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  1. Expert Q&A: Living well as a carer - Weds 28 August, 3-4pm

    As a carer for a person living with dementia, the needs of the person you care for will often come before your own. You may experience a range of difficult emotions and you may not have the time to do all the things you need to do. Caring can have a big impact on both your mental and physical health, as well as your overall wellbeing.

    Angelo, our Knowledge Officer (Wellbeing) is our expert on this topic. He will be here to answer your questions on Wednesday 28 August between 3-4pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

  1. Jono

    Jono Registered User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Hi all,

    i am new to the forum.
    My mother has an as yet undiagnosed form of dementia which is in the advanced stages now and she has had this for about 8 years altogether.She will be 67 in July.

    I am to be 46 in May and i have a brother who is 43 and between us we have 8 children.

    the question i have is:-

    can any preventative measures at all be taken to try and reduce the risk for my brother and I and our respective families of inheriting dementia or is there simply nothing we can do and we just have to keep our fingers crossed?

    any information would be appreciated

  2. janice1

    janice1 Registered User

    Sep 22, 2009
    up north

    we all ask this question when a family member is diagnosed. my mum is the only one in her family to have this disease. no one can say for certain wether u will get it or not. its just one of them. my mum never drank smoked she had a good diet excersised every day and really looked after herself. try not to worry. you could look at the fact sheets on line about the heriditary link Take Care xxxxxxxx
  3. Rosie

    Rosie Registered User

    Jun 10, 2004
    South East Wales, UK.
    I think about " what if ?" sometimes but life is to short, what will be will be, what can we do? Just try & live your own life to the full, take care of each other, be kind & happy, laugh & love a lot, lol Rosie xxx
  4. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    As I understand it there is little evidence of hereditary links for most forms of dementia. AS fact sheet states

    'You can reduce the risk of vascular dementia, which is caused by a series of small strokes, by quitting smoking and controlling high blood pressure and diabetes. Eating a low-fat diet and exercising regularly may also reduce the risk of vascular dementia.'

    Don't know if this helps.

  5. TedHutchinson

    TedHutchinson Account Closed

    May 20, 2009
    Louth Lincs
    #5 TedHutchinson, Mar 8, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2011
    While it is true the risk of developing Alzheimer's is higher if you have certain genes it's obvious that the recent increase in Alzheimer's incidence is a result primarily from environmental, dietary and lifestyle changes.
    Genes therefore raise your potential for developing this condition diet, lifestyle and environment can be changed to reduce the risk of the genetic potential developing.

    Here is a pdf that discusses the issue in some detail.
    Alzheimer’s Disease, Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment,and Age-Associated Memory Impairment: Current Understanding and Progress Toward Integrative Prevention

    For several years now I've been considering how best to reduce my own personal risk for developing Alzheimer's. Becuase there is still much to be learn't it's almost impossible to summarise the POTENTIAL for prevention but because there is so little hard evidence it's also almost impossible to be certain that any particular intervention will on it's own be sufficient.
    I've set out a few lines of thought in my blogposts. and from these you should be able to work out that Limiting refined Carbohydrate intake particularly sugar and high fructose corn syrup, (soft drinks) is a priority. One of the first things that goes in Alzheimer's is the ability to handle glucose (that why so many people with diabetes go on to develop AD) so a simple low carb diet is probably the first step to losing weight and keeping blood glucose levels under control. One way of knowing if you are developing a problem handling glucose is to beg/borrow a Blood Glucose monitor and buy a few strips. (I used Ebay to find a cheap source of test strips and a cheap matching monitor) and see how high your BG levels are before you eat and 1hr and 2hrs after eating. What is normal Blood sugar level?

    Apart from using a low carbohydrate diet to control blood sugar levels, reduce weight and improve cognitive function there are other strategies that MAY be beneficial. I'll spend a bit more time tomorrow looking at the connection between Cognitive function and Vitamin D3
    ]Omega 3 and Cognitive function
    and low magnesium status and Alzheimer's/diabetes

    I've also linked to another more recent review of potential interventions It's really a case of working out which are the most promising strategies and generally speaking those that are likely to leave our bodies with the natural levels of antioxidant anti inflammatory reserves our DNA evolved to live with are likely to be the most useful.

    Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease and Cognitive Decline This paper sums up the evidence for saying there is not much research CONFIRMING that we CANNOT as yet make firm recommendations for preventing/reducing/delaying dementia onset.
    I think there are good reasons why much of the research isn't supportive. Generally supplement research is conducted with forms/amounts of the active ingredient that are synthetic/inadequate as opposed to natural forms/amounts and studies aren't generally long enough for deficient people to actually correct deficiency state let alone repair damage. However I'll go into that in more detail later.
  6. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
  7. aeon456

    aeon456 Account Closed

    Mar 12, 2011
    I think there's a possible link between Alzheimers and eating offal - particularly brains.

    It's a long exlanation but suffice to say BSE (Mad Cow Disease) was found to be transmissible to humans as variant CJD via eating infected meat - specifically the brain and spinal cord.
    Scrapie is another disease with the same type of mechanism ie a prion disease, found in sheep. They have alwaus said that scrapie can't transfer to humans but even this isn't defininte.

    So basically if eating infected brain mater from cows could cause variant CJD, there could be an effect fom eacting infected brain material from other animals. They have already found a link between Alzheimers and CJD so I would advise not eating offal and especially not brains.
  8. rosaliesal

    rosaliesal Registered User

    Nov 15, 2009
    #8 rosaliesal, Mar 15, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011

    You may have a point. There are so many things that affect our brains probably many we are not aware of. I remember years and years ago watching the programme on TV Tomorrows World where they mentioned that aluminium pans may cause Alzheimers. Having stainless yourself does not protect as restaurants etc. often use cheap pans. The list of chemicals used in foods in unbelievable. The tablets given out by doctors can have side affects. I read one that said it could cause memory loss, where they are only just finding out that if you take certain drugs along side the anti depressant drugs this causes excessive sleep, even so far as to sleep the entire day and night. When young I believed what we were being given was safe and tested as such. The local chemist has a poster up on the wall for a www site where symptoms can be reported. Reading symptoms on the instructions inside packets is frightening. One day in the far flung future they will look back and say what were they doing to themselves and why did the government not do enough to stop this. However, having said all of this I do honestly believe that the research has been amazing and many things have been discovered in just the last couple of years that will change for the good. I am convinced that a cure will be found in my lifetime. Meanwhile I look at my mum who is happy and almost 85 and has Alzheimers for 14 years without making her life a misery and think, if I get it then things may be very different by then.
  9. Christin

    Christin Registered User

    Jun 29, 2009
    I think this is a fear that affects many people whose parents have dementia. It is natural to be concerned and want to cut down the risks. However, as with so many other risks, we try to put them aside and enjoy what we have. It is perhaps good that we can't see round the corner.
  10. chucky

    chucky Registered User

    Feb 17, 2011
    Rosaliesal, My dad years ago, well before he became ill was watching the news when the Hungerford massacre occured and he said he always wondered if there was something in the food chain that affected someone who was quiet and personable to kill all those people. He said the very same thing when the Dunblane horror took place. Then of course there was the thing about British beef and mad cows disease a few years ago then artificial sweeteners. The list goes on. Maybe my dad was partly right and there could be something in the food chain. Who knows.
  11. Patsy10red

    Patsy10red Registered User

    Jan 11, 2010
    Time to read!!


    I purchased a book a couple of weeks ago '100 Simple Things you can do to prevent Alzheimers' by Jean Carper - the problem is I have not had time to read it yet!! Although I am now drinking apple juice every day.

    The thought of developing Alz. when a parent has it is quite frightening but I think we have to live each day as it comes.

    As each generation lives longer the risk obviously increases. None of my grandparents lived to a ripe old age so I do not know if they would have suffered with it. However, having now had the experience of seeing my mother deteriorate with it, my family are under strict instruction to let me know immediately if they see any signs. :eek:
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