WWL>Topics>>8-14-14 2pm, Angela, Alzheimer's

8-14-14 2pm, Angela, Alzheimer's

Aug 14, 2014|

How often when you forget something—a word, your keys, an appointment—do you worry—could it be...the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s? How often do you listen to a parent, relative, friend and worry that they’re repeating something they just told you? Instead of guessing or worrying, let’s find out what we don’t know about Alzheimer’s disease. Did you know this disease is the leading cause of death in people older than 60. That Alzheimer’s will cost a trillion dollars a year in the U.S. by 2050? Alzheimer's disease has no survivors…there is no cure YET…but is one on the way? What are the advances made in treatment & medications? The more we know about Alzheimer's the better prepared we can be to help patients who have it. Do you know or love someone with Alzheimer's?

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

It's -- words that brings fear to a -- alzheimer's. It's the most common form of dementia it's a progressive. Disease and there is New York. But there is hope the most astounding thing I have read about this disease. Is that 90% of what we know about it. Has been learned in just the last fifteen years. More is being discovered all the time. And with this today is a man who just returned from an international. Alzheimer's meaning in Copenhagen. -- camera is a clinical social worker who has worked with Alzheimer patients for over fifteen years. And also works at Louisiana works which is doing clinical trials for new medications. For the disease. But we are so pleased to have two people in studio with -- who are living with alzheimer's. Rob is 87 years old and is enough and I'm sorry that's rob Stewart -- Is 87 years old and is in the early phase of the illness. Rob lives here but also lived in Boston and hosted a classical music radio program there for forty years. He's also pianist who plays the piano daily. Lisa carbo is in her late fifties. She too is in the early phase of alzheimer's. She's had at seven years. She's a registered nurse and was doing administrative nursing when she was no longer able to continue. She does telephone volunteer work with other patients and caregivers. And a little later in the show we're going to be joined by cleared Jacoby. Cop who runs a support group was a facilitator of -- support group and also was the caregiver to her husband who passed away from alzheimer's. I want to thank each and every one of you for being here I really mean that we can talk about. Diseases and in situations all game but two people who are living it. Tells the real story. So I'd like to start with that Robin Lisa and I would like you just tell Maine. When did you notice. A change in yourself. I didn't notice. I haven't noticed that perhaps. Don't do things they still don't do things as easily these days as they used to. I don't see that the big problem with my memory and me more than and there are always those -- forget to take all the garbage from the with the -- And the long term memory. This is not bad at all. I've never been great on memorizing things have tried lately I've been trying to to memorize poetry. -- to be able to say -- -- a scolding you when the evening is spread out across the sky like a patient. How like he utilized. A public people. Don't know that that's beautiful. You didn't notice it but others did. Well the doctors did. And and probably the people who lived with a have have noticed. Changes that I don't say. More -- let me ask you at least. When did you recognize something was going. Some analysts working as a managed registered nurse. And having trouble doing my job working from insurance company in utilization review. -- and I just couldn't multitasking anymore and as a -- and almost every profession you need to multitask I mean. That's part of our new wild world -- multitasking. And I used to be kind of a perfectionist. And liked everything going away and now people aren't kept saying Lisa -- he keep forgetting everything and I thought it has some -- start get some. Although barked you know nurses work long hours and they do a lot of things and com I had been in hospice nursing I had worked at hospitals in the cardiac units and things like that but. This multitasking. Just became impossible. And I finally got written up that work. For poor performance. And I was devastated. At -- -- usually devastated. It almost was like for -- out -- So at that point I decide it's something is very wrong. My assumption stress. And overwork. Just crazy life. You with the care giver to your mother. Yes -- was my mother had been diagnosed with alzheimer's slash vascular dementia. Some years before maybe 34 years and she had going downhill. Quickly. Cars became more physical. Then. And told she me. Wash your ability to walk and things very early home and mine was on the opposite I mean could still walk around and its own. -- things by. You could you could drive to work if I could at that point I don't I'm no longer drive at that point yes second drive to marking things down. I started getting lots. I mean. Tourniquet to library way then 194. Normally in the library that was like went into the twilight. I didn't know where I want it. An apple the car -- Lauren sat there and cried as I didn't know what before. Rob did anything like that happened to you well. I'm at a point now where I don't drive anymore and the reason is. My late wife by the way had alzheimer's. And she couldn't drive anymore of course and I realized. How serious that was. They they stopped her from driving by saying look. And if if you have an accident. You lose your car not just your car you can lose your hopes and it was a Monday. And that she put her keys on the table that was that was the end of his security would -- me too. Robbie said again you didn't recognize things happening but ultimately doctors -- it. You went to the doctor one day and. Endlessly that they say I have alzheimer's. And how -- they know that I don't know they want me to count backwards from hundred seven's. And I can do that this kind of -- Orleans. Which was trying to play. All of -- -- anybody new car and think about this could -- don't shrug your -- 93 I mean it's next. -- -- That's when the tests. But you acknowledged that you. It because they told. So I don't acknowledge don't have alzheimer's. I don't. I mean I'm not the sharpest I used to be but maybe seven years old. Still playing the piano and -- playing the piano. I'm getting at that point worldwide rights and music. And so you you have not I'm just trying to compare that to -- as you listen to her you didn't have any of those. Things happening to them. Isn't that it's very very interest and I want everyone to stay with us so we have just started. An important conversation with people who know we're talking alzheimer's financial under the WL. We were just talking with rob Stewart travail and Lisa carbo. Both of whom have been diagnosed with alzheimer's. Rob is 87 years old he's a piano player he was a radio guy I love that for forty years. And never saw the alzheimer's and himself. Lisa Carbone. A very different story in her fifties has said. Now for seven years of former nurse. Very active and started seeing very clearly things were happening. And now diagnosed with with it. Yet in the commercial I think it's very important. For people to hear what they just said and that is that both of you that quality of life. That both of you are enjoying. Yes and it's very important for people to understand that this is not a death -- that this. He can still have life with alzheimer's too meantime do with the way used to do it. But to tweak it a little bit trying different black -- and the other thing she can't. Often go -- alone anymore but you have to adjust to like him. I don't drive any longer it was a hard hard adjustment. But to which lasts and you try to make the best of things we Valentin how volunteer my turn at. Alzheimer's Association. On the -- volunteer on. -- C dot org where I give try to get back to people like gave to me. When I'm in him anywhere Kyle and I needed someone to talk to just say hey I'm scared I don't know what to do you know please how many are. Just some -- it is saying yeah I understand -- yes and rob you while you continue to play and you're telling me. Do. I play account orbit. And I also was the French horn player for many years. Please do with the with the -- for a lot of years. The people's homes and concerts and things like. And I am trying to get back to the war. Little know after the French horn troop -- If you French horn in New Orleans with a workbook from. A loss that particular but you have to join an orchestra with. And there is. You do it would probably welcome. Let me reintroduce -- Tim Carney who is candid camera. And Duce -- actually. Who you networked with the people with alzheimer's for fifteen years -- also wanna bring a clear Jacoby. The facilitator for support group -- But also the caregiver to hear now deceased husband who. And so I guess I'm asking. Taking is beyond. What we -- from Robin -- and more to. What is this disease what is what is the difference between. Literally I could remember something this morning. Revert to what they. Well I think that it's. It's it's very important for everybody to realize. As as we get older. As a normal process. Memory impairment. But that is different. From a process that is. Going to be related to. Cognitive changes of our abilities that are directly related cute. Changes in our our brain biology and a brain chemistry. And you know as you as you listen to raw and and in two leases speak. I think that that they noticed changes in people and their environment noticed changes about them. And what people really need to know is that those changes that other people noticed. Or different from normal memory changes that take place as we grow older. And we do not always appreciate that as an individual because. You know we're we're sort of processing things as we're moving along. In words Justin and accommodating and and and trying to to make things work is as well as possible and our laws and and truly you wanna be able to be satisfied with what you do it and what you're able to accomplish and today there were an hour morning or conversation or. You know watching television -- reading a book. And and and some of those things become more problematic. And not only do you have that these memory changes or and sometimes changes in emotion. But you also have changes in -- -- Tuesday function. And that's something that people -- -- -- -- On guard about because once this functional changes Arctic employees. You really are going to need to be reevaluated. One of the things ago weren't in the conference. In Copenhagen. And it's it's true in most areas of medicine that early diagnosis allows early treatment and it allows a more effective approach. To the clinical problem that you're dealing with so particular with -- farmers. One of the problems that we have now is that it takes a long time. Often. A long time in the sense of disease progresses before people decide to turn to a doctor for medical help. Whether -- your your primary care physician or whether it's whether it's a neurologist or psychiatrist. In that waiting cost you something because part of the disease process actually involves deterioration. In your brain cells you -- angels Todd. -- with early thought on the issue can. Not preventative but slow it. That's correct which -- what we're looking forward to is developing and and right now there are drugs in development and their aspiration is to do disease modifying. Which means it will actually changed the course of the disease doesn't mean it can reverse it. But it can slow it and and and people can maintain their level of function for all much longer period of tar. Much look let's take Lisa for example let's say for some reason she's gone to a doctor and somehow was diagnosed a year before. Is there anything that would have prevented. Her from. Sadly getting the evaluation that you -- that was so heartbreaking and which could she have a year before done things. Well she probably could have done it a year before and part of saved herself but she actually achieved a diagnosis. Very early on and in the process of illness is really the exception to the rule. And I think one of the things if you wanna -- restaurant robbed. Is that in in younger people people in their fifties and sixties when they began to develop these kind of memory changes that are that are atypical. -- usually more noticed by people in their environment and buy them they become worried about themselves. And it's like it's very easy to rationalize something or just getting older or you know its senior moment or whatever and some of those things are of course true. But once you start building on. Memory memory problems have begun to elaborate themselves in the course -- -- that you could you function and you start. You start getting loss and if you can't. Find things in your house or you keep asking person a person in your family the same question over and over again. You know than than those are really causes for for concern for a long arm and you should really address that and do something about it. And to put it off only only creates more trouble as you as you -- -- I could have a little the leverage -- this a remembers the first time I realized that my late wife. Had a problem when and she pointed to disguised she said what are those things -- there. And she couldn't think of the word close enough for at first I thought. But -- -- you know that you just couldn't come up with you or clothes and then it went on from. One thing out for mountain that she couldn't remember the word for this conduct. Find myself. Occasionally. In that position. Maybe other people with -- table here to. Absolutely her refusal absolutely which is very scary and Brady connected. You know organs do we're gonna break for news we're gonna come back and I do want to talk to clear about her experience on. Not taking care for husband we're talking alzheimer's stay with -- an Angel on WW. Well we are back talking with rob Stewart to -- Lisa carbo both have been diagnosed with alzheimer's. Had a good talk with Tim Montgomery who has worked with alzheimer's patients for fifteen years. And cleared to -- because. You are facilitator of the support group. But a caregiver to your husband who has since passed on and we were talking in the commercial. 58 years old. Like his good working hard to maybe use it too hard and you started noticing. I started noticing at first that he couldn't finish a sentence she would be telling a story and then he would stop. And that happened a few times I didn't think too much of it and then. The next thing I noticed was on a few occasions he had forgotten -- parked car. And then the thing that really. Brought it to my attention was on my older son was working for him out of office that's summer. And she came home when Jamie said mom I don't want to scare you but do you think dad could have alzheimer's. Festival while what you say that what do you see. And he civil he's running around like a chicken without a head at the office. Assembles at different from the way he behaved when you worked for him three Summers ago he said it's very different. So I went in the study and Google alzheimer's. And started reading about it and a number of the things that were warnings signs I saw him exhibiting. And so I started working from there did he acknowledge those things. No not at first he had excuses. For why he did certain things. Another thing I noticed that I didn't connect the dots either winced and he wore seat and the time to work every day. And he started coming down for work with this tie slung around a snack. And a -- Larry doing that Warren and sent well I decided I prefer to tie my tie it work. At once I'm there -- my cup of coffee and then I go and I do that's okay. And I bought it -- that didn't occur to me and when I found out several months later he didn't remember how to tie it he just wasn't doing it at all. But I didn't really have any way of knowing that are seen similar a lot of things. That in isolation. Are non. That's strange that when you connect the dots and add them together you can get a picture. How is someone diagnosed as. Rob was saying he was diagnosed. Your husband ultimately what is it. Well I think that. Presently in over the last two years have been some significant straw ours in terms of the diagnosis of alzheimer's decisions prior to. Like 45 years ago. If you would ask professionals there would have told you well. You can only diagnose. Alzheimer's disease -- an autopsy. Which was nobody does it. That is the truth is since then there from our lives and pats games radiology radiological evidence. It -- is not. In and of itself. Determinant pictures you can have people who. To and their duties are minorities and they can have and and more where they're they're responsible looks just like alzheimer's disease but that it have a significant cognitive impairment. Which have that true genetic tests which determine genetic variations and they know some gene sequences. That indicate. You know you have a familiar -- probability of ten to 15% that you will inherit -- that you have inherited diseases will develop that disease. You can't say that you will development -- that you that you might. And that there's. Cerebral spinal fluid exams. And in those exams that it actually. Look. You know protein particles and things that are in this three spinal fluid. And can indicate. There are greater degree. -- That -- accumulating in a person's brain. And on that a moral line that scares in particular -- -- certain prices terps. You can determine. Heavier amyloid plaque. Part of investigations in and and that is also cognitive testing. So you go to psychologist. And that physicians can do this in their office where they won't try to evaluate and compare you to other people by powered by asking you questions. And then you can say well this person's not really functioning -- expected levels for the very generic education. And so when you when you put all of those things together plus the difficulties that a person might be having with their function. You come to a conclusion which is really something this high degree of probability. But that the person has also justices but to. -- two separate again alzheimer's from other kinds of dementia. That's that Dedrick requires a lot of medical investigators because it's easy to identified. Certain other elements -- which can exist on their own and and and have cognitive impairment. So if somebody has had a stroke you can be cognitively impaired with a particularly in a radiology exam. But you can look at some of that stroke but they also sometimes have other physical impairments indicative of the stroke. A lot of people you know when we looked patients in clinical trials. You have to exclude people with vascular dementia vascular dementia is gonna be -- it's a little mini strokes -- people who have had. Perhaps it is increasing in frequency. As we get older. With the medications that were there were. You're looking -- for alzheimer's disease are designed to usually. Reduce plaque or or reduce some of the -- chemical problems that a person is having in the brain. And in it would do nothing for somebody who's had a stroke. -- had little mini stroke expert because that's caused brain death brought by depriving oxygen nutrients to two brain cells so. What can anybody do anything. When intertwining in their thirties in their forties to try to prevent very good question I think that that had a very good question because if you guess what we're gonna do to prevent alzheimer's disease. The truth is start early. The problem is is that -- -- tours and a -- motivated to do some of the things that you really need to do to take care of your brain. Research shows that in your twenties if you if you don't smoke. And if you don't drink alcohol through are greater access and as you get older -- glasses of red wanted to. If you go to college. This there's some statistical. Analyses of people have done recently if you go to college. This a high degree of probability. You know also on the onset of alzheimer's disease will be delayed. Why is that well they're not really sure what they have a feeling that if you're young and you go to college and you work hard. During challenging academic. Things. That your brain grow your brain cells well actually collaborate more interconnected system to establish more synopsis. And so is as you as you agent if there's some brain deterioration losses and a options you have more problem he'll have more of the. -- every reason I mean and I was a C student. So my synapse is weren't snapping up but but it's every every one more motivation to do well in school I salute you. Although it -- like with rob you know if you if you if you know foreign languages and rob rob speaks several foreign languages. And if you play musical instruments that's like that's actually where and other languages and when you think about it. -- so all of those things it is challenging your brain. And as you get older you also have to think about your cardiovascular health because cardiovascular. System is the thing that -- -- ourselves in that investors worked and if you don't. -- if you if you allowed yourself to become debilitated that matter. Then there's a higher degree of probability is that you know you will be vulnerable to to to bring change but there is a genetic component. Yes that's really that's where you really think because genes of the things that cause. Us to. Change our ability. To perform certain part chemical functions in our -- Virginians elect a recipe. And it tells you how to make certain things when you lose the ability to follow a recipe. That you start making things that aren't as desirable. Changes that take place at that level. Being that our differences our brain can cleanse itself of of plaque and a and other products -- metabolism things begin to accumulate and then you get. You -- changes to Hitler's. So that's it that's that's. Are we or without rob you had a comment yeah I was thinking about you know the memories keep flooding back and and I I refer back to. An elderly. The first waiver so that alzheimer's and this. Years and years ago I think I was maybe fourteen or fifteen at the time and then I didn't quite understand what was happening except -- to us. We called in those days crackers in the head and but and then over a period of time and begin to realize this happens to a lot of older people. More more more and then finally realized that this can be happening to me. And so I wonder every day is this kid is this now and -- sit down the computer. And and very careful to push the right buttons and I'm thinking. And I need more help than usual at the computer I need to be more careful about. That the scheduling things and all because that they'll be a time when it's Cameron huddling do this test on those moments are doing. To this. You write I would put that sign. 1234. Great idea of who is with us everybody we're talking. We are talking with just some incredible people. Rob -- -- Lisa carbo I can't tell you how much it means that she would come on and discuss something so openly and candidly and Claire. -- Jacoby with talking about what you went through with your husband. And what your husband went through and Tim everything that you've learned in your in your helping us. I wanna go back to. Really butcher singer -- there are people with alzheimer's who are. Bedridden non accomplishment. But. There are many of us and you who are just moving forward every day. Yes. That's very true -- in the beginning I have to tell you -- stymied. Most of prost I didn't know. Too much what to do but with how I saw. A therapist it's getting back on my feet. Take alzheimer's madness. -- -- week to come on line this. And also an association heiress who normally lying group it's called calls connected dot org. And you can go online and talk to people on line. And I'm a part -- -- That's okay her lifting Johnson it's the help that you go out and yours is moving forward. Right in particular devastating because you lost your job I lost my job and a lot of pressure -- -- nation and I lost everything and the Lehman Angel how lost friends. Because people didn't now kind of -- you want me and I'm. I'm still pretty good you know I can imagine how much more typical that might be for people. That. Further along. I was diagnosed are like I was very lucky. -- in clinical trials a couple of times I'm doing my second clinical trials right now. I wanna help. I don't know if I can do anything but how have people behind me -- -- that. My children. Now are somebody's got to step up to the -- and let's try these tracks and see if we can't. How put a stop to a slower -- -- rob are both of you on drugs. I -- senator yet and it is that they are helping in the sense that maybe. I don't think the yes slowing I think my biggest thing is -- -- Had a few while losses. -- probably Angela I'm still able to function -- still able to do. I'm still able to participate. And be a citizen may not still vote I'd go over everything I thanked everybody as you well -- -- -- -- idea. As far as. People take me to grow shrink approaching do those things. But what I like in acted to people that our young -- is that. There is a difference between stress and forgetfulness. And caused Thomas to match. And they need to know that a lot of people say wouldn't you know it's a lot for practice site to allied to that ninety. And we counted sometime it's the differences. That. How what happens to you and what kind of things can you know -- can you not multitask. Can you not remember phone numbers anymore can you not remember how viable water. Do you not remember. You know those kinds of things and and there's Alzheimer's Association. Board theirs. Lots of information and Alzheimer's Association here that people can go to do. Ask questions get he and sorrows. And their support groups ran earlier a batter and then if I can't stress anything to anyone. Insulin is even if it's somebody you love and you don't wanna -- your refrain you'll have a police. Gulf Falwell talked with them get checked out. And to other people that don't like me please join clinical trials like tell by the people will help myself so we can help the future. So please let. Oh that's a beautiful beautiful statement and I'm sure that clear your listening to that and there had to have been incredibly emotional moments. As the acceptance by your husband and you of what was happening. Yes a lot of difficult emotional moments -- and -- -- product a point of losing friends. And we'll say it but I found. Was I was amazed at the people I thought I can count on certain friends and family members who really were not that supportive. And then there were two worst 345. People on remember really bad too. He did unbelievable things to help and I barely knew them at the time people would come and offer to take him to play tennis and two different people do that one on a Saturday and one on a Sunday I had a neighbor I really didn't know who -- go. For walks with him just to help him and how mean those are the kinds of things you don't forget. We out. We're gonna have to take another break but we also want to say remember the Alzheimer's Association because there is help out there stay with anyone we'll be right back. Just wanna say there is support groups out there a single greatest thing you can do called Alzheimer's Association. Thank you to my new for best friends thank you.