Alzheimer’s Disease : Are you aware of it?
A disease that steals people’s memories is usually referred to as Alzheimer Disease. It is the most common cause of dementia which is a set of symptoms that include memory loss, difficulties with thinking, recollecting previous memories as well as speaking. In patients that suffer from Alzheimer’s, they first have hard times while remembering recent events. This continues for a long time. They face some symptoms also like trouble focusing, getting lost easily etc. According to the recent study, about 850,000 people are suffering from Alzheimer’s in The United Kingdom. Though the exact cause is still unknown, but studies have found that some factors play an important role in a person developing Alzheimer’s. They are:
- Age factor
- Family History
- Lifestyle factors
- Conditions associated with cardiovascular diseases
- Head injuries
It is a progressive disease, that means over time, more parts will start getting damaged. The condition becomes more severe. It has been named after the doctor who researched about it and explained. His name is Alois alzheimer.
What causes Alzheimer’s?
The reason is not completely known, but according to some researchers, sometimes protein buildup in the brain to form some irregular structures usually called ‘plaques’ or ‘tangles’ which results in the loss of nerve cells and finally to the death of nerve tissues causing the loss of memory. There are some chemicals that transmit the signals around the brain. When there is a shortage of them, the signals do not get transmitted that effectively. There are various treatments that are helpful in boosting the level of chemical messengers in the brain.
Some Symptoms include:
- Difficulty in making decisions
- Personality changes
- Lose items even around the house.
- Speech problems
- Confusion or getting lost in known places as well.
What age group is more at risk?
This disease is more common in people over age of 65 yrs. Women are more prone to this condition as compared to Men. The risk gets more complicated with an increase in age. Sometimes, people whose age lie between 40 to 65 yrs also get affected by the disease.
Is it genetic?
Scientists believe that genes are involved in Alzheimer’s. Since genes are the building blocks that are responsible for directing the way you work and you are built. A person gets his/her genes from their parents. There is a chance that genes are responsible for him developing Alzheimer’s.
How is it diagnosed?
It is hard to diagnose but doctors have introduced various tests that can check whether a person is suffering from dementia or not.
- Mental State Exam: It is a small test that is helpful in checking your presence of mind, problem solving skills, counting-skills, memory etc. It will let your doctor know the status of your brain.
- Computed Tomography Scan: In this test, a machine takes X-Rays of your body from different angles in a short span of time. The CT scan is helpful in examining the brain changes through which a proper diagnosis can be made.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): A very clear picture of the body is taken using a large magnet, radio waves, and a computer system. It helps to show the changes that are linked to the Alzheimer’s.
What are the Treatments:
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s but some therapies are available that minimize the symptoms of dementia. These therapies help people to do better for longer.
- Hormone Replacement Therapy: It has been found that women who took the hormone replacement therapy after menopause have a lower risk of Alzheimer’s. The hormone estrogen is helpful in connecting nerve cells from each other and prevent brain from making plaques that build up between brain cells.
- Music Therapies: Music stimulates all the senses in the body making it calm and composed. It helps trigger memories and connects with the world.
- Medicines: There are various medicines that treat problems with moods, depression, irritation in men and women. Prozac, Sertraline oxazepam are few of them that help people with alzheimer’s.
There are 5 pillars of Alzheimer’s. The more you make each of them strong, the more you are away from the risks. They are
- Regular Exercise
- Management of Stress
- Social Engagement
- A healthy diet
- Adequate amount of sleep
This is all about Alzheimer's disease. Take all the preventions to stay away from it. Stay safe. Stay healthy.