LETTER TO THE EDITOR.SUNDOWNERS DEMENTIA AND ENLARGED HEARTS
Please tell me about the Sundowners dementia. What is it, and are there any treatments for the condition?
Also, is there any kind of surgery to stop the growing process of an extremely enlarged heart?
Sue Gill North Hills, California
"Sundowners" is a term used to describe people who become confused at the end of the day and into the night. It is not a specific disease or diagnosis. Physicians often associate the phenomenon with Alzheimer's disease Alzheimer's disease (ăls`hī'mərz, ôls–), degenerative disease of nerve cells in the cerebral cortex that leads to atrophy of the brain and senile dementia. and other classifications of dementia. Other potential causes include illnesses requiring hospitalization hospitalization /hos·pi·tal·iza·tion/ (hos?pi-t'l-i-za´shun)
1. the placing of a patient in a hospital for treatment.
2. the term of confinement in a hospital. , drug side effects Side effects
Effects of a proposed project on other parts of the firm. , stroke, seizures, or brain tumor Brain Tumor Definition
A brain tumor is an abnormal growth of tissue in the brain. Unlike other tumors, brain tumors spread by local extension and rarely metastasize (spread) outside the brain. .
Researchers believe that changes in the sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythms circadian rhythm: see rhythm, biological.
Inherent cycle of approximately 24 hours in length that appears to control or initiate various biological processes, including sleep, wakefulness, and digestive and hormonal activity. ) or decreases in sensory input may be linked to the onset of confusion in the late afternoon and evening. Bright night-lights and adding familiar items to strange surroundings may help people stay more alert and oriented as darkness falls. Neurologists, psychiatrists, or internists with experience in geriatric medicine can provide additional insight into specific cases.
You will be interested to hear about an experimental surgery for enlarged hearts now being tested in Australia. Researchers are "wrapping" the heart in a mesh bag, preventing further enlargement. The Dacron-made wrap is pulled over the base of the heart and then stitched into place. Seven patients have undergone the procedure since April 1999, and all are doing well. Thirty patients are being recruited for phase II clinical trials Noun 1. phase II clinical trial - a clinical trial on more persons than in phase I; intended to evaluate the efficacy of a treatment for the condition it is intended to treat; possible side effects are monitored
phase II .
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