Alzheimer’s disease is currently ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, but recent estimates indicate that the disorder may occur at the third place behind heart patients and cancer.
In India, there are some types of dementia in more than 4 million people. Worldwide, at least 44 million people are living with dementia, this disease is becoming a global health crisis that should be addressed.
In fact, that makes Alzheimer’s disease so serious that there is no specific treatment or treatment to slow down its progress.
About Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, a whole word for situations occurs when the brain does not function or work properly.
In Alzheimer’s disease, cells of the brain fall and die, resulting in a continuous decline in memory and mental work.
It is a progressive disease that destroys memory and other vital mental functions or degenerative brain disease that affects memory, behavior, and thinking, where the sufferer cannot be able to remember any event from the past or something happened just before a few minutes ago.
At the initial stage, dementia symptoms can be minimal, but as the time increases this disease causes more damage to the brain, the symptoms get worse to do the simplest of daily activities.
The rate at which the disease increases, it is different for everyone, but on average, after the onset of symptoms, people with Alzheimer’s live for eight years.
Although there are currently no treatments to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, there are some medicines to treat symptoms of dementia.
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Causes for Alzheimer’s:
Researchers and scientists believe that for most people, Alzheimer’s disease is caused by a combination of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that affect the brain over time.
Less than 5 percent of the time, Alzheimer’s is due to specific genetic changes that virtually guarantees a person to develop the disease.
Although the causes of Alzheimer’s cannot be fully understood yet, its effect on the brain is clear that this disease damages and kills brain cells.
In the brain affected by Alzheimer’s disease, there are many fewer cells and many fewer connections between living cells compared to a healthy brain. More and more the brain cells die, it leads to significant brain discomfort.
As there is no known cause of Alzheimer’s disease, some research studies have indicated that the following factors can play an important role in the development of the condition:
Genetic factors: such as appearance, or changes in some genes.
Environmental factors: such as long-term exposure for some environmental solvents (eg: pesticides, glues, and paints) or infections with some viruses or bacteria.
Lifestyle factors: such as lack of exercise, poor quality sleep and lack of fruits and vegetables in the diet.
When the doctor examines the brain tissues of Alzheimer’s under the microscope, they see two types of abnormalities which are considered to be a disease identification:
Plaques: The leftover fragment of a larger protein called beta-amyloid can damage and destroy brain cells in many ways, including interference in cell-to-cell communication.
These clusters form larger deposits called amyloid plaques, which also include other cellular debris
Although the final cause of brain-cell death in Alzheimer’s is not known, the collection of beta-amyloid outside the brain cells is a major suspect.
Tangles: Tau proteins play a part in a neuron’s internal support and transport system to carry nutrients and other essential materials during their long expansion.
In this disease, tau proteins change shape and organize themselves into structures called neurofibrillary tangles.
The tangles disrupt the transport system and are toxic to cells.
Symptoms for Alzheimer’s:
First often symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease is trouble with memory, difficulty in remembering the things or information learned in particular recently.
As we grow up, our brains change, and sometimes there may be problems in remembering some details.
However, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia are serious due to memory loss and other symptoms, which interfere with day-to-day life.
These symptoms are not a natural part of being old.
In addition to memory loss, other symptoms include:
- Trouble completing the once-handy tasks.
- Difficulty in solving problems.
- Changes in mood or personality; Retreat from friends and family.
- The person forgets about conversations, appointments or events, and do not miss them later.
- Problems with communication, either written or spoken.
- Confusion about places, people and events.
- Misunderstanding and misinterpretation of spatial relationships.
- Visual changes, such as troubleshooting images.
- After all, forget the names of family members and everyday objects.
Family and friends may experience symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other progressive dementia before the person experiencing these changes.
If you or you are experiencing the potential symptoms of an acquaintance of dementia, it is necessary to do a medical assessment to find out the cause.
First of all, increasing the forgetful illness or mild confusion can be the only symptom of Alzheimer’s disease, which you notice.
But over time, this disease robs you of your memory, especially recent memory. The rate at which the symptoms get worse varies from person to person.
If you have Alzheimer’s, you can notice for the first time that you are having unusual difficulty in remembering things and organizing your thoughts or you can not recognize that anything is whether wrong or right.
People with Alzheimer’s disease can lose their sense of the day, the weather, where they are or even their present life circumstances.
Alzheimer’s can disrupt your ability to interpret your brain, which you see, making it difficult to understand your surroundings.
The brain changes in Alzheimer’s disease can affect the way you do your work and how you feel. People with Alzheimer’s can experience:
- Social withdrawal
- Mood swings
- Solitude in others
- Irritability and aggression
- Changes in sleep habits
- Disadvantages of disruptions
- Confusion, such as believing something has been stolen
Many important skills are lost in the disease for a long time which includes reading, dancing, singing, enjoying old music, and engaging in crafts and hobbies.
Treatment for Alzheimer’s
Although there is currently no treatment available for slowing or preventing brain damage due to Alzheimer’s disease, many medicines can temporarily help some people to improve dementia symptoms.
These medicines work by increasing the neurotransmitters in the brain.
Researchers continue to search for better treatment methods of Alzheimer’s and other progressive dementia.
Currently, dozens of treatments and pharmacological therapies are focusing on preventing brain cell death associated with Alzheimer’s.
However, there are clinical interventions which can make people easier to live with the disease.
The use of support systems in place and the use of non-pharmacological behavioral interventions can improve the quality of life for both dementia and those who care for them and families.
This also includes:
- Treatment of co-existing medical conditions.
- Coordination of care among health care professionals.
- Effective management of any condition with Alzheimer’s.
- Participation in activities, which can improve mood.
- Participation of support groups and services.
- Behavioral interventions (to help with normal changes, such as aggression, sleeping issues, and movement).
- Activities and day care programs.
- Education about sickness.
- Building a Care Team for Support.
Prevention for Alzheimer’s
Right now, there is no proven method of preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Research is ongoing in prevention strategies.
The strongest evidence so far suggests that you may be able to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in order to reduce your risk of heart disease.
The same many factors that increase your risk of heart disease can also increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.
The important factors that may include hypertension, high blood cholesterol, excess weight, and diabetes.
New programs targeted for people with a high risk of dementia are being developed.
These multi-disciplinary programs encourage physical activity, cognitive stimulation, social engagement, and a healthy diet.
They also teach memory compensation strategies, which help in optimizing daily work even after changing the brain’s progress.
Keeping physically, mentally and socially active – can make your life more enjoyable and also help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.