Mental Health

sleeping-pills

Do Sleeping Pills Cause Dementia?

Editor 4,120 comments

Withdrawal Effects. Addiction. Daytime Impairment.

Everyone knows that a good night’s sleep is critical to your health – but the side effects of sleeping pills may outweigh the benefits. Are you at risk?

Head Injuries: It’s All About the Symptoms

lindamichelle No Comments

Head injuries should never be taken lightly. Whether the pain is a slight annoyance or constant throbbing, you should never ignore what your body is trying to tell you. Though there are different types of head injuries and different levels of aches, you should still be aware of the symptoms you are experiencing.

Different Types of Injury

There are different types of head injuries you may experience. For example, you could suffer from a mild, moderate, or severe injury.

A severe head injury is the worst, resulting in what could be physiological changes to the brain. Different head injuries that could result in brain trauma include: closed head injuries, penetrating injuries, anoxic injuries, and toxic injuries.

It’s important to know what type of head injury you’re suffering from, to understand the exact damage and proper treatment methods. There are different ways to access this information.

First, there is the Glasgow Coma Scale that rates the degree of the injury and finds how responsive you may be following an accident. There is also a Glasgow Scale that helps to determine your prognosis, and whether or not you will regain consciousness or independence. The Rancho Los Amigos Scale is known to test receptive skills.

If you are suffering from a mild brain injury you might hear the term, subtle acquired brain injury. Those who suffer from this level of injury usually don’t lose consciousness. Different affects that may occur include psychological problems, such as depression and anxiety. Specifically, if you are experiencing dizziness, fatigue, nausea, having problems with organization and short-term memory loss, then you may be suffering from a mild head injury.

A moderate head injury is the least type of injury to be concerned with, but should still be dealt with appropriately. In fact, any type of pain or headache you may be experiencing should never be ignored. No matter what degree of pain you are experiencing you should always make an appointment to see a physician when suffering head trauma. It’s always better to be safe rather than sorry.

Responsible Parties

Depending on how you sustained your head injury, you may be entitled to receive some sort of compensation for medical bills or related purposes.

For instance, if you were in a car accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, then you should considering legal action. Also, if you sustained your injury while at work, then you may be in the position to file a post-accident claim.

You may choose to research IL4U when searching for legal and professional representation. Before hiring a lawyer or team of lawyers, you want to make sure and find the best possible candidate(s) for you and your needs. It’s important to fight for your rights and receive what is yours.

Recovery

No two head injuries are the same, so the severity of your case is will determine how quickly you recover.

In the worst cases, especially those with severe head injuries, rehabilitation may take place. This process could take weeks or months, depending on the victim, and helps to stimulate the brain and redesign the network that controls the neurons.

This is a guest post by Linda, a freelance writer who shares her thoughts about health law-related topics on various blogs.

Health Tips For Seniors

Mary Christiansen No Comments

Post contributed by Mary Christiansen. Mary works as a marketing associate for 1-800-CPAP,  the discount CPAP supplies specialists.

People are living longer now than they did during any other time in history. It is estimated that there will be over 69 million Americans over the age of 65 by the year 2030. This will represent over 20 percent of the total population. While many believe that the most pressing matter dealing with this generation is the impending decisions dealing with social security and Medicare, there is something even more important than this, and that is helping to keep this rising generation as healthy as possible as they age. Here are some health tips to keep in mind when trying to keep you or your aging loved ones both healthy and happy.

Stay Active Doing Something You Enjoy

Probably the most important thing you can do to stay physically healthy is to stay active. Pick activities that you enjoy and try to do at least one of them every single day. While many people might enjoy going on a walk with their significant other or a friend every day, it is not necessarily something that everyone will enjoy. It is also helpful to know that as joints start going bad or just hurt a lot during exercise, it is best to move to something with low impact. The most popular low impact exercises generally take place in the water such including such activities as swimming, walking or jogging the water, or even water aerobics.

Prevent Accidents

Unfortunately, as old age sets in, accidents tend to increase. There are many reasons why this happens, but the most important thing to do is to prevent any potential injuries around your home. Be sure there are no loose carpets or rugs that have up-turned corners. When there are wires or clutter on the ground, keep them out and away from walking paths. Keep hallways lit during the night for higher visibility and also be careful of wet floors, especially in the bathroom.

Stay Social

It can be hard to get out of the house and keep up with friends, but this is an important part of life. Friends help manage stress as well as assist in any changes or transitions that may come through life’s events. Finding humor or seeking comfort is something good friends can provide. Living alone can be tough on anyone mentally. It is helpful to have someone to get you out of the house.

Immunize and Screen

The people who are most vulnerable to sickness and disease are the elderly and the very young. This means you should be sure to keep up to date on immunizations and vaccines that are available. It is also advisable to get a wellness check once a year as well from a regular physician as well as dental, vision, and hearing check-ups. These visits help to catch any problems early on in their development which is when they are easiest to treat.

Manage Stress

Learn to handle the stress that is just part of life through any of the many proven techniques for stress release. For some people, this comes through doing yoga. For others, it comes from regular meditation. Others learn how to think positively and change the way they talk.

Prevent Cancer

In this day and age, the harm that comes from smoking is well known. Not only does it take a toll on your health, but your wallet as well. Improve your physical and monetary quality of life by quitting this habit. Also, as skin ages, it become thinner, drier, and loses elasticity. This all makes it much more vulnerable to the harmful UV rays of the sun, so be sure and protect yourself as much as possible with sunscreen and wearing long sleeves.

Eat Healthy

The other half of exercising is eating well. Make sure you are eating enough food to ensure that all nutritional needs are being met. Many problems occur as a person ages, but many of these problems can be alleviated or improved through diet and exercise, so be sure to pay attention to what you eat.  Avoid fat and sugar and always be sure to get enough calcium and milk. Another thing that is often overlooked is sodium intake because too much sodium increases blood pressure. As you age, the taste buds dull and cannot taste as well. This is why people commonly add salt to their food more as they age.

Maintain A Healthy Weight

When there is more weight to carry around, the harder your joints have to work as well as your organs. The most common problems deal with heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea. These can be controlled with medications and a CPAP machine, but if you can keep your weight under control, none of these things will be required.

Image credit: freedigitalphotos.net

Reduce Your Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease

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Alzheimer’s disease was first identified in 1906 by German scientist Alois Alzheimer. Today, it’s one of the leading causes of dementia, a disease of the brain which affects cognitive ability. Worldwide, there are nearly 35.6 million people living with dementia, according to the World Health Organization. Up to 70 percent of these are thought to have Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation (ARPF), there are now 5.4 million Americans with Alzheimer’s disease and it is the sixth leading cause of death in America.

Researchers at the University of Columbia, New York and the Norwegian University of Science and technology in Trondheim, reported findings that could change the course of how we treat Alzheimer’s. They proved that it spreads through the brain from the first cell affected, to the one next to it. It damages each cell connected along a predictable path, eventually destroying a person’s ability to think and remember. If we understand how the disease progresses, we’ll know what drugs might stop it in its tracks. Such drugs should one day be able to trap the disease when it’s in an early stage, said Karen Duff, senior author of the study and professor of Pathology and Cell Biology, Neuroscience at the University of Columbia. Anyone can struggle, at times, to remember the title of an old movie or the name of an acquaintance. But the first symptoms are more dramatic than occasional lapses in memory.

Alzheimer’s disease has a huge impact on our society. For those at risk, you need to find a solution that first recognizes and then reduces the factors that may put you at risk:

Quality Sleep

You need to get the right amount of quality sleep to help your brain function at the optimum level. Lack of sleep decreases your ability to think, solve problems, and process, store, and recall information. It can also affect your mood and leave you feeling tired. Healthy sleep is important for memory formation and retention. Prolonged sleep deprivation seems to increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Most adults require at least 8 hours of undisturbed sleep each night.

Diet and Supplement.

Eating habits that reduce inflammation and provide a steady supply of fuel are best. Focus on eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats. Consuming foods such as ginger, green tea, fatty fish, soy products, blueberries, and other dark berries may protect important cells from damage.

Stress Management

Stress that is chronic or severe takes a heavy toll on the brain, leading to decrease in a key memory area of the brain known as the hippocampus, impeding nerve cell growth, and possibly increasing your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Keeping stress under control requires regular effort. Make relaxation a priority, whether it’s a walk in the park, playtime with your dog, yoga, or a soothing bath.

Exercise

According to the ARPF, physical exercise reduces your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 50 percent. Regular exercise may also slow further deterioration in those who have already started to develop cognitive problems. Aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five times per week. Try walking, swimming, or any other activity that gets your heart rate up. Even routine activities such as gardening, cleaning, or doing the laundry count as exercise. Adapting to an exercise routine may be challenging. If you find yourself in a hump, just force yourself to stick with it for at least a month and you’ll find that it will come naturally.

Mental Stimulation

Researchers from the University of California-Berkeley has found that activities like reading, writing, and game playing appear to reduce a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The brain indeed follows the use it or lose it adage. Activities which require multiple disciplines like communication, interaction, and organization offer the best benefits. So the next time you’re waiting at the doctor’s office, take out that crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or mobile game to keep your brain busy.

Active Social Life

Studies show that the more connected we are, the better we fare on tests of memory and cognition. Commit to spending quality time with your partner, family member or a friend on a regular basis. Even during very busy and stressful times, a few minutes of really sharing and connecting can help keep bonds strong.

If you’ve become isolated over the years, you can keep your support system strong and establish new connections by being more outgoing. Get to know your neighbors, join a club, volunteer for a cause, or take group classes.

This article was contributed by VISTA Health Solutions.

Alzheimer s Awareness

Editor 3,639 comments

The CBS Program “The Doctors” aired an interesting segment about understanding Alzheimer’s Disease. They make mention of the Clock Test.

An individual who commits two errors or more in drawing the clock hands deserves further investigation for a possible dementia. Normal hand placement on the clock drawing test does not exclude AD. However, when prevalence rates of dementia in community-dwelling older adults are considered, these results argue that normal clock hand placement indicates that dementia is unlikely.

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