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, October 11, 2019

alzheimers news-a lot of questions were answered yesterday

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yesterday as we zoomed down to the los angeles area for our early memory loss conference i reviewed my set of answers to the questions from the moderator
i for awhile sort of zoned out as i floated back to daydreaming about the last 9 years
a lot of reflection happened during that 2 hour trip

when i arrived i was ready to answer questions
i laid the 4 pages of answers i had written down by my chair as i set on the panel with a couple
he a later mci patient or maybe an early alzheimers patient
she a caregiver
i liked the couple as one way they handled the situation was with comedy and laughter
but i must say as i looked at her when she was talking you could see even though she would smile the sadness in her eyes and face and the fatigue in  her body
they are just at the beginning

fyi yes we got out of the los angeles area before the fires started and are today safe in santa barbara

one question was asked of all 3 of us that stood out in my memory
is there something good that came out of knowing our diagnosis early
we all three said the same
what we meant was there is no good in finding out you have alzheimers disease
as most folks that have been exposed to alzheimers before they know what the diagnosis means

now after you find out
you have to deal with it
we all three are dealing with it
in our own way

i think we all three agree that its good to know early
you have time to be ready when things get worse
in my case i might be able to do things that slows it down a lot
well that i think has already happened
we and i are under no illusions here
we and i know that things are going to get worse and never better

we answered questions from the audience and the moderator for over an hour
yes this the first time i didnt tear up
i must admit i tend to stay away from the parts that make me tear up choke up sometimes cry

the other three lectures were on

legal preparation you need to have like these things
power of attorney for health care
power of attorney for finances
living will
polst dnr no cpr forms
hipaa forms
advance directive
maybe a trust

if you dont know what some of those are just highlight them and do a google search
if you have all of these done your kids grandkids and other heirs will love you for it

my wife she and i have most of them but we plan to meet this fall with an elder lawyer
yes its hard to say that but we are now elder we just dont feel that way
to discuss and update and put all of it together so we will have a folder that says
open when we die

another lecture was on having a healthy balance while living with the disease
this also applies to caregivers
the rest of you

she talked about your wellness wheel with these 7 spokes
faith life   connect with the world and others
movement   exercise walk garden get outside vacuum dance etc this all increases blood flow to the brain
work   volunteer contribute to the world and others improve your health improve your numbers like weight blood pressure cholesterol blood sugar
emotional   cope with life stresses meditate get enough sleep relax and breathe
nutrition   eat healthy like the mediterranean diet or mind diet google these diets drink adequate water
family and friends   foster social networks give and receive support

then the last lecture was from a clinical and behavior neurologist and researcher from ucla who happens to be the neurologist i see for my private care and for the research studies i am doing

first let me say that after listening to her talk i realize how much i really know about this all since i practiced medicine  i am a patient with the diagnosis i am a research subject  i blog about alzheimers at least twice a week  i read at least 5-10 articles on alzheimers each day
it all has sunk in into my shrinking brain and thankfully at this point it is all staying there

i dont know that i learned much new today
what i heard really really reinforced what i already know

one thing that i and the other two medical speakers warned was
dont start taking vitamins and supplements without discussing it with your medical provider
you also can go to webmd.com and plug them into their drug interaction checker
eg i plugged in cbd and aricept (donepezil) to see if there was an interaction
there wasnt

here is my take

there is not a treatment or cure for the disease
a ton of research is being done right now slowly getting us to the treatment and cure
if you want to do something so you dont get alzheimers the consensus is
eat a good healthy diet like the Mediterranean diet or mind diet
get adequate sleep
avoid stress treat anxiety and depression
be care with some medications that may make you have memory loss eg chronic use of xanax or bladder pills or maybe antihistamines

they dont know about cbd or thc since the research hasnt been done on it since the government wont let them do the research that needs to be done
eg cbd has great antiinflammatory properties
besides amyloid accumulation and tau protein damaging the brain cells neuroinflammation happens to finish off the brain cells
if we can treat the neuroinflammation that would be good
cbd might be one of several drugs to do that
the research needs to be done

possibly a blood test could be available as soon as two years to tell if you have alzheimers disease going up in your head
it will be like the cholesterol test
get the cholesterol test if bad treat your cholesterol to prevent heart attacks and strokes and maybe alzheimers disease
you may be alble to get an alzheimers blood test in a few years
if its positive
what do you do
well sorry there is no treatment or cure
you can do those spoke things on that wheel and you may be able to reduce your chances of it progressing or worsening real fast by as much as 60%

having mci or mild cognitive impairment due to alzheimers disease where you have had all the definitive tests like memory testing positive spinal tap for amyloid and tau that show abnormal levels and or an amyvid pet scan thats positive pretty well makes its certain that you have alzheimers disease
may benefit from taking aricept (donepezil) early on

this slows down symptoms for awhile but sorry it doesnt treat the disease
warning was of course as i have written about this before and talked about before if you have been on the aricept (donepezil) for awhile and you just stop it
sorry you will digress to where you would have been had you not taken it
if you restart it
sorry again
thats your new baseline that you will be working from
you wont get better again

for me
if i were to stop my medication my aricept (donepezil) i might digress to where i would have been had i not take the drug
i might not be able to write this blog do my finances do the shopping maybe drive maybe not travel not be able to plan our trips and other things i enjoy doing
if i stopped it the medicine and later restarted it i would not be not better than what i wrote in the last sentence
i would just keep sliding down that slippery slope to oblivion

i already knew all this before i heard the lecture
i more than most really understand
as i told the audience i put up with the drugs side effects like sleep problems and stomach issues

why dont we have treatment or cure for this disease
like i said yesterday when asked if i had some last words for the folks in the audience

there are two reasons

volunteers like me
to do the studies that need to be done
some criteria for the studies are strict so they may have to evaluate a lot of folks to get enough for the studies
eg the biogen aducanumab study was like that

we need more money for research from the federal government
remember you are going to be affected by this disease
you cant avoid it
you will eventually be paying for it in taxes as the cost outpaces our defense budget and possibly the whole us budget

we need donations from nongovernmental sources
donate and join our walks against alzheimers disease
there are walks in your area
in texas its
alzheimers texas
alzheimers association
here in the los angeles area its
alzheimers greater la 
they sponsored the event yesterday

find yours and donate
we cant afford not to

memory loss is not part of aging

our santa barbara walk to end alzheimers is on saturday november 2, 2018
here is the link to my team and the walk site

click and donate and or join us
donate or join your local walk where you live

the organicgreen doctor

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