Here at Health Care HR Ltd. we are not just a healthcare staffing agency, we like to explore the bigger picture in order to improve the quality of our healthcare staff. Instead of specialising only in medical recruitment we explore recent medical advancements to broaden our knowledge within the healthcare sector. For example, there is no mistaking the severity of Alzheimer’s disease and the impact this has on an individual’s mental functioning. With many of our clients unfortunately suffering from this disease, it is in our power to explore this area of research to better such individuals.
Recent research conducted by the University of Exeter’s medical school, has shown diet has a significant effect in cognitive functioning. Cognitive function is impaired in those affected by Alzheimer’s Disease, shown through decreased memory and learning. Fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, fish and olive oil increase individuals cognitive function, leading to a reduction in symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s. Dr Simon Poole suggests one of the most beneficial diets consist of Mediterranean food which addresses the food groups above to the fullest. Researchers suggest an improved diet has even greater success rates than traditional pharmaceutical and therapeutic interventions. This evidence can be applied to not only those suffering with Alzheimer’s disease but to the healthy population in order to prevent the disease from developing. If the majority adopted these lifestyle changes, significant improvements in Alzheimer’s disease would be observed within all areas of medicine and healthcare.
Another lifestyle improvement associated with preventing Alzheimer’s Disease is increasing levels of exercise. Research from Cardiff University which followed a large cohort over 35 years showed exercise significantly lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. Researchers in fact identified five healthy behaviours which contributed to reducing chances of attaining the disease. Among these were; low body weight, healthy diet, low alcohol intake, no smoking and of course increased exercise. Exercise showed the largest association suggesting it is the biggest predictor of improvement. Individuals who followed 4/5 of these healthy behaviours showed a 60% decrease in cognitive decline. For our healthcare staff to understand these contributing factors will aid their understanding of the clients they will come into contact with. This useful knowledge will help in their healthcare training as well as looking very respectable to the company which they are employed.
Neurological advancements have also shed more light into Alzheimer’s Disease. Research in Canada introduces evidence that recent brain scanning developments have an 87.5% accuracy rate in detecting onset of the disease 2 years prior. Structures within the brain associated with rational thought and decision making are abnormally different to those of the general population. Therefore early scanning of these structures highlight those at risk. The benefits of this advancement within the healthcare sector cannot be disputed. If individuals were to fall into the category at risk, interventions can be tailored to suit those people. This can range from lifestyle changes, for example diet mentioned previous, to cognitive training. This can then be implemented into healthcare training to improve those at significant risk.
Consistent with brain structures mentioned previous, medical professionals have recently developed a new way of identifying levels of the Tau protein in those with Alzheimer’s disease. Tau is associated with increased levels of cognitive decline as the protein disrupts connections in the brain. These connections then become ‘tangled’ and cognition is reduced. Research at Japan’s National Institute of Radiological Sciences has developed a new agent which binds to the specific tau protein in order to understand levels of the Tau protein within the brain. Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease have lower cognition because of increased production of the Tau protein. Research has found exactly that, brain scanning which visualises the tau binding agent has shown those with Alzheimer’s disease have increased levels of this protein throughout the brain. These recent developments further emphasise the role of Tau in the onset of the disease. For healthcare staff to understand the biological basis of Alzheimer’s disease will reflect very knowledgeable to a company. Leading to significant improvement in healthcare employment opportunity.
At hruk we like to think we work alongside the healthcare sector rather than simply supplying healthcare staff. The evidence provided above shows new insights into the disease and ways to significantly improve it. Unlike other medical recruitment agencies we intend to share this information with our staff in order to improve knowledge. This increases staff prospects allowing them to flourish in their role within the healthcare sector.
Written by: Ellie Blackburn