Sunday, April 17, 2011

Klein could live with dementia for years, says exper

Klein could live with dementia for years, says expert

Last Updated: April 8, 2011 5:37pm
.articleControls.thin { height: 80px; }.articleControls.thin .share div { text-align: center; }.articleControls.thin .share span { display: block; }
Dementia is an umbrella term to describe a number of neurological diseases, with between 5 and 10% of them affecting the frontal temporal lobe, as is the case with former premier Ralph Klein.
Klein falls within the normal age bracket for the disease, said Price, and people diagnosed with this form of aphasia usually live an average of five to seven years, said Sarah Price, director of dementia care with the Alzheimer Society of Calgary.
“But we know people can live 20 years with Alzheimer’s Disease so it really has a lot to do with the individual themselves,” said Price.
“Their health and how much of the brain is affected, it’s all very individualized."
Klein, 68, was diagnosed April 1 with primary progressive aphasia, a form of frontal temporal dementia.
“What that means is the two regions of the brain that are primarily responsible for language, some memory and sort of how we behave in society are affected,” said Pirce.
“With this particular diagnosis, aphasia means language, the ability to understand, comprehend and articulate ourselves.
“Over time, because it’s a progressive type of dementia, other aspects will become affected that are more commonly known, like memory loss and the abilities to walk and ambulate fluently.”
Progression of frontal temporal lobe dementia is typically slow, said Price.
“Often times with any type of dementia, it’s been progressing for a couple of years until the point that the family says, ‘you know what, something is wrong.’”
About 12,000 Calgarians suffer from dementia and warning signs are often overlooked or not immediately recognized, said Price.
“You’re looking for something vastly different than someone’s normal behaviour or way of doing things,” she said.
“With the language, you’re looking for those word finding difficulties.”
Ten warning signs of dementia:
1 Memory loss that affects day-to-day function
2 Difficulty performing familiar tasks
3 Problems with language
4 Disorientation of time and place
5 Poor or decreased judgement
6 Problems with abstract thinking
7 Misplacing things
8 Changes in mood or behaviour
9 Changes in personality
10 Loss of initiative
— source: Alzheimer Society of Calgary
more read...