Is the Fibro-fog in Fibromyalgia a Prelude to Dementia?

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Dementia severe enough that it can cause reduction in the ability to think so as to crash one’s daily living. It is a extensive term used to refer to a number of conditions. If you live long enough, you have a very good chance of developing dementia.

Although just 1-2% of people aged 65 have dementia, the danger of developing it after that becomes double almost every five years. Your risk of developing dementia is somewhere between 30-50% If you make it to 85.

The costs that dementia imposes can become devastatingly clear for those of us with aging parents. What a dread disease dementia is. Dementia can alter even simple matters such as dressing and bathing need help. Dementia can cause memory loss even if it is moderate; can cause trouble doing everyday tasks, mood swings and more.

A cross-sectional study examined a group of fibromyalgia patients with symptoms of cognitive dysfunction of no more than 12 months’ duration, comparing these individuals with another group of fibromyalgia patients who had been suffering fibrofog symptoms for anywhere from seven to 26 years.

The groups were similar in terms of depression measures, education level, and vocabulary scale scores. The two groups were also similar in that no significant differences were found on 13 of 14 measures of neurocognitive function measured in this study, some of which included logical memory, paired association tasks, digit symbol recognition, letter fluency, processing speed, and word speed and color speed tests.

It was the measure of spatial scanning and cognitive sequencing where the long-duration fibrofog patients did worse compared to the other cohort. Reassuringly, the level of cognitive impairment in fibromyalgia patients was extremely low compared to Alzheimer’s patients when measured against standardized normative means for the 14 neurocognitive tests utilized in the study. Actually, measures of processing speed and episodic memory which are significantly impacted in early or so-called “pre-clinical” Alzheimer’s disease were normal in both groups studied. Fibrofog, it appears, is not a condition of progressive cognitive decline. No one is losing one’s mind at least due to fibromyalgia.

Their conclusion does not support the idea significantly that there is a conversion over time from fibrofog to Alzheimer’s disease. Fibromyalgia patients with brain fog memorize private events at a regular rate in quiet, distraction-free situations, while Alzheimer’s disease patients do not. Additionally, the incapability to properly ‘filter out related distractions’ is at the heart of amnesia in fibromyalgia, while in Alzheimer’s disease the brain mechanisms accountable for setting up events into memory are permanently impaired.

We expect that these findings will alleviate the uncertainties of people with fibromyalgia who panic that their brain fog is the beginning of a procedure leading to dementia. There has not been up till now a related research in ME/CFS patients but, given the symptomatic overlap between the two diseases, it would surely be a valuable exercise to carry out.

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Guidelines for Communicating with a Person with Dementia

Minimize distractions, shut the door, turn off the radio or TV, close the curtains or, or move to calm surroundings. Make certain you have her concentration before speaking; talk to her by taking her name, recognize yourself by name and relation, and use nonverbal cues and touch to help keep her listening carefully.

Get down to her level if she is seated and preserve eye contact. A loved one who has dementia is in a constant struggle to regain speaking and thinking skills they’ve lost, which keeps them agitated. That’s why it’s so important for you to try and relieve the emotional and mental pressure they’re under.

You may have a lot on your plate yourself and be moving quickly to achieve it all, but ultimately, rushing the person you provide care to won’t help. It will lead to confusion for both of you. Stroking your loved one’s face or brushing their hair is simple gestures that can send a strong loving message. Holding their hand when trying to get their full attention can also provide them with reassurance that everything’s okay. Hand-holding unites you with them in their struggle. It can also be a way of helping them feel safer about being in the mental state they’re in. Offering your hand for them to grip can even give them greater focus.

In fact, recent research shows that making a fist is a stabilizing body motion that activates memory and positively stimulates the brain. Use simple words and sentences. Speak slowly, distinctly, and in a reassuring tone. Abstain from raising your voice high or loud; in its place, lower your voice. If she doesn’t understand the first time, use the same wording to repeat your message or question. If she still doesn’t understand, wait a few minutes and rephrase the question, do remain calm when you encounter aggressive behavior.

People suffering dementia may show aggressive speech or actions in reaction to feeling perplexed, powerless or terrified. Use what you know about the person to try and understand the feelings that are making them behave in such a way. Work to de-escalate the situation by calmly shifting the focus. Use the names of people and places instead of pronouns (he, she, and they) or abbreviations.

Don’t engage in an argument or be contradictory. Everything a dementia patient says to you don’t correct it, as the accurateness of the information is not as significant as the thought or feeling they are trying to express. Don’t overlook that this violent behavior is not on purpose, but is frequently just a symptom of the dementia. Do remember to always treat someone with dementia with respect.

A lot of patients have a delicate sense of self-esteem, so it’s even more vital to treat them with politeness. When speaking to them use their name, comprise them in conversations, don’t talk over their heads, and value their privacy.

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  • Is the Fibro-fog in Fibromyalgia a Prelude to Dementia? by Cort Johnson via Health Rising

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