The myth that Alzheimer’s disease is a result of old age and is akin to senility must be laid to rest. It is a degenerative disease of the brain for which researchers are seeking a cure.
It relentlessly affects the intellectual processes, memory, and mental abilities in the elderly.
The victim’s personality may undergo a change and depression also accompanies it. The changes it effects cannot be reversed and it is fatal in most cases.
It slowly progresses over a period of five to 10 years though the rate of progression and its symptoms may vary from patient to patient.
The cause of Alzheimer’s is as yet unknown but lately found out it might be related to type 3 diabetic.
A physician will need to make an exhaustive psychological, physical, and neurological assessment before deciding that someone is indeed suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Only a trained doctor can decide that a victim is suffering from this disease as there are other forms of dementia-like disorders such as stroke, brain tumors, vascular disease, and anemia, which are problems that can be treated.
So the doctor will eliminate these causes before diagnosing that Alzheimer’s is the cause of the dementia.
Symptoms for Alzheimer’s
Generally, the symptoms for Alzheimer’s include;
- Patent memory loss (short-term)
- Decrease or loss of language skills
- A feeling of disorientation and impaired judgement
- Decrease in reflexes
- and personality changes are also symptoms to look out for.
The patient will be unable to make decisions. Comprehending language and speech itself may be affected as will the ability to recognize people and places.
Gradually the patient will become disinterested and apathetic towards surroundings, people, and general hygiene.
They will need constant supervision at this stage as they will not be able to take care of themselves to the extent of not being able to even feed themselves.
Presently, there is no successful treatment for victims of Alzheimer’s disease. The US FDA has approved some drugs that help such patients in the short term, however.
Tranquilizers and mood stabilizing medications are prescribed along with behavioral therapy and activities to keep them centered.
Genetics, age, obesity, dental feelings, depression, and pollution have all at one time or another been listed as possible risk factors for Alzheimer’s, but as yet researchers have not been able to pinpoint what exactly causes Alzheimer’s.
The hope is that advances in research and medical technology will lead to breakthroughs in the treatment for this relentless disease.