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PREVENTING ALZHEIMERS
Wed, 22nd November 2017
 

A new report says there is increasing hope in preventing Alzheimer's in our ageing population. Although nowhere near 100%, results already show a significant benefit some is fairly simple. The good news is that way back on February 1, 2001 Aricept (donepezil) went on the government funded NHS scheme for certain patients, but there are other options. Right now on the basis of ongoing research, regular use of HRT - hormonal replacement therapy in women, or the use of the NSAID family of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, as well as the herbal ginkgo biloba may be used as a preventive measure, according to the New England Journal of Medicine recently. Now, a relatively new vaccine aimed at amyloid production a cause of the disease is under consideration. Already several drugs are now available that target the chemical pathway associated with the disease. A successful picture is gradually unfolding.

An enormous number of medications have been used. With Physostimine in the past, tacrine was approved in 1993 and seemed to offer relief to some, but must be taken 4 hourly. In 1996 donepezil was also approved, and appears somewhat better, needs only once a day administration and is now finally available in Australia. It is made by the giant Pfizer drug company.

Several other medications offer some relief, but at present tacrine and donepezil currently lead the field. They offer so called "palliative help", rather than a cure. Alzheimers takes a terrible toll on families not just the patient who is often unaware of what is occurring. Relatives bear the everyday brunt of treating, caring, and trying to cope. Any treatment improvement is a plus.

Vitamin E, a potent anti-oxidant, available in many vegetables is said to help exposed nerve cells, and seems to work similarly to the plant extract of ginkgo biloba. Four major studies have shown that ginkgo biloba improves mental function "slightly". It is found that social interaction delayed worsening of symptoms and should be encouraged, but is time consuming and labour intensive.

Progressive loss of memory and mental acuity are the chief symptoms. It currently involves over 15 million world-wide, and risks increase with age. It will affect 8% of the 85 year olds and over in Australia. It is caused by a chemical called amyloid collecting and destroying nerve cells in the brain.

 
MOVEMENTS

Q: 

I often find myself unconsciously grinding my teeth, biting lips, screwing up the face and other stupid things. I stop when I am aware of it, but wonder if I'm going nutty?

A: 

This maybe a mild adult version of ADHD. Medical hypnotherapy can often eliminate negative or stressful thoughts from the subconscious. But the SSRI family of pills is also often very helpful. It may take 4-8 weeks for obvious improvement. Talk to your GP.

 
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BLOOD

Q: 

I've noticed blood in my urine, but do not have any aches or pains?

A: 

See the doctor at once. Silent bleeding called haematuria may indicate a number of disorders in the urinary tract. It may be an infection, or it may be bladder cancer, prostate problems or disorders in the kidney. Urine tests for germs and their sensitivity to antibiotics, an ultrasound, maybe IVP (x-ray of renal tract), or cystoscopy (direct viewing of the bladder) will give a quick accurate answer. Drink lots of fluid. See the Doctor today.

 
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KIDS TALK

Q: 

My growing teenagers never seem to listen to what Iím telling them. I often get desperate?

A: 

So does every parent in the country. Provided youíve given them a reasonable loving upbringing, emphasising standards and rules from an early age, nature will generally take care of the situation. Co-operation is better than constant yelling and screaming which soon becomes counterproductive. Years 1-5, psychologists usually agree, are the most important years for instilling standards and the basic ingredients of common sense.

 
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AGORAPHOBIA

Q: 

I'm terrified to leave the house, which has become my "castle of protection" with great effort. I reach the front gate, then have to return time and again. This is now adversely affecting my life.

A: 

Agoraphobia, along with thousands of often ungrounded hidden fears can destroy a normal life. Behavioural therapy, ideally by a psychologist or doctor specially trained in this field invariably offers good results. Medical hypnotherapy is also very effective. The SSRI family of prescribed medication is also helpful. Talk to your GP.

 
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WEIGHING

Q: 

How often should a person weigh on scales when trying to lose weight?

A: 

Nutritionist Rosemary Stanton says throw the scales away, and get the drift from how tight/loose your clothes feel. Also, take a look at yourself in the mirror each day after a shower - the mirror never lies. Being slightly compulsive when losing weight, I weigh daily - sorry Rosemary. I then chart it on a graph. The swings ups/downs gives one good cheer and the will to continue, or renew efforts. First thing naked in the a.m. after a pee is the best time.

 
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This health advice is general in nature. You are advised to seek medical attention from your doctor or health care provider for your own specific symptoms and circumstances.

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