Sleep Apnea and Alzheimer’s

Sleep Apnea and Alzheimer’s

When I was still in the diagnosis stage of why I was losing my short term memory, I was questioned about my sleep patterns. Naturally I asked, “what did my sleep patterns have to do with short term memory loss?” My Neurologist informed me, “sleep apnea may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.” So, I had the sleep study and it was determined that I had moderate sleep apnea.

First of all, if you are not familiar with Sleep Apnea, here’s how the Mayo Clinic defines it:

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. You may have sleep apnea if you snore loudly and you feel tired even after a full night’s sleep.

  1. There are two main types of sleep apnea:

    1. Obstructive sleep apnea, the more common form that occurs when throat muscles relax
    2. Central sleep apnea, which occurs when your brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing

The Mayo Clinic suggests: If you think you might have sleep apnea, see your doctor. Treatment is necessary to avoid heart problems and other complications.

The study I underwent concluded that I would stop breathing on an average of 15-17 times per hour. I didn’t find out how long these periods of non breathing were but, I did the math. For an average of 8 hours of sleep, I was not breathing 168 times. I don’t know about you but, that is was quite alarming to me.

Now this does not say “sleep apnea = Alzheimer’s.” There are a lot of ingredients that go into the Alzheimer’s gumbo pot, however, according to the Alzheimer’s Site

  • “A person experiencing sleep disturbances should have a thorough medical exam to identify any treatable illnesses that may be contributing to the problem. Examples of conditions that can make sleep problems worse include:
    1. Depression
    2. Restless legs syndrome, a disorder in which unpleasant “crawling” or “tingling” sensations in the legs cause an overwhelming urge to move them
    3. Sleep apnea, an abnormal breathing pattern in which people briefly stop breathing many times a night, resulting in poor sleep quality

Talk to your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, etc. and ask them if they notice anything about your sleep patterns. They may notice things that are not noticeable to you and just may save you from a health issue down the line.

I’ll see you next time . . .

Why Tell Everyone about my Alzheimer’s

Why Tell Everyone about my Alzheimer’s

I’ve been asked the question, “Why tell people that you have Alzheimer’s?”  I guess that questions crossed my mind, but to be honest with you, I didn’t care. No one turned their back on my Mom when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. No one treated my Dad any different when it was determined he had Dementia. So I figured, why should I worry?

I did it so it would be easier for me to accept that fact that I have Early Onset Alzheimer’s. It’s not going away and is now a part of me that I might as well accept.

Deciding who to tell was something totally different. I didn’t blast it out on Facebook for the world to see. I picked and chose who I wanted to share this information with. Every now and then, you will see some of my posts on Facebook about Alzheimer’s but not about me having the disease. I know that sooner or later, word will travel and that is fine with me. Until that time. you are amongst my “Chosen Ones.” Is that too bold? Maybe I’ll make up a new name later but that will have to do for now.  🙂

If you have any questions about Early Onset Alzheimer’s, please don’t be afraid to ask. I have found the more people ask, the more I learn. You can post your questions here in the comments section or you can email me @thebrianleblanc@gmail.com or message me on Facebook. I want to gather as much information as I can (and that I can retain) to help myself, but being able to to help someone else would be the ultimate gift.

That’s about all I have for now. If you want, be sure to follow my blog page. There is a little + key you can press and you will be alerted each time I post something new.

Take care,

B

Recognizing Early Onset Alzheimer’s

Recognizing Early Onset Alzheimer’s

If you haven’t read the blog before this one, you may want to read that one first.

First of all, thanks for the outpouring of support. It’s appreciated more than you know.
Second, thanks to those of you who have sent me information and articles about Alzheimer’s.

My sister-in-law Jessica sent me an article that was recently published in Good Housekeeping.
It’s entitled, “My Husband Was Diagnosed with With Alzheimer’s – at 36”.  Here’s the link to the article. http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/womens-health/early-onset-alzheimers

While reading the article, I recognized a lot of what I have been going through. According to Shannon and Asheton, I’ve been exhibiting signs for the past 3 years. I have only recently noticed the signs myself especially while driving.

When driving to locations that are very familiar to me, I tend to lose my way. It is quite embarrassing as well as frustrating. I used to get very anxious and call Shannon in a panic. Now, I use the GPS on my phone to get me from point A to point B. I don’t do it all the time because I still want to use my brain power. Yes, I still get lost and it takes me an incredibly long time to finally figure out where I am supposed to be going, but when I do, it is quite a thrill.
Yeah, it’s the little things that mean the most!

I have exhibited many other signs like repeating the same story or conversation over and over again, repeatedly asking the same questions, forgetting things that were just told to me, forgetting how to cook something I have been preparing for many years, etc… There are more but I won’t bore you with the details.

If you’re interested in finding out more, here’s a link you may find interesting about Early Onset Alzheimer’s.
http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_early_onset.asp#who

The most glaring discovery about Alzheimer’s is it’s no longer an older generation disease.

Here’s hoping you will have an amazing day and an even better tomorrow!

B

Early Onset Alzheimer’s

Early Onset Alzheimer’s

Hi, if you are reading this blog then you were chosen, by me, to read this info. Yes, I have Early Onset Alzheimer’s. Shannon and I found out on October 28th. To say it was an extreme punch in the gut is putting it mildly. We are facing it head on and will fight the fight until we cannot fight any longer.

I am not sending this to you to look for pity. Neither Shannon nor I want to be looked at with sadness or sorrow. You know me. I am a lover of life, family, laughter, music and friendship. Shannon plays it a bit more closer to the vest but I do have her “permission” (lol) to get this information off my chest and out to you.

With that said, I ask only for this. If you hear of, read about or discover any information about Alzheimer’s, I ask you to pass it along to me. You can leave comments here on the blog, send me a message on Facebook or e-mail me at thebrianleblanc@gmail.com.

I also ask for for your support, not your sympathy or pity, but support, not just for me, but for the three people who are everything to me . . .
Bradley (Brad, he likes that name better. lol) a great, loving, intelligent son; Asheton, the most wonderful, loving daughter any father could ask for; and last but certainly not least, my rock, my best friend, my traveling partner, the love of my life, Shannon.
They didn’t ask for any of this, but never once have they showed anything but love for me. I’m not sure what I did to deserve them but I am so thankful for them.

I will be posting updates here to keep you up to date on my progress. Maybe something that I share, or you share with me, will be helpful to someone else going through the same thing. I would love to be able to help others who are in need.

Thanks for letting me share this with you. Thanks for being part of my family and my circle of friends.

B

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