What A Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease Means For Family Members

Share Button

This article is courtesy of PRWeb and Harvard Health Publication….please share your thoughts below…..

seniorcitizenAn individual with a close relative with Alzheimer’s is at slightly higher risk for the disease. Genetic testing for Alzheimer’s risk genes is not generally helpful.

Alzheimer’s disease represents a personal health crisis, but it’s also a family concern. When someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, what does that mean in terms of the risk his or her children and siblings might face?

“People think that if their dad or aunt or uncle had Alzheimer’s disease, they are doomed, but that’s not true,” says Dr. Gad Marshall, assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School. “Even though family history adds to the overall risk, age still usually trumps it quite a bit.”

Close relatives of someone who’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s have about a 30% higher chance of developing the disease themselves, according to the January 2016 issue of the Harvard Men’s Health Watch. But it’s important to ask: “30% higher than what?”

A 65-year-old American’s annual chance of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is about 2%. Having a relative with dementia raises that chance by around 30% — to 2.6%. “It means your risk is higher, but it’s not that much higher, if you consider the absolute numbers,” Dr. Marshall says.

Family members often wonder if they should be tested for the “Alzheimer’s gene,” called apolipoprotein E (also known as APOE4). The short answer is no. “Being tested for APOE4 is not going to be helpful, since it won’t tell you whether you will develop the disease,” Dr. Marshall says. “It will only tell you if you are at a greater or lower risk.”

Read the full-length article: “Alzheimer’s in the family”

Also in the January 2016 issue of the Harvard Men’s Health Watch:

* How much meat in your diet is healthy?

* Four steps to prevent colon cancer

* Vitamins and vision

* What to do about knee pain

The Harvard Men’s Health Watch is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $20 per year. Subscribe at http://www.health.harvard.edu/mens or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).

Good Dental Health Means Good Overall Health In Pets

Share Button

This older article from February is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your thoughts below…..even though it was from February, we thought it may still be of interest.

walkingdogFebruary marks National Pet Dental Health Month, a time for pet owners to recognize the importance that dental health has on a pet’s overall well-being. Just as people maintain oral health by brushing daily and visiting the dentist, pets should receive at-home dental care in addition to an annual cleaning from a veterinarian. Pets often try to disguise pain, so even if you’re not seeing signs of discomfort in your pets, an annual dental exam may expose hidden problems.

The common complaint of bad breath in a pet can be a sign of dental disease. Without proper dental care, plaque builds up and hardens, causing periodontal disease and leading to damage of the gums, ligaments and bones surrounding the teeth and eventual tooth loss. Also, the bacteria in plaque can lead to infections that enter the bloodstream and airways and that are potentially associated with infections and inflammation in other organs, such as the heart valves, lungs, liver and kidneys.

The most effective dental cleaning is one performed by a veterinarian under anesthesia. Some establishments may offer anesthesia-free services that might help remove tartar and plaque from teeth; however, it is nearly impossible to perform a thorough dental cleaning and obtain X-rays on an awake, squirming and likely nervous pet.

“As a veterinary dental specialist, I strongly believe that a lifetime of good dental care—both home care and professional care—can improve the health and quality of life of pets as well as their lifespan,” said Heidi Lobprise, DVM, DAVDC, a TVMA member and board-certified veterinary dentist who practices at Main Street Veterinary Hospital in Flower Mound, Texas. “Veterinary dental care is a like a team sport with the pet, pet parent, veterinarian and technician or veterinary nurse all playing a role.”

In addition to a yearly professional treatment, pet owners should provide home dental care for their pets. Your veterinary team can help determine the best options for home care for you and your pet based on your pet’s disposition. Daily brushing with toothpaste designed specifically for dogs or cats is ideal, but there are other options for pets who won’t tolerate brushing, such as dental chews, oral solutions and water additives. For more information on pet dental health, visit https://www.texvetpets.org/article/basic-dental-care-for-your-pet or watch TVMA’s National Pet Dental Health Month video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CP7hF4TcRI&feature=youtu.be.

About the Texas Veterinary Medical Association
Founded in 1903, the Texas Veterinary Medical Association is a professional association composed of more than 3,700 veterinarians committed to protecting public health, promoting high educational, ethical and moral standards within the veterinary profession and educating the public about animal health and its relationship to human health. For more information, call 512/452-4224 or visit http://www.tvma.org.