BEFORE I FORGET…
“Knowing the day is coming when your loved one won’t know you, is the most horrific feeling of them all for an Alzheimer’s caregiver“.
Anyone can temporarily forget the name of the city, a movie title or a former neighbours name every once in a while. But when a loved one ask you the same question twice in 5 minutes, it seems unusually aggressive and begins to lost things around the house, it may be an earliest signs of Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Medical treatment for Alzheimer’s disease gives only a symptomatic relief. But there is still no cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
Dementia is a syndrome characterized by disturbance of multiple brain functions including memory, thinking, orientation, and comprehension, calculation, learning capacity, language and judgement. Alzheimer’s disease is a common form of dementia and possibly contributes to 60-70% of cases.
It is an irreversible progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and eventually the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.
Memory disturbances are very serious and physical side of the disease becomes more obvious.
Early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are you feel like loss of things, daily tasks turns to be a challenge, mood changes, lapse in judgement, trouble in planning and problem solving frustrating words and conversations, changes in vision, memory loss and social withdrawal.
Alzheimer’s disease is usually diagnosed on physical and neurological exam, and checking for signs of intellectual impairment through standard test of mental functions. Diagnostic test such as MRI & CT and lab testing are also done to rule out medical cause of decreased brain function.
As Alzheimer’s is an irreversible and a progressive brain disorder no cure exist but meditations and management strategies may temporarily improve symptoms .Only symptomatic therapies for Alzheimer’s disease are available and just not act on the evolution of the disease.
In Ayurveda all these symptoms are associated with Vata Dosha imbalance. It’s qualities are cold, light, dry, irregular, moving quick and changeable. Similar to that of wind.
The main treatment principle is to balance Vata and it includes rasayana chikitsa and nourishing treatments.
The prime remedy for a Vata imbalance through meditation.
A complete raw food diet is not recommended for the Vata Dosa. Raw foods are cooling and difficult to break down which can affect the digestive fire.
Health benefits of yoga helps in preventing and improving symptoms and quality of life for patients and caregivers. They stimulate different parts of the brain based on various steps of practice, which includes pranayama, asana, chanting and different forms of concentrations.
Vata Dosha not only causes dry skin they also tend towards a dry digestive system, nervous system and brain. Nervous system disorders or ‘Vata vyadhi’ in Sanskrit are thrown out of balance by the Vata ‘wind’ energy that moves throughout the brain and the nerves, controlling both voluntary and involuntary movement.
Taking oil both internally and externally can gain a lot of changes it is prescribed to place oil on the entire body from scalp to feet, which can be attained through the Panchakarma procedures. There are many benefits of panchakarma.
Panchakarma procedures includes-
Internal administration of medicated oil in a practical, rapid and easy way to deliver therapeutic herbs into the CNS.
A simple massage with medicated oil with pressure and in a synchronised manner. This improves the brain function and increases the circulation blood flow to the brain .Reduces stress hormone arginine, vasopressin and salivary stress protein. Relaxes CNS muscles and nerves.
Shirodhara, Shirovasti and Shiroabhyanga is done with oil like pouring, holding and head massage, this influence the hormonal and cerebral blood flow.
Ayurvedic medicinal plants hold in ‘nervine’ and their constituents are used to strengthen the nervous system and restore memory. The chemical constituents present in them include lignans, flavonoids tannins, polyphenols, sterols and alkaloids that are presenting a wide range of benefits. Ashwagandha,Turmeric, Shankhapushpi, Brahmi, Jyothishmathi, Jatamansi, Guggulu are few of them…
The environment can have a large impact on the quality of life of person with dementia. A ‘positive- friendly’ environment has to be created to support their health, independence & safety. Like that, they can remain active and engage in activities and it helps them to live well as long as possible.
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