Granny Mary Thinks Differently: Children’s Book About Dementia

granny mary thinks differently children's book about dementia

Granny Mary Thinks Differently is an eBook for everyone in the family facing dementia.

Dementia is a syndrome that does not have a cure yet. Unfortunately, it affects every family member, including children.

It happens very commonly in families that we completely forsake explaining dementia to children. It is a challenging term for a child to understand. That’s why we need to teach them about the condition their grandparent is facing.

Very often, the child and the grandparent are best friends. However, when dementia occurs, their relationship can change drastically.

Sometimes, kids think it’s their fault, which can even lead to depression.

Explaining Dementia to Children and Young People

With lovely and educational children’s book, Granny Mary Thinks Differently, you can now educate your child about dementia conveniently.

Through carefully picked words and engaging illustrations, your child will understand that dementia is a disease.

They will learn that they are not guilty of a negative reaction from grandparents. The book will also help them stop having the feeling that grandparents no longer like them.

Tell your child when you feel sad, angry, tired, or in a bad mood because of your grandparent’s dementia.

Emphasize that the child is not to blame for your feelings and that he or she has done nothing wrong.

Talk to Children and Young People About Dementia

Additionally, allow the child to talk about their fears, concerns, and emotions related to the changes they observe and experience in grandparents or the family.

It is important that the child does not experience feelings of guilt. You should clearly explain to your child that no one in the family is to blame for the illness – dementia.

At the same time, we need to assure the child that he will not get dementia and that he should not worry about his future or his parents’ future (dementia is rarely hereditary).

If you teach a child about the disease (especially about the noticeable signs that he will easily notice), it will not affect him.

This especially applies to situations when the grandparent forgets his name, repeatedly asks the same question, will no longer want to read them a fairy tale, or even becomes angry at them.

The child will know that this is an expression of the disease. Not the fact that the grandparent no longer likes him/her.

We can also direct the child to preventive action like reading, exercise, quality sleep, learning, healthy eating.

In short, explaining what is good for the brain and how he/she should take care of his/her body to be healthy for as long as possible.

Knowledge is a cure (for the whole family) when we face dementia.

The more information and knowledge a child has about dementia, the easier it will be to find themselves in a new position. When you do not have the answers to all the questions, your child has asked you, find information and solutions together.

Buy Granny Mary Thinks Differently

Granny Mary Thinks Differently

We discover dementia and get to know it through the childhood curiosity of Granny Mary’s granddaughter, Anna.

granny mary thinks differently

Hidden in the story are important questions about age, illness, family, friendship, and love, which gives us the strength and courage to cope with the changes that dementia brings to the family.

There are currently about 50 million people who have dementia globally.

The number keeps increasing by almost 10 million each year.

Thus, the topic is rapidly becoming more and more relevant, both on a daily basis and in children’s literature. Changes that come with the disease touch all family members.

Furthermore, everyone accepts the effects of dementia differently, so studying the condition carefully is very important, especially in children.

Children’s world

The book is dedicated to all families, but especially to the grandchildren of grandparents who think differently.

The heartiness and patience of Anna, the granddaughter of grandmother Mary, will invite you to the children’s world, which is often ignored and overlooked when we face illness – dementia – in the family.

By talking to a child in an understandable and acceptable way, we make them aware and influence the recognition and understanding of dementia in society.

Dear Grandma, Grandpa

Even if you forget everything, you will not be forgotten. Let this children’s book on dementia be a display of love that gives us the strength and courage to face change.

Dementia changes a person, but it does not change the family and the love that embraces it.

Dear Granddaughter, Grandson

Let the book be a consolation to you when the days are hard and when you don’t understand your grandmother or grandfather due to their challenging condition.

Remember that the illness needs love. Your help and warmth are always valuable. Ask any question you may have and seek knowledge.

Buy Granny Mary Thinks Differently

Reviews & Comments

Teepa Snow, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA

This is a very helpful resource designed to help children better understand why someone they love is changing and seems so different. Petra Boh has done an excellent job of comparing the normal role and relationship of a special Grandma with what might be a new possibility after significant symptoms have started to appear. The illustrator, Andreja Karba, has done terrific work creating a mix of scenes that have action in them, while also highlighting some of the objects or emotions that could be identified by children. This is so needed by families around the world who are coping with these very real situations.” – Teepa Snow, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA, Founder of Positive Approach to Care®

Cameron J. Camp, Ph.D., Director of Research and Development, Center for Applied Research in Dementia

In Granny Mary Thinks Differently we are given the opportunity to see a woman with dementia through the eyes of her granddaughter, Anna. A strong message throughout is the power of love to maintain our humanity. As her granddaughter sees changes in her grandmother, the little girl also learns how to adapt to these changes so that she can maintain their positive and loving relationship. This is a powerful and important lesson to learn, for Anna and for all of us.

Zvezdan Pirtosek, M.D., Ph.D.

Dementia – a word that a doctor wrote in grandmother’s medical record. In front of little Anna, curious and playful, a new world has unfolded, in which her beloved grandmother thinks and behaves differently than before. In “Granny Mary Thinks Differently,” Anna reveals her wonder and her sadness, but also her acceptance, understanding, and finally, the realization that touches us deeply – especially when expressed by a child. The body can become numb, the mind tiresome, and the memory fades – but not the friendship and love that Anna will always feel for her grandmother.

Laura Herman, Elder and Dementia Care Professional

My kids are ages 7 and 8, and I was curious as to how they’d react to Petra Boh’s new children’s book about dementia: ‘Granny Mary Thinks Differently.’ We sat down to read it together. They were immediately drawn in by Andreja Karba’s sweet and colorful illustrations. They delighted in small details, like the framed rabbit portraits that appear throughout the pages. Both kids enjoyed reading about how 7-year-old Anna and Granny Mary spent their time together. They instantly related, and imagined sharing these activities with their own grandmother.”

“They found themselves very engaged in the story. As Granny Mary started to decline, my 8 year old boy choked up, commenting that he didn’t know what he’d do if his Memaw started feeling and acting like that. He especially appreciated the pages about how Anna and the doggie could help Granny Mary feel better when she was having a hard time.”

Teodora Ghiur, Cognitive Neuroscience

Informative, engaging, and accurate, this e-book is an excellent educational tool for all children. Unfortunately, memory degeneration has become a part of life for many of us growing and living with grandparents. Using story-telling and strong visual imagery, this short e-book explains topics that are often painful to put into words, like Alzheimer’s and Dementia in an easy-to-understand and dynamic format. Written into a compassionate tone of voice, this e-book offers excellent science-based information in a language accessible to the little ones.

Jana Mali, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Work

The main narrator of the story is seven-year-old Anna, who describes how she experiences Granny Mary’s changes due to dementia. This children’s book is a good example of how parents can approach the world of dementia with their child by reading Anna’s story. A child’s perspective on understanding dementia; a world that is different from ours because thinking happens in a special way.

It’s important that Granny Mary remains the main character of the story from beginning to end, as the perspective of people with dementia is still too often overlooked in everyday practices. The recording of the story through the view of a person with dementia represents a great signpost for a change in the relationship we have with people experiencing dementia. We expect changes in a better understanding of dementia, most from the young and middle generation representatives, who will also be the most likely to pick up the book. Let’s take the time to share this children’s book with our kids and consider the next steps for a healthy relationship with people with dementia.”

10+ Best Incontinence Products for Dementia Patients

incontinence products for dementia patients

There are numerous products designed to help manage incontinence in dementia patients, and each has dozens of variations.

Different combinations of products may be right for different individuals, and a person’s needs may evolve over time.

Incontinence Products for Dementia

Don’t call them diapers

Many people refer to incontinent products for dementia as “diapers,” but the term has a strong connotation with infants.

It is generally considered to be disrespectful, infantilizing and tactless.

It should not typically be used when referring to adult absorbent undergarments (unless the person themselves prefers that term).

Words like “pads” or “briefs” would be an appropriate way to refer to these products.

Products designed to be worn inside, or instead, of underpants

Incontinence Products for Dementia Patients

  • Pantiliners – a very thin pad that adheres to underpants for small leaks
  • Disposable pads – adhere to underpants, but are thicker and more absorbent than pantiliners
  • Pull up briefs / disposable underpants
  • Washable pads, liners or absorbent underpants
  • Reusable vinyl waterproof underpants covers
  • Wraparound tab briefs – similar to a traditional “diaper” design
  • Extended wear – Products designed for extended use keep urine away from the skin
  • Brief liners – designed specifically for use in a brief to boost absorbance or easily remove if damp
  • Insert – for use with special underpants designed with a pocket to hold a disposable or washable pad insert
  • Condom catheter or body-worn urinal – Designed to fit over a penis and collect urine in a bag

Products to protect furniture from wetness

  • Waterproof bed sheets
  • Washable bed pads
  • Disposable bed pads
  • Waterproof mattress pads

Other supportive equipment

  • Raised toilet seat with handles – this can make it easier to get on or off the toilet
  • Portable bedside commode
  • Urinal

When the Person with Dementia won’t Keep a Brief On

when the person with dementia won't keep a brief on
If someone with dementia keeps removing their brief, pay attention for clues to determine a likely reason.

Is the problem specific to briefs or are they pulling at other clothing too? Does it happen mainly at night or after bathing? Understanding the reason behind it is essential for finding a solution.

Common reasons for removing clothing or briefs can include:

  • Feeling too warm
  • Ill-fitting brief or pants
  • Wet, damp or soiled brief

Is the person new to wearing briefs (or wearing a new type or brand)?

Briefs can be bulky or uncomfortable, especially when they feel unfamiliar.

Start with the smallest, thinnest or most comfortable product that will meet their needs. This might mean changing them more frequently.

is the person with dementia new to wearing briefs

Be sure to minimize incontinence with a toileting plan.

Try a different style

It is worth experimenting with various brands and styles to find something more comfortable or successful.

Look for patterns

1. Do they remove the brief mainly at night? Try going without the brief if possible, using several bed pads for absorbance instead. It may help to tuck an additional bed pad up between the person’s legs.

2. Does it happen mainly when the brief is damp? It may help to use a brief liner, or alternate style of brief that pulls wetness away from the skin. Allow skin to dry fully after a shower or wash-up to ensure there is no lingering feeling of dampness.

3. Are they removing the brief when they need the restroom? It may be a non-verbal sign that the person needs to use the restroom.

4. Do they seem to have bored or restless hands? Giving them something interesting for their hands, such as super soft fuzzy gloves, or a dementia fidget lap blanket with lots of interesting textures and items for their hands to explore.

Is this a sudden change?

A sudden change probably indicates a problem other than the brief itself.

Look for signs that the person might be uncomfortable, especially in the abdomen or perineal area.

Possible conditions that could cause discomfort include:

Special clothing for special situations

Although there are specialty clothing designed to prevent people from removing their own clothing – such as a jumpsuit with a zipper in the back – there are ethical concerns about restricting normal access to one’s body. They can cause distress in some cases.

In many places, these types of clothing are considered restraints.

What if the Person with Dementia won’t Change their Brief when Needed?

what if the person with dementia won't change their brief when needed
There are many potential complications of wearing a soiled brief too long. It greatly increases one’s risk of urinary tract infections, rashes, skin breakdown, and pressure sores.

Unfortunately, it’s an all-too-frequent problem in dementia care.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of unique reasons – and as many potential solutions. A few examples include:

Set them up for independence

Keep pads and supplies easily within sight and reach from the toilet.

Catch them when they’re in the restroom

Getting them onto the toilet in the first place is often the biggest challenge. Once they’re there, it can be much easier to access the brief to change it.

Avoid “taking” anything without giving something in return

Hand them a clean pad to hold while you swap out the soiled one for another.

Spare their pride

Present non-rinse soap, wetness barrier cream, or other appropriate skincare products as a medical treatment, for example, to “prevent infection” or to “protect your skin.”

Not only are these statements true, they also take the focus off of their incontinence, which can spare their pride – and their need to fight for it.

Incontinence can be Embarrassing, Inconvenient and Challenging

Successfully managing it can make a big difference in terms of quality of life, physical health and mental well-being.

7 Best Essential Oils for Dementia

essential oils for dementia

While researchers and other medical experts continue to search for a cure for dementia, there are some essential oils for dementia that can help improve some of the symptoms that persons with this neurodegenerative disease experience.

The use of essential oil is not a new concept.

For years, people have used these oils to ease symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, and depression.

Because these are some of the symptoms that persons with dementia may get, it implies that essential oils are good for dementia.

Nowadays, persons living with dementia can use the oils for various reasons that may include:

  • Easing anxiety and depression symptoms
  • Improving sleep
  • Enhancing memory
  • Appetite stimulation
  • Improving cognitive function
  • Decreasing agitation
  • Production of endorphins and serotonin that can decrease pain in the brain
  • Stimulate creativity
  • Improving the quality of life

How Essential Oils are Made

how essential oils are made
Essential oils are generally extracted from plants and herbs.

There are two ways this is done.

One of them is through expression which uses mechanical pressure to force the oil out. The other is distillation where the steam releases compounds from the plants.

A cooling system is then used on the vapor as the stream converts back to the water. The oil will float on top when the mixture cools.

Best Essential Oils for Dementia

Let’s check out some of the essential oils that are best suited for persons with dementia.

Lavender

lavender
Lavender is known to balance strong emotions and it also produces a calming effect. It can be used for persons who have anger issues, irritability, or depression.

In some cases, it can also help people with insomnia.

Rosemary

rosemary
Rosemary belongs to the group of essential oils for dementia that is worth mentioning. It is considered an uplifting oil that stimulates both the body and mind.

Some say that it can also improve mood and cognitive performance.

A study by Lorraine Oliver and Mark Moss reported some persuasive evidence that exposing people with dementia to rosemary oil improves cognitive performance in both accuracy and speed measures.

Additionally, rosemary is thought to increase appetite, ease constipation, and even relieve depression symptoms

Lemon Balm

lemon balm
A quick market search reveals that lemon oil is among the most costly essential oils. Nonetheless, it is one of the most studied oils, thanks to its effectiveness.

The oil has been shown to help people with insomnia and anxiety to relax and remain calm. It is also known to ease indigestion, and improve memory.

Ginger

Oil made from the ginger root also belongs to the category of essential oils for dementia. It is particularly helpful for individuals suffering from digestion problems.

For generations, the oil has been used to treat constipation, and loss of appetite. Ginger is also known to help people eat well.

Ylang Ylang

ylang ylang
Ylang Ylang oil is great for two major functions. It can help promote good sleep and it can also ease depression symptoms.

In addition to people with dementia, caregivers looking after ill individuals can also use it if they are struggling with a lack of sleep and restlessness.

It is advisable to combine this with lemon oil for maximum benefits.

Bergamot

bergamot
Bergamot oil is a mood-elevating oil that also has a calming effect.

The essential oil helps with several symptoms including stress, agitation, mild depression, insomnia, and anxiety.

Peppermint

It is not possible to discuss essential oils for dementia without mentioning peppermint oil.

It is categorized as an energizer that stimulates the mind as well as calms nerves. Experts advocate for its use in the morning.

Note that there are many other essential oils that can benefit persons with dementia, but the above are the ones that have the most clinical support.

The other oils include oregano oil which is antifungal, anti-parasitic, antibacterial, anti-viral, and antimicrobial.

Sandalwood, frankincense, eucalyptus, thyme, and chamomile are other oils that can help reduce inflammation.

It is also important to note that scent has the potential to activate various emotional and physical responses. Specific aromas can bring back memories that a person might have forgotten.

 

Comparison/Review of Barefut Oils and Rocky Mountain Oils

There are many companies selling essential oils. The 2 companies we have reviewed offer 100% pure organic premium oils. All the oils discussed in this article are sold by both companies.

 Barefut Essential OilsRocky Mountain Essential Oils
Company NameBAREFUT ESSENTIAL OILSROCKY MOUNTAIN ESSENTIAL OILS
Selection/RangeAll oils in this article available100 single oils, plus 75 blends. All oils in this article available
Customer Reviews4.9 STARS averageBetween 4 and 5 STARS
Organic100%USDA Certified organic
QualityEvery batch GC/MS Tested & analysed by chemistsProvides GC/MS test results from an independent 3rd party lab
Chemicals & PesticidesChemically freeChemically Free
ExtractionSteam distillation or cold press
Artificial Ingredients, filters and additivesNilNil
Purity100%100%
Guarantee30 days satisfaction money back Guarantee90 days satisfaction money back guarantee
Shipping CostsFree shipping with orders over $25 in USAFree shipping USA
Rewards programYesYes
Packaging & storagePrevents oxidation with nitrogen cap, and cool dark storage. Amber bottles.Amber glass bottles
Delivery Posted day after purchase3-7 business days in USA
PriceAverage/moderate eg Lavender oil $14.00/15mlAverage/high eg Lavender oil $23.95/15ml
BUY BAREFUT OILS HEREBUY ROCKY MOUNTAIN OILS HERE

 

How to Use Essential Oils for Dementia

how to use essential oils for dementia
There are different ways that a person with dementia can get the benefits that come from using the essential oils.

In most cases, the oils are used for aromatherapy where persons inhale the oils or they are used for a massage. Look at some of the most common ways the oils are used.

Massage

Massage combines the therapeutic benefits of touch with the oils. This helps to improve and relax muscle tone as well as improve lymph flow and blood circulation.

Direct Inhalation

For this, a person puts essential oils in a cloth or tissue and inhales through their nose.

Ambient diffusion

This is where you use a dispenser to disperse the oils into the air.

Bath

An individual can opt to use the essential oils in their bathwater. It is one of the best ways to relieve emotional and muscular stress while soothing skin conditions at the same time.

It can be a full bath or foot bath depending on what a person desires.

Body oil

It is where individuals benefit from aromatic treatment through absorption of the skin. The oils in this case are best used after a bath or shower in a bid to deep condition the skin.

Misting

This is another way the essential oils can be dispersed in the air. For this, you will add drops of oil to a mister and vigorously shake to mist the air.

Gargling

At times, an expert may advise a person to gargle the essential oils.

Compress

It is also possible to use essential oils as a compress.

For this, an individual needs to add drops of oil to warm or cold water. Soak a cloth in this water, wring it, and apply the infused cloth on the skin.

Spraying on linens or clothing

Some oils, especially the ones used to promote sleep and relieve stress are best applied to pillowcases or clothes for the best results.

What to Look For When Purchasing Essential Oils?

Ensure you are buying high-quality oils. Essential oils are not regulated by the FDA and have therefore have no quality control guidelines in place. It is up to the buyer to do their own due diligence.

  • Best to buy organic. Ensure the product has a USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) certified organic label.
  • Read the label. The label should include where the plant originates, where the product was made, the Latin name, as well as how the oil was extracted. The label should also include safety data.
  • Jar color: dark blue or amber bottles protects the aromatic and therapeutic properties.
  • Be wary of companies claiming their product can cure Alzheimer disease, dementia, or other diseases. Be cautious.
  • Tightly sealed bottles.
  • Do not buy synthetic oil products. These have none of the health benefits that pure essential oils have.
  • Look for 100% pure essential oils. Pure oils will not be greasy/oily or leave any residue on paper. Pure oils do not have artificial substances in the formulas

Closing Remarks

As much as essential oils for dementia may offer a wide range of benefits, they are not regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).

For this reason, it is important to consult a professional doctor before using any of the oils to make sure they will be safe and effective.

Cannabis, CBD Oil and Dementia Patients

cbd oil and dementia

When looking into dementia treatment options, one that stands out has got to be CBD oil and dementia.

CBD or Cannabidiol is a compound that comes from the Cannabis plant. This has positive medicinal effects that do not make users feel anxious or “high.”

You should not confuse CBD for Marijuana or the compound Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that makes people “high.”

CBD oil that we mention here has nothing to do with Marijuana and THC, as there are no components in the oil that will cause the “high” effect.

The most common form of administering cannabidiol is through CBD oil that is mostly found in a dropper bottle or gel cap.

Learn how persons with dementia can benefit from CBD oil below.

How Does CBD Help Persons with Dementia?

how does cbd help persons with dementia
Multiple studies, including one from California’s Salk Institute, report that cannabinoids like CBD can help to get rid of dementia from brain cells.

There are different ways that people with dementia can benefit from the consumption of CBD oil like:

Reduces Inflammation

reduces inflammation
Inflammation is known to increase the negative effects of dementia. It normally happens where the immune cells in the brain fail to clear the disorienting blockages.

Experts agree that inflammation is a major cause of most of dementia symptoms. Using CBD oil takes care of the inflammation issue, ultimately improving the health of the suffering person.

Acts a Neuroprotectant and Brain Stimulant

acts a neuroprotectant and brain stimulant
Anyone who has dementia experiences rapid destruction and decline of brain cells.

CBD has the potential of stimulating brain tissues in a way that can prevent or reverse the development of the adverse effects of dementia.

A study by Carl Group and Tim Karl researchers from Australia in 2011 revealed that CBD could promote the growth and development of cells in the brain in a bid to reduce memory decline and enhance other brain functions.

Reduces Oxygen Build-up

reduces oxygen build up
Individuals with dementia will often experience oxygen build up in their bodies. Dementia releases oxygen as a stress-induced and reactive component of the illness.

As the brain gets more oxygen, essential functions like memory will also decrease.

Loss of memory and other brain deterioration causes increased levels of oxygen in the brain.

In such a scenario, CBD works like an antioxidant that tackles the issues that come about because of oxygen stress.

Using CBD helps to improve brain functions that have been affected by high oxygen levels.

Reduction of Stress and Anxiety

reduction of stress and anxiety
When talking about CBD oil and dementia, many users agree that oil is effective in reducing anxiety and stress.

Risks and Side Effects of CBD

risk and side effects of cbd
No public health problems are associated with the use of organic CBD, according to WHO (World Health Organization). Some users, however, report side effects like nausea, bloating, and diarrhea.

A small percentage of persons with dementia underwent liver problems, which prompted the discontinuation of CBD use. Others also said that they experienced increased terror while taking high CBD doses.

Because the use of CBD oil as a treatment is relatively new, it is best for caregivers as well as the persons with the illness to monitor the outcomes and effects closely.

This can help a person determine whether the CBD oil and dementia route is right for an individual.

Considerations for Taking CBD Oil

considerations for taking cbd oil
Just like any other medication, one has to be careful when it comes to CBD oil and dementia.

Major factors to consider include the weight, height, and age of the weak person as well as the stage and severity of the illness.

Qualified physicians will be in a position to prescribe the correct dosage after taking into account all the necessary considerations.

Other than taking cannabis in oil form, a professional medic might also recommend other forms of administration like edibles and patches.

Is CBD Legal?

is cbd legal
The legality of CBD depends on the plant where it originates from. This is because the Cannabis plant includes both marijuana and hemp.

While you can create CBD from both, CBD oil derived from hemp is what patients with dementia should use.

This is generally legal in more than thirty states. There are still some minor legal issues that exist because of the stigma that surrounds the plant.

Many states approve CBD from hemp because it contains less than 0.3% of THC. This said different states have their laws when it comes to the consumption of CBD.

If you have any concerns when you want to explore the perks of CBD oil and dementia, it is best to do thorough research on the state you are in to know the laws that surround the use of CBD.

Worth noting is that the US food and Drug Administration has not yet approved CBD as a drug for treating dementia.

Bottom Line

While many studies support the fact that CBD oil is excellent for persons with dementia, there is still no hard evidence that cannabis can cannabis oil can prevent, reverse, or stop dementia.

There is still a need for more research as well as clinical trials that will offer more conclusive results.

The future of CBD oil remains bright even though the entire topic of CBD oil and dementia is still in its early stages.

Vitamin D and Dementia – Deficiency Risk?

vitamin D and dementia

Recent studies suggest that there may be a connection between low levels of vitamin D and dementia risk.

Researchers revealed that vitamin D deficiency might play a role in dementia development.

Note that the particular vitamin is essential for good health because it plays a significant role in the prevention of various health conditions like hypertension, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes amongst others.

Vitamin D and the Risk of Dementia

Vitamin D which is a group of secosteroids helps the intestines to absorb zinc, calcium, phosphate, magnesium, and iron.

The vitamin is also important to bone metabolism.

Does Vitamin D Deficiency Enhance Aging Proces?

does vitamin D deficiency enhance aging proces
It is still not clear about the role that vitamin D plays concerning the aging process, cognition, and brain function.

Some studies reveal that the vitamin may be involved in several processes that relate to cognition, but more research needs to be done to understand this relationship better.

Humans mainly absorb vitamin D from sunlight and it also occurs naturally in some foods like different types of fish, cod liver oil, beef liver, orange juice, milk and yogurt that have been fortified with vitamin D.

Statistics indicate about 40-75% of adults suffer from vitamin D deficiency.

Now that you are aware of the importance of the vitamin in the human body, let’s go ahead and learn about the connection between vitamin D and dementia.

Studies Investigating the Link between Dementia and Vitamin D Deficiency

studies investigating the link between dementia and vitamin D deficiency
One of the studies trying to unearth the connection between the deficiency and the neurodegenerative disease was conducted by an international research team.

The experts followed over 1,600 participants for 6 years. All the participants were seniors.

The researchers discovered that elderly persons with severe vitamin D deficiency were two times likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s when compared to the seniors who had adequate vitamin D levels.

The persons with a severe deficiency (less than 25nmol/l) recorded a 125% increased dementia risk while the ones who had mild deficiency (between 25-50nmol/l) has a 53% risk.

David Llewellyn who was the lead author from the University of Exeter Medical School explained that the primary aim of conducting the research was to know if there was a connection between low levels of vitamin D and dementia & Alzheimer’s risk.

He said that the results were quite surprising because they found that the association between the diseases and the deficiency was twice as much as the team had projected.

Vitamin D Deficient Individuals Show Cognitive Decline Symptoms

vitamin D deficient individuals show cognitive decline symptoms
Another study confirming the link between vitamin D and dementia had experts observing 858 adults who were above the age of 65. They published their findings in an issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine.

They found that the participants who had low levels of vitamin D in their blood i.e. less than 25 nanomoles for each litre of blood were 60% more likely to show cognitive decline symptoms.

31% were more likely to show a decline in executive function/prioritizing, planning, and organizing than the ones who had enough vitamin D in their blood.

A different study published in JAMA Neurology adds to the evidence that links cognitive decline to low vitamin D levels. The study had 382 participants with an average age of 75.5 years.

Among the group some people were healthy, others had mild cognitive decline, and the rest already had dementia. The research went on for 5 years and every year researchers took blood tests to evaluate the levels of vitamin D present in all the participants.

They found that the group that had dementia had a lower vitamin D average than the other two groups. The experts also conducted cognitive tests in a bid to evaluate semantic memory, episodic memory, executive function, and visual perception.

The results of these tests indicated that group members who had lower vitamin D levels demonstrated a greater decline in both episodic memory and cognitive ability.

This led the authors of the study to believe that there is a link between cognitive decline and vitamin D deficiency.

Can Vitamin D Supplementation Slow Cognitive Decline?

can vitamin D supplementation slow cognitive decline
The researcher, however, noted that the study did not necessarily prove that the two have anything in common. The authors acknowledged that it is still not clear whether vitamin D supplementation can slow down cognitive decline.

UC Davis researchers will be conducting yet another study that will determine whether high doses of vitamin D can help in the prevention of memory loss.

This is after they got a financial boost from the National Institutes of Health to the tune of $4.7 million.

The researchers are embarking on a 5-year journey from 2018 where they will be testing the use of supplements in various populations.

They want to get first-hand information on whether supplementation can help prevent cognitive decline in seniors and whether the association is stronger in Latinos and African-Americans.

The leader of this research professor of neurology John Olichney is on record saying that vitamin D deficiency normally affects the elderly because the skin does not effectively synthesize the vitamin as people grow older.

He states that the problem is more rampant in persons who have darker skin.

The study will follow 180 participants in the East Bay and Sacramento regions.

Among the group a third will have normal cognition, another third will have isolated memory loss, while the rest of the group will have mild Alzheimer’s dementia.

Every participant will get Vitamin D supplements. Half the group will be on a high dosage- 4,000 units daily while the rest will get standard intake that comprises 800 international units as the Institute of Medicine recommends.

We have to wait for the results of this study to get a better picture of the relationship between vitamin D and dementia.

Closing Remarks

While some studies show strong links between dementia development and vitamin D deficiency, researchers cannot conclude that vitamin D deficiency results in dementia.

On the flip side, some studies have found that there is no association between vitamin D and dementia. It goes to show that further research and clinical trials are necessary to establish cause and effect.

This will give a conclusive answer on whether adequate levels of vitamin D can treat or prevent dementia.

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