Neuroscience

Insomnia

It is commonplace for people to suffer at least an occasional night of almost non-existent sleep. The causes of insomnia differ from person to person. What made a student insomniac varies from what caused a shift worker or a traveler or an employee to acquire such sleeping disorder.

Insomnia, which is the inability to sleep satisfactorily or to have any sleep at all, is one of the most common sleep disorders. It is characterized by restlessness, sleep interruptions, decreased sleeping time than the usual, or sometimes complete wakefulness.

Aside from the annoyance that insomnia can cause to its sufferers, this sleep disorder causes those afflicted to lose enthusiasm and energy, acquire memory and concentration problems, feel lethargic, frustrated, and of course sleepy. Worse cases that may be induced by insomnia is one’s being prone to accidents, reduced work productivity and the aggravation of psychological and medical conditions.

Daily Living ADD Tips

1. Often the most obvious is overlooked. If you or someone you know suspects ADD/ADHD, seek help. Ignorance is NOT always bliss!

2. Seek treatment solutions that work best for YOU. And support those others choose for themselves.

3. Continue your education about ADD / ADHD. Research continues daily. Keep up with the latest research, books, treatments; check out new workshops in your area, delve into new online resources, etc. Information can mean healing power.

4. Think long-term and don’t be afraid of change. Since there is no cure for ADD, always be open and willing to try to modifying behaviors and managing other symptoms with revised aids. For example, get on a mailing list for Franklin Covey planning products. If your budget, circumstances and time allow, experiment with computerized organizational and planning tools, sync them with print versions. Remember Aesop’s, “Slow and steady wins the race.”

5. Network. Subscribe to healthcare association publications. Attend meetings and other events in your area. Meet people, compare coping strategies, learn about new products and services out there to help, make new friends, have fun. Don’t let ADD keep you down and out. Get involved and be supportive of others, too.

Behavioural Coping Skills for ADD

A combination of behavior and cognitive therapy has been found to help modify some ADD behaviors. It also helps ADD sufferers handle the emotional effects of their disorder. Basically, there are four key issues involved in behavior modification programs:

1. Start with goals that the person can achieve in small steps.
2. Be as consistent as possible— with times of the day, days of the week, environment, and associated people.
3. Implement behavioral modifications all along the way, long-term. I.e. don’t wait until the end to introduce everything.
4. Take learning the new skills’ process a little each day, one day at a time.

Check with your ADD resources for help learning and incorporating new behavioral skills. There are a variety of treatment programs for adults and children, from workshops and classroom instruction to videos and audiocassettes and more. See which options fit into your lifestyle and budget and don’t be afraid to experiment with something new.

Hang in there! Just like anything else in life, there are ups and downs when dealing with ADD. What will drive you to successful living is dedication, persistence and a little elbow grease, during those down or tough times. Here are a few ADD tips.

Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease

By reducing or eliminating as many of the risk factors as possible, it should be possible to greatly reduce your chances of developing Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Studies on the results of various treatments have been mixed and more research is needed. It is important to talk to your doctor before starting any new treatment for Alzheimer’s (even for over-the-counter treatments), as some of these may even be harmful in certain circumstances.
When diagnosed and treated for Alzheimer’s, you will need to have regular follow-up visits with your health care team.

Alzheimer’s – Driving a Car

Alzheimer’s can affect driving ability in a number of ways including:

    Finding your way around
    Remembering which way to turn
    Judging distance from other cars and objects
    Judging speed of other cars
    Reaction time
    Hand-eye coordination

The issues of driving ability and safety can be very difficult ones, both practically and emotionally, for people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and their families. A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s does not necessarily mean that a person must cease driving immediately. However, any changes in a person’s ability to drive will indicate a need for this to be considered.

Most of us are unaware of just how complicated a process driving is. We simply take the activity for granted. Alzheimer’s can cause loss of memory, limited concentration, loss of sight, and a range of other problems. This will eventually affect a person’s ability to drive safely. Some people may recognize their declining abilities, others may not. Doctors will often recommend that a person should stop driving or they may refuse to approve a driver’s license renewal, particularly if they have been alerted to any problems.

The Impact of Alzheimer’s Disease

Many, but not all, people facing the onset of Alzheimer’s are aware that something is wrong. The diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s can come as somewhat of a relief, as they now know what is causing the problem. Alzheimer’s affects people in different ways and each person will find their own approach to managing with the changes which occur.

There are some good reasons to tell the person with dementia about the diagnosis: Early intervention can enhance quality of life. Knowing about the condition can allow for planning for the future. Access to information, support and new treatments are helped when the person knows about their condition. Knowing about the condition allows for an honest and open discussion of the experience of dementia between family and friends.

Being diagnosed with dementia means that there are a number of matters to consider in planning for the future. If you are still working you will need to consider how dementia affects your working life and start thinking about future changes which may be needed. You may have already noticed the effects of dementia on your work. Some of the changes might include:

Genetic Testing for Alzheimer’s Disease

While most cases of Alzheimer’s Disease are not directly caused by a gene, there are some identified genetic links. For a fuller discussion of the genetics of Alzheimer’s disease, see the risk factors pages. There are genetic tests for these genes, but they are typically only necessary in cases where there is a family history of younger onset dementia.

Younger onset Alzheimer’s disease (onset before age 65) is known to be caused by at least three genes:

APP (amyloid precursor protein) gene
Presenilin 1 gene
Presenilin 2 gene

There are genetic tests for these genes, but they are typically only necessary in cases where there is a family history of younger onset dementia. The E4 sub-type of the apolipoprotein E (ApoE) gene increases the risk of developing late onset Alzheimer’s disease, but does not cause the disease. It is important to emphasize that while the ApoE4 variant may increase risk of developing late onset Alzheimer’s disease, having the ApoE4 gene does not mean that a person will develop the disease.

Brain Scans in Alheimer’s Testing

Brain scans are sometimes used in the diagnosis of dementia. The most commonly used brain scans are :

    Computerized Tomography (CT)
    Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
    Positron Emission Tomography (PET)

CT and MRI scans both generate excellent images of the internal structure and condition of the brain. PET scans can be used to monitor brain activity but are not typically used in the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.
While CT, MRI and PET scans can detect important changes associated with dementia, a diagnosis cannot be based solely on a brain scan. Sometimes brain scans will reveal no significant changes in the brain.

A Computerized Tomography (CT) scanner is a specialized form of X-ray machine. Unlike an ordinary X-ray machine, which sends a single X-ray beam though the body, a CT scanner simultaneously sends several X-ray beams from different angles to produce highly detailed, three dimensional images of the internal structure of the brain.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans use magnetic and radio waves, instead of X-rays, to provide very clear and detailed images of brain or other internal organs. MRI scans provide static three dimensional images of brain structure. Specialized MRI scans can also be used to monitor brain activity in areas of the brain where speech, sensation, memory and similar functions occur.