1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

  1. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    I would really welcome some information regarding AZ patients and viral infections.

    I know that many suffer with frequent UTIs and chest infections and that they have a detrimental effect on the progress of their condition.

    In the last few weeks, my OH has had a very heavy head cold, a rather awful tummy bug and now he has a chesty cold that has aggravated a cough that he has had for ages but which is a side effect of one of his medications.

    None of these seems to have made any difference to his Alzheimer's but I am just wondering if people with AD are more generally susceptible to viruses or if it is just his other health conditions are complicating things for him. I have tried Googling it but everything I find tends to be much too academic in nature for me to make head or tail of it.

    So I thought I would just put it out there for TPers to help me.

    Thanks
     
  2. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,540
    Female
    South coast
    I think that people with dementia are more likely to get infections as the part of the brain that recognises the viruses etc can get damaged and so the immune system gets weaker.
    Infections of any sort can have a really big affect on anyone with dementia and their dementia symptoms get much worse. Usually they go back to where they were before after they get over the unfection, but sometimes not completely.
     
  3. Chuggalug

    Chuggalug Registered User

    Mar 24, 2014
    8,007
    Norfolk
    Lawson, I would imagine, the only thing you could do is keep a diary of what happens and tell your GP everything you're concerned about. Hope things improve swiftly for the both of you.
     
  4. Feline

    Feline Registered User

    Oct 25, 2012
    164
    East Devon
    Not sure, my husband is in his seventh year and hasn't had any infections and has stayed well in himself all the time except for a bit of a cold when he came home from respite. He was never unwell before Alz except for awful migraines every so often.
     
  5. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    Thanks for your helpful suggestions everyone.

    OH had to have his INR checked this morning and GP assures me that as his general health is complex and not good, then he is more likely to pick up viruses, that it is part and parcel of the deterioration that is occurring.

    The government here is now offering comprehensive health checks for people over 75 and he is having his in late July and I think it will be a good thing to do. The check is carried out at our local surgery and involves questions and superficial checks (blood pressure, weight etc) conducted by a nurse practitioner for about 45 minutes and then he has another session of 15 minutes with our GP. To be able to spend this amount of time in getting an overall picture is just fantastic and I am sure that it will help our GP in managing OH's medical needs.
     
  6. Jinx

    Jinx Registered User

    Mar 13, 2014
    2,333
    Pontypool
    My husband has had seven lots of antibiotics and two short courses of steroids this year for chest infections, he does have COPD. I picked up a virus a couple of weeks ago which just went straight to my chest and I've been coughing a lot, now I think my husband is starting another chest infection but it could be caused by the virus I had. I shall have to try and get an appointment tomorrow with the GP just to find out what's going on.


    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
     
  7. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,783
    Salford
    It's all too complicated for me but the topic is about "viruses" but UTI's are caused by germs not viruses otherwise the antibiotics would work, antibiotics don't work against them. As far as I understand it a cold is caused by germs and so can be treated with antibiotics but flu is a virus so it can't so terms like "chest infection" tell you very little unless you know if it's germ or viral in origin.
    UTI's are germs but thrush (for example) is a virus so they require totally different treatment.
    The 3 things you mention "a very heavy head cold, a rather awful tummy bug and now he has a chesty cold " a head cold is probably a germ which would have to come from someone infected with a cold, the tummy bug could be self infection from not washing you hands after using the loo (for example) and the chest cold could be flu, a virus and not treatable with antibiotics.
    Neither my wife nor my late mother was treated for anything other than pre-existing conditions after their diagnosis other than my wife is being treated for a thyroid condition but that's not AZ related.
    I don't know if anyone with AZ is more likely to have a lowered resistance to infection (UTI's aside which as a bit accidentally self inflicted) than people of a similar age.
    K
     
  8. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    Thanks Kevinl,

    All of OH's recent illnesses have been viral in nature and he has not needed antibiotics to recover from them which was why I asked the question about AD patients' susceptibility to viruses as opposed to the frequent UTIs and chest infections we read about on TP. He just doesn't seem as strong physically as he was before this series of illnesses started and I am wondering if he is getting these viruses because his general health is failing or if the viruses are having an impact. They don't appear to have had any effect on his AD, no dramatic changes in memory or behaviour.

    I don't even think the viruses he had were particularly infectious as I didn't get them.
     

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