Could osteoporosis increase your risk of dementia?
Past studies say it can. And now a new German study has shed even more light.
The revealing study published in Journal of Alzheimer’s Research tracked nearly 60,000 participants. The study ran between January 1993 and December 2012. (So some patients were followed up to 20 years!)¹
The researchers were on the Epidemiology Team at human health data sciences company IQVIA in Germany. These researchers tracked 29,983 patients with osteoporosis, and another 29,983 without.
Each osteoporotic patient was “paired” with a non-osteoporotic patient of a similar age, gender, health concerns, etc. That was to further uncover how osteoporosis influenced dementia. After the study wrapped up, the data showed:
Men with osteoporosis had a 1.3-fold increased risk of dementia.
Women with osteoporosis had a 1.2-fold increased risk.
What’s the Link?So why does one condition help bring on a seemingly unrelated condition? The major hypothesis explaining the association between osteoporosis and dementia is that they share some common risk factors, one of the co-authors revealed.
The first is a genetic mutation in DNA, known as a polymorphism. The polymorphism found in the study is for the APOE4 allele— the main genetic cause of Alzheimer’s Disease.²
Now, the “normal” APOE is a protein that carries cholesterol and fats through the body. It also supports injury repair in the brain. But a polymorphism of that protein can cause the opposite— a buildup of starch-like blockages in the brain’s blood vessels. This buildup causes cognitive decline with age.
While researchers don’t all agree, there is popular belief that many osteoporotic patients also have the APOE4 mutation. And the APOE4 mutation is linked to fractures.³
There were two vitamins also suggested as risk factors…
Vitamin K deficiency- Dementia patients tend to have a vitamin K deficiency. And if you follow my weekly newsletters, you probably know vitamin K is one of the essential nutrients for strong bones. Specifically, vitamin K2.
Vitamin K2 helps transport calcium into your bones. And because it brings calcium into your bones, that means it takes calcium away from other places. So vitamin K2 clears out calcium deposits in soft tissues like your arteries, kidneys, and brain, and shuttles it into your bones.
So without enough vitamin K2, calcium can accumulate in soft tissue and upset your body’s natural rhythm.
So, reduced vitamin K means less calcium in your bones, which can cause osteoporosis and fractures. Less calcium in your bones means more calcium elsewhere, which can lead to dementia-inducing conditions in your brain!
Vitamin D deficiency- As you may know, vitamin D is another essential nutrient for strong bones.
Just like vitamin K, vitamin D also helps your bones absorb more calcium. Without enough vitamin D, your bones don’t absorb all the calcium they need, which can lead to frailty and fracture.
But did you know vitamin D also supports your central nervous system?⁴ Vitamin D protects your neurons and clears up amyloid beta plaques— the brain blockages mentioned above!
In one study, vitamin D deficiency doubled the risk of cognitive impairment in 752 older women.⁵ Another showed people with low vitamin D levels had 2.3x greater risk of Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias than those with normal levels.⁶ And that was only over a 6-year span!
Again, reduced vitamin D means less calcium in your bones, which can cause osteoporosis and fractures. And less calcium in your bones means more calcium elsewhere… where it can do damage!
Did You Know? Nearly 50% of the world’s population is vitamin D-deficient.⁷
How To Insulate Your Brain And Bones: Why is the IQVIA study so groundbreaking? It’s the first of its kind to track osteoporosis and dementia over time; following people who did and didn’t have osteoporosis from the start.
And the researchers accessed dependable patient records from over 1,200 German health practices. That meant no self-reporting bias or relying on patients’ memory to get accurate medical data!
So the question is… are you protecting yourself from osteoporosis and dementia? Sure, you can’t do much about an APOE polymorphism. But you can control your levels of both vitamin K and D!
Here are the top natural sources of vitamin D.
Here are the top natural sources of vitamin K.
But if you want a natural source of both these vitamins- along with the 13 other essential minerals proven to build bone- you’ll want to try the AlgaeCal Bone Builder Pack. https://www.algaecal.com/
There are many reasons for and modes of wandering . . .
Wandering, when in the context of Alzheimer’s disease, is defined as getting lost and becoming disoriented. It is a common behavior in those with Alzheimer’s. In this article I will share some causes of wandering and preventive measures you can take as a caregiver. I also share my experiences with my mother’s wandering.
There is usually a trigger that causes wandering, such as confusion. Brain changes due to dementia may cause confusion and/or disorientation even when those with dementia are familiar with their surroundings. Their confusion/disorientation may trigger them to search for something or someone. One evening my mother was found by a neighbor wandering up and down the block where she lived. She was looking for me because I was living with her as her caregiver at the time. I had decided to attend a class that evening and had explained it to my mother verbally and also left her a note reminding her where I was going. Even with these precautions, she became confused as to where I was, which led to her wandering search.
Another possible cause for wandering might be that a person with dementia believes they need to escape from something. They can easily become over-stimulated, anxious, or stressed by something as simple as loud noise, or possibly too much conversation that they don’t understand. Sometimes wandering is brought about because an Alzheimer’s patient is reliving their past in some way, such as shopping in a particular location, or some other past routine. Dementia patients are often restless and can be motivated to stay in constant motion to soothe these feelings which can lead them to wander.
Caregivers need to be aware that anyone with dementia can be prone to wandering. They must remember that dementia causes confusion, which can lead to wandering. The urge or need to wander may make no logical sense to the caregiver. You most likely will get no warning that your person with dementia will wander until the first incident. Wandering leads to risk of injury and steps must be taken for prevention. Provide 24/7 supervision, even if you have to ask for help to cover your absence, should you need to leave for any reason. Install home safety devices such as window locks, night lights, and stair gates. These measures also help prevent falls. One safety measure that is on the top of this list is a door alarm. These warn the caregiver that an exit door has been opened.
In the board and care home where my mother lived, they had a door alarm, which was required by law for state-licensed board and care homes. Every time I’d visit and the front door was opened to admit me, that alarm emitted a loud squawk. Errors can occur even when such failsafe devices are employed. One night at the board and care, they forgot to turn on the door alarm after it had been disabled. Wouldn’t you know it, that was the time Mom chose to wander.
Early the next morning she left her room carrying only a blanket. The caregivers had pushed a small couch to block the end of the hall to her room. Mom was able to push it aside to reach and exit the front door. Everyone else in the house was still sleeping so no one heard her leave. Later a caregiver, Mary, awoke and went down the hall to check on the residents and found that Mom had disappeared. Mary ran down the hall in a panic and called Safe Return to report that Mom had gone missing.
Caregivers of people with dementia are wise to register them with the Safe Return program. This program is run by the Alzheimer’s Association® and is a 24-hour nationwide emergency response service for individuals who have Alzheimer's or other dementias and wander or get lost. You can read all about Safe Return at: https://www.alz.org/help-support/caregiving/safety/medicalert-safe-return. Once the dementia patient is reported missing, a community support network is activated which includes local Alzheimer's Association® chapters and law enforcement agencies. They help reunite the person who wandered with caregivers or family members. The patient simply wears a piece of jewelry purchased and ordered through Safe Return; a necklace or bracelet, with an emergency phone number. There is an annual fee for this service.
Mary dashed outside to search for Mom and ran right past her, but abruptly stopped and turned back as soon as she realized what she’d done. There was Mom, sitting on the next door neighbor’s front lawn in her pajamas and a sweater with the blanket. This is a very happy ending as many wanderers get farther afield and get lost, and others wind up very far away and are found several days later either in bad physical condition or possibly dead from exposure or an accident. Mary and Mom were lucky. Mom only needed to be returned to her room and warmed up a bit and she was fine. Safe Return had called me to let me know that Mom had wandered away from the residential board and care home, so I knew to call there and later visit to make sure Mom was OK. The door alarm was activated at the home assiduously from then on.
Another way to help prevent wandering is to make sure there are visual cues in the dementia patient’s room so they recognize where they are if they forget or become confused. Also insure that items they’d normally use to leave the house such as keys or a purse are out of sight so they aren’t encouraged by such cues to wander away. If the person is away from home, be aware that busy, loud environments can lead to added confusion and may cause the urge to wander.
I invite all interested readers to visit my website for the book I wrote about my experiences as my mother’s caregiver, which includes dealing with doctors, hospitals, finances and financial institutions, to name a few. My book is The Gift I Found in Alzheimer’s: My Growth and Transformation as Mom’s Caregiver. Learn more at www.averytstone.com .
I want to give due credit to The Alzheimer’s Association of Orange County for information about wandering.
It is my pleasure introduce Clair Wentz of Caringfromafar.com. Please read her article on how to familiarize yourself with your senior's neighbors if you are a caregiver from afar, or living at any distance from them. If you are caregiver to a senior with dementia, this is especially important information if you live at a distance.
"From backyard parties to having someone to watch your children when you go out, it’s worthwhile to get to know your neighbors. This is particularly true if you are a long-distance caregiver for a senior citizen. There is a wide range of reasons to get to know your senior’s neighbors. They can help keep an eye on your senior citizen, provide them with companionship, and even help them out from day to day if they aren’t feeling well. Here are some steps you should take to get to know their neighbors and introduce them to the senior in your care.
Strike up a conversation
The first step depends on how outgoing you tend to be. If you are friendly and open from the beginning, there is no better way to introduce yourself than to go right up to the neighbors’ doors and knock. Once you’re there, introduce yourself as the caregiver (or relative, if applicable) of their neighbor, and mention that you just wanted to stop by and meet everyone on the street. There is no need to ask them to come over and meet the senior under your care yet, nor is it necessary to go into their house for a cup of tea if you aren’t so inclined. The important thing is that they have an idea of who you are. If you are less extroverted, though, you may need to take your time a little more. Start by simply waving at your neighbors as you see them in their yard to demonstrate friendliness. Once you are comfortable with that, you can strike up a conversation with some small talk in the yard, and eventually take the time to introduce yourself fully. Remember, there is no pressure on either of you to become close friends—at this point, all you need to do is become familiar with one another.
Alternatives to a direct approach
If you are shy about inciting social interactions, there are a few alternatives to approaching them directly that may appeal to you. For instance, you may want to send them a brief letter inviting them over for a cup of coffee. Don’t be too formal; open up your letter with a comment about something you like about their house or landscaping, and be friendly in your tone. Another way to meet the neighbors is by borrowing something from them. Borrowing a ladder or a cup of sugar will help them feel useful and may start your relationship off on the right foot. (This is also great as a second step to maintain the relationship after you’ve had that initial conversation.) Finally, you can use organizations such as A Little Help, which can connect seniors directly to friendly, helpful people in their neighborhood. There are also helpful apps that can work as social media for your neighborhood.
Invite them over for a meal
Once you are familiar with each other, invite them over for a meal. Food is a powerful unifying force, and often plays a great deal in bringing people together. This is a perfect opportunity to introduce the neighbors to the senior under your care, if they haven’t already met, and to get to know each other. From there, they may have a vested interest in your senior’s well being. You may even want to ask that they look in on their senior neighbor every now and then while you are away. Try to get their contact information so your senior may have somebody nearby to call if they are in trouble.
Some extra assistance is extremely valuable, and there is no better way to build your senior’s circle of support than to meet and befriend the neighbors. Remember: Start off small, looking to simply become acquainted, gradually become friends with them, and eventually introducing them to your senior’s needs.
Photo Credit: Pixabay "
HSV1, the herpes virus that causes cold sores, could account for 50% or more of Alzheimer’s cases. Researchers have found that two types of herpes are common in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s. The herpes virus remains in our cells and central nervous system for life. The drug acylovir, prescribed to thwart a herpes outbreak, blocks the reproduction of the HSV1 virus in DNA and reduces beta-amyloid and tau toxic proteins that accumulate in the brains of Alzheimer’s victims. My mother had HSV1 herpes and Alzheimer's - could there be a link?
To read more: www.beingpatient.com/herpes-virus-is-linked-to-half-of-alzheimers-says-expert/?fbclid=IwAR279PhYMABoH9bfFdg-kkDyJqJvUvoUoRd9LOOIQ1QVJ_Xuu7CfmnJwcng
I would like to introduce you to my guest blogger, Hazel Bridges, who wrote this thought/planning-provoking article. This article gives you something to mull over and may save you future financial problems. Please visit Hazel's website: agingwellness.org
Image courtesy of Pixabay
Investing in Your Golden Years: How to Plan and Pay for Long-Term Care
Getting older isn’t easy in certain respects, and with some of the physical changes age can bring, a concern for many people is paying for long-term care. Long-term care can be costly, and if you don’t have a plan in place, you leave yourself open to financial risk. Here are some things to consider as you contemplate your future.
At some point down the road, most Americans will require long-term care. In fact, according to some statistics, as many as 12 million Americans are expected to need long-term care by the year 2020, and 68 percent of seniors can anticipate requiring assistance at some point with the most basic functions in life, such as eating and dressing. Depending on your situation, that could mean hiring help to meet your needs.
An Expensive Proposition
Long-term care isn’t cheap. The average cost for just one year in an assisted living facility was $41,000 in 2012, and while Medicare is invaluable for many seniors, it provides little coverage when it comes to assisted living or nursing home care. While many people believe they can depend on Medicare or Medicaid, they must meet requirements to get help paying for long-term care. In fact, many people are required to spend down their assets in order to qualify for coverage, commonly termed a “Medicaid spend down.” With assets capped at $2,000 to qualify for long-term care payout, that leaves most people reducing assets to a poverty level. If you or a loved one needs to live in an assisted-living home or a nursing home, how will you pay for it?
Plan and Prepare
It’s important to develop a realistic picture of how much your assets are worth, and experts at Time suggest that’s the best place to start. For instance, if you are a homeowner your house is probably one of your largest assets. You can use an online home value calculator to give you an idea of its value. That number is part of your overall picture, termed “net worth.” Your net worth is a comparison of your assets, which is all you own outright, against all you owe, your liabilities. You can use a net worth calculator to help tally the number. Those whose net worth comes in at above $2 million can feasibly plan to pay out-of-pocket should the need for long-term care arise. Those whose assets are $2,000 or under can depend on Medicaid. Everyone who falls in the gap between should devise a plan to pay for care.
Weigh the Possibilities
Do you have a close friend or family member you can depend on for care? Some people rely on a spouse, child, or partner for care, but as US News & World Report explains, families are smaller than they used to be, and for many, that isn’t a realistic choice.
Here are some alternative ideas:
Establish a Safety Net
Most of us will require long-term care in our golden years, so it makes sense to establish a plan. Evaluate your circumstances and prepare accordingly. You can face your future with peace of mind by putting a safety net in place.
By Hazel Bridges,
From the Alzheimer's Association International Conference, July 22 - 26, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois, a press release divulged that: Research has shown that behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia, namely: agitation, anxiety, apathy, depression, wandering, hallucinations, insomnia, incontinence, and disinhibition, can cause the most challenges to caregivers and are leading causes for placement in assisted living or nursing homes. Synthetic cannabinoid (synthetic marijuana) treatment shows improvement in agitation in people with Alzheimer's.
Follow this link to learn more: alz.org/aaic/releases_2018/AAIC18-Tues-non-cognitive-symptoms.asp
The brain is such an intricate system.
DAVID NIELD 13 JUL 2018, Science Alert
It is now believed that the amyloid plaques are a defense measure of the brain against the herpes virus. Experiments have shown virus infections leading to more deposits of amyloid beta proteins in the brain.
"We know about the devastating effects of Alzheimer's, but scientists still aren't certain about how it gets started. New research lends credence to an older idea, that bacteria and viruses could be contributing to the root causes of the brain disease.
In this latest study, the association has only been spotted in mice and petri dishes, but it's still a significant finding.
When infected with herpes viruses, previously linked to Alzheimer's, neurons in both the mice and the lab tests quickly developed amyloid beta (Aβ) plaques – thought to lead to Alzheimer's.
The scientists behind the study are suggesting that the plaque build-up might be the result of some kind of defence mechanism put in place by the body, as it tries to protect itself from attack.
Those sticky buildups of proteins then start damaging the connections between brain cells rather than guarding them.
For years, questions have been asked about how the onset of Alzheimer's is linked to the amyloid beta plaques found in the brains of those who have the disease. This new research further bolsters the hypothesis that the herpes virus is somehow involved.
"Our findings reveal a simple and direct mechanism by which herpes infections trigger the deposition of brain amyloid as a defense response in the brain," explains one of the researchers, Rudolph Tanzi from the MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease (MIND)."
You may read more of this informative article at: https://www.sciencealert.com/more-evidence-that-viruses-herpes-causes-alzheimer-s
"This could be huge . . . "
26 MAY 2018 An active compound in marijuana called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has been found to promote the removal of toxic clumps of amyloid beta protein in the brain, which are thought to kickstart the progression of Alzheimer's disease."
Please follow this link for much more information and a humorous video . . . YouTube below . . .
"May 26, 2018 Sampson Independent Lifestyle 0
By Lesia R. Henderson - Contributing columnist
"Caregivers, you are amazing! You give care with love and patience. You are needed and you are important. Your time is spent tending to the needs of your loved one, and little time is left for you. You give of your time and energy with great strength, at the end of each day you feel depleted of both.
You appear at times that you have it all together; and at times you appear to be falling apart. But you continue with this caregiving role, hold your head up and keep on keeping on! Your loved one talks to you with words you could never imagine that was in their vocabulary. Your sweet little mother or father, or your wonderful wife or maybe your favorite uncle; people you have never heard speak a harsh word in your life, is now speaking rudely and cursing up a storm. They may even spat out racial slurs or sex talk!
They may look at you with a blank stare and ask, “Who do you think you are?” They continue to do odd things, like forgetting where the bathroom is, in the house they have spent most of their lives, seeing people that are not there, wanting to go home, but in their home, etc. There are times you may want to give up, just throw your hands up and give up! But you don’t, you keep are giving! You look at your loved one and see they are the same person but different. You look at your loved one and remember that once could do any and everything, but now that can no longer do those things. Caregivers remember your loved one is doing the best they can do. Focus on what they can still do and not on what they can no longer do. Caregivers you are amazing, you truly are.
I would like to share a poem that hangs on the wall at the Sampson County Department of Aging. The name of this poem is “A Caregiver’s Prayer”.
“Lord, show me the strength within me because I am very tired, Show me patience to care for the one I love, Show me peace of mind as I struggle through each day and night, Show me the joy in the little things my loved one does to help me out, Show me love when anger wants to take over my thoughts, Show me compassion when my loved one becomes frustrated, Show me hope when I can see no hope, And Lord, Show me kindness for those who care about me. Amen.”
This poem was written by Scott Warehouse. I really did not pay close attention to this poem until one day I was looking for something and happen to view it closer. I trust you will enjoy it and hope it brings you comfort.
Caregivers take time for yourself, you will be a better caregiver when you do this. Remember to mark your calendar for the Dementia Education and Alzheimer’s Support Group meeting the second Tuesday of each month at 2 p.m. Also mark your calendar for Tuesday, May 30, from 10:30-11:30 a.m. for our “Laughter Therapy Workshop”. Lisa Levine with Alzheimer’s of North Carolina will be presenting this workshop at the Bellamy Center. It’s a lot of fun and full of laughter. There is not charge to attend. So come and laugh with me.
Remember, Caregivers you are important, you are loved, you are amazing and you are special. Hope you have a “Best Day Ever”!
Caregivers are so important!"
By Lesia R. Henderson,Contributing columnist
This helpful article is from the San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 April 2018 and authored by the National Institute on Aging, 25 April 2018.
"The issue: Alzheimer’s disease causes brain cells to die, so the brain works less well over time. This changes how a person acts. This article prepared by the National Institute on Aging has suggestions that may help you understand and cope with changes in personality and behavior in a person with Alzheimer’s disease.
What should caregivers expect? Common personality and behavior changes you may see include:
If you don’t know what is causing the problem, call the doctor. It could be caused by a physical or medical issue. Click here for NIA’s comprehensive list of common medical problems facing people with Alzheimer’s.
What’s the best way to deal with difficult behavior? Caregivers cannot stop these changes in personality and behavior, but they can learn to cope with them. Here are some tips:
Copyright © 2018, The San Diego Union-Tribune
I cared for Mom for seven years and learned so much from my experiences with her and Alzheimer's.