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Alzheimer's Research Investigation

#21 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2022-November-03, 13:07

View PostWinstonm, on 2022-November-03, 07:45, said:

pilowsky is the expert but my understanding is that Alzheimerís is not about atrophy but about plaques that interrupt the neuronsí abilities to communicate. Those plaques are not detectable by scans or xray.


Agree, the atrophy is very late stage. I believe that the plaques are cleaned out during deep non REM sleep, something which Sleep Apnea Sufferers are severely lacking in.

View Postsharon j, on 2022-November-03, 12:45, said:

This topic is of great interest to me. I have noticed a difference in my husband's mental acuity in the last 6 + months. I've told him that I'm concerned about this and have asked him to discuss it with his doctor. Outside of doing this, I have no idea what I should do or even if there is anything I can do.

Does your husband snore, have breathing difficulties or interrupted sleep - see a sleep specialist.
The Alzheimer's Association offers a wealth of support and information.
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#22 User is offline   sharon j 

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Posted 2022-November-04, 11:36

He doesn't snore. His sleep patterns have changed, however. He naps multiple times a day. He says he sleeps fine at night. I'm only aware of him being awake when he gets up to use the bathroom once or so at night.

I will see what help I can get from the Alzheimer's research Investigation.

I appreciate your suggestion.
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#23 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-November-04, 16:16

View Postsharon j, on 2022-November-03, 12:45, said:

This topic is of great interest to me. I have noticed a difference in my husband's mental acuity in the last 6 + months. I've told him that I'm concerned about this and have asked him to discuss it with his doctor. Outside of doing this, I have no idea what I should do or even if there is anything I can do.


Guys can be resistant.

In my case, my wife Becky had mentioned several times that there were times at night when I seemed to have gaps in my breathing. No snoring, but breathing gaps. I pooh-poohed this. My mistake. Becky also commented o my memory lapses. It took a TIA to get my attention. And then an attentive doctor.

I am not saying he has apnea, but I had apnea. I am not saying he has Alzheimer's but my friend's wife had Alzheimer's. I am saying that not getting medical attention earlier was an extremely serious mistake of mine, but I corrected it in time.

You could show him this post. Guys often do not listen to their wives. Well, guys often do not listen to anyone. But I have been there. I have come to realize that there are people, Becky but not only Becky, who would like me to stick around for a while. Sound familiar? Good luck with this.

Ken
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#24 User is offline   sharon j 

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Posted 2022-November-04, 17:26

Thank you, Ken. I will have to make an effort to listen to his breathing at night. LOL That won't be easy for me. I'm usually dead to the world when my head hits the pillow.

I guess I could maybe fib about it and see if he will see his doctor about it. He needs to stay around longer than me for sure.

Thanks again.
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#25 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-November-04, 18:07

View Postsharon j, on 2022-November-04, 17:26, said:

Thank you, Ken. I will have to make an effort to listen to his breathing at night. LOL That won't be easy for me. I'm usually dead to the world when my head hits the pillow.

I guess I could maybe fib about it and see if he will see his doctor about it. He needs to stay around longer than me for sure.

Thanks again.


Maybe this? As a present to you (Christmas, birthday, or just a present) he gets checked out by a doc. Maybe you are wrong, maybe you have misread the situation, but whether right or wrong you are worried, and simply as a gift to you he could get checked out. It sounds as if you could not imagine a finer gift.

Although my first seventy years were not totally free of medical issues, they very largely were and so I just found it really tough to believe that I had anything seriously wrong with me. Now I will be 84 in January and it is much easier to think "Hey, maybe I need to get this whatever it is checked out". I don't plan on dying tomorrow or next week or next year, but I am much more aware of life having an endpoint. It's a transition in thinking. My older daughter was here for a visit the other day and she was authentically pleased by my optimistic outlook. But realism also comes into play. I can be thankful for the past, enjoy the present, be optimistic about the future, and still realize that I should not be making any twenty-year plans.

Again, good luck. It's just a fact of online conversations that we do not really know each other, but I wish you and your husband the best.
Ken
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#26 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2022-November-04, 18:34

View Postsharon j, on 2022-November-04, 11:36, said:

He doesn't snore. His sleep patterns have changed, however. He naps multiple times a day. He says he sleeps fine at night. I'm only aware of him being awake when he gets up to use the bathroom once or so at night.

I will see what help I can get from the Alzheimer's research Investigation.

I appreciate your suggestion.

Sharon, I have only just seen your reply. My hubby always said, and still does, that he "sleeps just fine. He was unaware that he was waking multiple times an hour to restart his breathing. When he completed the sleep study he was off the chart with 40 events per hour, that is 40 times an hour that his breathing was interrupted for 10 seconds or his breathes were incomplete, shallow. Normal is less than 5 event/hour. He was also napping all day. I've got to say the remedy isn't perfect, we are still struggling with it at times.
Feel free to send me a private message if you want more information or need to chat further down the line :)
& best wishes to you both.
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#27 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-November-05, 03:43

Going and getting checked out by your doctor is a great idea - much more likely to put your mind at ease - either way.
If he's napping a lot sleep apnea is a definite possibility.
Also, if you're a heavy sleeper you may be unaware of your husband's sleep patterns at night.

There are many other things that can be associated with sleep problems that need to be checked out - high blood pressure for one.
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#28 User is offline   sharon j 

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Posted 2022-November-05, 08:50

Thanks pilowsky. He is being treated for high blood pressure and I will ask him to follow up with the doctor.
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#29 User is offline   sharon j 

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Posted 2022-November-05, 08:52

View Postjillybean, on 2022-November-04, 18:34, said:

Sharon, I have only just seen your reply. My hubby always said, and still does, that he "sleeps just fine. He was unaware that he was waking multiple times an hour to restart his breathing. When he completed the sleep study he was off the chart with 40 events per hour, that is 40 times an hour that his breathing was interrupted for 10 seconds or his breathes were incomplete, shallow. Normal is less than 5 event/hour. He was also napping all day. I've got to say the remedy isn't perfect, we are still struggling with it at times.
Feel free to send me a private message if you want more information or need to chat further down the line :)
& best wishes to you both.


You are very kind.
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#30 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2022-November-07, 17:25

View PostWinstonm, on 2022-November-02, 18:01, said:

PS. As an retired RN, my understanding 10 years ago was that Alzheimer's could only be truly diagnosed in an autopsy. I do not know if that has changed. I bring it up only to suggest that if still true, doubting the diagnosis is reasonable.

They say the same thing about TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), which is what you get from severe or repeated concussions.

It seems like it's generally difficult to tell precisely what's afflicting the brain without dangerous, invasive analysis. Some things, like strokes and cancers, can be seen from brain imaging, but others have to be inferred from behavior, and there can be multiple causes of the same symptoms.

#31 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-November-07, 17:54

View Postbarmar, on 2022-November-07, 17:25, said:

It seems like it's generally difficult to tell precisely what's afflicting the brain without dangerous, invasive analysis. Some things, like strokes and cancers, can be seen from brain imaging, but others have to be inferred from behavior, and there can be multiple causes of the same symptoms.


The list of reasons for alterations in brain function - almost always negative - is extremely long.

Unfortunately, as we get older - say past 18 - the wiring in the brain becomes fixed and the ability to learn new things becomes extremely hard.
The reason is a loss of plasticity.
If you remove half (or even more) of a person's liver, the remaining liver will simply grow back and restore the missing organ.
Each liver cell in the organ does much the same thing as every other cell.

The brain is different. After childhood, every single neuron has a very specific function and an incredibly complex set of connections with other neurons.
David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel won the Nobel prize for discovering (amongst other things) that there are individual nerves in the brain that are activated when an object moves from left to right but not from right to left.

An example that is much easier to understand is that we acquire language and speech at a very young age. This results in our accent and speech pattern.
People that change location before the age of about 14 are able to acquire completely new accents.
After that age it's nearly impossible.
Similarly, right-handed people have a very tough time switching to left-handedness.

It follows from this that any damage to the brain in adulthood is very hard to reverse if it is caused by destruction of neurons or their connections.

If the problem is a drug or a metabolic disorder (for example) then reversibility is possible.
The most obvious 'metabolic' problem is lack of sleep.
It turns out that every hour of wakefulness past about 16 hours is equivalent to an increase in blood alcohol level of 0.1%. (one example - there are lots of papers about this).

Then it becomes very complicated because if you are sleep deprived, and drink alcohol, and you have any metabolic problem that interferes with alcohol metabolism, things get bad quickly.
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#32 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2022-November-07, 19:11

View Postpilowsky, on 2022-November-07, 17:54, said:

It follows from this that any damage to the brain in adulthood is very hard to reverse if it is caused by destruction of neurons or their connections.


What role does neuroplasticity have in the healing process?
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#33 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-November-08, 00:47

View Postjillybean, on 2022-November-07, 19:11, said:

What role does neuroplasticity have in the healing process?


A lot depends on what is meant by 'plasticity'.
During development (especially early childhood) there is an astonishing amount of organising in the brain with different neurons making connections with each other.
At this time of life brains are capable of quite a lot of re-organisation if there is damage - up to a point of course.
The earlier in life, the easier it is for the nervous system to organise itself to cope with injury.

When we reach adulthood it is much harder - often impossible - for the brain to cope with physical damage - severe stroke, or prolonged loss of oxygen, concussion etc.
If an adult has an injury - say from a bleed in the brain or a blockage in an artery - there will be a loss of function.
Recovery in this situation is not because of plasticity so much as resupply of oxygen as swelling settles down after the acute injury.

Basically, recovery in adulthood works mainly by existing pathways becoming stronger by increased use.
This is a type of neuroplasticity but it's quite different from what happens to children where completely new pathways are forming.

This is (probably) why things you learn as a child are not easily forgotten, but if you try to acquire new things as an adult it's much harder.

Teleologically (and actually I suppose) it makes sense since the formation of brain pathways is what generates your 'mind' (another big question).
If you have a major loss of nerve function when you are an adult it's hard to imagine how a therapy that caused new pathways to form in the same way they did when you were a child could do it without changing your entire personality.

The effect of 'mind-altering drugs' gives some insight into this problem.

Getting the average person to change their mind about anything is a more typical example of how it works (or fails to) in normal life.
The ability to change your mind in the face of evidence is a mild (and often hard to acquire) form of neuroplasticity, because as everyone knows, they're always right about everything.

This is why I like Bridge and Chess. There's always a better way to do it, so perhaps this type of game does help to improve cognition after all, even if the evidence is hard to come by.

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#34 User is offline   taxisquad3 

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Posted 2023-August-05, 10:07

google SAVA, they may have the first medicine to slow the progression of this terrible disease.
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#35 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2023-August-05, 16:46

View Posttaxisquad3, on 2023-August-05, 10:07, said:

google SAVA, they may have the first medicine to slow the progression of this terrible disease.


You mean the candidate drug from the company that is being investigated for data manipulation?
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