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75 or Older? Statins Can Still Benefit Your Heart  - web md

75 or Older? Statins Can Still Benefit Your Heart

People 75 and older who were free of heart disease and prescribed a statin wound up with a 25% lower risk of death from any cause and a 20% lower risk of heart-related death, researchers reported July 7 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
web md - 8 hours ago
Court: Employers Can Refuse Birth Control Coverage  - web md

Court: Employers Can Refuse Birth Control Coverage

More than 70,000 U.S. women could be left without cost-free birth control after the Supreme Court upheld a Trump administration policy change that permits some employers to refuse to provide contraceptive coverage on religious or moral grounds.
web md - 15 hours ago
As Cases Jump, Are We Better Prepared for COVID?  - web md

As Cases Jump, Are We Better Prepared for COVID?

There are record numbers of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., with several states in the South and West driving the resurgence. Texas has closed its bars, California has closed its restaurants in some counties, and some beaches in Florida are closed.
web md - 6 days ago
MS Patients Turn to Marijuana, Other Alternative Treatments  - web md

MS Patients Turn to Marijuana, Other Alternative Treatments

A majority of just over 1,000 respondents said they used some type of alternative therapy, including marijuana, vitamins, herbs and minerals, plus mind-body therapies like exercise, mindfulness, massage and various diets.
web md - 6 days ago
Air Travel a Puzzle in Age of Coronavirus  - web md

Air Travel a Puzzle in Age of Coronavirus

United and American airlines, along with Southwest and Delta, require all passengers to wear cloth face masks or any high-tech masks while on the plane. American goes further by saying passengers must bring their own face masks and must comply with airport rules about wearing a mask.
web md - 1 week ago
An HIV Drug You Only Take Twice a Year?  - web md

An HIV Drug You Only Take Twice a Year?

A single injection of the experimental drug, called lenacapavir, was able to lower blood levels of HIV in a small group of patients. And it was capable of maintaining active levels in the blood for more than six months.
web md - 1 week ago
Trauma of Racism Fuels High Blood Pressure Among Black Americans: Study  - web md

Trauma of Racism Fuels High Blood Pressure Among Black Americans: Study

Black Americans who endure life-altering instances of discrimination are a third to a half more likely to develop high blood pressure than those who haven't been similarly traumatized, researchers report in the July 1 issue of the journal Hypertension.
web md - 1 week ago
Contact Tracer Teams Growing Amid New Challenges  - web md

Contact Tracer Teams Growing Amid New Challenges

Contact tracing, along with strategic testing, rapid isolation, and supportive quarantine, is an vital way of slowing the spread of the virus, which has been diagnosed in 2.6 million people nationwide and likely has infected millions more, say public health experts.
web md - 1 week ago
NBA to Use High-Tech Rings to Help Detect COVID-19  - web md

NBA to Use High-Tech Rings to Help Detect COVID-19

The NBA released its safety protocol this month with details for the upcoming return of the season, which gives a glimpse into what life will be like in the “bubble” -- an enclosed environment in Orlando, FL, where players will stay largely protected from potential infection.
web md - 1 week ago
Behind the Intermittent Fasting Fad  - web md

Behind the Intermittent Fasting Fad

In addition to promoting weight loss, so-called intermittent fasting may deliver a host of other surprising health benefits, from improved heart and brain health, to a lower risk of diabetes, and even a longer life, recent research shows.
web md - 2 weeks ago
COVID Surges Among Young Adults  - web md

COVID Surges Among Young Adults

The spike among those age 20-39 could be explained by a combination of increased testing, rejection of social distancing and the use of masks and continued misconception among young people that they’re not as likely to becoming infected or become seriously ill.
web md - 2 weeks ago
Autoimmune lung disease: Early recognition and treatment helps - harvard

Autoimmune lung disease: Early recognition and treatment helps

Autoimmune diseases occur when the body generates an immune response against itself. Some people with rheumatic or autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, develop an autoimmune lung disease. Marked by lung inflammation and possible scarring, it's easier to treat if detected early. The post Autoimmune lung disease: Early recognition and treatment helps appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 2 weeks ago
Video: How to keep your workplace happy despite COVID-19 - positive sharing

Video: How to keep your workplace happy despite COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken workplaces in so many ways. Remote work, social distancing, and staying home is the new normal. Companies are affected, and many of them switched to “survival mode”, trying to keep their business afloat. In the video above I talk to to visionary CEOs about how they handled the COVID-19 crisis … Continue reading Video: How to keep your workplace happy despite COVID-19 →
Despite Predictions, Loneliness Not Rising for Americans Under Lockdown  - web md

Despite Predictions, Loneliness Not Rising for Americans Under Lockdown

Since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, experts have worried that social distancing and stay-at-home orders would lead to a surge in loneliness. But a new U.S. study suggests it has not played out that way.
web md - 2 weeks ago
C. diff. Infections Double Death Risk  - web md

C. diff. Infections Double Death Risk

Hospitalized patients infected with the dangerous diarrhea bug Clostridium difficile (C. diff.) face more than twice the risk of dying than hospitalized patients without the infection, a Dutch study shows.
web md - 2 weeks ago
How COVID is Affecting U.S. Food Supply Chain  - web md

How COVID is Affecting U.S. Food Supply Chain

During the pandemic, meat processing businesses appeared to be the weakest link throughout the food supply chain. Meat processing plants have been virus hot spots as workers have fallen ill with COVID-19, some of them dying.
web md - 2 weeks ago
People With HIV Still Live Shorter, Sicker Lives  - web md

People With HIV Still Live Shorter, Sicker Lives

HIV may not be the death sentence it was 20 or 30 years ago, but people who are HIV-positive still face much shorter lives than other adults -- even if they're treated with medications that make the virus undetectable.
web md - 2 weeks ago
Olive oil or coconut oil: Which is worthy of kitchen-staple status? - harvard

Olive oil or coconut oil: Which is worthy of kitchen-staple status?

Coconut oil has been championed as having many benefits to health, but evidence to support these assertions remains sparse. However, there is far more evidence to support the benefits of olive oil, even in the context of typical American diets. The post Olive oil or coconut oil: Which is worthy of kitchen-staple status? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 2 weeks ago
Summer’s here, teens and parents — now what? - harvard

Summer’s here, teens and parents — now what?

For many teens, summer activities like jobs, internships, and camps are probably on hold this year, and a sense of uncertainty hovers over nearly everything. How can parents guide teens and help them flourish while also keeping them safe? The post Summer’s here, teens and parents — now what? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 3 weeks ago
4 parenting tips to break the negativity loop - harvard

4 parenting tips to break the negativity loop

“It’s a beautiful day outside,” you say, smiling. Your son replies, “It’s supposed to rain later.” You share, “That game was fun!” Your daughter adds, “I messed up one of my turns.” If you find that your child tends to channel Eeyore from Winnie-the-Pooh and has difficulty seeing some of the bright moments in a […] The post 4 parenting tips to break the negativity loop appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 3 weeks ago
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What’s the best way to manage agitation related to dementia?

What’s the best way to manage agitation related to dementia?

harvard - 4 months ago

You notice your loved one becoming more forgetful. She cannot recall her visit with her granddaughters yesterday. She claims she took her medications this morning, yet you find them untouched in her pill case. You wonder how this mild-mannered woman has become so angry, so quickly. She is often frightened now, disoriented, and unpredictable. Yet she still remembers every detail of your wedding day, the names of your four children, and how to play her favorite piano pieces. When you sing together, time temporarily stands still.

Your loved one received a diagnosis of Alzheimers disease. Nights are the hardest time for her. You worry about her safety when she wanders through the house. She almost broke the door last week; you can tell her arm still hurts when you bathe her. She resists and yells at you when you take her to the bathroom. She has started to show behavioral symptoms of dementia.

Aggression and agitation in dementia

Behavioral and psychological symptoms are very common in dementia, and affect up to 90% of people living with dementia. In addition to memory changes, people with dementia may experience agitation, psychosis, anxiety, depression, and apathy. These behavioral symptoms often lead to greater distress than memory changes.

When people with dementia become agitated or aggressive, doctors often prescribe medications to control their behaviors in spite of the known risks of serious side effects. The most frequently prescribed medication classes for agitation in dementia carry serious risks of falls, heart problems, stroke, and even death.

Caregivers, who often experience burnout in managing aggressive behaviors, welcome medications that can temporarily decrease agitation. Unfortunately, aggressive and agitated behavior often contributes to the decision to transition a loved one to an alternative living situation.

New research shows that nondrug therapies are more effective

According to a new study looking at more than 160 articles, nondrug interventions appeared to be more effective than medications in reducing agitation and aggression in people with dementia. Researchers found that three nonpharmacologic interventions were more effective than usual care: multidisciplinary care, massage and touch therapy, and music combined with massage and touch therapy.

For physical aggression, outdoor activities were more efficacious than antipsychotic medications (a class of drugs often prescribed to manage aggression). For verbal aggression, massage and touch therapy were more effective than care as usual. As a result of this study, the authors recommend prioritization of nonpharmacologic interventions over medications, a treatment strategy also recommended by the practice guidelines of the American Psychiatric Association.

Helpful tips for caregivers

To decrease agitation and aggression with dementia, caregivers can help their loved ones in the following ways:

  • Find a multidisciplinary team of specialists. This may include a psychiatrist to carefully consider the risks and benefits of medications for managing behavior, a geriatrician to optimize your loved ones medical situations, and an occupational therapist to consider modifications of a persons living environment and daily routine.
  • Go for a walk or on an outing for a change of scenery. Physical activity has additional benefits on mood, memory, and lowering anxiety.
  • Add massage and touch therapy, or just provide a calming hand massage.
  • Incorporate music into your loved ones daily routine.
  • Notice the first signs of agitation. Nondrug options work best the earlier they are used.
  • Get creative: discover what works and try using different senses. Aromatherapy, an activity such as folding (and refolding) laundry, brushing hair, or dancing can all be calming.
  • Consult with your physicians. Medications are often prescribed as first-line interventions despite what we know about the effectiveness of nondrug options.
  • Educate all the people caring for your loved one on the interventions that work best, and check in with them about how these approaches are working.

The bottom line

To decrease agitation and aggression in people with dementia, nondrug options are more effective than medications. Physical activity, touch and massage, and music can all be used as tools to manage agitation related to dementia.

The post Whats the best way to manage agitation related to dementia? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.

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