welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Friday, April 5, 2013

alzheimers symposium presentation part 1

i will be doing a presentation on my story with possible alzheimers at the
alzheimers symposium in temple texas at the mayborn center
on april 30 2013 at 930 am

you can sign up at this link

here is my presentation that will be posted in a four part series
over the next four fridays

my story

here is a video that was done by the alzheimers research center
at the university of texas southwestern medical school in dallas

alzheimers disease is a devastating progressive neurodegenerative disease for which
there is no cure
it is a fatal disease
how many of you here today have someone in your family with alzheimers disease

1 in 4 females will get alzheimers disease if you live long enough
1 in 8 males will get alzheimers disease if you live long enough
its the 6th leading cause of death in the united states
of the top 10 leading causes of death in the united states its the only one
for which there is no cure
it may be the disease that breaks our healthcare system

im speaking to you from three different perspectives

a family member whose mother died in the final stages of alzheimers disease
whose father although not officially diagnosed probably had it also
then my younger brother a year younger than i was diagnosed at 55 years old
and is now entering into the final stages of the disease

i am speaking to you as a family physician who has treated patients with
alzheimers disease although looking back now i did  not do a good job

then im speaking to you as a patient today
my diagnosis is early mild cognitive impairment amnestic type that may be
due to alzheimers disease
ill tell you why as this talk proceeds

5 years ago i applied for long term care insurance and was evaluated and
received my insurance without a problem

during the mental status evaluation one test they did was they read me
10 words from 3 different word categories and asked me to repeat them
back to them
i got all 10 correct

then 2-3 years later because of my family history of alzheimers disease
and because of the fear of developing it  i decided when i reached a
certain age that i would start having yearly evaluations with
neuropsychological evaluations and
mri scans or whatever was deemed necessary to check and make sure
i was not developing problems with my memory

i contacted the alzheimers research center at ut southwestern  and talked
to kristin martin-cook and told her what i wanted to do and why

she said yes they could do that or i could enter the alzheimers disease
neuroimaging initiative study in the normal control group
and i would get those tests i wanted done plus other new tests that
were available in the studies-biomarkers for beta amyloid and tau
pet scans for glucose metabolism and for beta amyloid

i agreed so i went to dallas for testing
during the neuropsychological testing i was sitting at the desk like in
the video where i was doing the block test and looking out a window
when the examiner read me 10 words from 3 different word categories
and asked me to repeat them
the words entered my brain and most of them disappeared
i only could recall 4 of them
after a series of hints i was able to only recall 5 of them
whereas before i had gotten all 10 correct the first time

that is the moment a surreal moment when i knew that i had a problem

i also had other short term memory tests done that day and had
problems with all of them

it would be 3-4 weeks before i would get the results back so when i
got back to work i became extremely careful in everything i did

then 3 weeks later i got a phone call from kristen
dr nash i wanted to call and let you know what your results were before
you get this letter in the mail

it appears that you have short term memory loss thats greater than it
should be for your degree of education and your age
i really think you should see a neurologist

so i made an appointment with a neurologist there in 3 weeks

it was during this period of time that fall when i began to notice
some issues with my memory
i had trouble recalling things about patients that i should have remembered
i also had trouble reading cme material then taking the cme online test

no one my wife my nurse my colleagues my patients clinic employees
noticed any problems
but i did
and still do but they dont

the neurologist office asked that i get some tests done before the
office visit

here is the list of tests that i had done and they are the ones that
you should have done if you are being evaluated for memory loss
complete blood count
metabolic profile for electrolytes kidney function liver function and glucose
vitamin b12 level
syphilis antibody test
hiv test
tsh for thyroid function
screen for depression
neuropsychological exam or a shorter in office version
mri scan of the brain

next week
part 2
neurology visit

the organicgreen doctor

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