The medicine is always much more technologic and it’s for this reason too that it’s making huge steps forward. The technology supports and helps us in every aspect of our lifes, even to deal with challenges that seem insurmountable, like the illnesses that affect us and our loved ones, first of all the senile dementia.
The senile dementia
The dementia is a neurodegenerative disease that affect the elderly people, for this it’s often accompanied by the word senile. It leads into many diseases, the most famous one is, without any doubt, the Alzheimer. A progressive losing of memory, until when our loved ones won’t recognise our faces anymore. The partial or total loss of the self sufficiency, a decline of the cognitive abilities, of the language proprierty and of the reasoning power. All signs that bring all of us to hope to never be in such situation.
However it isn’t rare to have to live with this disease, to slowly see the memories and the abilities of our dears fading until to totally disappear. Everything with our inability to help them. Their self sufficiency fails and they ask for our constant help and support.
In the United States there are 5,8 millions of people who suffer from Alzheimer, in Italt they are 600 thousand, but they are increasing, with the progressive ageing of the population. They are assisted, in the biggest part of the cases, by the closer relatives, which, according to the collect datas, suffer in the 45% of the cases from depression, the 40% doesn’t work to assist its own dears and more than the 60% is not able to sleep enough.
While we are waiting for the medicine to find the so announced cure we need to find a solution at least for the patients and their relatives. How to do it? Maybe it won’t be so much, however we can place our hope of a proper life, in the help that is given to us from the technological world.
An iperconnected life
Many found a solution by transforming its own house in a big brother. A wearable GPS tells us always the position of the patient, while the cameras follow his movements at home, during the periods while we need to be away from home, maybe for going to work or to make some shopping. Speakers which are strategically spreaded around the house allow us to constantly interact, by talking to the patient and by remembering him everything he daily forgets to do. By trying to keep a lifestyle as safer as possible even during our absence.
This is exactly the story told by Kim to the Wall Street Journal, that decided to transform its own house in a hitech nest and to live an iperconnected life to assist the husband Greg, who suffers from senile dementia, during the hours while she needs to be away to work.
Greg comes back home from the clinic that takes care of him few hours before his wife and he waits for her at home, while she’s constantly checking him from remote. The exits are equipped with sensors, so, in case Greg will leave the house, the neighbours will be promptly alerted.
Kim is just a normal lady that decided to become a special woman to assist her husband. But her solution is brilliant, right for this reason the researchers of the Care Research & Technology Center of the Imperial College in London, started to work for the realisation of virtual nurses. The research is focused on a serie of sensors to let the patient wears. A sensors is for the electroencephalogram, which is placed inside the ear, it constantly controls the brain functions of the patient, while a series of other sensors check, not only the vital functions, but the way to walk, the sleep’s hours and the daily uses.
Prevent the senile dementia
If in Italy there are about 600 thousand patients who suffer from Alzheimer, the counting of the ones affect from dementia, in general, are much more: about 1 million and 200 thousand. But this diseases, even if degenerative, can be slowed down and kept under control, if promptly found.
For this reason is been created a videogame which has the hard duty to find the alzheimer already from the really first symptoms. It is Sea Hero Quest VR, downloadable from the App Store and Google Play. The game is easy, the player has to drive a ship through a serie of checkpoints which will progressively disappear.
The researchers noted that the players which have in their genetic heritage the gene APOE4 obtained the worst results. The gene is considered the upholder of the disease, so those people are considered in risk to develop ones the senile dementia.
The obtained results will help the science to deeply study the disease. The collected data, infact, correspond to 117 years, that with the traditional research could be collected in 176 centuries.
Many others are the helps that arrive from the technological world and many others will arrive in the next years, in order that the sicknees will become only a remote memory.
This post is also available in: Italiano