Man Uses Genealogy in Quest for Answers About Rare Disease

genealogy and rare disease
(BPT) - When Greg first learned about a rare disease affecting his brother, he had no idea that the illness would shortly come to define his own life, or that his search for answers would take him on a journey going back generations to his Irish ancestors.

Greg grew up in an active family, and his love of the outdoors carried on throughout his life. But when the keen rock climber started having nerve problems in both wrists that made it difficult for him to grip tightly, he knew he needed help. At first, he thought it was carpal tunnel caused by the repetitive flexing needed in the sport. But after further testing, Greg was diagnosed with hereditary ATTR amyloidosis (hATTR) — the same disease that had robbed his beloved older brother of his independence, ability to function and eventually, his life.

“I was absolutely devastated when they told me I had what my brother had. At first, I just refused to accept it,” said Greg. At the time, he didn’t know that hATTR amyloidosis is hereditary and has a genetic link. But with the support of his wife and family, Greg vowed to do everything he could to learn about the condition.

He consulted resources such as hATTR Change the Course and learned that, in people with hATTR, an abnormal protein called amyloid builds up in multiple organs of the body where it should not be. This amyloid buildup causes these organs to stop working normally. Symptoms of hATTR are varied and include digestive problems, as well as nerve damage that can cause changes in balance and coordination.

“hATTR amyloidosis is a rare, and ultimately fatal disease that often affects the nerves, heart and kidneys,” said Daniel Lenihan, M.D., professor of medicine at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and a world-renowned expert on hATTR. “The condition can have multiple symptoms that can seem disconnected, and a genetic test can confirm diagnosis.”

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Depression in Older Adults - It's Not a Normal Part of Aging

depressed womanDepression is more than just feeling sad or blue. It is a common but serious mood disorder that needs treatment. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, and working.

When you have depression, you have trouble with daily life for weeks at a time. Doctors call this condition “depressive disorder” or “clinical depression.”

Depression is a real illness. It is not a sign of a person’s weakness or a character flaw. You can’t “snap out of” clinical depression. Most people who experience depression need treatment to get better.

Depression Is Not a Normal Part of Aging

Depression is a common problem among older adults, but it is NOT a normal part of aging. In fact, studies show that most older adults feel satisfied with their lives, despite having more illnesses or physical problems. However, important life changes that happen as we get older may cause feelings of uneasiness, stress, and sadness.

For instance, the death of a loved one, moving from work into retirement, or dealing with a serious illness can leave people feeling sad or anxious. After a period of adjustment, many older adults can regain their emotional balance, but others do not and may develop depression.

Get Immediate Help

  • If you are thinking about harming yourself, tell someone who can help immediately.
  • Do not isolate yourself.
  • Call your doctor.
  • Call 911 or go to a hospital emergency room to get immediate help, or ask a friend or family member to help you.
  • Call the toll-free, 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or 1-800-799-4TTY (1-800-799-4889).

Recognizing Symptoms of Depression in Older Adults

Depression in older adults may be difficult to recognize because they may show different symptoms than younger people. For some older adults with depression, sadness is not their

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Your Natural Teeth Are Worth Saving

(BPT) - The human body is something to marvel at, but sometimes we take it for granted. Some things, like your natural teeth, are truly worth the effort to take care of and preserve. And most Americans agree.

A recent survey conducted by the American Association of Endodontists revealed that over 95% of Americans believe it’s important to save your natural teeth. The top two reasons people gave are that it’s healthier and gives you a better appearance. The survey found that young people value saving their natural teeth as much, if not more, than any other aspect of their body. Nearly a quarter of millennials rank their teeth as the number onesave your teeth 1 thing they would save or maintain about their body, compared to baby boomers’ preference for saving their eyesight (37%).

“We tend to take our bodies for granted, so it’s wonderful that younger people understand the importance of dental health,” said Dr. Patrick Taylor, president of The American Association of Endodontists (AAE). “Endodontists take pride in using advanced training, specialized techniques and superior technologies to perform root canal treatment to help people keep their natural teeth.”

Endodontists are considered the experts in performing root canal treatments. They complete two to three additional years of training related to the interior of the tooth after completing dental school. They know how to use the most advanced and specialized technology, and have greater precision and skill in hand-eye coordination to perform even the most complex treatments.

Here are some important tips from endodontists to help protect and save your natural teeth:

Observe oral health care best practices. Daily brushing and flossing are vital to caring for your teeth. Visit your dentist for regular checkups, X-rays and cleanings.

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Disaster Preparedness for Alzheimer's Caregivers

People with Alzheimer's disease can be especially vulnerable during disasters such as severe weather, fires, floods, earthquakes, and other emergency situations. It is important for caregivers to have a disaster plan that includes the special needs of people with Alzheimer's, whose impairments in memory and reasoning severely limit their ability to act appropriately in crises.

In general, you should prepare to meet the needs of your family for 3 to 7 days, including having supplies and backup options if you lose basic services such as water or electricity. Organizations such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the American Red Cross provide information about making a general disaster preparedness plan. The Administration for Community Living has a disaster planning toolkit for people with dementia.

Read more: Disaster Preparedness for Alzheimer's Caregivers

Hidden Meadows to Host a Craft Fair May 4th

Come join us for a fun-filled day exploring crafts of local vendors from the area and find that perfect Mother’s Days gift! This event will be free and open to the community. Click here to download the flyer.

Free refreshments will be served.

Event Details
Saturday, May 4, 2019
10:00am – 2:00pm
Event will be held in doors, Rain or Shine

Personal Carehidden

Hidden Meadows offers several assisted living options to meet your individual preferences, and your health and social needs. We will assist you with customizing your spacious living quarters with your own furnishings, or if you prefer, choose a furnished unit.

Memory Carelaurels

The Laurels offers individuals with memory impairment a state-of-the-art neighborhood designed community, providing both privacy and an engaging lifestyle. While safety and security is our primary focus, residents enjoy our comfortable, home-like atmosphere.

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