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Like many other health maladies, I don't think any of them have gotten more prevalent, I think we just live longer and have greater access to statistics than we did when our parents were young.
Another suggestion is a change in expectations. It used to be that families expected a mental decline in the elderly. This was not seen as dementia so much as "senility," a normal expectation in old age. Grandma repeats herself. Grandpa imagines stuff. It's just "old age." Now, we get diagnoses of multiple manifestations of dementia. Maybe these diseases were always there but were called something else. I remember it wasn't until the 1970's that I'd ever even heard of Alzheimer's.
Most common sources of iodine are through iodine salt - table salt like Morton’s - and seafood.
As we age it seems most people are advised to reduce or eliminate table salt due to things like high blood pressure and CHF. Then there’s the problem with seafood- mercury.
And yes, previous studies have linked low iodine to “intellectual deficiencies”.
This is an area that you just don’t hear much about. I remember hearing about it a couple of years ago but blew it off as I salt everything - I practically salt my salt. Hubby on the other hand has two separate heart conditions and has been told NO SALT! I think I’m definitely going to look into the option of supplements for him.
Thanks, RaylinStephens for bringing this up!
Back in the 1970's, they determined that Senile Dementia came from malnutrition. So, you stopped hearing Senile Dementia and they started with Alzheimer's.
There is an Iodine Deficiency that is becoming epidemic. Your multiple vitamins don't have all the minimum daily requirements. And, we're sterilizing our foods to the point of killing off anything nutritious. Add to this, "fast food."
After I started DH & I on Iodine, his cognition improved 99% - pardon the pun but it staggers my mind how one nutrient can affect everything. He's still 96 and fuzzy around the edges, but he knows who I am again, knows this is our home, knows where the bathroom is again and is even up and watching TV again! All this from meeting his Iodine needs. (mind you, this is not the iodine you apply to your boo-boo. it is food grade.)
Start "googling" for information - it's out there. If I could find it, anyone can find it.
My Dad's mother had dementia (mid 80's) and my Moms father had dementia (mid 80's). Both of their spouses died early (in their 60's). The difference with my grandparents dementia journey is that it was fairly quick. They both started showing signs of dementia, were kept at home as long as they could (probably about 1 year staying with different family members), then they went to a nursing home where they both passed within 2 years. So their whole dementia journey was 3 years or less.
In contrast, my Dad first sign of dementia was 6 years ago... he could live another 5 to ten years.. making his dementia journey around 15 years!
My parents only took care of their parents for a month or 2 in their home and share with other siblings before the nursing home so no one person dealt with dementia for years and years.
I wonder if it is a combo of living longer.. especially after dementia symptoms and we are just more aware? Back when my grandma had dementia there was no aging care forum to see others going through the same thing.
I also hate to see people live on years and years while their brain died a long time ago... all this time, effort, money to keep people alive whose brains are dying off (not to mention the poor caregiver practically giving up their lives for years and years).. so very sad. I hope I can avoid that fate for myself.
While watching our news channel not long ago - they were talking about Dementia/ Alzheimer's is expected to go way up. Just made me wonder why our future looks so bleak!
Only one relative died of the 1918 flu epidemic which surprised me there weren't more. But then again, majority were farmers. Not face to face with a lot of people.
Had one great-great-grandfather pass from dementia, but his was caused by a farming accident where he was cleaning a well, had a kerosene lantern, and there was an explosion where he had lack of oxygen.
I remember talk of one relative old-timer who was said to be senile. He would go for a walk and the family had to go out to look for him hours later. Whether he was senile or just wanted to get out of house and visit other town folks is still not known :)
The medical condition that caused most of the family deaths was heart related, and that tradition still carries on. Dad lived to be 95. His Mom lived to be 91. One great-great aunt lived to be 103, she was a "spinster" as that was a common reference to a woman who never married.
She told me once that she cleaned EVERYDAY with a bucket of ammonia and bleach mixed together--said it was the BEST cleaner--well, gee, we ALL know that creates a toxic gas you shouldn't breathe and I often wonder if that's why she's so cuckoo?
The dental issue is very legit. My DH had liver transplant and he takes antibiotics before ANY procedure and sees the dentist regularly. Bacteria can enter the bloodstream through decayed teeth and cause serious problems, bacteria can attack the heart, kidneys, lungs. I was a dental assistant early on in my life and I would see some pretty sick people whose mouths were full of rotting teeth--there's simply no excuse for that these days.
I have an acquaintance who simply never brushed her teeth. Ever. I'd see her twice a year at luncheons or whatever and slowly witnessed her teeth simply rotting out of her head. SO gross. Finally she had them all pulled and started wearing full dentures at age 59. I know she had been in poor health, and I am sure the rotted teeth was partially a cause.
Both my parents had extensive dental work that seemed to become more frequent as they aged. I haven’t a doubt that my parents dental work put at least a couple of their dentist children through college.
Although, my father who passed the day before his 85th birthday only began showing signs of dementia in the couple of weeks prior to his death. I do believe that in his case it was not dementia at all but rather the accumulated effect of mass morphine and Ativan doses given to him through hospice.
And - it’s definitely accurate to say my mothers dementia rapidly worsened at the same time she pretty much stopped brushing her teeth. But I kinda think that in my moms case at least, it’s a “which came first, the chicken or the egg” in trying to connect any dots between her dementia and her lack of dental hygiene.
A couple of years ago I was discussing my life long insomnia problem with my doctor.
I made the comment that having to get up to pee twice a night didn’t help matters.
My doctor offered to write me a prescription for a drug that mutes/reduces the feeling of - the urge - to pee.
I said no thanks saying I didn’t think it was a good idea to confuse the brain/body function relationship by artificial means, ie drugs. He seemed amused by my comment and assured me “it’s completely safe”.
What the doctor didn’t know was that I was thinking about my mother - who was in a nursing home with dementia, incontinence etc.
My mom had always had a weak bladder and was forever looking for a fix - going so far as to having Botox injected into her bladder.
Now mom was completely incontinent. In fact, the bladder incontinence came on prior to the dementia. And really, with her bladder history it was no surprise.
But still I wonder - is it a good idea to take meds that alter or override the brain? I’m not going all Tom Cruise on the whole thing - but we take drugs to calm us when our brain wants to be anxious. Drugs to make us happy when our brain wants to be depressed. Drugs to tell us we don’t have to pee - when yeah, I gotta pee.
Just something I’ve been pondering - as it related to dementia...
Her parents had heart problems and passed at about 80
I still attribute much of her dementia to bad falls as she didn't even take a BP med until she was about 80