What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

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Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that destroys memory and thinking skills slowly. Eventually, it results in slowing down the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia among older adults.

The disease is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer. In the year 1906, Dr. Alzheimer started noticing changes in the brain tissue of a woman who died of an unusual mental illness. Her symptoms included memory loss, language problems, and unpredictable behavior. After she died, Dr. Alzheimer found many abnormal clumps and tangled bundles of fibers after examining her brain. These are the main features of Alzheimer’s disease.

Prevention

Here are some healthy lifestyle choices that will reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease:

  • Exercising regularly.
  • Eating a proper diet of fresh foods, low in saturated fat such as a Mediterranean diet.
  • Following treatment guidelines to manage high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Seek family support.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease

Memory loss is the main symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. The early signs are difficulty in remembering recent events or conversations. As the disease spreads, memory impairments worsen and other symptoms also develop. The brain changes involved with Alzheimer’s disease are:

Memory loss –

We all have occasional memory lapses, but the memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease is much worse. It affects the functioning of the brain.

However, if you have Alzheimer’s then you may repeat statements and questions over and over and forget conversations. You may also forget appointments, events as well as the names of your family members. You can misplace objects and might not be able to identify them and may also get lost.

Thinking and reasoning –

Alzheimer’s disease may cause you difficulty in concentrating and thinking.

Although multitasking is difficult, gradually it will become challenging for you to manage finances, balance checkbooks, and pay bills on time.

Making judgments and decisions –

Alzheimer’s decreases the ability to make decisions and judgments in everyday life. You may make poor or uncharacteristic decisions in social interactions or wear clothes that are not suitable for the weather. 

Planning and performing familiar tasks –

Daily routine activities are also affected by this disease. Activities that require sequential steps, such as planning and cooking a meal or playing your favorite game, become difficult for you. Eventually, people with advanced Alzheimer’s often forget how to perform basic tasks such as dressing and bathing.

Changes in personality and behavior –

Several changes may occur in your brain during Alzheimer’s disease. The changes that affect your moods and behaviors are:

  •  Depression
  • Apathy
  • Social withdrawal
  • Mood swings
  • Distrust in others
  • Irritability and aggressiveness
  • Changing sleeping habits
  • Wandering
  • Loss of thoughts
  • Delusions

Preserved skills –

Many important skills are preserved for longer periods even if the symptoms of Alzheimer’s get worse. These skills may include reading or listening to books, telling stories, singing, listening to music, dancing, drawing, and doing crafts.

These skills are preserved longer time because they are controlled by parts of the brain that gets affected later in this disease.

Conclusion

Above mentioned is all the information you have about Alzheimer’s disease. Although the exact causes and treatment are still not found but the risk of this disease can be avoided. Studies have stated that lifelong involvement in mental and socially stimulating activities reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

About Author

Dr. Nasli R Ichaporia

Dr. Nasli R Ichaporia

Senior Consultant Neurologist & Director of Neurology Department, Nagar road
Contact: 8806252525
Email – ask@sahyadrihospitals.com

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