Department of

Neurology - Alzheimers

Department of

Neurology - Alzheimers


Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that worsens with time. Dementia is a catch-all word for illnesses that impair memory, thinking, and behaviour. The changes have an impact on daily life. Dementia can be caused by a variety of factors, including brain damage or disorders. The cause is sometimes unknown.

Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Most persons with the condition are diagnosed beyond the age of 65. If it is detected before then, it is known as “younger onset” or “early onset” Alzheimer’s disease.

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, although there are therapies that can reduce the disease’s course.

Alzheimer’s disease facts:

  1. Although most people have heard about Alzheimer’s disease, it’s important to understand the facts. Here are some important facts concerning this condition:
  2. Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic (ongoing) disorder. It is not a normal ageing indication.
  3. Alzheimer’s and dementia are not synonymous. Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia.
  4. Its symptoms appear gradually, and its effects on the brain are degenerative, causing steady degeneration.
  5. Alzheimer’s disease can affect anyone, although certain people are predisposed to it. People above the age of 65 and those with a family history of the illness are included.
  6. There is no single predicted prognosis for Alzheimer’s patients. Some people live for a long time with mild cognitive impairment, whilst others have a more fast start of symptoms and disease development.
  7. There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, however treatment can help reduce the illness’s progression and may improve quality of life. Each person’s experience with Alzheimer’s disease is unique.

Alzheimer’s disease symptoms

Everyone has moments of forgetfulness now and then. However, patients with Alzheimer’s disease have persistent habits and symptoms that worsen over time. These are some examples:

  • Memory loss that interferes with daily activities such as maintaining appointments.
  • Difficulties with familiar tasks, such as using a microwave Difficulties with problem-solving Difficulties with speech or writing Difficulties with time or place.
  • reduced judgement.
  • reduced personal hygiene.
  • alterations in mood and personality.
  • isolation from friends, family, and the community.

These symptoms do not always indicate Alzheimer’s disease. It is critical to consult a doctor to determine the cause.

Symptoms vary depending on the stage of the disease. People with Alzheimer’s sometimes have severe difficulty talking, moving, or responding to what’s going on around them in the later stages.

Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis

The only sure way to tell if someone has Alzheimer’s is to study their brain tissue after death. Other examinations and tests, however, can be used by a doctor to examine your mental ability, identify dementia, and rule out other disorders.

The doctor will almost certainly begin by taking a medical history. They may inquire about your:

  • Symptoms, family medical history, and any other present or previous health concerns.
  • current or previous drugs.
  • Diet, alcohol consumption, and other lifestyle factors.
  • Following that, your doctor will most likely prescribe a battery of tests to identify whether you have Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease testing

Alzheimer’s disease has no reliable test. However, psychological, physical, neurological, and imaging testing can assist your doctor in making a diagnosis.

Your doctor may begin with a mental status examination. This can help them evaluate your:

  • memory (short-term).
  • memory retention.
  • orientation to location and time.

For example, they may inquire:

  • Which day is it?
  • Who is the president?
  • to recollect and remember a brief list of words

Following that, they will most likely perform a physical examination. For example, they could:

  • Examine your blood pressure.
  • examine your heart rate.
  • check your temperature.
  • in some situations, order urine or blood testing.

Your doctor may also perform a neurological exam to rule out other possible diseases, such as an infection or stroke.

Brain imaging studies may also be ordered by your doctor. These examinations, which provide images of your brain, may include:

Scan with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRIs can detect crucial signs like inflammation, haemorrhage, and structural abnormalities.

CT (computed tomography) scan CT scans produce X-ray images that can assist your doctor in looking for abnormalities in your brain.

Other examinations Your doctor may order blood tests to look for genes that indicate a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Causes and risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease

Although no specific cause of Alzheimer’s disease has been established, experts have identified several risk factors, including:

Age. The majority of persons who develop Alzheimer’s disease are 65 or older.

A family tree. You are more prone to have the disorder if you have an immediate family member who has.

Genetics. Alzheimer’s disease has been linked to specific genes.

The presence of one or more of these risk factors does not guarantee the development of Alzheimer’s disease. It simply increases your danger.

Alzheimer’s disease stages

Alzheimer’s is a progressive illness, which means that the symptoms will worsen with time. There are seven major steps to consider:

Pre-dementia and mild cognitive impairment, stages 1-3

At this moment, there are no symptoms. If you have a family history of Alzheimer’s but no symptoms, you should consult a doctor about healthy ageing practices.

Stage 2: The first symptoms, such as forgetfulness, develop.

Stage-3: Mild physical and cognitive problems, such as impaired memory and focus, develop in Stage 3. Learning new skills may become more difficult. Only those who are really close to the person may notice these changes.

Dementia (stages 4–7)

Stage 4. Alzheimer’s disease is frequently detected at this stage, but it is still regarded as mild. Memory loss and difficulties performing daily duties are common symptoms.

Stage 5: Moderate to severe symptoms will necessitate the assistance of loved ones or caretakers. This is required to guarantee that daily needs, such as eating meals and maintaining the home, are addressed.

Stage 6:At this point, a person with Alzheimer’s will require assistance with basic routines such as eating, dressing, and toileting.

Stage 7. This is the most advanced and last stage of Alzheimer’s disease. Speech and facial expressions typically deteriorate throughout time. Movement is likely to be restricted.

As a person progresses through these stages, they will require more assistance from their carers.

Consult your doctor about coping techniques for these changes. Appropriate care can assist you in preserving your comfort and quality of life for as long as feasible.

It’s also critical to talk about your care plan with your loved ones. As the condition progresses, people with Alzheimer’s will require more assistance with medical decisions.

People with Alzheimer’s disease normally live for 4 to 8 years after diagnosis, while some can live for up to 20 years.

Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention

There is no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease, and there are no infallible preventive methods. For the time being, the best tools we have to avoid cognitive decline are health-promoting lifestyle choices.

The following steps may be useful:

  • Attempt to quit smoking. If you smoke, quitting has immediate and long-term health benefits.
  • Regular exercise is essential. Physical activity lowers the risk of a variety of illnesses, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
  • Maintain cerebral activity. Experiment with some cognitive training tasks.
  • Eat healthily. Consume a well-balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
  • Maintain a social life that is lively. Friendships, volunteering, and hobbies will almost certainly boost your general health.
  • Before making any major changes to your lifestyle, consult with your doctor.

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