Tag Archives: challenging behaviour

Eating Behaviour Disturbance in Frontotemporal Dementia


The JAMA Neurology journal published an article and the studies objective was to understand the exact prevalence, severity, and underlying biological mechanisms of abnormal eating behaviors that are common in patients with frontotemporal dementia.

Forty-nine patients with dementia were recruited, and their eating behaviour was compared with that of 25 healthy controls. The study was conducted from November 1, 2013, through May 31, 2015, and data analysed from June 1 to August 31, 2015. The mean ages of patients involved ranged from 62 (8.3) to 66 (8.4) years.

Voxel-based morphometry analysis of whole-brain 3-T high-resolution brain magnetic resonance imaging was used to determine the gray matter density changes across groups and their relations to eating behaviors.

Concluding that delineating the neural networks involved in mediating these changes in eating behavior may enable treatment of these features in patients with complex medical needs and aid in our understanding of structures that control eating behavior in patients with FTD and healthy individuals.

Ahmed, R. M., Irish, M., Henning, E., Dermody, N., Bartley, L., Kiernan, M. C., … Hodges, J. R. (2016). Assessment of eating behavior disturbance and associated neural networks in Frontotemporal dementia. JAMA Neurology, 73(3), 282. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2015.4478



Twiddlemitts provide sensory stimulation for people with dementia


Twiddlemitts are being used to provide sensory stimulation to patients who are experiencing the more advanced stages of dementia.

The benefits of providing sensory stimulation at this point can be enormous. The patients’ mood is improved and positive behaviours are encouraged.

The twiddlemitts can help individuals with dementia to relax and achieve or maintain a state of well-being.

Twiddlemitts, or twiddlemuffs, are handknitted tubes decorated with zips, pendants, beads etc.

Volunteers have set up social groups to make twiddlemitts so they not only provide stimulation for those with dementia, they provide social interaction for a wider range of people.



Picture courtesy of Jane Dickson:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cluttercup/25666441942/in/photolist-EQcbV3-Ek2CTJ-F74ZXb-FfrvNh-EknzH4-F74dZ5-Ek2FNS-Ekomrx-Ek3hgj-F9m7GZ-EknG2M-bthRaT-bthR9a-bthRat-bthR4v-bthShv-bthRbT-bthR7p-bthS1n-bthReV-bs8bN6-bthR4D-F9kXJt-F9m54H-F757oh-bthSir-bs8bmp-bthRd4-bthR5k-bthRci-bthR5P-bs8e2D-bs8e24-bs8e3n/

The community nurse role in family-centred care of people with dementia

Community nurse dementia

The British Journal of Community Nursing has just published a peer-reviewed article which explores the role of the community nurse in family-centred care for patients with dementia.

The authors argue that national policy and strategy have helped to raise awareness of dementia however families living with dementia still struggle to find information and support.

The paper uses case studies to discuss three scenarios commonly raised by family carers and people with dementia:

  • seeking help and support at the point of seeking diagnosis
  • knowing the ‘right time’ to seek help and advice
  • when symptomatic changes affect well-being and relationships

The article indicates how the community nurse can be central to supporting people with dementia and their families to live well in their own communities.

Also provided is a list of  charities and other sources that help carers of people with dementia.


Dening, K, & Hibberd, P (2016), ‘Exploring the community nurse role in family-centred care for patients with dementia’, British Journal Of Community Nursing, 21, 4, pp. 198-202 5p, CINAHL with Full Text, EBSCOhost

Free online course: Understanding and Managing Challenging Behaviour


The University of Birmingham are offering a free online course aimed at carers looking after family members with dementia or professionals working with people with dementia.

The course aims to develop the skills needed to manage challenging behaviour such as restlessness, agitation and communication difficulties, which can cause carers high levels of stress and burden. The course uses case studies to explore challenging behaviours and find out how other carers manage them both at home and in care settings. Specific interventions and a person-centred approach is used, particularly focusing on de-escalation skills.

For more information please visit the University of Birmingham’s website

Christopher Eccleston in film about dementia

Aardman Animation, the company behind Wallace and Gromit, have made a film with actor Christopher Eccleston tackling misconceptions about dementia.

The online film, made for Alzheimer’s Research UK, uses uses an orange to demonstrate how dementia physically attacks the brain.

Eccleston, whose father had the condition, said he hoped it would “fight the misunderstanding and fatalism that surrounds dementia”.

BBC (2016) Christopher Eccleston in Aardman Animations’ dementia film. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-35337554

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Orange_Fruit_Close-up.jpg