Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. It is important to understand what Alzheimer’s is and what steps you can use to take care of your brain.

Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disease and the most common type of dementia. It causes a slow decline in memory, thinking, and reasoning skills. Age is the biggest risk factor for the disease, followed by sex and family history.

Dementia is not a specific disease, but an overall term that describes a group of symptoms like memory loss and the loss of other mental abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life, caused by physical changes in the brain.

Different types of dementia include:

  • Lewy Body Dementia and Parkinson’s Disease
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease
  • Down Syndrome and Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Frontotempotal Dementia
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Korsakoff Syndrome

There are many signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia, here are 10 early signs and symptoms:

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  • Challenges in planning or solving problems
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks
  • Confusion with time and place
  • Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
  • New problems with words in speaking or writing
  • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  • Decreased or poor judgment
  • Withdrawal from work or social activities
  • Changes in mood and personality

Even though there isn’t a cure for Alzheimer’s and many other types of dementia, there are many preventative measures you can take to care for your brain.

Here are five ways to care for your brain:

  1. Breaking a sweat: regular cardiovascular exercise elevates your heart rate and increases blood flow to the brain and body. Several studies have found an association between physical activity and reduced risk of cognitive decline.
  2. Fueling up right: Eat a healthy and balanced diet that is lower in fat and higher in vegetables and fruit to help reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Although research on diet and cognitive function is limited, certain diets like Mediterranean and Mediterranean-DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), may help.
  3. Catching some ZZZs: Not getting enough sleep due to conditions like insomnia or sleep apnea may result in problems with memory and thinking.
  4. Taking care of your mental health: Some studies have linked a history of depression with an increased risk of cognitive decline. Seek medical treatment if you have experienced symptoms of depression, anxiety, or any other mental health concerns. Also, try to manage stress.
  5. Stumping yourself: Challenge and activate your mind. Try building a piece of furniture. Complete a jigsaw puzzle. Do something artistic. Play a strategy game. Challenging your mind may have short- and long-term benefits for your brain.

If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s, you can receive treatment from a neurologist at Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center. To schedule an appointment, please call (718) 670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Dementia Home Safety Tips

Dementia is a general term used to describe the loss of cognitive functioning, this includes memory, language, reasoning, and other mental abilities. It is also common to experience changes in vision, depth perception, hearing, and sensitivity to temperatures. Although dementia occurs more commonly in the elderly, it is not a normal part of aging.

Symptoms of dementia can affect a person’s ability to conduct normal activities. They can also pose a threat to personal safety.

Individuals with dementia may get lost in a familiar neighborhood, become confused, forget the name of objects around the house, have trouble with balance, or may not be able to complete tasks independently.  Following these tips can reduce the risk of potential hazards and help keep someone living with dementia safe at home:

  • Display emergency numbers and your loved one’s home address near all telephones.
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout the home, and make sure they are in working order.
  • Avoid clutter.
  • Keep plastic bags out of reach.
  • Remove or lock up all guns or weapons.
  • Install safety locks on guns or remove ammunition.
  • Keep all medications in a locked cabinet or drawer.
  • Install grab bars in showers, bathtubs, and on toilets.
  • Secure large furniture to prevent tipping.
  • Mark the edges of stairs with neon-colored, glow-in-the-dark tape.
  • Place stickers or decals on glass doors.
  • Place “STOP” signs on all doors leading outside.
  • Install alarms on doors and windows.
  • Place deadbolts or latches on doors above eye level.
  • Keep car keys hidden.
  • Keep potentially dangerous kitchen tools such as knives locked up.
  • Remove the knobs from stoves.
  • Install appliances with an automatic shut-off feature.
  • Throw away decorative food or toxic plants that may be mistaken for real food.
  • Lower the temperature setting on water heaters.
  • Cover heating pipes and radiators.

These tips will help loved ones remain safe in their homes and live independently for as long as possible. As the disease progresses, safety precautions will have to be adjusted to adapt to a person’s abilities.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

World Alzheimer’s Month

This September, Flushing Hospital Medical Center is raising awareness about the signs, symptoms, and causes of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia as part of the World Alzheimer’s Month campaign. Alzheimer’s is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States and the most common cause of dementia among older adults.

A person with Alzheimer’s gradually loses their cognitive abilities, including memory recollection and behavioral regulation. In the later stages of the disease, a person can even lose their motor functions, leaving them unable to perform basic daily tasks such as bathing independently.

People can also suffer from multiple forms of dementia at once. This is referred to as “mixed” dementia and often occurs as a combination of Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia.

Memory problems are one of the main early signs of Alzheimer’s, though they may be difficult to distinguish from similar symptoms of mild cognitive impairment. People in the early stages of Alzheimer’s may also have problems with word-finding, vision, reasoning, and finding their way around familiar places. These problems may appear or worsen as the disease progresses.

A mix of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors are believed to influence the development of Alzheimer’s; however, specific causes of the disease are unknown. As Alzheimer’s progresses, abnormal amyloid and tau proteins spread throughout the brain as changes in its structure and functions occur. There’s no clear way to prevent this spread, though early research indicates that regular activity and good heart health may help.

If you or a loved one are displaying potential signs of Alzheimer’s disease, you can schedule an appointment with a doctor at Flushing Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center to receive a diagnosis or treatment by calling (718) 670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month which gives us the chance to make the public aware of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease being very important health issues.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s have profound effects on many people. There are an estimated 5 million people with the disease and 15 million people who are caring for them. It is said to be the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

It has been said that Alzheimer’s is the only disease that can lead to death that cannot be slowed down, cured, or prevented. It acts by slowly killing brain cells which affect all of our ability to function normally.

Brain exercises may help mental functionality in areas of memory, focus, concentration, and understanding.

Some suggested ways to keep our brains healthy are:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Staying physically active
  • Eating properly
  • Not smoking
  • Challenging your mind with social interaction
  • Taking classes
  • Being aware of challenges that could lead to depression

If you would like to schedule an appointment at Flushing Hospital, please call 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month which gives us the chance to make the public aware of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease being very important health issues.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s have profound effects on many people. There are an estimated 5 million people with the disease and 15 million people who are caring for them. It is said to be the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

It has been said that Alzheimer’s is the only disease that can lead to death that cannot be slowed down, cured, or prevented. It acts by slowly killing brain cells which affects all of our ability to function normally.

Brain exercises may help mental functionality in areas of memory, focus, concentration and understanding.

Some suggested ways to keep our brains healthy are:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Staying physically active
  • Eating properly
  • Not smoking
  • Challenging your mind with social interaction
  • Taking classes
  • Being aware of challenges that could lead to depression

If you would like to schedule an appointment at Flushing Hospital, please call 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.