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What are certain risk factors to look out for after a diagnosis of dementia?

By | October 21st, 2020

There are two major syndromes that if we don’t manage them well when you have Alzheimer’s disease, it increases your disability, even your Alzheimer’s disease trajectory. The biggest one is delirium. Delirium is acute, sudden, brain failure from other medical conditions. For example, if you have Alzheimer’s disease, you develop pneumonia, all of a sudden your alertness, your attention, your confusion, gets much, much worse, very, very quickly. We call that delirium syndrome. Within thirty days if you develop delirium, your mortality rate is 9% compared to the 7% rate of those without delirium. So delirium detection and management will improve your overall quality of life, especially if you prevent it. The other piece is the medication. If you give people with Alzheimer’s disease a certain type of medicine, the disability from Alzheimer’s disease may get much worse. Specifically, certain medicines we call anticholinergics. These are medications you find over the counter, like benadryl, sometimes medicine used for the bladder, sometimes medicine used for vomiting or nausea. These will completely countereffect any medicines you’re taking for Alzheimer’s.

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