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science exploring end of life memory retrieval in dementia
alz+
Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2019 10:53 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3560


Moments of clarity in dementia patients at end of life: Glimmers of hope?

Scientists consider how unexpected awakenings in dementia patients might shed new light on the disease It happens unexpectedly: a person long thought lost to the ravages of dementia, unable to recall the events of their lives or even recognize those closest to them, will suddenly wake up and exhibit surprisingly normal behavior, only to pass...

Read in SCIENMAG: https://apple.news/AsiDSD05ERpCIDcMAegywJQ

https://scienmag.com/moments-of-clarity-in-dementia-patients-at-end-of-life-glimmers-of-hope/

"Scientists consider how unexpected awakenings in dementia patients might shed new light on the disease

 

It happens unexpectedly: a person long thought lost to the ravages of dementia, unable to recall the events of their lives or even recognize those closest to them, will suddenly wake up and exhibit surprisingly normal behavior, only to pass away shortly thereafter. This phenomenon, which experts refer to as terminal or paradoxical lucidity, has been reported since antiquity, yet there have been very few scientific studies of it. That may be about to change.

August issue of Alzheimer’s & Dementia , an interdisciplinary workgroup convened by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute on Aging and led by Michigan Medicine’s George A. Mashour, M.D., Ph.D., outlines what is known and unknown about paradoxical lucidity, considers its potential mechanisms, and details how a thorough scientific analysis could help shed light on the pathophysiology of dementia.

We’ve assumed that advanced dementia is an irreversible neurodegenerative process with irreversible functional limitations,” says Mashour, professor in the department of anesthesiology, faculty in the neuroscience graduate program, and director of the Center for Consciousness Science. “But if the brain is able to access some sort of functional network configuration during paradoxical lucidity, even in severe dementia, this suggests a reversible component of the disease.”

The paper describes earlier work documenting case studies of individuals with advanced dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, appearing to be able to communicate and recall in a seemingly normal fashion at the end of life, to the astonishment of their caregivers.

“The accumulation of anecdotal reports about paradoxical lucidity in the scientific literature prompts several important research questions,” says NIA medical officer Basil Eldadah, M.D., Ph.D. “We look forward to additional research in this area, such as better characterization of lucidity in its varying presentations, new instruments or methods to assess episodes of lucidity retrospectively or in real-time, tools to analyze speech patterns or other behavioral manifestations of lucidity, and evidence to inform decision-making challenges and opportunities prompted by unexpected lucidity.”

******

either we have brain damage and lost our memories and personhood or we don't. It seems more possible to me that we just cannot do the SEQUENCE thing well enough to speak until something at end of life allows us to say words in order, retrieve the words and line them up correctly. A fuel problem, not an engine problem.

If this shows cognitive ability remains, it will be a breakthrough to dispel the idea we become nothings. The fear and terror people feel when they are diagnosed from these beliefs! How these beliefs make warehousing dementia patients OK and all that stuff.

These beliefs also have channeled research into plaques and tangles elimination for years now without much progress in a treatment. What if plaques and tangles are protective response?

 no one studies how cbd oil can get me out of bed and walking in 15 minutes after spending hours trying to force myself to beat this inertia that saps me every morning. 

I will leave it to the smart people to consider the magic episodes at end of life.

How much would it help you, if at all, to know you will always have thoughts and feelings even if you can't speak all your life? How would it affect caregivers to know silence doesn't mean we aren't listening and aware?



Iris L.
Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2019 11:28 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16577


I recall the video of an almost catatonic man with dementia who "came alive" and spoke coherently about jazz and his favorite jazz musicians.  It was all still inside him.  IMHO,  PWDs are cognitively overwhelmed by the busyness of their environment, and need a much simpler environment in which to function well.

Iris


Unforgiven
Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2019 3:35 PM
Joined: 1/28/2013
Posts: 2661


I'm no neuroscientist, but sudden retrieval of old, presumably forgotten memories and skills would indicate to me that the brain cells are not destroyed.  Rather, something has gone amiss with the communication betwedn axions that is required for retrieval.  Now, is it the lack of neurotransmitters, or is it some chemical dampening agent that prevents the neurotransmitters from functioning?
Lane Simonian
Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2019 10:31 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4835


This was a very good post, alz+.  Memories or at least some memories are not lost in Alzheimer's disease, they just cannot be retrieved.  I liken it to a library without call numbers, all the books are still there but you just cannot find them.

The primary neurotransmitter needed to retrieve memories is acetylcholine,  The chemical peroxynitrite impedes the transport of choline, the enzyme that puts acetylcholine together (choline acetytransferase) and the release of acetylcholine from muscarinic acetycholine receptors.  CBD oil and aromatherapy with essential oils partially reverses this damage and allows people to access some of their memories again.  Both also help with the transport of glucose giving people more energy.


Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Sunday, June 30, 2019 9:28 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 3422


I spoke about this and wrote about this about 10 years ago as I figured this out with the help of others. Not sure why it would take these folks to figure that out.  


HowDoYouDeal
Posted: Sunday, June 30, 2019 4:21 PM
Joined: 2/17/2019
Posts: 347


The theory as I understand it is that plaques are a protective response to things in the brain that slipped past the blood brain barrier. I have read studies that show that the amyloid neutralizes foreign material, (I think it was a virus). In this theory we all have amyloid plaques building up in our brains all day, then they are wiped away by the 40Hz brain frequency of REM  sleep.

Someone with dementia is just like someone who hasn't had any restorative sleep in years. Boy did my husband and I ever I had memory problems when we were very sleep deprived when our daughter was teething.

Many years ago there was a story about a person, I think he was a magician or a radio host and he decided he would go without sleep for several days, as some kind of challenge,by the time he was a few days in he was hearing voices, he thought the people around him were trying to kill him, full on paranoid and delusional.

 


HowDoYouDeal
Posted: Sunday, June 30, 2019 4:23 PM
Joined: 2/17/2019
Posts: 347


A friend of mine swears by a certain cononut oil, a medium chain fat that has an extra something. Wow, that was helpful. Will ask her more about it.
Keep It 100
Posted: Monday, July 1, 2019 11:12 AM
Joined: 2/26/2017
Posts: 580


alz+ wrote:

******

either we have brain damage and lost our memories and personhood or we don't. It seems more possible to me that we just cannot do the SEQUENCE thing well enough to speak until something at end of life allows us to say words in order, retrieve the words and line them up correctly. A fuel problem, not an engine problem.

If this shows cognitive ability remains, it will be a breakthrough to dispel the idea we become nothings. The fear and terror people feel when they are diagnosed from these beliefs! How these beliefs make warehousing dementia patients OK and all that stuff.

These beliefs also have channeled research into plaques and tangles elimination for years now without much progress in a treatment. What if plaques and tangles are protective response?

 no one studies how cbd oil can get me out of bed and walking in 15 minutes after spending hours trying to force myself to beat this inertia that saps me every morning. 

I will leave it to the smart people to consider the magic episodes at end of life.

How much would it help you, if at all, to know you will always have thoughts and feelings even if you can't speak all your life? How would it affect caregivers to know silence doesn't mean we aren't listening and aware?


 

 

I find this fascinating, thank you for sharing.
As a caregiver for a young 59 y/o with Alz who has by a couple of years ago lost the ability to communicate at the level you are at (which is one of those fascinating/frustrating aspects of the inequitable progression we see) but has maintained almost perfect physical ability in his tennis playing...I agree with this whole-heartedly, now that I have journeyed with him into more advanced stages. To an unfamiliar observer, his inability to "remember" where he has lived for the prior 35 years might be easily explained as "he has forgotten." 
But I know him so well, and I can see in his eyes the look of someone who does remember, but who just can't retrieve and transmit the proper name/word. So, when I see him struggle to "remember" something, I tell him, I am certain you have all those thoughts and memories in there, they're not gone, but rather just misplaced at the moment...and he will nod yes...and for example I will ask, can you see in your mind our former home and neighborhood? And he will light up, yes! And he starts to visually describe, in pretty simple but accurate terms, our home, our street, our neighborhood, our friends and neighbors. I always say it is a communication/connections breakdown, a breakdown in finding the perfect word, but by no means a loss of the actual memories. My fear is that as he continues to progress those memories will get buried further and deeper...but I believe they will be there, if only in a murkier and harder to reach place. I plan to continue to reassure him that I know he can "see" his memories, his life, even if he cannot verbalize them to me. 

 

 


HowDoYouDeal
Posted: Monday, July 1, 2019 3:47 PM
Joined: 2/17/2019
Posts: 347


A 4 minute and 44 second video will blow you away

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=s2qxt114BEQ

 Hi Michael, What did you figure out as the cause?

The theory that I heard is that as the brain cells are not getting enough energy, the long stringy parts shrink down,

and

that with this loss of cell energy, the cells are still sending out messages, but increasingly, not all at the same frequency.

I sound like a broken record, but here's a video explanation by the PicoPower Institute

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=s2qxt114BEQ