Earlier this afternoon, I was listening to SDPB-Radio and heard an interesting interview with Dr. Mark Johnson, brain surgeon and head of the Adult Hydrocephalus Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital., doing brain research who has found that a condition called NPH or "Natural Pressure Hydrocephalous" causes symptoms like "magnetic gait",unsteadiness, incontinence, and memory loss. Below is a link to information on that program:
If you know someone or have a family member suffering from symptoms of dementia, it may be worth determining if your medical doctor or other caregivers have considered the possibililty the symptoms are caused by NPH rather than Alzheimer's Disease itself. Installation of a brain shunt to drain pressure and allow restored blood flow to brain may provide amelioration of symptoms to an extent that seems nearly miraculous (if the information on the program is representative of reality}.
Below are a few of the dozens of related links a Google search for "NPH Dementia" turn up. ALZ.ORG--NPH , Wikepedia on NPH , Hydrocephalus Association , Life NPH--Hope for People With NPH , North Carolina AlzNC On NPH , Boston Globe--A Diagnosis Turned on It's Head , .
Well, that may be of help to something like 1 to 9 percent of patients and residents suffering from what appears to be Alzheimer's, but really isn't.
In digging through these links I also found information on a dementia problem that apparently afflicts a local man who was one of the more intelligent people in the Winner, SD Area. His apparently uncurable problem is something else I was unaware of until his wife told me of his problems with seeing non-existent people and objects and his hallucinations. This is called "Dementia with Lewy Bodies" . Sad enough when anybody suffers from something like this, but seems even more sad when it whacks a fine mind of a man who made many contributions to the community over the years. Unfortunately, switching an Alzheimer's diagnosis to an NPH diagnosis may be a false hope for over 90% of Alzheimer's victims.
Find out if your doctor is aware of NPH. Unfortunately, apparently something between 10 and 20% of all doctors are not aware of this reversible dementia problem. If you happen to be a South Dakota doctor who wastes time reading Dakota Today, let me know if you have any comments on this post or have xperience yourself in diagnosing NPH.
Below is an added link with information on the initial research findings of NPH being potentially curable by a brain shunt (drain).
[[[ UPDATE of August 28, 2013.--- A Scientific American News bit "Sniffing out strategies in the Fight Against Alzheimer's Disease contains the following concerning Insulin "injected" nasally to get past the brain blood barrier:
If the trials go well IN insulin could be available to patients are early as 2017—perhaps sooner if a pharmaceutical company jumps on board to expedite the process. Frey is excited about this prospect, but cautious not to oversell the drug. “I'm not claiming that intranasal insulin is going to solve the entire problem of the disease or that it's going to cure everyone who has the disease or help everybody or anything,” he clarifies. “I'm only saying, let's not be stupid. Let’s stop just looking at one thing. Here’s something that seems to help. Let's develop this and see what good [it] can do for people.”
The whole article is interesting. Please take a few minutes to read it. End Aug28 Update]]]
**** Stay tuned and may you have good health and please support scientific and medical research even if it only benefits your grandchildren--- Doug Wiken