Ruth Sander

Nursing Older People

Aspirin can aid bandage as the best treatment for leg ulcers

Best practice for venous leg ulcers is a firm graduated compression bandage to reduce venous hypertension, aid venous return and reduce peripheral oedema. Sadly, many healed ulcers recur within three months, possibly due to prolonged inflammatory response.

Nursing Older People

Signs to look for when ageing affects body’s glucose levels

A hypoglycaemic episode in an older adult can lead to complications including falls, unconsciousness, seizures, cardiac events or even death.

Nursing Older People

Macular degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in people over 50.

Nursing Older People

Recurrent stroke

More than 30% of strokes occur after a previous stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA) so secondary prevention is important in reducing morbidity and costs of care.

Nursing Older People

Sleep patterns in care homes

Sleep progresses through three stages, N1, N2 and N3, of non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM), and one of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. NREM sleep is associated with restoration of the body while REM sleep is associated with learning. The deepest stage of NREM sleep, N3 (slow-wave sleep), features strongly in the first half of the sleep period but is greatly reduced in older people.

Nursing Older People

Shingles associated with short-term increased risk of stroke

The varicella zoster virus causes varicella, or chickenpox, before becoming latent in neurones. As immunity decreases in older and immunocompromised individuals, the virus reactivates to produce herpes zoster, or shingles. More than 95% of the world’s adult population is infected and up to one third will develop shingles in their lifetime.

Nursing Older People

Atrial fibrillation is stronger risk factor for heart disease in women

Atrial fibrillation is associated with an increased risk of stroke, and a growing body of literature suggests that women and men experience risk factors differently. Smoking and diabetes are associated with greater risk of coronary heart disease in women than in men, for example, while diabetes is associated with a greater risk of stroke in women than in men.

Nursing Older People

CBT for depression after stroke

Emotional difficulties after stroke are common, distressing and likely to affect rehabilitation outcomes. Depression is associated with longer hospital stays, reduced participation in rehabilitation, increased physical impairment and increased mortality.

Nursing Older People

Parkinson’s disease

Deep brain stimulation is one of the most effective treatments for advanced Parkinson’s disease. However, although it has been used for 25 years, there are still limitations in terms of effectiveness and side effects.

Nursing Older People

Dementia and marriage

Marriage is known to have a beneficial effect on dementia risk. More than two million people aged between 50 and 74 years were included in this study, and were followed for up to ten years. Findings support the association between marital status and dementia, showing similar effects for men and women once socioeconomic factors had been taken into account. There are several possible reasons for this association.

Nursing Older People

Musculoskeletal pain

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and one of the most frequent causes of musculoskeletal pain. Traditionally, the pain has been considered to be nociceptive, which means that it usually resolves with the removal of whatever is provoking it. Recent evidence supports the additional contribution of central sensitisation.

Nursing Older People

New treatments aim to halt or delay osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis affects an estimated 10% of men and 18% of women over 60 with age the strongest risk factor. Traditional treatment consists of pain management with joint replacement for end-stage disease.

Nursing Older People

Increasing calcium in diet unlikely to reduce fractures

Calcium supplements have long been recommended for older people to prevent and treat osteoporosis. Concerns have emerged about the small reduction in fractures when taking calcium supplements versus the moderate risk of minor side effects such as constipation and the small increase in severe side effects such as cardiovascular events and kidney stones.

Nursing Older People

Extreme temperatures attract attention, but cold causes most excess deaths

This large observational study found that cold causes more excess deaths than very high temperatures. Problems caused by heat occur within a few days while the effect of cold lasts three or four weeks.

Nursing Older People

Alternatives to zinc for lower limb compression

This small study evaluated two versions of a new two-layer compression system. Venous leg ulcers account for 70% of lower limb ulcers and compression bandaging is the main therapy. However, many patients find bandaging unpleasant with complaints including malodour and itching.

Nursing Older People

Spicing up your life proves to have many health benefits

The beneficial effects of spices and their bioactive ingredients, such as capsaicin, are already known. Eating red pepper decreases appetite and so may help to reduce obesity. Spices have beneficial roles in cardiovascular, dermatological and gastrointestinal conditions, various cancers and neurogenic bladder. They also have antibacterial activity and affect gut microbiota, which have been related to risks of diabetes and liver cirrhosis.

Nursing Older People

Countering apathy in patients with Parkinson’s disease

Apathy is a frequent neuropsychiatric disturbance that can precede the onset of motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease and is most likely to be described, by the patient, as fatigue.

Nursing Older People

Prednisolone benefits community-acquired pneumonia patients

Treatment of patients with community-acquired pneumonia has improved with antibiotics, but it still carries a high risk of morbidity and mortality. Pneumonia causes an excessive release of circulating inflammatory cytokines that can be harmful and cause pulmonary dysfunction. Corticosteroids have anti-inflammatory effects, but previous trials have yielded conflicting data about the benefits of their use in pneumonia.

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