Aphasia is a communication disorder that affects a person’s ability to process and use language. It is a neurological condition caused by damage to the portions of the brain responsible for language, and it does not affect intelligence. Because language plays such a central role in our daily lives, aphasia can be very challenging. Individuals with aphasia may find it difficult to speak, understand speech, and read and write. Approximately 25-40% of stroke survivors develop aphasia.
The type and severity of aphasia depends on the precise location and extent of the damaged brain tissue. Aphasia can range from mild—where a task like retrieving the names of objects is difficult—to severe—where any type of communication is almost impossible.
While a diagnosis of aphasia can be a tough one, there is hope. Lingraphica has conducted over 30 years of research, which serves as the foundation for the apps, therapy, and devices that we create to help people with aphasia. These tools help people find meaningful and helpful ways to share their wants and needs, personal information, and safety information, which includes information about pain or symptoms of illness.
You can help spread awareness, too! Simply share our posts on your own Facebook page or comment on ours. Creating a dialogue about these important topics is vitally important–especially when it can save someone’s life.
Whether you are a follower of Lingraphica’s Facebook page or have never visited, we encourage you to join the conversation around aphasia awareness. We’ll be using the hashtags #aphasia and #AphasiaAwareness in many of our posts…feel free to do the same with your own.
For many decades now mainstream medical advice has been that saturated fat is bad and should be lowered at all costs to prevent heart disease. Surely then there must be strong evidence that saturated fat is a primary cause of cardiovascular problems? Actually there isn’t.
Let’s look at the saturated fat myth, how it relates to heart disease and why low-fat diets, along with recommendations to replace meals containing saturated fat with more high carbohydrate foods, can lead to obesity and related diseases like diabetes.
Heart Disease and Saturated Fat
Approximately one third of all deaths in the USA are attributed to heart disease and health organizations like the American Heart Association advise that less than 7% of your daily calories should come from saturated fat.
But is there any solid scientific evidence that saturated fat causes heart disease or is it a myth perpetuated by old and long since discredited research?
While it has been observed, in some short-term studies, that increasing the amount of saturated fat eaten can also increase blood cholesterol levels, longer-term studies do not show a strong association between blood cholesterol and saturated fat intake. There is also ample evidence in recent years that cholesterol is not the dietary villain it’s been made out to be.
We actually produced three quarters of the cholesterol in our bodies ourselves and it is a vital component of a well functioning body.
Only one quarter comes from dietary intake and for most people increasing saturated fat from healthy sources like free range eggs, grass fed meat or coconut oil will not increase blood cholesterol long-term as your body simply lessens the amount it makes.
A 2009 study entitled ‘A systematic review of the evidence supporting a causal link between dietary factors and heart disease’ conducted a detailed examination of all the cardiovascular disease studies on Medline that met their strict criteria of good science and optimal research methodology.
This wide-ranging investigation found “strong evidence… of protective factors” for “an increased intake of vegetables, nuts and a Mediterranean-style diet” but “insufficient evidence” of an association between reducing dietary saturated fat and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
They did however find “associations of harmful factors, including intake of trans fatty acids and foods with a high glycemic index or load.” The pages on What Is Margarine? and Cutting Carbs to Lose Weight have more details on reducing these harmful factors in your diet.
Another large-scale meta-analysis of all the recent studies of the association between saturated fat and cardiovascular disease found “no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD (coronary heart disease) or CVD (cardiovascular disease).”
How the Saturated Fat Myth Leads to Weight Gain and Disease
While the mainstream medical community slowly comes around to the likelihood that its assumptions about heart disease, cholesterol and saturated fat may well have been a myth based on bad science, many cardiovascular experts are becoming vocal in their criticism of the saturated fat dogma.
Cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra said recently in the British medical Journal that recent studies “have not supported any significant association between saturated fat intake and risk of CVD.”
He also says that in the USA, the percentage of calories coming from fat has declined from 40% to 30% in the past three decades, yet obesity has rocketed. He believes the reason for this is that food manufacturers “compensated by replacing saturated fat with added sugar.”
Dr Malhotra concludes with, “It is time to bust the myth of the role of saturated in heart disease and wind back the harms of dietary advice that has contributed to obesity.”
In response to the same article, Professor David Haslam of the UK’s National Obesity Forum said: “It’s extremely naive of the public and the medical profession to imagine that a calorie of bread, a calorie of meat and a calorie of alcohol are all dealt in the same way by the amazingly complex systems of the body. The assumption has been made that increased fat in the bloodstream is caused by increased saturated fat in the diet, whereas modern scientific evidence is proving that refined carbohydrates and sugar in particular are actually the culprits.”
Even more scathing of mainstream medicine’s view of saturated fat is an excellent new investigation by the ABC’s Catalyst program called the Heart of the Matter. I’d highly recommend watching this video to understand just how saturated fat was demonized in the first place and what really causes cardiovascular disease.
Ultimately, the saturated fat myth looks to be an idea based on bad science that has remained dogmatically accepted and strangely persistent, despite a lack of any real evidence.
Large meta-studies in recent years have found no strong correlation between saturated fat intake and heart disease (unlike stress, sugar, smoking, trans fats, lack of exercise and several other factors), and yet this drive to reduce saturated fat in our diets has been damaging.
It’s led to low-fat versions of everything on the supermarket shelves, usually a simple switch from hunger satiating fats to hunger promoting sugar that increases the risk of diabetes.
And, despite the irony, eating less fat has definitely made people in Western countries fatter, as processed, high glycemic carbohydrate foods overtook more traditional meals with their higher saturated fats.
Do you still believe in the saturated fat myth? I be interested to hear different opinions and studies, but I would ask that you look at those listed on this page, and especially the Catalyst Heart of the Matter program above and see what the cardiologists and other cardiovascular specialists have to say about saturated fat and heart disease.
Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia is challenging. The patients have specific requirements when it comes to their care. The challenge for caregivers is taking of their own family and holding down a job while still seeing to their relative’s care needs. For these caregivers, some areas of their life may suffer, but the good news is that help is available in the form of professional Alzheimer’s home care.
Alzheimer’s Home Care – How It Works
Alzheimer’s home care options mean that there is professional and compassionate care available for your relative. In-home care services can include a broad range of assistance that gives both the patient and caregiver much-needed relief. The staff is experienced in dealing with confusion, anger, fear, paranoia, and the sadness that often plagues Alzheimer’s patients. Often, these patients suffer mood swings which make it difficult for loved ones to look after them. In-home care staff is trained specially to care for and understand the needs of such patients.
With Alzheimer’s home care options, you can be assured that your elderly relative is receiving proper care. Professional caregivers can help with tasks such as:
Assist with bathing
Help with using the bathroom
Assisting with dressing the patient
If you are overwhelmed with the task of looking after someone who is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s, but you are agonizing over the decision to place your relative in a care home, home care services may be the solution. Alzheimer’s does require increasing levels of care as the patient’s disease progresses.
With an in-home care agency, you don’t have to worry about a caregiver’s level of training or compassion. The staff is usually put through a thorough screening process and are then put through extensive training so that they can adequately and compassionately take care of your relative.
Preparing for the Road Ahead – Start Early
As you come to grips with your relative’s diagnosis, you will deal with a variety of emotions and concerns. You will likely worry about how he or she is going to change, how to keep them comfortable, and how the disease may affect your relationship. Adjusting to this new reality takes patience and time, but most importantly, you are going to need support.
During the early stages of diagnosis, there are a few questions to consider. By preparing early, you can ensure a smooth transition for all involved. Depending on the stage of your relative’s diagnosis, you may be able to include them in the decision-making process.
A few questions to consider when going through Alzheimer’s home care options include:
Who will make financial and medical decisions when your relative can’t?
It’s a difficult topic to approach, especially if your loved one is still relatively lucid, but getting their wishes written down means, they will be respected by everyone involved. Remember to appoint a power of attorney for their healthcare and finances, and if your loved one has already lost capacity, they will need a guardian.
Who will meet his or her care needs?
Often, family members assume that a spouse or the closest family member will become a caregiver. This isn’t a realistic option since caregiving is a significant commitment. Looking into professional Alzheimer’s home care will lift the burden off family members and ensure your loved one is properly taken care off in their senior years.
Where will your relative live?
Is your loved one’s home suitable for him or her to remain in or is it difficult to access? Will you be able to make it safer as the disease progresses? If your relative lives alone, or quite a distance from family, you may want to consider relocating your loved one and them employing in-home care services.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease. Keeping your loved one in his or her home can go a long way towards minimizing their confusion and discomfort, and will ensure they are surrounded by the things that are most familiar to them. With Alzheimer’s home care, you can have peace of mind knowing your loved one’s needs are well taken care of.