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