John Hopkins Bellamy Fields http://bellamyfields.com Mon, 11 Dec 2017 19:34:00 -0500 clobeca RSS 1.0 http://bellamyfields.com/images/M_images/john_hopkins.jpg John Hopkins http://bellamyfields.com/ Bellamy Fields NOT ALL DEMENTIA IS ALZHEIMER’S http://bellamyfields.com/blog.php?id=129 15.00 Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} NOT ALL DEMENTIA IS ALZHEIMER’S First off, there are two stages to all these types of dementia: your world and my world. Stay in your world as long as you can, then come to the Fields and spend the rest of your lives with us. Too simple? Well, I’m a simple fellow and dementia is very complicated, if you’re in the business of making things complicated. There are some great philosophical approaches to keeping things simple that cut across all cultures for thousands of years (Occam’s Razor). Nature likes simplicity (Fibonacci Sequence). My current guests with dementia have at least five subtypes and they present differently as well as simply being in different people. Who you are before dementia strikes has a lot to do with how your dementia will present and progress. Beyond Alzheimer’s, I’m seeing frontal lobe, vascular, Lewy Body and Primary Progressive Aphasia variants in my guests. What they can and can’t do intellectually, how they engage other people, what they’ve lost and what’s preserved are all consequences of the different diseases. Since none can be cured, coping becomes the operating principle and we spend a lot of time and money teaching and learning coping skills. There are popular new training programs but there’s no new news. We study the people, their mannerisms, their personalities…we learn about them, then how to cope with their diseases becomes apparent. We know they change, gradually or quickly and nobody gets better…simple enough? The hard part is coping 24/7, 365 for about fifty guests at each place. That’s complicated. Keeping staff morale up is complicated when they have kids and spouses and flu season and holidays and we want them to share their energy and lives with old people who only survive thanks to the dedication of staff. That’s complicated. And it’s rewarding, if you thrive on dignity and compassion. Working with dementia demands special people with special personalities and building them into a team. Too complicated? Not for us! Thu, 30 Nov 2017 13:47:48 -0500 Flu Shots http://bellamyfields.com/blog.php?id=128 15.00 Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} FLU SHOTS Bellamy and Watson offer free flu shots to all employees. This year, the shot is a four part, not the usual three parts, containing four strains of flu which have been around in recent years. The Centers for Disease Control have a spotty record when it comes to predicting which flu strain will be the winter whopper and where. At the Fields, our guests can handle the flu as they have for 85 or more winters but as they age, it’s the threat of flu turning to pneumonia that worries us the most. The flu is a good (or bad) way of finding out whose immune systems are worn out and whose are still robust. Our vulnerable guests will get seriously ill and our robust guests will get mild, annoying, uncomfortable but not disastrous cases. We live in such close proximity, eating in common dining rooms, exercising and doing activities and enjoying the living rooms for entertainment, that we are all exposed. Feel free to quote me: we all get the flu; we don’t all get sick. Now, say it again. We wash our hands, push fluids on our guests, relentlessly wash table tops and other surfaces, scrub a dub the bathrooms and no matter what we do, the flu will have its way with us. Children with runny noses are dangerous. They get an influenza for the first time and pass it around to their schoolmates and they all get sick, then get well and, along the way, acquire a little immunity to the particular strain. The catch is, if the kids get a new nasty flu that my guests haven’t been exposed to in fifty or more years, those little runny nosers are going to spread a new flu around the Fields that could be devastating. We’ll be posting polite reminders (warnings) not to visit if you have flu symptoms. Please take your own precautions for your health and for the rest of your family. My public health training and feelings about flu shots lead me to suggest that you get a flu shot for your own sake and in doing so, you contribute to the health of the community by decreasing the risk that you will pass on the flu unnecessarily to other people. Wed, 18 Oct 2017 06:58:34 -0400 Sing the song, Dance the dance http://bellamyfields.com/blog.php?id=127 Sing the song, dance the dance Tue, 19 Sep 2017 11:23:20 -0400 Back to the drawing board http://bellamyfields.com/blog.php?id=126 15.00 Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:8.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:107%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} JOHN’S BLOG: BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD The recent international conference on Alzheimer’s disease provided a nice week in London for a few thousand attendees but as for break-through news and “ah ha” moments, they might as well have stayed home. It puzzled me years ago that the two widely used dementia medications had nothing in common and worked on essentially completely different hypotheses. What they did, simply, was make enough of a small difference to be statistically useful, but barely, and have no bad side effects. Even with the bar set so low for drug approval, the last ten years have gone by without a single useful medication coming to market. In addition to touting the benefits of “good nutrition, exercise and a generally healthy lifestyle” as though that was news to anyone other than Rip Van Winkle, the field took a long step backward this week. A well-designed, longitudinal study found no effect between people who got a lot of exercise and people who got very little in terms of a risk of dementia in old age. Exercise is good for everybody nineteen different ways. It just has no statistical bearing on whether or not people get dementia. So, back to the drawing board. My money is on an inflammatory process or more likely processes. Inflammatory changes clearly underlie arthritis and other bone, soft tissue and organ diseases. A shift in research targets or at least a parallel track to retry some old anti-inflammatory while new drug developers continue the chase for the holy grail would be worthwhile. The grail, of course, is also a financial blockbuster whereas a new use for an old medication available as a generic isn’t going to make anybody rich. And that’s the point. Or is it? Thu, 31 Aug 2017 13:00:11 -0400 LUMOSITY OR MS. PAC MAN? http://bellamyfields.com/blog.php?id=125 15.00 Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} LUMOSITY OR MS. PAC MAN? A new study done at the University of Pennsylvania added credibility to the discredited standing of the popular brain training scam Lumosity. For years, I have quietly ranted that the claims by Lumosity were misleading and downright mean in light of the implied benefits for delaying or even reversing memory loss associated with dementia. I paid for a Lumosity subscription (which was refunded as part of a federal settlement) and, briefly, got a lot more benefit from Ms. Pac Man over the years. If Alzheimer’s and global warming exist (and they do) then the claims for “brain training” and the experts who lend their names to the snake oil should be relegated to the bargain bin in the health food isle where the male enhancement products gather dust. The International Institute of False Hopes churns out products and services with a frenzy in response to PT Barnum’s famous observation, “There’s a sucker born every minute” (thanks Wiki). I’m particularly sensitive to false medical claims about dementia, having spent the past 40 years immersed in brain/mind work. Whether or not other “enhancements” perform as promised is not my interest. What I provide at the Fields is a rational, comprehensive program to prolong the preserved cognitive and physical functions which are attacked by Alzheimer’s and other disease processes. Brain and mind and spirit and physical well being were unified in theory during the Middle Ages through the work of Rene Descartes and many others during the infancy of the Scientific Revolution. Fast forward four hundred years and we’re not all that much father advanced in theory or practice. The human brain is being attacked by a variety of diseases most notably Alzheimer’s and it will be another hundred years before our great grandchildren can read about the solutions to the dementia puzzle. Be assured, the answer won’t come from the charlatans of Lumosity. Meanwhile, a vigorous daily program of cognitive stimulation, sociability, nutrition, physical exercise and positive attitudes contribute significantly to quality of life for people with dementia and their families. The descendents of Ms. Pac Man- Alexa, Siri, Google Earth, and apps galore for our tablets to strain our brains don’t need to make false claims about their miraculous powers. They’re just fun. We play endless mind games and we enjoy nightly 50’s dance parties. These generate neurochemicals that the lumosity munchkins can only imagine. Wed, 26 Jul 2017 08:46:30 -0400