This article will show you everything you need to know about Alzheimer’s disease.
First, I’ll explain to you what Alzheimer’s disease is.
Then, I’ll show you who is affected by this disease, the early signs, causes, and many more.
Ready to take a deep dive into this Alzheimer’s topic?
Let’s get started!
What is Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s disease (senile dementia) is a progressive chronic neurodegenerative disease whose signature sign is memory loss.
It is the gradual wasting of brain cells over time.
Therefore symptoms worsen over time.
To put it simply, Alzheimer’s is a disease that alters a person’s life gradually.
With a continuous decline in memory and thinking skills, the person is forced to be entirely dependent on others to carry out simple everyday tasks.
As pointed out by the Mayo Clinic, Alzheimer’s is the cause of 60-80% of dementia cases.
Some of the complications associated with Alzheimer’s are:
- Falls and Fractures
- Inability to communicate when he or she feels pains.
- Difficulty following a prescribed treatment plan or even remembering the side effects associated with each drug
Who is affected by Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s is most common in adults 65 years and above, but it is not a normal part of aging.
It has no cure, but there are treatments available to manage symptoms.
Here are the 35 early signs of Alzheimer’s disease
- Progressive memory loss (difficulty remembering recent events at first, slowly progress to problem remembering things that happened weeks ago then it advances to completely forgetting an entire live event, for example, forgetting they were ever married or had kids or the faces of their loved ones)
- Difficulty concentrating
- Confusion with time and place
- Problems with the understanding of the basic concept of things
- Problems processing thoughts
- Having problems solving simple math problems
- Finding it difficult to create new memories
- Problems recognizing common things
- Seeing blurred or faded environments around them.
- Meaningless repetition of words
- Wandering and getting lost
- Complete Change of personality
- Mood swings
- Hallucinations (seeing, hearing, and feeling something that is not physically there).
- Problem taking care of oneself
- Substituting one item for another, for example, picking an obvious can of pepper instead of sugar and pouring it into a bowl of cereal
- Forgetting important dates and events, for instance, forgetting one’s own birth date
- Having less interest and drive to do anything. Less interest to attend a social gathering
- Inability to express oneself adequately with words
- Problems with driving because of the issues remembering a familiar route
- Delusions (Thinking the nurse trying to take care of him or she is out to harm them)
- Insomnia (trouble sleeping)
- Loss of bladder control
- Having problems swallowing
- Loss of bowel control
- Weight loss because of lack of appetite
- Simple day-to-day task becomes difficult like balancing checkbooks and reading to grandkids.
- Problems using simple appliances, for example, blenders, microwaves
- Inability to walk around alone.
Cause of Alzheimer’s Disease
The cause of Alzheimer’s is not so clear, but factors that can put you at risk for Alzheimer’s are:
- Increasing age
- Sex (it is more common in women)
- Past head injuries
- Smoking or being exposed to secondhand cigarette smoking
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Down syndrome
- Poor sleeping patterns
- Diabetes type 2 (when untreated)
- Elevated cholesterol levels
Can Alzheimer’s be treated?
As of today, there is currently no remedy for Alzheimer’s disease or way of stopping the progression of the disease, although treatment of that involves cognition enhancement medications.
The two cognitive enhancement medications approved by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (donepezil, galantamine, rivastigmine, tacrine) and Memantine.
Psychosocial intervention and nursing facilities are also necessary to teach the treatment plan.
Alzheimer’s disease is a continuous decline in thinking and behavior.
A healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of developing various diseases, including those that affect the brain and cognitive functions.
If you or your loved one experiences any likely serious memory loss symptoms, depression, trouble focusing, confusion, and trouble sleeping, talk to a doctor.