What is Alzheimer’s disease?
People with Alzheimer’s disease is increasing day by day. Alzheimer’ disease is a progressive form of dementia. Dementia is a broader term for conditions caused by brain injuries or diseases that negatively affect memory, thinking, and behavior. These changes interfere with daily living. Alzheimer’s disease is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer, who discovered the disease in 1906.
According to Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. Most of the people with this disease get a diagnosis after age of 65. If it’s diagnosed before, it generally referred to as an early onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s risk factor is aging.
This disease that progressively gets worse over the time. In late stage someone, with Alzheimer’s may not communicate or reason with those around them. People suffering from this disease will eventually need full time care for everyday life. According Alzheimer’s association, it is the sixth leading cause of death in united state. The average life span of someone with this disease is eight years after diagnosis, but can live up to 20 years depending on other health conditions. There is no cure at this time. However, there are treatments that can slow the progression and improve the quality of life for those with this disease.
Memory problems like forgetting and much more are usually the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Remembering things that have been recently learned by the affected person is especially difficult. Some other symptoms are:
- Confusion about a place or times (may be mild at first)
- Unable to find words with speaking
- Misplacing objects which you use regularly
- Changes in personality
- New irritability
- Making bad decision
- Difficulty organizing thoughts
- Repeating things over and over
- Forgetting things and not remembering them later
- Difficulty with numerical calculation
- Difficulty responding to everyday problems
- Mood swings
- Paranoia distrust of others (including immediate family or close friends)
This disease does not affect everyone in the same way, so individuals may experience symptoms at different times. If you and your loved one has any of these symptoms and they are causing problems with everyday life, you should talk to a doctor.
- Although many people have been heard about Alzheimer’s disease, some are not sure exactly what it is. Here are some fact about this disease:
- Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic ongoing condition.
- Its symptoms come on gradually and effect on the brain are degenerative, meaning they cause slow decline.
- There’s no cure for Alzheimer’s, but treatment can help slow the progression of the disease and may improve the quality of the life.
- Anyone can get Alzheimer’s disease, but certain people at high risk for it. This includes people of age over 65 and those with a family history of the condition.
- Alzheimer’s and dementia are not the same thing. Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia.
- There’s no single excepted outcome for people with Alzheimer’s. Some people live long with mild cognitive damage, while other experience a more rapid onset of symptoms and quicker disease progression.
- Each person’s journey with Alzheimer’s disease is different.
Dementia vs. Alzheimer’s
The term dementia and Alzheimer’s use some time interchangeably. However, these two conditions are not the same. Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia.
Dementia is a border term for condition with symptoms relating to memory loss, such as forgetfulness and confusion. Dementia includes more specific conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson disease, traumatic brain injury, and other, which can cause these symptoms.
Causes, symptoms, treatments can be different for this disease.
The exact causes of Alzheimer’s
Read this article to know more about the causes of Alzheimer’s disease
Plaques are the clumps of protein that get in the way of the communication in the between the brain cells. This causes damage and possibly even the death of the brain cells. These protein clumps are called amyloid plaques.
The system that carries nutrients through the brain is called protein tau. In the brain of someone with Alzheimer’s, threads the protein (better known as neurofibrillary tangles) collect in the brain cells. These tangles prevent nutrients being carried from the brain.
General stage of Alzheimer’s
Typical progression of Alzheimer’s disease is
Stage average time frame
Mild or early stage 2 to 4 years
Moderate or middle stage 2 to 10 years
Severe or last stage 1 to 3 years
There are a number of things that are considered a risk factor of Alzheimer’s. The most common of this is aging, as it tends to occur in people over the age of 60. Some other common risk factor is:
- Family history (genetics)
- Individual with down syndrome
- Being female
- Mild cognitive impairment, which causes an increase in risk, but not the certainty of developing disease.
- Severe head trauma
- There are also a number of heart health issues that scientist believe may be risk factors in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Some of these include:
- Heart disease
- High blood cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Poor diet
This research continues into how reducing these risk factors may induce the risk of developing this disease.
There is not currently way to two differently diagnose Alzheimer’s. However, though test and information provided to doctors, they can make a judgement as to whether or not Alzheimer’s is causing symptoms. Some questions and tests, the doctor may use in diagnosis are:
- Question the patient and the family members about changes in behavior, difficulty with daily task, medical history and changes in personality.
- Test for memory, counting, problem solving, and/or language.
- Blood and urine test to rule out other conditions.
- Brain scans to rule out other possible conditions out, which may include CT scan, MRI or position emission tomography (PET scan).
- Neuropsychological testing
- Some or all of these above tests may be repeated later to measure how memory and brain functions change over time.
- Another condition that may cause similar symptoms are stroke, tumor, sleep problems, side effects from medications, and others. I
- Research is going on the field of Alzheimer’s and dementia, and new method of diagnosing the disease may on the horizon.
Alzheimer’s disease is complex and there is not one form of treatment that will treat this disease. Doctors treat the symptoms of this disease as well also works to slow its progression.
There are two types of the medications that are used to treat the mental functions. They are cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine (Namenda).
Cholinesterase inhibitors help cells to communicate with the brain. These drugs also can help in agitations, and depression, which occurs with this disease. Some of the common forms of the class of the drugs are:
Memantine (Namenda) also help with cell to communicate with the brain. It slows the progression of Alzheimer’s symptoms also used in moderate form to serve this disease. It may also used in combination with cholinesterase Inhibitor.
There are a number of things that people can adopt in lifestyle or and in lifestyle of someone you love that will help to manage the symptoms of the Alzheimer’s disease. Making home and surrounding supportive is one of the main changes that can be made. A few of things that you can do to achieve this are:
- Always keep keys, wallet, etc. in the same place.
- Remove unnecessary mirrors (images in the mirror can confuse or scar the Alzheimer’s people)
- Make sure that shoes have good traction to avoid slipping and falling
- Need to Keep photos and other meaningful things in the view
- Keep your mobile phone with GPS to help if you ever get lost
- The medicine should keep in simple and daily container to avoid confusion
- Keep a routine as much as possible
As with most health conditions, exercise is an important part of the routine. Even if a balance keeps you or your loved one from walking regularly, stationary bikes, or chairs an option. Nutrition is also important to watch. Healthy shakes and smoothies are good alternatives for snacks and meals., as those with Alzheimer’s may forget if they have eaten. Some of Alzheimer’s should also be sure to drink a lot of liquid to avoid constipation’s and dehydration.
There are a number of alternative treatments that promote and improve the brain function. However, there are no studies to show these to be effective for slowing the progression of the Alzheimer’s at this time. Some of those that are being currently studies are:
- Omega 3 fatty acids in this fish
- Vitamin E
It is important to remember that even natural or alternative therapies can interact with medications. Be sure to talk with your doctor before you or your loved one try any alternative method.
Caring for people with Alzheimer’s
Caring someone people with Alzheimer’s may be physically, mentally and emotionally and financially challenging. It often involves a major shift in relationships, when child beings caring for a mother or spouse beings caring for their spouse. It can be very challenging to care for someone who can be irritable, paranoid, or not even believes they need care at times. Many caregivers deal with guilt, frustration, and grief over the loss of the relationship. It can also cause social isolation. It is important that you find support. This can be with other family members, doctors, friends, and other support groups.
When you’re caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, you can help make sure that your loved one does things to stay as emotionally, and physically healthy as possible. According to Alzheimer’s Association, a person with Alzheimer’s need to:
- Learn how to manage and understand on his or her diagnosis
- Cope with fear and frustrations as symptoms get worse
- Maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly
- Get plenty of sleep
- Limit alcohol intake
- Take all medicine prescribed by a doctor
- These are other task you might assist with:
- Grocery shopping, cooking and feeding
- Bathing and getting dressed
- Paying bills, picking up prescriptions, and driving to a doctor appointment
- Planning for long term care (like nursing care or especially memory care until) it became necessary
Research has not yet found a way to prevent and Alzheimer’s disease. However, there is something that research suggests may help. You can do the following to slow down the progression or possibly prevent this disease:
- Keep your mind active with word game, puzzles, and memory game.
- Continue learning new things. Stay physically active
- Be socially active
- Stop smoking
- Get adequate sleep
- Treat high blood pressure
There is no current proof that any of these will prevent you from getting this disease. However, they prevent good brain health and may have other benefits beyond helping to fight against Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most customary form of dementia. it increases in prevalence with age and is rare in people under 45 years. people with Alzheimer’s disease should not be ignored by others. It is physically, mentally and emotionally challenges for some to care for people with Alzheimer’s disease. It is very challenging to care for someone who is very irritable, or not even believe that they need care.