Aging is not graceful or dignified. More parts of the body malfunction and the extent of their malfunction becomes more severe with time. When the brain decays the result is death.
(Boston)—The clinical course of advanced dementia, including uncomfortable symptoms such as pain and high mortality, is similar to that experienced by patients of other terminal conditions, according to scientists at the Institute for Aging Research of Hebrew SeniorLife, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School.
The study, published in the Oct. 15 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, is the first to rigorously describe the clinical course of advanced dementia, a leading cause of death in the United States. Previous studies suggest that patients with advanced dementia are under-recognized as being at high risk of death and receive suboptimal palliative care, which aims to improve the comfort of terminally ill patients.
"Dementia is a terminal illness," says lead author Susan L. Mitchell, M.D., M.P.H., a senior scientist at the Institute for Aging Research. "As the end of life approaches, the pattern in which patients with advanced dementia experience distressing symptoms is similar to patients dying of more commonly recognized terminal conditions, such as cancer."
Alzheimer's Disease is one form of dementia, but not the only one. All forms of dementia are on my list of experiences I want to avoid in this life.
Dying from dementia sounds painful.
Over the course of the study, 177 patients died. The researchers found that the most common complications were pneumonia, fevers and eating problems, and that these complications were associated with high six-month mortality rates. Uncomfortable symptoms, including pain, pressure ulcers, shortness of breath, and aspiration, were also common and increased as the end of life approached.
We need gene therapies and cell therapies that will repair and replenish brain blood vessels, glial support cells, and neurons. We need the ability to do full brain rejuvenation.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2009 October 14 10:49 PM Aging Brain Studies|