Page 6 - Boca ViewPointe - July '20
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Page 6, Viewpointe                                                    July 2020

       Ask The Therapist

      By Elaine S. Rubinson,                             to perform some simple daily activities, the indication is that      Occurs at a younger age than Alzheimer’s disease, generally
      L.M.H.C.                                           there is damage to nerve cells in different locations of the brain.   between the ages of 50 and 70. It is characterized by the
                                                         However, memory loss does not always mean dementia. To a   breakdown of nerve cells in the frontal and temporal lobes of the
      Dementia Has                                       certain extent, memory loss is a normal part of aging.  brain, the areas generally associated with personality, behavior
                                                           The discussion of this month’s article will be the many
                                                                                                           and language. Symptoms include inappropriate behavior,

      A Variety Of                                       causes of dementia and the different diagnosis. Next month, I   language, concentration and movement difficulties. The cause
      Causes                                             will discuss various ways to treat, control and perhaps prevent   isn’t known, although in some cases this dementia is related to
                                                         some forms of dementia.
                                                                                                           certain genetic mutations.
                                                            Dementia, as stated is a result of brain cell damage and can      Thus far, I have listed the common causes of dementia. In
      Dear Elaine:                                       affect people differently, depending on the area of the brain   addition, there are other disorders that are linked to dementia.
         My 76 year old wife                             affected. It can be classified in a variety of ways. Some dementias   These include;
      has been exhibiting certain                        are caused by a reaction to medication or an infection and is      Huntington’s Disease which is an inherited disease whereby
      symptoms that are very disturbing. She seems to be fumbling   reversible with treatment. Others worsen over time, are not   certain nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord waste away. Signs
      for words, has difficulty remembering recent events and can’t   reversible and considered Progressive.   and symptoms usually appear during age 30 or 40 when people
      seem to focus on what’s going on. For instance, yesterday she   Progressive Dementia                 begin to experience personality changes or anxiety. Cognitive
      went blocks out of her way while driving home. The other day,      One form of progressive dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. In   skills, walking and movement severely decline.
      she became angry with a long-time friend, with whom she has   people age 56 or older, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common      Traumatic brain Injury from repetitive head trauma such as
      never argued. This has been going on for about a year, but seems   cause. Symptoms usually develop after age 60, but some people   experienced by boxers, football players and soldiers. Depending
      to be getting worse. Is this Alzheimer’s disease and what can I   may have early-onset forms of the disease, often as a result of a   on the location of the brain damaged, symptoms may not appear
      do about it? Distraught Husband                    defective gene. Certain genetic factors also may make it more   until many years after the injury.
      Dear Husband:                                      likely that people will develop Alzheimer’s. The disease usually      Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease is a rare brain disorder usually
         Your concern is very real. As with recurrent symptoms such   progresses slowly over 8 to 10 years. Cognitive abilities slowly   occurring without risk factors and usually due to an abnormal
      as you describe, it is imperative to consult a Physician who can   decline. Eventually the affected areas of the brain stops working   form of protein found in the brain. It may be inherited or caused
      provide the necessary tests to make an accurate diagnosis. What   properly, including parts of the brain that control memory,   by a diseased brain or nervous system tissue. Signs and symptoms
      you are describing is some form of Dementia, not necessarily   language, judgment and spatial abilities.   usually appear around age 60. The decline of coordination,
      Alzheimer’s disease.                               Vascular dementia                                 memory, thinking and vision worsen over time and is usually
         Dementia isn’t a specific disease, rather a cluster of symptoms      Vascular dementia is the second most common type,   fatal.
      affecting memory, thinking, physical and social abilities severely   occurring as a result of brain damage due to reduced or blocked      So, Husband, the above discussion speaks to conditions that
      enough to interfere with daily functioning. When there is   blood flow in blood vessels leading to your brain. This blockage   may or may not be reversed because they may be genetic, or as
      memory loss, impaired judgment, language difficulty, inability   may be caused by stroke, infection of a heart valve (endocarditis)   a result of severe brain damage or illness. However, there are
                                                         or other vascular conditions.                     other causes of dementia which may be reversed or treated. I will
                                                         Lewy body dementia                                discuss these next month. In the meantime, because your wife
                      Attention                             Lewy body dementia affects approximately 10 percent of   is exhibiting symptoms found in any one of the aforementioned
          Boca Pointe Residents!                         people with dementia, making it one of the most common types   disorders, your need is to see a Physician for a series of tests to
                                                         of dementia. There are traces of abnormal clumps of protein
                                                                                                           make the proper diagnosis and to learn what activities your wife
                Flatten All Your Boxes!                  found in the brain and the symptoms are similar to Alzheimer’s   may enjoy within the boundaries of safety. Until next month....
                                                         disease. Its unique features include fluctuations between
            Our recycling trucks do not pick up your cardboard boxes   confusion and clear thinking, visual hallucinations, and tremor      Elaine S Rubinson L.M.H.C. is a Florida Supreme Court
         if they are not flattened. Instead, they go to trash and are burned   and rigidity (parkinsonism). People with Lewy body dementia   Certified Family and Elder Law Mediator. She is also a
        with regular refuse....lost revenue for residents of Boca Pointe.   often have a condition called rapid eye movement (REM) sleep   Licensed Psychotherapist with a practice in Boca Raton. If
                                                         behavior disorder that involves acting out dreams.   you have a question, please contact her at elainerubinson@
                                                         Frontemporal dementia                    

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