21.09.2019
Alzheimer’s disease and what it is

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease of the brain involving progressive loss of brain cells leading to memory loss, declined thinking ability and disturbances in behavioral and social skills of the person.

What can cause Alzheimer’s?

Although Alzheimer’s disease can be caused by various factors, most implicated is a genetic cause. Another most important risk factor is age. It is proposed that the risk doubles every 5 years after the age of 65. Other risk factors include stressful lifestyle, family history, existing cognitive impairment, down’s syndrome and previous head trauma.

What is the common age group affected?

Alzheimer’s is of two types. Early onset and late onset disease. Early onset is very rare occurring in patients in the age group of 30 to mid-60’s where children directly inherit disease from their parents. The most common type is late onset disorder appearing after 65 years of age which is due to genetic mutation of a gene called APOE-e4.

How common is Alzheimer’s?

It is the most common disease associated with dementia worldwide and affects around 1.7 million people in India.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease:

Early stage:

  • Misplacing car keys, wallet, watches and other valuable objects.
  • Trouble finding names for objects or words during conversations.
  • Difficulty remembering recent day’s event or work.
  • Mood changes

Mid-stage:

  • Progressive memory loss.
  • Difficulty solving problems.
  • Trouble completing tasks that were previously easier.
  • Performance decline at work.
  • Mood changes and emotional outbursts.

Late-stages:

  • Complete loss of memory- unable name family members, objects of daily use.
  • Loss of all communication abilities.
  • Loss of bodily coordination.
  • Major personality changes.
  • Loss of appetite and ability to feed or use restroom by themselves.

How to differentiate common memory loss from symptoms of Alzheimer’s?

Memory loss is a general forgetfulness. Inability to remember things. Dementia, a strong feature of Alzheimer’s is memory loss in addition to tangible cognitive decline such as inability to carry out daily routine, making decisions about daily issues and difficulties in addition, subtraction and multiplication in daily routine work.

Treatment’s

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disorder. Unfortunately, there is no treatment that can cure the disease. Drugs currently used can only prevent the severity of symptoms and combination of drugs makes the lives of patients much bearable. Sudden mood changes, hostility, psychotic behaviors, suicidal tendencies are the most worrisome issues with Alzheimer’s. Dementia care centers and Memory-care homes offer personalized care to patients by creating an environment patient loves such as reading their favorite books, placing photo albums of loved ones, making favorite dinners and all tailor-made care for individual patients. Personalized care has proven to reduce anxiety and making patients’ lives far better.

Preventive Measures:-

Regular Exercise, proper diet and good sleep reduces the risk of dementia include Alzheimer disease