Alzheimer’s disease

Dementia is a term used to describe the inability to function on a daily basis due to loss of intellectual and social abilities. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of this condition. Patients with Alzheimer’s disease have a steady decline in mental capabilities as well as memory. The healthy brain tissue starts to deteriorate causing this to occur. Not everyone will develop Alzheimer’s disease as part of the aging process but in people that Alzheimer’s does affect, it typically starts in the elder years. Sometimes Alzheimer’s disease can affect people as young as 65, however, it is more common in people in their 80′s. The older a person becomes the more likely he or she is of developing this condition. Almost have the people who reach the age of 85 or older will develop a certain degree of Alzheimer’s disease.

Dealing with Alzheimer’s disease can be not only frustrating for the patient, but just as frustrating and challenging for those living around the person. Family and friends may need to learn how to deal with a loved-one who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease in order to make sure they are safe. There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but there are treatments that can help improve the quality of life of those with the condition.

If you feel that you or someone around you may be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, you may be able to relate to some of the symptoms listed here. The initial sign of Alzheimer’s disease is typically memory loss. A person may become forgetful or confused easily. Everyone has occasional memory loss but people with Alzheimer’s disease start forgetting things such as appointments, conversations, and names of people or objects. They often misplace things or repeat things over and over, forgetting that they had said something or done something already. They may have trouble dealing with numbers which results in the inability to keep up with money and a checkbook. They can loose track of dates or events. When Alzheimer’s disease starts progressing, it can become more dangerous for the person. Advanced stages can lead a person to stop recognizing familiar people or places and they can forget how to accomplish simple tasks. Things as simple as turning off a heater or a stove can create very hazardous conditions. Some other symptoms that may be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease are mood swings, stubbornness, depression, anxiety, distrust in others and aggressive behaviors.

If you feel that a loved one may be exhibiting some of these warning signs you need to get them to the doctor for an examination. Most people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease are in denial of the condition or unaware of their behavior. It is very important for people who have this disease to have emotional support during this time. It is often very scary for everyone involved so counseling is a good idea for those in need of extra support.

There are currently two types of medications being used to help suppress the cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Medications such as cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine can often help improve the condition in some people, but not all patients achieve the same level of success. These medications can also have side effects which may deter the patient from taking the medications. Depending on the case and the severity of the disease, the doctor may be able to adjust the dosing. Other medications to help a person with symptoms resulting from Alzheimer’s disease are often prescribed to help a person cope better. Symptoms such as depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, and wandering can all be addressed using different types of medication.

Unfortunately, a person with Alzheimer’s disease will eventually need the supervision of others to keep them safe from harm. Whether they live with a loved one or in a home where medical attention and supervision can be provided for them daily, they typically are not able to live on their own once the disease progresses.

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Last updated on Aug 10th, 2009 and filed under Neurological Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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