Sounds like an increase of heavy metal overload to me. I know, let’s geoengineer the sky with aluminum and other heavy metals, and then add a huge increase in microwaves (emf) to that issue with upgraded cell towers and Nexrad stations….and see how it goes………and combined with Statin drugs causing Alzheimer’s, reducing the amount of brain fat, the sheeple don’t stand a chance.
Healthy in Humboldt: Alzheimer’s disease cases expected to rise significantly, but local services lacking…
By Will Houston, Eureka Times-Standard. Editor’s note: This is the seventh installment of “Healthy in Humboldt,” an ongoing monthly series profiling health challenges in Humboldt County and what’s being done to overcome them.
Within about a decade, thousands more Humboldt County residents are estimated to contract a disease that slowly deteriorates their brains, causing them to forget the names of loved ones they’ve known for decades and eventually lose the ability to communicate and care for themselves.
While local services and palliative treatments for Alzheimer’s disease are available, local care providers say there are not enough medical staff and services to meet the needs today let alone in 12 years when about 4,300 residents are estimated to have the disease.
“It’s the only cause of death in the top 10 in America that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed,” Kim Coelho of the Alzheimer’s Association said. “It is the third leading cause of death in California and the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. By age 85, you will either have the disease or you will be taking care of someone with the disease.”
Humboldt-Del Norte County Medical Society President and local primary care doctor Stephanie Dittmer said there are only two practicing neurologists in the region, and only so much medicine can do for people affected by the disease.
“Our local resources are very much tapped because you need a network of people,” Dittmer said. “You need primary care providers, you need neurologists, you need physical therapists to deal with the gait and recurrent falls, you need speech therapists to deal with the dysphagia or the swallowing and speech difficulties, you need occupational therapists to help make sure that people are keeping their skills of literally putting on their clothes, you have a need for the adult day health services that we so desperately need more of. You have to have affordable respite care options for people.
“We have so many resource needs in our county and unfortunately this is true everywhere. It is not unique to Humboldt County,” Dittmer continued, “but it is felt more here because of the size of our population and the geographic isolation that we have.”
Past studies have shown Humboldt County has one of the highest rates of death caused by Alzheimer’s disease in the state, if not the highest at certain points in time.
Between 2003 and 2005, Humboldt County had the highest rate of deaths caused by Alzheimer’s disease of all counties in the state with reliable data, according to a 2009 report by the Alzheimer’s Association.
A 2017 study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control showed Humboldt County had an Alzheimer’s death rate of 29.5 to 36.2 people per 100,000 residents between 2005 and 2014, one of the highest rates in the state. Between 1999 and 2014, Alzheimer’s disease rates increased by nearly 55 percent across the U.S., according to the study.
Despite the challenges ahead, Humboldt Senior Resources Center Director of Health Services Teresa Oliveri said she urges anyone with questions or concerns about themselves or a loved one to not wait and to contact their primary care provider.
Efforts from the federal to local levels are also underway to continue the search for a potential cure and better understanding of what actually causes the disease.
“There is hope and there are resources to help people,” Oliveri said.
Alzheimer’s is a brain disease and the most common cause of dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
The disease progresses over several years and causes brain cells to die and brain tissues to deteriorate, physically shrinking the brain.
Early symptoms can include memory loss, difficulty in forming coherent thoughts and trouble handling money. As the brain continues to deteriorate, the symptoms become more severe and life-altering for not only the patient, but their families and loved ones. The disease can cause a person’s personality to change, cause them to lash out or become upset unexpectedly, forget the names of close relatives or lose the ability to communicate.
Scientists believe that the disease causes a buildup of plaque and tangles of proteins in the brain disrupt brain cells, known as neurons, from being able to effectively communicate. However, there have been cases where this buildup occurs and the patient does not have the disease.
Dittmer has studied Alzheimer’s disease at a neuroimaging lab at UCLA, which she said she was moved to do after her grandfather began suffering from the disease. She said one of the controversial discussions occurring in medical research is whether the buildup of this protein plaque is not where Alzheimer’s disease starts, but is maybe the end result of a problem that is still unknown.
“Everything we know about Alzheimer’s disease, is it wrong?” Dittmer said. “… It is an interesting time right now because there are some controversial discussions that are going on right now about do we have this right and if not, what’s the next step?”
Oliveri said about 2,500 people in Humboldt County suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. That number is expected to increase to about 4,300 residents by 2030, which both Dittmer and Oliveri said is the result of an aging population, especially among Baby Boomers.
The disease mainly affects elderly individuals, Dittmer said, but there are rare cases in which signs of the disease manifest starting around age 40. Dittmer said these early onset Alzheimer’s cases are often attributed to genetics.
Just because someone may have memory issues may not mean they’re getting Alzheimer’s disease, Dittmer said.
Memory issues may be a result of vitamin D12 deficiency, thyroid hormone problems, depression, menopause, certain medications, Parkinson’s disease, strokes and different neurological diseases, Dittmer said.
Confirmation of whether a person has Alzheimer’s disease can only occur after the person dies, Oliveri said, though there are symptoms that strongly correlate with Alzheimer’s disease.
Dittmer said a clear sign of the disease is a lack of insight, or the ability for a person to recognize that they have memory issues.
“Patients themselves, when they have Alzheimer’s disease, don’t recognize their own memory impairment, their own thought processing disorders,” Dittmer said.
Individuals who come to the doctor with concerns that they may have the disease usually don’t have it, Dittmer said. Doctors begin to worry more about memory issues, Dittmer said, when a patient is brought in by a family member or loved one expressing concern that the patient is becoming agitated, upset and anxious over memory loss, but does not recognize there is an issue.
The most important step someone can take to narrow down the causes of memory loss are visiting a primary care doctor, Oliveri and Dittmer said. Blood tests and MRIs can help determine whether other factors are causing memory issues, according to Dittmer.
Early diagnosis will allow a person with Alzheimer’s disease the ability to make important decisions while they still retain some of their cognitive abilities.
“They can determine their own course that they want for their disease,” Oliveri said.
Oliveri said that there is debate on whether researchers are even on the horizon of finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but there are services and treatments available to make life more comfortable for those affected by the disease and their families.
The Humboldt Senior Resource Center opened an Adult Day Health Program and Alzheimer’s Services Center about 10 years ago. The program offers an Adult Day Center where family members can drop off their loved one who have dementia and other medical needs for several hours, allowing them to carry out daily tasks like grocery shopping or going to work. Another day center is available at Mad River Community Hospital in Arcata. However, Dittmer said there are often wait lists.
Social workers and registered nurses are also available at the senior resource center to provide referrals, education, and support groups as well.
Oliveri said caregiver support resources are also available through entities such as the Redwood Caregiver Resource Center in Eureka
“As you can imagine having to be home 24 hours a day with someone who can’t remember things, it’s taxing,” Oliveri said. “And unfortunately in this area in particular, but also nationwide, we don’t have enough resources.”
Oliveri said it’s also important for people to keep an active mind, healthy habits and a social life, which are believed to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
“Maintain or develop healthy habits, eat well, lose weight, quit smoking, or take a class. If you know someone with Alzheimer’s or their family offer to help,” she said. “Give a caregiver a night off to go out to dinner. Talk to someone with Alzheimer’s. Don’t assume they cannot still engage socially.”
The Centers for Disease Control study found that Alzheimer’s disease deaths in medical facilities liked nursing homes decreased while the number of deaths increased at homes between 1999 and 2014.
“Significant increases in Alzheimer’s deaths coupled with an increase in the number of persons with Alzheimer’s dying at home suggest that the burden on caregivers has increased even more than the increase in the number of deaths,” the study states.
The annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s Disease is one way for locals to bring awareness and raise funding for Alzheimer’s disease research. This year’s walk is set to take place in October and with registration currently underway.
“Raising funds will help us identify, slow down, and ultimately prevent this devastating disease,” Coelho said. “If you look at the millions of research dollars that have been spent on cancer, heart disease, HIV, stroke, you will see a dramatic decrease in deaths from these diseases, which is wonderful. We can do the same for Alzheimer’s Disease, we just need the research dollars to fund the research proposals.”