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Dementia - not a disease of 'high' age

Dementia – not a disease of ‘high’ age

Dementia – not a disease of ‘high’ age

Dementia is not a disease that occurs only in old age. Although it is relatively uncommon, but according to the DAG (German Alzheimer’s Association) live in Germany about 24,000 people who are not yet 65 years old and still suffer from dementia.

Great need for therapy and advice

So far, doctors have hardly found any means against Alzheimer’s. All the more important would be a good advice. But “especially in structurally weak regions lack the contact points,” criticized Frank Jessen (University Hospital Cologne, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases). Similarly, throughout the country lack of special homes or day care, underlines Sabine Jansen (Managing Director of the German Alzheimer’s Association) the shortcoming.

Causes of dementia

According to Frank Jessen, at least some of the younger people are affected by genetic causes. Younger people are often affected by FTD (frontotemporal dementia) in addition to familial ‘favored’ illnesses. The death of nerve cells in the brain begins in the regions of the brain that control emotions and social behavior.

Help for dementia patients

In the framework of the EU project “Rhapsody”, experts have been comparing for about a year how different countries are adapting to the needs of relatively young patients. According to Rhapsody, there are 4,800 new cases every year, where patients with 45, 50 or 60 suffer from dementia. One goal of the project is to set up an e-learning program to train relatives in coping with the disease.

Cure for dementia in the future

HBOT or “hyperbaric oxygen therapy” is the hoped-for cure for dementia. The underlying principle is quite simple: Oxygen stimulates the regeneration of blood vessels and brain cells. After strokes, lost treatment such as walking or talking could be regained through such treatment.

Patients inhale several hours of pure oxygen every day in a hyperbaric chamber for a period of two months. The more oxygen reaches the brain, the more proliferate existing stem cells. Therefore, one hopes that the therapy can fight an incipient dementia. The treatment is being driven by Shai Efrati (neurologist and head of the world’s largest center for hyperbaric oxygen therapy in Tel Aviv).


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