I heard something about coconut oil helping dementia sufferers. Can anyone tell me anything about that?

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I am living with my 83-yr-old mom, who has dementia.. I moved back home with her when my dad died after a 5-year-plus battle with vascular dementia. That was 6 years ago. She is taking Ocuvite multivitamins, Citracal calcium, Diovan, Amlodipine, Levothyroxine, Ranitidine, Lexapro, Mirtazapine, Namenda, Donepezil, and, most recently Resperidone was added. Each one made some improvement that wore off after a short while, but if she goes without any of them, things get worse. The Resperidone made a marked improvement, especially in personality and behavior, for about a month, but now she is back to her "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" mood swings, with more time on the nasty, hateful, selfish, etc., etc., obsessive "I want to go home to be with my mother and father" (who died more than 30 and 40 years ago) pacing and trying all the doors for hours, and paranoid "The bad people will come and do terrible things to us" if I don't do what she wants ...side. We live in Southern California, and are in the midst of the worst, actually the first real heat wave of the year, so that may be a factor, too, I can't complain much about that, because I know the rest of the country has had it so much worse for much longer, and we have been spared until now, but I am terribly affected by the heat- weakness, digestive upset, difficulty sleeping, feeling generally sick, depressed and irritable and having a very short fuse, so I know that some of her current negative behavior is a reaction to the heat and my impatience, so I don't know if this current downturn is the Resperidone losing its effect or just the current miserable conditions, or both. I know she gets bored and needs stimulation, and that's part of what triggers her negative behavior, but there is not much that she can do any more, and if I try to help her, she gets mad or loses interest. The only things that help her mood is to go for a walk down the street and back, or go do any kind of shopping, or go to a movie, or just go drive around, or eating special foods like popsicles and ice cream, but we can't do those things all day or every day - too expensive and too fattening!. She doesn't seem to enjoy anything in the house except obsessive, repetitive folding and sorting of laundry, and asking me repetitive questions about the laundry items, then disagreeing with me whatever I answer and telling me to shut up if I try to explain my answer. On the other hand, she is so contrary and wants be the one in control, so that if I suggest going somewhere before she starts saying she has to go home, she often turns me down with, "I don't want to, I don't feel very good". She is very strong willed and I cannot get her to do anything if she doesn't want to or if it wasn't her idea in the first place, even something I know she enjoys! but there is not much she can do without my help, and she asks me to help her, but then she gets annoyed when I try to participate in whatever she is trying to do and gets verbally abusive, etc. etc. etc.

Wow, sorry, this has been quite a rant and I guess I have wandered away from my initial point in trying to provide more details. I have been reading your newsletter for months now, and it is the only one I can bear to read because the things posted, and the responses are so real and honest and empathetic, not trite and like standard answers from a textbook. This is my first post, and I guess I've been storing up a lot of stuff. My main question is about the coconut oil, and, if anyone has any suggestions for activities we can do at home Oh, she also has very poor vision from macular degeneration, and poor hearing, which adds to her frustration and my difficulty in coming up with something we can do for her stimulation and to make the days more enjoyable.(she has lost 2 sets of hearing aids and many pairs of reading glasses and sunglasses, and refused to get out of the car when we went to an eye doctor appointment - I was hoping to find some new help for the vision problems), Her behavior has been escalating, and my tolerance fading, and if the Respiridol has really just faded (and it's not the weather at all), then I am truly desperate for something that will help, like coconut oil, if what I read is true. If it is helpful, I need to know what brand or brands are recommended, how much to give and how, or any negative side effects, or conflicts with her current meds, etc, I really appreciate any input anyone can give me! Thanks for reading this .

ps....I tried an adult day health care, which was started at just a few hours two times a week, but after a couple of months of struggle to get her out of the car and into the center, I decided it was too stressful on her and no respite for me for the measly half hour or hour she would actually spend there if I could even get her in the door! And they were so nice to her and bent over backward to try to engage her, but she would only talk about how terrible they were!

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i can honestly say my experience with coconut oil has been a God sent i use to have upper respertory infections all the time had to get steroids and antibiotics several times a year but now no problem its been 2 1/2 years not so much as a cold runny nose its been a blessing i would try it i give it to my kids and grandkids i thank god he let me find coconut oil because i needed it so bad so please try for a month seewhat differnce it makes.
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I have a father in-law I look after he has vascular dementia and stage 4 kidney disease and emphysema and Ischemic heart disease and heart failure and is in afib all the time and he has chronic gout (which I have under control) and Iook after him 24/7 and am in need of advice of the coconut oil does it do any thing to help the dementia and would it effect his kidneys he has so many meds I don't want to over load him with something that could make things worse
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I know this is not about coconut oil, but I am in a similar situation caring for my 93 year old dad. I about went crazy with the TV volume at max, he will not use his hearing aids. I found relief with wireless headphones, which means he can watch TV with the speaker volume all the way down. You may need a simplified remote for your mom. I leave protein bars, slimfast, cut up fruit out so even if he doesn't care for dinner, he has had nutrition. SoBe has drinks with coconut water added, you could also add to soups etc. Dad likes yogurt also, it keeps his guts in order. They make coconut yogurt also, we use Activia Greek Light to keep the sugar intake down. He does seem to do better with the coconut drinks. He usually does not think to get these on his own, so I set them at his chair. Hydration is also exceptionally important, hence the pretty colored drinks. Also, you need to take care of you, or you are no good to anyone. I got totally burned out and we put Dad into respite while I took a couple weeks off. Check with your mom's doctor and see what might be covered under her insurance. Generally it is not covered, but skilled nursing might be and the MD is the one to authorize that. Know in advance that your mom will hate the idea, but it is necessary to care for yourself. I made a calendar for my Dad with the day he would come back home clearly marked on it. He was afraid he was being farmed out for good at first, but the calendar reassured him. Although family could not take him in, they visited him often while he was in the respite facility. Take care of yourself as well as you care for your mom. Good Luck.
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Dear Kabeeena
The history of your mother it is very similar to the history of my aunt that have tto advanced dementia, and she takes too some of the medicine drugs that your mother takes too .
But keeping all the medicine drugs that her doctor prescribed , we are giving as an augmentation therapy , some supplements , that are controlling most of her "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" mood swings (my aunt have the same behaviors).
We are giving the substance or food supplement called GLUCURONOLACTONE -200 miligrams 4 to 5 times a day) associated to 3 to 4 TEA spoons of extravirgin coconut oil , with amazing results in her mood and behavior.
But only the doctor of thr patient can give permission to use that supplement.
But the relief to my aunt and to her caregivers it is great, using that two supplements. (you can find pure glucuronolactone in capsules searching in google) .
Best regards
Carlos

The first article , showed strong benefits to protect against heart and other vascular diseases with the use of extravirgin coconut oil , as I paste bellow . The study was made by the Universidade Paulista (UNIP), Campus Brasília, Distrito Federal, Brasil ,and was found on line in march 2011.
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EFFECTS OF DIETARY SUPPLEMENTATION WITH COCONUT OIL ON LIPID AND CARDIOVASCULAR PROFILE OF DYSLIPIDEMIC SUBJECTS ( from the journal : Brasília Med 2011;48(1):42-49 )
… Objective. To evaluate the effect of dietary supplementation with extra virgin coconut oil on lipid profile and cardiovascular dyslipidemic subjects … “
CONCLUSION ( from the article) : “ ... THE RESULTS SUGGEST THAT DIETARY SUPPLEMENTATION WITH EXTRA VIRGIN COCONUT OIL IS ABLE TO EXERT BENEFITS ON LIPID PROFILE AND CARDIOVASCULAR HYPERCHOLESTEROLEMIC SUBJECTS. HOWEVER, RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIALS ARE NEEDED...

The other article about how safe can be the use of moderate doses of extravirgin coconut oil , was published in the american medical journal called Lipids , and the authors of the article made a RANDOMISED, DOUBLE-BLIND, CLINICAL TRIAL that involved 40 women aged 20–40 years , using COCONUT OIL VERSUS SOY OIL , to compare the effects of both oils in lipids profile and obesity . I really hope that these articles inspire universities and institutions that works in dementia research , to performs dozens of scientific research with the extra virgin coconut oil .

Title of the article : EFFECTS OF DIETARY COCONUT OIL ON THE BIOCHEMICAL AND ANTHROPOMETRIC PROFILES OF WOMEN PR ESENTING ABDOMINAL OBESITY - LIPIDS - VOLUME 44, NUMBER 7 (2009)

CONCLUSION (from the article) IT APPEARS THAT DIETETIC SUPPLEMENTATION WITH COCONUT OIL (EVCO) DOES NOT CAUSE DYSLIPIDEMIA AND SEEMS TO PROMOTE A REDUCTION IN ABDOMINAL OBESITY.
This article based in part on the ML Master's Dissertation of the Assumption, Presented to the Faculty of Nutrition, Federal University of Alagoas, Maceió, Alagoas, Brazil, in 2007. A summary of the paper was Presented at the IX National Congress of the Brazilian Society of Food and Nutrition, São Paulo, SP, Brazil, 2007.
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My husband was on extra virgin coconut oil 4x a day for over a year and at first we felt there was a difference in his dementia but alas not really and so I stopped it after it didn't seem to make any difference.
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Hi Kabeeena,

As of the very tail of last November, my 8+ years of solo caregiving for my almost 106 yo grandmother ended. I didn't realize when I promised to take care of her to the end, that it would consume my entire life, but on the plus side, I had plenty of time during her naps and TV masses to study any health-related topics I chose.

At first I started to dig into "lymphatic function", which in itself is incredibly intriguing. Here are a few quotes which describes the situation:

"The lymphatic system has been much neglected in most Western scientific traditions. Contrasted with the heart, for example, the lymph is relatively unexplored. Perhaps, because lymph and lymph vessels are generally translucent they drew little attention in early anatomical study compared to organs, blood vessels, muscles and bones."

"The lymphatic system is also connected to every organ of the body, but its function is completely different from that of the cardiovascular system. It is the garbage collector, the internal vacuum cleaner sucking up metabolic garbage, toxins and excess fluid from the extracellular fluid of every organ. If this flow is impaired, the fluid becomes thick and toxic."

"The lymphatic system is filled with millions of one-way valves, which allows lymph fluid to flow unidirectionally – usually upward away from gravity."

Now, if we think about "waste removal" at a gross physical level - that is, what goes into our toilets, what we push down our garbage disposals, and what we haul out to the curb - and then imagine the impact of things NOT "moving right along" in our bodies at the tissue level, it could be horrible. And because the lymph has no central pump, it relies on body motion to generate the flow, at least at ideal levels. IOW, no wonder our elders are so crabby!

Ok, I realize that you asked about coconut oil and instead I'm talking lymph, which seems crazily self-indulgent. But there is a point to this. And that is - that as fascinating as "learning everything there is to know about lymphatic function" is for me, I ended up putting that topic on the back burner. Why? Because thanks to the AgingCare discussions, a topic re 'Why do we see so many Alzheimer's cases these days?" blew me right off course. And - one year later - I'm glad it did. Based on what I've learned, I'm hoping that good nutrition, exercise, and "neuronal autophagy" will stave off long-term neurodegenative disease for me. And my friends.

That is a very roundabout way of saying, YES, I am up to speed on the coconut oil theory. The science behind it is actually pretty clear and not that tough to understand. The "medium chain triglycerides" that coconut oil contains are simply not found in any other of our normal oils. You cannot expect a miracle cure, but there are some good reasons to hope for a potential benefit. And as a mattter of fact, I use it myself, and DO NOT use ANY of the normal highly processed vegetable oils. Ditto for my grandmother, who would probably still be here had I known that "hospice respite" translated to (at least in her case) massive morphine and "permanent respite". But that's not relevant except to say that even at 105 she was still checking off the items every week in the Publix flyer, triple-checking my grocery receipts with a magnifying glass, and watching TCM, AGT, DWTS, etc with me every night. And zippo prescription drugs.

So I definitely believe that ideal nutrition can make a difference. OTOH, I don't want to be too preachy either. But I have a lot of ideas about why it might work, if you are interested. And other non-coconut suggestions, as well.

Either way, Ladee is right about the other main thread, and all you have to do is put "coconut oil" or better yet, "Has anyone had a good result" into the "search site" box at the top right of the page. This site does not allow links, but if you google { coconut oil weekly } you will hit a mother lode of discussion pro and con.

Finally, I went with "Nutiva" brand which is cheaper on Amazon than on their own website. But it seems like such a simple product that there must be many brands that are equivalent. The key is "Extra Virgin" for minimal processing.
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There was a thread here awhile back about Coconut Oil... it ended up being bizzare, with so many opinions floating around... you can look it up on the sight here and maybe, filtering thru the negativity, find some answers.... I have heard good things about this.... I do know that my son uses it on his psorisis (sp?) and you can't even tell he has it....
And about all her meds... the possibilty that some are working against one another may be a problem.... possibly if she were hospitalized, given a full work up, and new meds started... but I know from my own experiance that some meds work, some meds only work for a short time, or not at all.... it's a crap shoot everytime they put them on something new.....
And I completely understand about the heat.... I am so cranky I can't stand myself... so hopefully your energy level will come up a little when it gets cooler... and vent away.... that's what we do here... it helps to get all that out of our heads... others may have suggestions about the coconut oil....there will be 'nay sayers' also, but, if you are like me, you will try something, if it doesn't cause harm, it may be something beneficial..... let us know what you find out..... hugs to you...and to cranky mom...
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