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Dementia Infections May Cause Disease Progression

Posted Nov 30 2009 12:00am

A recent study published in the journal, Neurology ,suggests that infections pose a new concern for persons with  Alzheimer's disease. 

The study was conducted by a group of scientists from a number of academic settings in the UK.  In conducting cognitive testing and blood sampling on 300 community members who had mild to severe Alzheimer's disease, they discovered that those subjects who had "systemic inflammatory events" (mild or moderate infections) showed a greater increase in cognitive decline that those who did not have infections.

According to their findings, inflammations of the body produce a particular factor which appears to be associated with more cognitive loss.  This has a great impact on dementia caregivers who try so hard to keep their loved ones infection-free.  Obviously, any vaccinations that are recommended should be done quickly and dementia caregivers should seek early treatment for their family member when symptoms develop.

Has anyone noticed any "non-scientific" trends in their own situations--where a person with dementia seems to have a greater cognitive decline following an infection?  Please share with us.

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