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A new initiative for AmbaCare Solutions! This project recognises that many people are struggling to keep up with the cost of living where the price of energy, food and bills are all rising steeply and for many this is having a huge impact on their mental health. As the cost-of-living crisis intensifies, it is more important than ever to ensure that we look after each other's mental health. The project will be based in the Communal area of Ribbon Court, an Independent Living Scheme at 689 Foleshill Road CV6 5GT. Being in the centre of the community we will be able to provide an easily accessible, supportive and safe space for people experiencing mental distress. We will use the communal facilities in the Scheme to provide a warm hub where people from the local community can meet for ‘chai ‘n chat’, if they want to stay longer we will provide a free lunch. Sessions will be held once a week for 10 weeks and will include 1 to 1 support, peer support groups, games and activities including therapeutic exercise sessions, a place for quiet and relaxation. We will seek to reduce the stigma and shame associated with mental health issues, particularly in the South Asian Community, by raising awareness and understanding, speaking openly about mental health. The Sessions will be delivered by a Wellbeing Support Worker assisted by Wellbeing Buddies who will be people with lived experience, recruited from the local community. We will also reach out to members of the local Gurdwara, attending existing groups and using volunteers to not only normalise talking about mental health issues but also to provide practical support with issues that are causing them concern. We will work to break down the barriers which prevent people accessing the help they need through mistrust of health and social services. Training will be provided to staff to ensure that they are confident and competent to support people.
Hope for thousands living with dementia that a treatment that will slow the progression of Alzheimer's Disease has been found
Everyone has been crying out for a drug therapy that will at least slow down the progression of dementia. Now it seems as if this could have been achieved according to news items including those in the Economist who state 'It is not perfect. And it has side effects. But it may be the real deal.' This story is about the results of a clinical trial, conducted by the manufacturers of the drug, Eisai (Tokyo) and Biogen (Cambridge, Massachusetts). They claim that Lecanemab has slowed the progress of symptoms, by a quarter.
The way that Lecanemab works is by clearing clumps of a protein called amyloid, found in patient's brains, which is thought to be a key cause of the most common type of dementia - Alzheimer's Disease.
The BBC News describes the trial results for Lecanemab as 'momentous' and a 'triumphant turning point.'
However a point to note is that the drug has to be given in the early stages of dementia before there has been too much damage to the brain. This is dependent on people presenting early with symptoms of memory loss that are more than just because they are getting older. It would also mean that they would have to be referred for amyloid tests which could be brain scans or spinal fluid collected by a procedure called a lumbar puncture where a needle is inserted to withdraw spinal fluid. At the moment only 1-2% of people where dementia is suspected have these tests.
Kate Lee the Chief Executive of Alzheimer's Society, speaking on Radio 4's Today programme said that Lecanemab should 'make a big difference' for future generations but would not have a 'huge impact' on those who are already living with dementia.
It's not a cure but it appears it can slow the progression of Alzheimer's Disease. It's worth remembering as well that although Alzheimer's Disease is the most common type of dementia there are well over 100 other dementias which this drug will not have any impact on.