Understanding What Keeps Dementia Sufferers Awake At Night

757 words - 3 pages

Understanding What Keeps Dementia Sufferers Awake at Night

Sleep disturbance is a very common and very problematic symptom of dementia. New research indicates that causes of this sleep disturbance may differ in different kinds of dementia. Hopefully, understanding these causes will lead to better treatments.

Dementia is a term used to refer to a loss of thinking abilities. Although there are many causes of dementia, it is most often associated with aging. The most common cause of dementia associated with aging is Alzheimer's disease, which affects approximately one in 10 people over age 65 and nearly half of those over age 85.


If you have questions about Alzheimer's, check out WebMD's Alzheimer's Disease board.


"We and many others have observed that patients with dementias [that worsen with time] ... all have sleep disturbance," researcher David G. Harper, PhD, tells WebMD. "It's one of the leading reasons for institutionalization of people with dementia," as the patient is up all night, keeping the caregiver awake. Harper, the author of the study that appears in this month's Archives of General Psychiatry, is a research fellow in psychology in the department of geriatric psychiatry at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass., and Harvard University.

"Separating the [different causes of] dementia is really important for understanding the mechanisms of the disturbed [sleep/wake cycles] in Alzheimer's disease," expert Edward O'Malley, PhD, tells WebMD. "This [study] can really get at what the nature of that [sleep] disruption is and hopefully offer treatments."

Because sleep disturbance is the single greatest reason why caregivers feel obligated to institutionalize their loved ones with dementia, O'Malley says that this research, "can go a long way toward maintaining home care of Alzheimer's patients." O'Malley is director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Norwalk Hospital in Connecticut.

In healthy people, changes in body temperature occur throughout the day and night, they are controlled by the body clock in the brain, and they mimic activity cycles. In general, body temperature is lowest when activity levels are lowest, such as in the middle of the night, and body temperature is at its highest during periods of highest activity, such as in the middle of the day.

Harper and his colleagues studied the daily...

Find Another Essay On Understanding What Keeps Dementia Sufferers Awake at Night

Dementia Essay

516 words - 2 pages . (2007, April 22). Drug Treatment for Dementia Sufferers. Article Directory. Retrieved October 19, 2008, from Articlesbase database. Nordqvist, C. (2009, March 19). What is Dementia? What Causes Dementia? Symptoms of Dementia. Medical News Today. Retrieved June 16, 2010, from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/142214.php Swirzewski, S. (2000, Jan 02). Dementia Causes. Neurology Channel. Retrieved June 17, 2010, from http://www.neurologychannel.com/dementia/causes.shtml

Dementia Essay

7933 words - 32 pages accuracy it is possible to say which dementing disease is responsible. Notwithstanding, even the best neuropsychological tests may run into difficulties at times. For instance differentiating dementia from depression is extremely difficult since people who are depressed may display many of the clinical symptoms observed in dementia.As our understanding of dementia grows it is conceivable that an effective treatment will be found within the next

Dementia in Older Adults

2000 words - 8 pages words he wants to use while constructing a sentence. This consequently results in inaccurate expression. For example a man shouting “I am going home, I hate this place” possibly means, “I need the toilet, I cannot find it but I know where it is at home” (Kerr, 2007, p. 24).Hence with the decline in verbal communication, patients tend to depend on non-verbal conversations. However this is a challenge for carers as patients may not understand what has

What is Dementia?

7552 words - 30 pages accuracy it is possible to say which dementing disease is responsible. Notwithstanding, even the best neuropsychological tests may run into difficulties at times. For instance differentiating dementia from depression is extremely difficult since people who are depressed may display many of the clinical symptoms observed in dementia.As our understanding of dementia grows it is conceivable that an effective treatment will be found within the next

Participation, Facilitation and Power

2005 words - 8 pages come more freely compared with the day time bustle of people. This was also noted by Phinney (2008) who considered how a person with dementia could experience social isolation because they are concerned how other people see them. We consider Marjorie feels more content at times during the night as she is able to articulate words more clearly. By exploring organisational barriers, such as time and cost, we have found time for staff members to

Should everyone over 65 be screened for Alzheimer's disease in the UK?

1000 words - 4 pages What is Alzheimer’s disease? Alzheimer's disease, discovered by German neurologist Alois Alzheimer, is the most common form of dementia and affects approximately 496,000 people in the UK. In the early stages of the disease sufferers experience lapses of memory and have problems finding the correct words. As the disease progresses they may suffer from confusion and frequent forgetfulness, mood swings and frustration of their increasing memory

Alzhiemer's disease.

2346 words - 9 pages society as a whole. The purpose of this paper is to look at the disorder, as well as to discuss the history, symptoms, diagnosis and hopes of a cure for Alzheimer's disease.History.Around the turn of the century, two kinds of dementia were defined by Emil Kraepin: senile and presenile. The presenile form was described more in detail by Alois Alzheimer as a progressive deterioration of intellect, memory and orientation. As a neuropathologist, Alzheimer

Edgar Allan Poe's Dementia

1344 words - 5 pages ) What Whitman suggests is that Poe’s works are figments of his own mind with background settings only found in his own dreams. Joseph Wood Krutch, another literary critic, concluded that an abnormal condition of the nerves was the stimulus for Poe’s art.(Bloom 124) The condition being dementia. The strangeness of Poe’s imagination is influenced directly from his dementia, as it a disease that can cause a person to hallucinate greatly

The Aging Population: Dementia in Focus

1246 words - 5 pages illness. We found that most cultures misunderstood symptoms of dementia as a normal process of aging rather than a disease. Native Americans however differ in that they lack the belief that this disease process brings shame upon the family. In contrast, they shy away from traditional social services due to the availability of Native American health services. This service keeps a database of the health on the reservations, however it these services

Caring For Patients With Dementia

961 words - 4 pages Caring for dementia involves a lot of patience and understanding. It should be dealt with audacity and flawlessness to ensure the vulnerable adults’ well-being. Aiding at home or care home required carers to be at their best, physically and emotionally. The responsibility can be distressing but it is rewarding as well since helping dementia adults in their day to day activities is a significant matter for them. However, carers need a pause as

Parkinson’s Associated Dementia

875 words - 4 pages simultaneously with the primary motor dysfunction symptoms, but rather latent and unpredictable in its manifestation. The development of dementia after diagnosis, the cognitive impairment progresses from mild memory difficulties to dementia, without consistency, or may never develop at all. The exact cause of Parkinson’s disease and the dementia that often follows is not fully understood, but every source scoured points to both heredity and environmental

Similar Essays

Dementia In Elder Adults Essay

1968 words - 8 pages care or home care) and coverage the individual needs (Holland, Jenkins, Solomon, Whittam, 2008 ). Problems with sleeping are a common occurrence for people with dementia. Some people sleep during the day and are awake and restless at night. Some are no longer able to tell the difference between night and day, while others are simply not as active as used to be and therefore need less sleep (Silber & Lois, 2010). Many people with dementia sleep more

Analysis And Description Of Dementia

2255 words - 9 pages symptoms caused by it. (“What is Dementia?”, 2012). Dementia involves a gradual deterioration of most cognitive functions such as memory. As the syndrome and thus the side effects progress dementia patients are plagued by poor judgment, trouble speaking, delusions, inability to recognize their loved ones, and the loss of being able to function in society. The combination of these symptoms eventually leads to a need for help with their

Dementia: Genuine And Nominal Essay

944 words - 4 pages decline in memory or prevent a person from completing everyday tasks, such as communicating, thinking rationally, focusing, and seeing. At least two of the aforementioned abilities must be heavily impaired before a person can be diagnosed with dementia (“What Is Dementia?”, n.d.). Dementia is caused when a person’s brain cells are damaged. Several regions exist within the brain, each controlling different functions including those previously

Dementia And Educating Carers Essay

1864 words - 7 pages Other carers such as assistants in nursing should have a clear understanding of dementia and the common traits of people afflicted with the disease. Carers should appreciate that dementia is an illness that impacts on cortical function, calculation, language, judgement, and learning capacity (Lemone et al., 2011). Deterioration in emotional stability, sociability and motivation are typical and can be attributed to the disability of cognitive