Alzheimer’s disease affects up to 70% of persons with dementia. Dr. Alois Alzheimer first noted it in 1907. Alzheimer described Auguste Deter, a middle-aged lady with dementia and unique brain abnormalities. For the following 60 years, Alzheimer’s disease was seen as an uncommon illness affecting individuals under 65. Dr. Robert Katzman didn’t designate “senile dementia” and Alzheimer’s disease as separate conditions until the 1970s. Alzheimer’s is sporadic or familial. Alzheimer’s disease can strike individuals at any age, although it is more frequent in those over 65. Familial Alzheimer’s disease is an uncommon hereditary disorder caused by gene mutations. A person with altered genes will ultimately acquire Alzheimer’s, probably in their 40s or 50s.
Alzheimer’s disease is progressive, thus the symptoms worsen over time. Memory loss is a common sign of Alzheimer’s disease. Symptoms develop over months or years. If they persist for hours or days, get medical care as they may signal a stroke.
Alzheimer’s symptoms include:
Memory loss: A person may have difficulties absorbing new knowledge and recalling previously learned information. This can result in the following consequences:
- inquiries or discussions that are repeated
- losing track of items
- forgetting about upcoming activities or scheduled appointments
- walking around aimlessly or becoming disoriented
Deficits in cognitive abilities: A person may have difficulties with reasoning, complicated activities, and making decisions in certain situations. This can result in the following consequences:
- A diminished knowledge of safety and risk factors
- having financial difficulties or trouble paying debts
- finding it tough to make judgments
- Having trouble performing tasks that require several phases, such as getting dressed.
Recognition issues: A person’s ability to identify faces or things or utilize simple tools may decline. These aren’t vision concerns.
Spatial awareness issues: A person may lose their balance, trip over, or spill more frequently, or have trouble orienting clothes to their body when dressing.
Speech, reading, and writing issues: A person may struggle to remember common terms or make more speaking, spelling, or writing mistakes.
Personality or behavior changes: Changes in personality and behavior can include:
- Being more agitated, furious, or concerned on a regular basis than before
- Any decline in their interest in our drive for things that they formerly enjoyed
- Loss of empathy
- Behaviors that are compulsion- or obsession-driven, or that are unacceptable in social situations
How is Alzheimer’s detected?
There is no one test for Alzheimer’s disease. This is only determined by clinical consultation. Among the clinical diagnoses:
- Full medical history
- A complete physical and neurological exam
- A test of mental acuity
- Psychiatric testing
Tests of neuropsychology
- Blood and urine tests
- lumbar puncture for CSF testing
- MRI (MRI, PET)
These tests will help rule out diseases like nutritional deficiency or depression. If the symptoms and indications are consistent, a clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease can be made with 80% to 90% accuracy. The diagnosis is only verified after death by brain tissue testing. It’s critical to get a quick diagnosis to see whether symptoms are caused by something other than Alzheimer’s. Then medical therapy and other help might be addressed.
Alzheimer’s disease risk factors are unavoidable:
- a family history of Alzheimer’s
- specific genes
Severe or recurrent traumatic brain injuries and exposure to environmental pollutants such as toxic metals, pesticides, and industrial chemicals can raise the risk of Alzheimer’s.
Modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer’s include:
- regular exercise
- consuming a balanced diet
- keeping a healthy heart
- reducing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and hypertension
keeping the brain busy
Help your self
Alzheimer’s disease affects both the individual with the disease and those who care for them. This includes friends, relatives, and paid carers who fight emotionally and personally to keep a dementia sufferer safe and healthy. Rather than confronting or agitating an
Alzheimer’s sufferer, keep in mind these suggestions:
- Distract attention to avoid embarrassment
- Replicate but do not say “I told you”
- Instead of lecturing, reassure
- Instead of arguing
- Never issue commands, always ask
- Be happy, not sour
- Recognize that unpleasant behavior is caused by the sickness, not the sufferer.
Alzheimer’s disease has no known cure. Some patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease appear to benefit from a class of medicines called cholinergic. Secondary symptoms including restlessness, sadness, or difficulty sleeping can also be treated with drugs.
Alzheimer’s patients, their families, and caregivers can find help in the community. This help can help manage dementia. Dementia Australia offers dementia sufferers with information and assistance. Dementia Australia also tries to give current treatment information.