22 February 2009

Dementia

Prompted by two events there has been a lot in the media about dementia during the past week. The first event was when the former newsreader John Suchet described in an interview how his wife Bonnie is suffering from the illness and the second was the knighthood given to novelist Terry Pratchett for his work in highlighting the needs of dementia sufferers.

Dementia affects 5% of people over 65 and 20% of people over 80. Given that average life expectancy is increasing the probability of you and me suffering from this awful disease at some stage in our lives is increasing, yet it is easier to get Viagra on the NHS than it is to get drugs that slow the progress of dementia.

Hopefully the publicity that people like Suchet and Pratchett can bring to the condition will reduce the stigma of dementia and help move it up the priority list for research and treatment funding.

Use the following links for more information:

Pratchett demands increased funding

Understanding dementia - NHS web site

What is dementia? - The Alzheimer's Society

2 comments:

  1. I have also noticed a lot on the press recently about dementia - a subject dear to my heart as my mother suffers from it in tandem with Parkinsons. I did read an interesting article in the Daily mail in January about the effect of coffee drinking and Dementia and Alzheimers which was interesting. Evidently there has been a suspected link for some time with coffee drinking protecting against dementia, but this new study from Sweden and Finland showed that middle aged moderate coffee drinkers cut the risk of developing dementia by two thirds. Yet, if you drink more than 7 cups of coffee a day, your risk of experiencing hallucinations trebles! I have been told to quit caffeine by my doctor as it is messing with my adrenals, but if this research has more validation in the future, I will re-think. Here is the link to the article

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1116464/Start-drinking-coffee-cut-risk-Alzheimers-disease.html

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