1. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    I notice that the Daily Mail has at least one article a week on something that may fend off Alzheimer's.

    Now I know that we all want a cure, or something that fends off the symptoms, or something that helps us avoid dementia in the first place.

    Am I alone in getting tired of seeing headlines for remote bits of research that - to me - seem totally unproven? Yet may give unjustified hope to people.

    This week it has been blackberries, and today, learning a second language.

    I know also that we want visibility for the whole area of dementia, but I am tired of people trying to be helpful and pointing out these articles. My reply is always "it is only the Daily Mail just filling space again."
  2. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    I agree Bruce. Where is the proof? When I searched on the Dail Mail site for 'Alzheimers' I found a list of do's and don'ts - mostly of the things my Dad had followed all his life. I get annoyed with phrases like, "Though the link is as yet unclear, it appears to protect the brain".

    It just makes me (and I suspect a lot of other people) switch off and view every 'new' idea of warding it off with scepticism. Which is a shame if something with real potential turns up one day.
  3. May

    May Registered User

    Oct 15, 2005
    Having just read the article in the 'Mail' ,oh how I agree with you both! If we subjected ourselves and our loved ones to half of the 'supposed' avoidance tactics we'd be dizzy! I just wish that the press would use the available space more wisely to stimulate research/debate/visibility on and around this darned disease.
    My Mum decided to learn to speak German at the age of 60 when she retired(and did very successfully, I'm still 'tochter' at times :) ) so that's that theory out of the window. :rolleyes:
  4. Dave W

    Dave W Registered User

    Jul 3, 2005
    Er ...

    ...surely one the best ways known of protecting the brain is not to read the Daily Mail?

    (Long since one of my personal bete noires, but in context only adding to my opinion of it!)
  5. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    Birmingham Hades
    Mail on Sunday was at it today.
    A possible new cure for AD!!!!
    Norman :eek:
  6. Meldrew

    Meldrew Registered User

    Apr 28, 2003
    Daily Mail has its uses

    back numbers are much cheaper than Catsan!
  7. zan

    zan Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    Although I agree that some of the ideas shown in the Mail seem quite wild and have no evidence at least the paper is accepting it as a serious illness and not ignoring it as some media do. In the Sunday paper there was an article about trials of a new treatment that might do more than just keep the symptoms at bay for a while. It will probably be too late for our loved ones but may lead to a better prognosis for future sufferers. I sometimes think that a lot of people see AD now as they saw cancer about 30 years ago. It isn't really talked about much ( except by people such as ourselves), people are unwilling to be diagnosed and as yet there is no cure. I live in hope that, just as there have been great developments in the treatment of cancer, and some wonderful services to support people with that group of illnesses, we will see the same happen for AD. Cancer , diagnosis , treatment and services are often in the media - sometimes informative, sometimes not, but because of this people are more accepting of the illness and I think that it has forced more research and better care, Perhaps by the media mentioning AD more often it will encourage scientists etc. to put more effort into trying to find a cure. Zan
  8. Dave W

    Dave W Registered User

    Jul 3, 2005
    A good point

    In response to Zan, the point that at least the Mail is giving the AD coverage is a fair one: althought the broadsheets largely picked up on the NICE issue recently, coverage is otherwise scant and rare (the only other article I recall recently was a thoroughly depressing Sunday supplement article about how little is done to help carers, which made me feel like slitting my wrists).

    If coverage can lead to the topic being less of a taboo, less of an issue that those who aren't facing up to it in their daily lives would rather didn't get mentioned, then let coverage continue (although it would good if we could avoid speculative quackery). Although I have to say I think Coronation Street has probably done more than anything else to raise its profile, and looks set to continue to do so.
  9. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    Yes, good point Zan, perhaps it's better to have 'bad' press than none at all, but I just wish they wouldn't make such loud assumptions from small-scale studies.

    Dave - I do like your suggestion for protecting the brain! #4

    By the way, can anyone tell me how to watch Coronation Street selectively? I tune in trying to just catch the parts with Mike Baldwin and then get caught up in the other characters. :eek:
  10. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    I'm not sure about the benefit of 'bad' press, though the Mail stuff is more frivolous than bad, as befits its market.

    People unaware of the effects of dementia may look at the piece and, yes, note that Alzheimer's is mentioned.

    But they may also read from the articles that there are ways to avoid getting it, ways to 'cure' it, etc, and thus be left with a totally false impression of the state of the game.

    Sometimes, disinformation is worse than no information.
  11. mandyp

    mandyp Registered User

    Oct 20, 2004
    I'm with Brucie, since Mum was diagnosed I've learned a lot more about AD, however at the start every crackpot article in a newspaper seemed to provide a glimour of hope that something was just around the corner.

    Initially I read things like this as there is that wee bit of concern that it'll get you at some point, but I've decided I'll live my life how I want to. I sometimes find these articles depressing and irritating.
  12. Maybe an article that actually DEALS with dementia rather than 'prevention' would help...

    Info on day care/coping strategies/respite/etc. etc.

    It seems to me that we're going down the 'quack medicine' route... although I'm sure 'research proves' stuff, isn't there the stigma surrounding this such as:

    "Hey... if I eat this, and I do this then I won't end up with dementia - which would be WORSE THANK DEATH ITSELF!!!"

    I'm not being flippant there folks, I assure you... but if there was more on discussing WHAT TO DO if you have/have a relative with dementia then that surely would be more useful - in that way, if it ever happened, you could hopefully have some insight to help cope, rather than just kick yourself for not eating too much oily fish, doing crosswords or eating blackberries!


  13. Dave W

    Dave W Registered User

    Jul 3, 2005
    I wonder?

    Dearth hits on the head thre in many ways. I'm sitting here trying to recall other illnesses that have had increases in press coverage: apart from HIV/Aids (and even now some of the press material is barely disguised contempt for some of those living with it, although we have at least progressed to the point where we have a prominent HIV+ parliamentarian without the press needing incontinence pads just thinking about it), the ones that spring to mind are meningitis and cot-death. Is it because tend to affect children and younger people predominantly that there is upswelling in perceived public concern? (We do live in a culture where enormous value is placed on chidren).

    While I'm utterly aware that many here - and not here, for that matter - are caring for young sufferers, is the perceived profile of dementia as something that happens to the old (to the extent of sometimes being dismissed as 'well, she's old, bless 'er, she's gone a bit senile', or sentiments to that effect) a factor in its lower profile. Is implicit ageism playing a part in the lack of awareness?

    I think I might be rambling. Obviously time for my slippers and cocoa.
  14. swift

    swift Registered User

    Jan 10, 2006
    Here I go. My first time on here, though I have made several attempts.
    My husband has vascular dementai, along with a lot of other ailments.
    Yes, I'm always getting told of a new thing out that may 'cure' him, not by the
    experts of course, but by well meaning people, who believe everything they read.
    I know theres no cure for my husband, & have watched him get worse, & just wish
    there was some way to turn back the clock, & give me back the man I married almost 50 years ago. Wonder if we'll even get to that anniversary?
    It's good to look on these pages & see that there are so many other carers out there, well you knw what I mean, because for so many carers, there has to be so
    many people with Alzheimers, & dementia.
    Thank you for letting me have my say.

  15. EDITH

    EDITH Registered User

    Jan 26, 2006
    Hello Swift,

    It is good that you find this site beneficial. I am new to the site and reading about other peoples experiences, does help. I replied to your posting last week about your husband and respite, have you got a date? Are you feeling any better about the situation after chatting on site? I do hope that all goes well for you both, I hope your husband will settle and stay the week out this time around, and that you will be able to relax and recharge your batteried. It took several respite breaks with mum before I could actually stop feeling guilty about it, relax, and have some me time. Even still when mum is in respite, I hate the sound of my phone ringing because I always think there is going to be a problem to face, and I think this is probably my guilt and possibly the fear of her dying when she is away from me as she is 94. Silly really as she is only away for 7 days but it seems an eternity. I do get great benefits however from a week of rest and find I am then able to resume my caring role to the very best of my ability.

  16. rummy

    rummy Registered User

    Jul 15, 2005
    I have often said that if AD where sexually transmitted, there would be alot more money go toward finding a treatment and cure !
    It seems to be getting more press in the US too but like the UK, the articles/news reports are about eatting berries of one sort or another.
    I think one can improve their brain function if they have a normal aging brain by using it more. But I don't think they have found a way to keep AD from getting you if you draw that unlucky card.
    Must admit though, I take my folic acid every day and also a swig of flax seed oil which is supposed to help many conditions and as a bonus...........makes my skin really soft ! ;)
  17. Kathleen

    Kathleen Registered User

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Sussex
    All the press articles telling us how to avoid AD make it sound as if the sufferers have brought it all on themselves by not eating the right foods or taking enough pysical or mental excercise!

    Sometimes in life, illnesses strike for which there is no obvious cause or cure. We need help and advise on dealing with the multitude of problems AD brings to both the sufferer and the loved ones doing their best to care for them.

    If the press coverage were to be dedicated to the injustices the sufferers and carers have to deal with, I would be more inclined to think the writers really cared instead of simply filling column space with vague speculations.

    I am currently trying to get NHS funding for my Mum, who is in a secure EMI care home, I know I won't succeed, but I am prepared to fight as hard as I can for her.

    How many column inches have been given to the fact that AD sufferers are amongst those treated badly with regards to receiving this financial help? Precious few, I expect.

    Sorry to ramble on, I am having a very bad day today!

  18. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    Birmingham Hades
    keep fighting for that funding,don't say you know you won't get it.
    I have just won a year long battle for a care package from SS.
    At time I felt like giving up but I didn't
    Keep at it I have sent you a PM
  19. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    You are absolutely correct - that is how it sounds, and it is so wrong.

    As Norman says, keep at it on the NHS funding!
  20. I agree... I wonder what we should all be doing then?

    I'll throw all my aluminum pans out, do more exercises, get into the 'Sudoku Bug' etc. etc.

    I think stuff like this gives a lot of people straws to clutch at... I've been talking to folk who have told me of 'cures' before now and I really feel for them... what can you say? You don't want to take it away from them though... some people rely on faith in things.

    Certainly prevention is a good thing... and a 'cure'... well, if I had three wishes, that would be my number one.

    As to adopting a healthier lifestyle though and keeping one's mind active... I'm all for it... but NOT specifically for dementia though... what about heart issues/depression and anxiety management etc. etc.


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