Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative progressive disorder of brain and the most common form of dementia. Most probably all the intellectual functions are affected due to irreversible loss of neurons. Few cases has permanent disturbance in learning and memory functions.
Alzheimer’s disease was named after a doctor named Aloysius Alzheimer, a German Neuropathologist he is the one who identified this form of dementia in the year 1906.
What causes Alzheimer’s:
This disease has an unknown cause. The nerve cells are permanently damaged to cause the intellectual functions to drop. Mainly the memory power, learning ability, concentration, reasoning, are affected.
Most probably aging plays a role in causing Alzheimer.
In some cases it is due to presence of particular genetic risk factor. It can have familial history.
Some syndromes like Down syndrome can be a cause and risk factor for Alzheimer.
Few other risk factors are:
Elevated cholesterol level
Elevated blood pressure
Elevated blood sugar level – diabetes
Various heart related diseases like coronary heart diseases
Women are most likely to be affected by this brain disease
Exposure to toxic chemicals irritating to the brain activity
Severe head injuries
Poor mental activities can affect brain cells
What are the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease:
First and foremost is the permanent loss of memory and trouble in recovering the current actions
Disturbance in the learning process
Disturbance in the recognizing process
Disturbance in forming few words for pointing to particular objects
Difficulty in concentration
Cant able to produce a logical reasoning
Delay in decision making
Sever psychological problems like depression and anxiety
Some find difficulty in doing their habitual work
Seems to be lost something in life, their personality is changed and mood swings
Some have disturbances in sleeping pattern
Test and diagnosis:
Doctors can do no tests to find Alzheimer’s directly. Only through the patients history of cause and symptoms seen doctors can come too some conclusions.
In these physical type of tests doctors
Check for the reflex actions
Check for the change in muscle tone
Check for the coordination of the patient
Check for the balancing abilities
Check for the daily routine activities
Check for the sensations like touch and light
Intellectual type tests:
Check for the remembering ability of the patient
Check for the patients reaction to particular task assigned
Check for his learning abilities
Check the spelling ability pointing on certain objects
Ask questions on daily routines to perform
Counting back technique
Check for writing ability
There are few neuropsychological tests to differentiate it from other forms of dementia.
CT SCAN, MRI SCAN and PET SCAN are the common scanning done to rule out the other factors like tumors, head injuries related disease and other brain diseases.
Scan can show the shrinkages in the brain region to locate the intellectuals affected and differentiate from other dementias
Treatment for Alzheimer’s:
Medications available must be taken only after the doctor`s prescriptions
Most commonly used drugs are
Cholinesterase inhibitors – these are the commonly used drug to reduce the decline in the mental capabilities of the patient. These mainly stimulate the nerve cells by increasing the production of the acetylcholine.
These drugs also stimulate nerve cells by increasing the activity of the neurotransmitters. Most commonly used drugs are memantine.
Apart from drugs various life style changes are needed to be implemented to slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Creating a safer environment for them
Avoiding the confusing situations they face
Maintain an exercise pattern according to the ability of the patient to improve them. Mainly the physiotherapists are involved in the recovery process.
Including a nutritious diet suitable for the patient according to the advice of the doctors
Proper treatment for the psychological conditions like depression and anxiety
Avoid things that disturb sleeping pattern
Try to change the behavior by the behavior therapy
Maintain the hearts health
Maintain the abilities to make the intellectual to recover
Prevention of Alzheimer’s:
Few possible ways to reduce the risk of occurrence of Alzheimer are follows
Eat nutritious food to maintain hearts health
Keep a routine exercise plan or engage in physical activity daily by some mode
Keep the brain active daily by engaging in some mind activities
Keep yourself well educated all time
Keep your blood sugar under control
Always try to engage in some social activities
Reduce blood cholesterol and blood pressure
Alzheimer’s disease is an incurable disease. It can only be slowed down. Person with this disease seems to be more of the emotional imbalance. So care is more important for them emotionally.
This disease is irreversible and till now no proven cause has been found. So awareness is the only mode to prevent the onset of this disease.