pretty positive results.

There is lots of info on the net if you do a search, even on wiki.



posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 04:19 PM
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reply to post by Ulala
 
Thanks for the hugs, Ulala. You're right about the home setting. When we got the initial diagnosis I bought a new house that would better accomodate his condition while he still was able to acclimate to it. Now it is home to him and he has plenty of room to roam safely. It is where we are 24/7 now, so we went all out to make it comfortable for us. I've wired his favorite music throughout the house, painted the rooms his favorite colors, put up special lighting so that the house is always softly lit at night, also ocean light effects in the bedroom, pulled out all the carpet and put in bamboo floors, walk-in showers with built-in benches, garden tubs, exercise area etc. We just finished installing a reading room/music room and our dining room would rival any fine restaurant in any city. Where he is concerned, he gets anything he wants 'cause he's my everything.

He at this point can walk, kinda hold a fork with help, his speech is gibberish, but...he's smiling and happy,

Thanks for understanding,

STM



posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 04:25 PM
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reply to post by PowerSlave
 


You are very welcome PowerSlave, bless you for taking care of your Mother, sadly many families will not do what you are doing.



I have been told though, that things will only get worse and all that can be done is delay the progress. So it is essentially terminal. At some point her brain functions will cease in their abilities to simply eat. It is crushing for us to watch her slowly deteriorate without being able to do anything about it.


Doctors don't always know best as you are probably finding that out, there are many things you can do to help your Mother. Fresh organic vegetables and fruits only, no processed food of any kind, also good for you and your family. Also no sugar and no dairy if you can get away with it. Fresh air and sunshine is good, much better than taking vitamin D..



posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 04:27 PM
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Originally posted by Aquarius1
fraeterormus thank you so much for a very informative post, you mention metals being the cause, I agree with that, there is some evidence of aluminum being one, for years people cooked with aluminum pots and pans and of course use aluminum foil, I stooped that years ago and am very much into alternative medicine and am a vegetarian, I have incorporated what I can with my clients, not always an easy thing.


Metals are one of the few causes we have been able to definitely link to Alzheimer's. At first we found that it was Tin, so we switched to using Nickel, which in turn was found to cause it as well, so we switched to Aluminum and found that to cause it as well. Although Copper has been found in some studies to decrease the risk, it could very well turn out to cause it as well, so the medical jury is still out on that one. Teflon is also highly suspected as a direct cause.

Think of all the things that we have in Western Society that are based on Tin, Nickel, and Aluminum. Canned Foods and Soda, two of the largest staples of the American diet for the past 60 years, have been distributed and stored in these. It is of little surprise to find that the people who drink hundreds of Cans of soda a month, or eat at least one meal a day that come from Canned Food, would suddenly experience a dramatic increase in Dementia rates.

Hearing everyone's personal experiences, I would love to offer suggestions for pharmaceuticals that can successfully treat forms of Dementia such as Alzheimer's that can be obtained in any European country or even Canada over the counter without a prescription, however, as those are not an approved form of treatment by the A.M.A. or allowed by either the F.D.A. or U.S. Customs, I wouldn't want to violate the terms of use of ATS by stating what those are. However, a Google Search will give lists of many of them.

It's sad that because of the economic nature of Health Care being Capitalistic in the United States that Medicine is based on only those treatments that carry a patent, and are never encouraged to prevent or cure as there is little profit to be had in either when long-term treatment is infinitely more profitable.



posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 04:42 PM
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reply to post by PowerSlave
 
Thank you for the supplement tips, greatly appreciated. I'm so sorry to hear about your Mother. I hope a cure is found right now for this illness.

STM



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