Sister Circle | Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease with Dr. Jen Caudle | TVONE

Sister Circle | Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease with Dr. Jen Caudle | TVONE

Sister Circle | Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease with Dr. Jen Caudle | TVONE

By Bryan Wright 0 Comment June 21, 2019



welcome back to sister circle live June is Alzheimer's Awareness Month and according to the off side Alzheimer's Association almost two-thirds of Americans with the disease are women and older african-americans are about twice as likely to have Alzheimer's or other dementia than older whites well joining us now to break down the signs and possible prevention and patient care options is our favorite family physician yes that's our Jen Cotter yeah so good to have you back thanks for having me absolutely all right so you know what those out there who don't have a clear understanding what exactly is Alzheimer's disease and how does it differ from dementia because like my grandmother had dementia later in life so let's start with that one first that Alzheimer's is a form of dementia actually so actually Alzheimer's is the most common cause of dementia so Alzheimer's it is a dementia dementia is sort of a general term for memory loss and cognitive issues but Alzheimer's is a specific type and I appreciate your comments about your family member one of the reasons why I really want to talk about this is because my grandmother died with complications of Alzheimer's disease a couple years ago rest in peace Madea you know and it's it's a tough tough tough condition that I know so many of us deal with but what happens with Alzheimer's we have changes in our brain substances getting our brain we have cell death etc and memory loss is the major sort of symptom that we have and so those brain changes really causes the changes in memory and function and things like that that's what we're saying you know doc why do you think that it's affecting women more than any anyone else that's a really good question I think that's a really fascinating statistic we know that people say all the time well what's the cause of Alzheimer's right hey what causes it well scientists don't exactly know we think it's a combination of genetic things right so that's something I think about with my grandmother and other family members having Alzheimer's but also we think behavioral issues what we're doing in our life and also sort of environmental factors what we live around so it's difficult to say back to really what your question is but hopefully with research we'll learn a little bit more about that talk to us about the symptoms and and traditionally at what point in life does it happen yeah all set yeah so usually it's around the 60s 60s is when people start getting the early signs now don't let that frighten you people out there just you know cuz I think this can be really really really scary understand that memory loss is not necessarily Alzheimer's so a lot of patients will say well dr. Jen I forgot where I put my keys I'm like that sounds like me everything so so memory loss is not necessarily a problem that's that's normal okay but dementia is a step further you're not only forgetting things but it's impairing your ability to function meaning you can't get to the grocery store and back home now you're having the stove on now right so that's what we're talking about okay but early signs can start in the 60s and and those are some examples of what happens in Alzheimer's of course the plastic thing is often not remembering family members and my grandmother didn't remember who I was she thought I was an intruder but throw shoes at me you think she thought I was you know and then she asked me if I was married every other hour because she she forgot I was her granddaughter right funny but it said but it's funny but it's sad and that's one of the yeah and you talk about you know your family being around your grandmother drugs and and all Simon as you know the medaka you know it's like some some patients are drugged up just to make it more manageable not only for themselves but for the families and the caregivers because they go through so much they also get overlooked yeah what are your thoughts on keeping those patients drugged up or and are there any alternatives yeah so basically this is the thing there is no cure for Alzheimer's and we do have medications for Alzheimer's but they don't fix it that's the best way to say it and hopefully they'll slow the progression maybe they'll help with symptoms but we're really just kind of we're trying anything we can now you're talking about another set of medications that treats the symptoms of Alzheimer's sometimes we have Alzheimer's disease or we have dementia we may have what we call sundowning where at nighttime sometimes folks get a little more animated my grandmother would leap well I would not sleep off but she would walk at night she would so sometimes behavior and that's what sometimes those medications are this is the thing and I've said this before it's about finding the right medications and if it's right for that person everything's not right for everyone yeah but it's almost like a trial and error and you know it is and that's why families need to be involved so if you see something we say see something safe if you see something like hey Doc you know I know grandma was throwing shoes at me but now she's like not saying any words what's right you got to pay attention and advocate for your family that's what's important and we're talking about our grandmothers and dealing with this so of course you think about what's the impact on me so how do genetics play a role with all times it does play a role now just because you had a family member with Alzheimer's doesn't mean you're going to have it – that's the good thing about it it's not necessarily okay someone had it so therefore you're going down okay we know genetics plays a role but we also know environment plays a role we also know you know what you do we know that Alzheimer's is very likely linked to heart disease like there's a connection because there are blood vessels everywhere so things we can do just to jump ahead is making sure we're exercising keeping a healthy blood pressure making sure that we're doing brain exercises eating healthy it's not just good for our hearts but our brains – yeah really quickly I just want to ask you this know we've heard of some of the pills and medicines that are out there that's supposed to help us like at our age right now and to strengthen our brain and help us saving money things I've heard about everything like years ago and even now it's supposed to help you retain the information and make you more smarter it's that it's that a myth yes it's a myth save your money it's too good to be true it probably is and the other thing I often say is if that really existed somebody would have turned that into a medication that would be on the market that I could prescribe this is my personal thoughts the answer is no we don't have a pill that fixes memory the things we can do though or was like I mentioned exercising eating healthy but cognitive exercises doing puzzles playing word games my parents I'm not good my tribute yeah and I just love it because it helps me to have like just fun facts about things what is what can we do or what is the support like yeah for caring because they go through so much and then you know when someone passes away it's like don't even know what their lives are anyway I don't want to say they've lost their lives right because we give our lives to the people we love and care about but you can feel like it's it's all gone this is a where's my faith this is my camera where's my candy yeah – yeah anyone out there who's a caregiver first of all you're not alone okay we know it's hard it's one of the hardest things in the world to be a caregiver and we forget support groups are so helpful and I don't sleep on the support groups whether it's online or in person please make sure that you're taking time out for yourself sometimes when my parents would need to go to conferences I would fly home and try to take care of my grandmother for the weekend it was tough man it was tough also things like respite care that's something that we utilize the idea of respite care is really important so use these resources absolutely rafter gin coddle is always anything and we always love having or if you'd like more information health care tips from dr. Jenn Cottle you can do just that by visiting her website dr. Jen coddle calm and her youtube page it's very useful can we give it up for doctor thank you thank you

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