Alzheimer’s Disease – Biggest reason behind Dementia
Life today is really hectic and chaotic, due to which people forget to take proper care of their health. Due to this stress has become the ultimate root of many major diseases that ruin the happy lives of people all around the world. These days, a very serious and widespread disease named Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
The beginning of this disease is mostly slow and it becomes worse as time passes. It is also known to be the biggest reason behind Dementia, which includes short-term memory loss, really weak memory, problem-solving issues, and problems in thinking.
Alzheimer is known to be a medically irreversible neurodegenerative disorder that can cause the loss of bodily functions, leading to the death of the patient ultimately.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease
The initial symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease are known to appear in the middle-aged people, mostly ranging between 40 to 50 years of age. Then, these symptoms become worse and ultimately a person loses all the control of body and mind. Patients diagnosed with this disorder have an average life expectancy is between 3 to 9 years.
The common symptoms of this disorder are:
- Difficulty In Learning – The first area of the brain affected by this is the one responsible for learning, which is why the person might have difficulty in remembering new information & freshly acquired details.
- Difficulty In Remembering – Alzheimer’s Disease is known to affect the memory of the patients as they tend to forget about significant dates, ask repetitive questions about the same topic, depend upon memos or reminders and rely on family or friends for performing the regular tasks that they always did by themselves.
- Loss Of Problem Solving Skills – Another very essential sign to notice is that a person loses his problem-solving ability. This might include issues with calculations, inability to make plans, problems while keeping track of expenditures. Also, they will lose their concentration power badly.
- Behavioral Changes – As this disease affects the brain directly and the brain is the one that controls the behavior of a person, the patient might become aggressive, restless, irritable and agitated. He/she might also find difficulty in taking self-care, might repeat own words continuously and the personality might completely change.
- Mood Changes – The mood of such an individual can suddenly change from being happy to angry, discontented and lonely as well.
- Psychological Signs – Brain being the targeted area of the AD, a person might experience psychological issues such as depression, hallucinations, and paranoia.
- Physical Issues – This disorder is also known to make the individual lose control over his muscles, body movements, jumbling of words and appetite loss.
Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease
While the causes of this neurodegenerative disorder are not yet clearly known but the doctors have researched keenly for years to find some of the sure-shot causes. Let’s have a look at these causes:
- Genetic Factors – After years of research, doctors have found that one of the top reasons for this disorder to occur is due to the genetic inheritances or changes.
- Environmental Factors – Exposure to harmful chemicals or solvents in factories or workplaces for a long term is also known to affect brain adversely.
- Lifestyle – Lack of proper sleep, exercises, the lot of stressing and non-nutritious diet etc, are also known to be the reasons behind this.
- Other Factors – Other essential factors include aging, down syndrome, a lot of head injuries over the years, obesity, increased cholesterol and also, increased blood pressure etc.
As AD is known to cause plaques & tangles in the brain, a lot of different tests are performed and after assessing the medical & psychiatric history of the patient completely, the causes of this disorder are found. Various tests performed by the doctors include:
- The neurological imaging of the brain, physical tests, blood examination, urine tests
- Mental health assessment to check how deep is the effect
- Interviewing of the family members to understand the dependency levels
- Computerized scans such as CT, MRI, and PET to examine the brain structure and severity of the damage caused.
As this is still an incurable disorder, the treatment is provided to manage the disease in the right way. This might also include, supporting the patient for staying positive & providing emotional strength to their family. Most common aspects of the treatment plan include:
- Treatment of other diseases contributing to the degradation of mental as well as physical health.
- Motivating and supporting the individual to perform his regular activities without making him feel that something’s wrong.
- Calendars, memos, reminders, and notes should be provided to them so that they can remember things easily.
- To avoid stress, negative thoughts, lonely feeling and depression, they should be motivated to be socially active and interact with friends & family more.
- Support groups are helpful as when you see others fighting and winning over their problems, you also feel highly positive.
- Avoiding alcohol, drugs, and tobacco can also prove to be highly beneficial.
As no cure is available, there are few medicines to control and manage symptoms while slowing down the brain-damaging process. Sleeping pills and tranquilizers can be used in a limited amount to control issues symptoms such as insomnia and anxiety.
There are medicines known as Cholinesterase inhibitors, namely Donepezil, Galantamine, and Rivastigmine, which can be used to slow down the process of the AD. Memantine is another drug that has proven to be highly beneficial in enhancing the working of Glutamate, a neurotransmitter that controls the part of the brain which helps to learn and memorize information.
That’s A Wrap!
So, this was everything that you need to be aware of the Alzheimer’s disease. This disease may be incurable but you can surely prevent it by :
- Keeping your mind relaxed
- Exercising daily and,
- Keeping your lifestyle better.