Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sundowning, an Anxiety Syndrome in Elderly Dementia Patients



Sundowning is a big problem for Alzheimer's caregivers. Patients can get aggressive and very disruptive


Sundowning Syndrome and Alzheimers
I found this research study interesting. I say this because I learned it is easier to deal with a problem and solve a problem if you first learn what is causing the problem. Understanding the cause of a problem provides a foundation on which a caregiver can build -- a necessary frame of reference.

Late day, early evening, anxiety and agitation is somewhat common in early dementia patients. The problem is often associated with "sundown" or the time before a person would normally go to bed. Time of year and length of day can make a difference.

This research interests me because "sundowning" usually comes in a pattern. Around the same time of day.

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STUDY HELPS EXPLAIN ‘SUNDOWNING,’ AN ANXIETY SYNDROME IN ELDERLY DEMENTIA PATIENTS

New research provides the best evidence to date that the late-day anxiety and agitation sometimes seen in older institutionalized adults, especially those with dementia, has a biological basis in the brain.

The findings could help explain “sundowning,” a syndrome in which older adults show high levels of anxiety, agitation, general activity and delirium in late afternoon and evening, before they would normally go to bed.