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Alzheimer's disease is a type of progressive disorder that causes brain cells to degenerate and die which extirpate memory and other functions of the brain. It most commonly causes dementia which gives rise to continuous decline in thinking, behavioral and social skills that distort the ability to function and think independently. As the symptoms gets worse, it becomes difficult for people to remember the recent events and to recognize people they know. Alzheimer's disease has no cure at present, but treatments for reducing the symptoms are available. Although the available Alzheimer's treatments cannot stop it from progressing, but they can temporarily slow down the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve quality of life.
- The exact cause is still unclear but this is mostly caused by a genetic transformation, or permanent change in one or more specific genes. Disease can inherit through parent genetic transformation to affect the upcoming generation.
- A neurodegenerative disorder which causes continuous brain cell death over a period of time to lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS –
- Memory loss that distorts daily life – Affected people tend to forget communications frequently, important dates or events, ask for the same information repeatedly, and rely upon memory aids like reminder notes or electronic devices.
- Challenges in thinking and finding the solution - Difficulty in developing and following a plan to work with numbers, keeping track of monthly bills, concentration and time management.
- Problem in completing similar tasks at home, at work or at leisure - Difficulty in doing routine tasks, trouble in driving to a familiar location, managing budget at work, forgetting basic tasks such as dressing and bathing.
- Confusion with time or place - Lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time, difficulty in recognizing the place.
- Difficult in understanding visual images and spatial relationships- Difficulty in reading and determining color.
- Difficulty with words in speaking or writing
- Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps - Putting things in unusual place, accuse others for stealing, getting lost in familiar places.
- Decreased or poor judgment - Changes in decision making, less attention to grooming or keeping own self clean.
- Changes in mood and personality - Confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious.
- Mental status testing
- Neuropsychological tests - Helps to determine the condition of dementia.
- Conversation with friends and family
- Brain-imaging Tests
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Computerized Tomography (CT)
- Positron Emission Tomography (PET)-It uses a radioactive substance known as Tracer to detect substances in the body. The most commonly used PET scan is a fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) which identifies brain regions with decreased glucose metabolism.
- Regular exercise and quality sleep
- Healthy diet
- Minimal use of sugar and refined carbohydrates.
- Avoid Trans fats - The fats can cause inflammation and produce free radicals which are hard on the brain.
- Fruits and vegetables in major quantities.
- Ensure fresh, wholesome meals are consumed that are high in brain-healthy nutrients and low in sugar, salt, unhealthy fat and additives.
- Mental stimulation
- Learn something new, practice memorization and play strategy games, puzzles, and riddles.
- Practice the 5 W’s - Keep a “Who, What, Where, When, and Why” list of your daily experiences. Capturing visual views keeps neurons firing.
- Stress management
- Breathe- Deep, abdominal breathing and restorative breathing is powerful.
- Schedule daily relaxation activities- Make relaxation a priority, yoga, or a soothing bath.
- Nourish inner peace - Regular meditation, prayer, reflection, and religious practice may immunize you against the damaging effects of stress.
- Make fun a priority
- Stop smoking and control blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Watch your weight and drink in moderation
- The global widespread of dementia has been estimated to be high up to 24 million and is predicted to double every 20 years till at least 2040.
- The number of old people in the age group of 65+ years in the world were estimated to be 420 million and with the proportion of old people increasing from 7 to 12%.
- The global widespread of dementia was estimated to be 3.9 % people aged 60+ years with the regional widespread of 1.6 % in Africa, 4.0 % in China and Western Pacific regions, 4.6 % in Latin America, 5.4 % in Western Europe, and 6.4 % in North America.