Alzheimer’s disease is basically a neurological disorder in which the degeneration f brain cells causes the loss of memory along with the cognitive decline.
Also this disease is the most common type of dementia, which accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases of dementia in the U.S.
In the year 2013, about 6.8 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with dementia. Out of these, nearly 5 million had diagnosis of the Alzheimer’s disease. By the year 2050, the number is expected to double.
This is a neurodegenerative disease. At the beginning symptoms are mild, but the symptoms become much more severe over time. This disease is a progressive disorder that usually causes brain cells to waste away or degenerate and then die. Alzheimer’s disease is the common cause of dementia which is a continuous decline in their thinking, behavioural and also social skills that disrupts the ability of a person to function independently.
Signs of this disease might be forgetting recent events or conversations of their life. As long as the disease progresses, a person suffering with Alzheimer’s disease will develop memory impairment and may also lose the ability to carry out their everyday tasks.
The current day Alzheimer’s disease medications might temporarily improve the symptoms or may also slow down the rate of decline. The treatments of this disease can sometimes help people suffering with Alzheimer’s disease to maximize function and also maintain independence for a time. Few different programs and also few services can help to support people with the Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers.
As of now, there is no treatment that cures Alzheimer’s disease or may alter the disease process in the brain. In the advanced stages of this Alzheimer’s disease, complications from severe loss of brain function such as dehydration, malnutrition or infection might result in death.
What Causes Alzheimer’s Disease?
Researchers till date do not fully understand the main cause of Alzheimer’s disease in most people. In some people with the early onset of Alzheimer’s disease, a genetic mutation might be the cause. Also, the late-onset of Alzheimer’s arises from the complex series of brain changes that may occur over the decades.
Causes of the Alzheimer’s disease probably include a combination of genetic, environmental, and also lifestyle factors. The main importance of any of these factors might be in increasing or decreasing the risk of developing this disease as it may differ from person to person.
Few scientists are also conducting some studies to learn more about the plaques, tangles, and many other biological features of this condition. Few advances in the brain imaging techniques might allow the researchers to see that the development and spread of the abnormal amyloid and tau proteins which are in the living brain, as well as the changes which are in brain structure and function.
Few scientists are by now exploring the very early steps in the disease process by studying the changes in the brain and the body fluids that can be detected years before the Alzheimer’s symptoms appear.
Symptoms of the Alzheimer’s Disease:
A person suffering with the Alzheimer’s disease will eventually need a full-time assistance. In order to receive a diagnosis of the Alzheimer’s condition, the person must have experienced a decline in the cognitive or behavioural function and their performance must be compared with how they were previously. The decline in their activities and behaviour must interfere with their ability to function at work or in their usual activities.
Their cognitive decline must be seen in at least two of the five main symptom areas which are listed below:
1. Their reduced ability to take in and in remembering new information, which can generally lead to, for example:
- Asking repetitive questions or repeating same conversations
- They might end up misplacing personal belongings
- They may forget events or any important appointments
- They get lost on a very familiar route
2. They usually suffer from impairments to reasoning, any complex tasking, and also exercising judgment, for example:
- Their poor understanding about safety risks
- They will not be able to manage finances
- Generally, they will have poor decision-making ability
- They will not be able to plan any complex or sequential activities in their daily life.
3. They might have any impaired visuo spatial abilities that are generally not seen, for example, some might be due to eye sight problems. They could be:
- They will not have the ability to recognize faces or any common objects or to find any objects that are in their direct view
- Their inability to use any simple tools or equipments, for example, to orient their own clothing to the body
4. They will have an impaired speaking, reading and writing, for example, some of them are listed below:
- They may have difficulty in thinking of common words while they are speaking or hesitations
- They might have difficulty in speech, spelling, and writing errors
5. Some changes may be noticed in their personality and behavior, for example:
- Their out-of-character mood changes which includes agitation, apathy, social withdrawal or sometimes lack of interest, motivation, or any initiative
- Sometimes, language problems can also be a key early symptom, that is, for example, they may struggle to find the right words.
- Their inability to recognize objects and faces
- They may have difficulty in comprehending separate parts of a scene at once
- They may have difficulty with reading text, which is known as alexia
The most prominent deficits in this condition is in the executive dysfunction which would be to do with the reasoning, judgment, and problem-solving.