Alzheimer’s Disease; we’ve all heard about it, we know how potentially harmful it can be, but we actually really know how we can get it? Let’s start off with the basics, what’s exactly is it? This is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop and worsen over time and can become severe enough to interfere with our daily tasks. Just to help you put it into perspective Dementia is a chronic or persistent disorder of the mental processes caused by brain disease or injury and marked by memory disorders, personality changes, and impaired reasoning.
Today over 5 million American’s of all ages have Alzheimer’s disease. That includes an estimated 5 million people age 65 and older and approximately 200,000 individuals under the age of 65 who have younger-onset Alzheimer’s. Unfortunately, this is the most common form of dementia that can interfere with our daily life. It’s important to be aware that this is not a normal process of aging, although the greatest known risk factor is increasing age, and the majority of people with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older. It can worsen over time as it is a progressive disease with early stages resulting in memory loss, which is mild.
What Are The Signs Of Alzheimer’s Disease?
There are at least 10 early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. If you happen to notice any of these signs please visit your local doctor.
- Memory Loss That Disrupts Daily Life: One of the most common signs of this disease is memory loss, especially forgetting recently learned information. Others can include forgetting important dates or events; asking for the same information over and over again; increasingly needing to rely on memory aids or family members for things they used to handle on their own.
- Challenges In Planning Or Solving Problems: Some people might experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. You may have trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills. Difficulty concentrating can take much longer to do things than they did before.
- Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks: Many who suffer with this disease find it hard already to complete daily tasks. People may have trouble driving to a familiar location, managing a budge at work or remembering the rule of a favorite game.
- Confusion With Time Or Place: Often times people with this disease can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. They have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately .
- Trouble Understanding Visual Images And Spatial Relationships: Having vision problems can be a sign of Alzheimer’s. You may have difficulty reading, judging distance and determining color or contrast, which may cause problems with driving.
- New Problems With Words In Speaking Or Writing: You may find it difficult following or joining a conversation. You may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue or they may repeat themselves.
- Misplacing Things And Losing The Ability To Retrace: If someone is dealing with this disease they may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again.
- Having Poor Judgement: They may use poor judgement when dealing with money, giving large amounts to telemarketers. They pay less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean.
- Withdrawal From Work Or Social Activities: They may start to remove themselves from hobbies, social activities, work projects or sports. They may also avoid being social because of the changes they have experienced.
- Changes In Mood: Confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious are all ways of their moods changing. They may be easily upset at home, at work with friends or in places where they are out of their comfort zone.
Are There Treatments For Alzheimer’s Disease?
Treating Alzheimer’s can be difficult and may not be very effective to the person taking the medication. There are two types of drugs that someone with the disease can take. The first being Cholinsterase Inhibitors. These drugs work by boosting levels of a cell-to-cell communication chemical depleted in the brain by Alzheimer’s disease. Secondly is mematine. This drug works in another brain cell communication network and slows the progression of symptoms with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease. It’s sometimes in combination with cholinsterase inhibitor.
If you at feel like you’re dealing with any or one of these symptoms please make sure to visit your doctor.