Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that causes problems with memory and other mental functions due to degeneration of brain cells. The disorder can result in the loss of intellectual and social skills.
There is no cure for the disease. However, few management strategies and medications may temporarily improve symptoms.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease:
Forgetfulness or mild confusion may be the only symptom of Alzheimer’s disease that one can notice at an early stage. However over the time, the disease may completely destroy your memory, especially recent memories.
Note: the rate at which the symptoms worsen varies from person to person.
It’s quite normal to forget where you put your keys or the name of your acquaintances. But the memory loss related to Alzheimer’s disease can affect the patient’s ability to function at home and at work.
People with Alzheimer’s disease may:
- Repeat statements over and over again, without realizing that they’ve said those statements before.
- Misplace things by putting them in illogical locations.
- Eventually forget the names of family member and everyday objects.
- Forget appointments and conversations.
Speaking and writing:
Over time, the ability to read and write may decline. Those with Alzheimer’s may find difficulty in expressing their thoughts or taking part in any conversation.
Disorientation and misinterpreting spatial relationships:
Alzheimer’s patients may find it difficult to understand their surrounding due to loss of ability of the brain to interpret what you see.
Thinking and reasoning:
Alzheimer’s disease may cause difficulty in concentrating and thinking, especially about concepts like numbers.
Making judgments and decisions:
Responding to everyday problems can become increasingly challenging.
Changes in personality and behavior:
Alzheimer’s disease can affect the way you act and feel. Alzheimer’s patients can experience:
- Distrust issues
- Mood swings
- Changes in sleeping habits
- Loss of inhibitions
Causes of Alzheimer’s disease:
It is not known yet that what causes this process to develop. However, Alzheimer’s patients have been found to have a very high amount of protein, fibers, and a chemical called acetylcholine in the brain. These reduce the effectiveness of a healthy brain.
Risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease :
Increasing age is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Risk for the disease can increase after reaching the age of 65 years.
Family history and genetics:
Risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease increases if a first-degree relative – parent or sibling – has the disease.
Women are more at risk for Alzheimer’s disease compared to men as they live longer.
Past head trauma:
People who’ve had a severe head trauma are at greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
Mild cognitive impairment:
People with MCI (mild cognitive impairment) have an increased risk of developing the disease.
Few of the lifestyle factors that can increase your risk for Alzheimer’s disease:
- High blood pressure
- High blood cholesterol
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Lack of exercise