Posted on Dec 13, 2017
Dr. John Jones was our guest speaker this morning and talked about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. 
Dr. Jones earned his B.A. at Hardin-Simmons University, his M.A. Texas Tech University and his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin- Madison.  He did an Internship in Clinical Psychology at the University of Texas- Austin, a Post-doctoral Fellowship in Neuropsychology at Bethesda National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD and has been a licensed and Board Certified Psychologist for over 35 years.  He is also a military veteran of the U.S. Army & U.S. Navy and retired as a Navy Captain. 
Dr. Jones currently provides mental health services to three long-term care facilities and teaches a course at Angelo State University in Geriatric Psychology.
Dr. Jones said there are multiple forms of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s is the most prevalent.  There are several forms of reversible dementia.  These are the kind that if the source is treated these can be reversed.  These can be caused by depression, medication (which is common), multiple medical conditions, delirium, multiple drugs (particularly a pain killer called Fentanyl) , and alcohol.  If these are treated properly the dementia can be reversed. 
However, there are several forms of irreversible dementia.   There is no cure for irreversible dementia.  Over 200 drugs have been developed, none of which have been successful.  Drugs that are available provide brief, symptomatic relief.  There is no cure for forms of irreversible dementia. 
The most popular form of dementia is Alzheimer’s and can be found in approximately 40%-60% or 40%-80% of all dementia patients, depending on which study you read.  Vascular dementia is the second most popular type of dementia.  Dementia with Lewy Bodies comes in third.   The least prevalent is called Frontal Temporal Lobe dementia, which effects the frontal lobes and temporal lobes.  There are two variants of this:  Behavioral Variant (first symptoms are behavior issues) and the other is called Aphasia Variant. 
There is also a dementia associated with Parkinson’s disease.  Most Parkinson’s will not develop this dementia, but there is a possibility.
Things to look when suspecting dementia and/or Alzheimer’s are behavioral changes, short term memory loss, movement disorders, cognitive deficits, and hallucinations.
There are studies that show there are things we can do to prevent 35%-42% of Alzheimer’s.  These things include:
  • Control your cholesterol
  • Control your high blood pressure
  • Reduce stress
  • Make sure your diet includes foods high in antioxidants.
  • Stay mentally active (limit television!)
  • Engage in regular physical activity, especially aerobic exercise
  • Do not smoke
  • Do not overindulge alcohol
  • Monitor the type of fats in your diet.If you cook with oils you should use monounsaturated oil such as canola oil and olive oil.Avoid unsaturated fats.
  • Eat walnuts and berries
  • Drink green tea
  • Eat turmeric
  • Watch your body weight.Try to stay close to your BMI
  • Maintain an active social life
There are approximately 5.3 million people diagnosed with dementia.  But with proper care and medical research maybe we can reduce the chances of getting dementia and eventually find a cure.
Thank you for being with us John!