By Apollo 24/7, Published on - 19 March 2021
Alzheimer’s disease is irreversible progressive brain damage that affects memory, thinking skills, and other cognitive abilities. While the exact cause of Alzheimer's disease is not fully known yet, some factors can increase the risk of developing the condition. For instance, elderly people, people with a family history of Alzheimer’s disease or depression are at increased risk of developing it. While scientists continue to research the reason for the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease, there are some early signs which one should look out for and seek the advice of a health expert in such cases.
Multiple factors can increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease:
While memory loss and confusion are the most common signs of Alzheimer’s disease, other symptoms must not be ignored. Early identification and treatment can help in reducing the progression of the disease. A few early signs of the disease include:
With age, people may need help or assistance with new and unfamiliar things, and that may not indicate any disease. However, if the person finds it difficult to perform daily tasks, it could be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease. For instance,
While elderly people tend to forget simple things such as the names of people, those with Alzheimer’s develop a noticeable memory loss, which includes:
People with Alzheimer’s disease may find it difficult to plan something or make decisions. They struggle to stay focused and are unable to solve problems. They also find it hard to follow directions written a recipe or product. They also struggle to keep track of their monthly chores such as paying bills, which they could do easily before.
As age progresses, people tend to forget important dates such as birthdays and anniversaries. However, people living with Alzheimer's lose track of dates and sometimes even seasons. They fail to realize the passage of time and forget where they are or how they reached there. They also find it difficult to recall things from the past.
People suffering from Alzheimer’s can have trouble keeping up in a conversation or struggle to figure out what to say next. These people can be seen repeating themselves frequently. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and struggle with finishing up their sentence. Sometimes, they also find it difficult to write down or express their feelings.
People with early-onset Alzheimer’s may experience a sudden change in their personality and behaviour. Such individuals may become overly suspicious, use offensive language, get agitated, depressed, fearful or anxious all of a sudden. These quick changes could especially be seen when the person is out of their comfort zone.
Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, but medications and therapy can help in reducing the symptoms.
Medications such as Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors and antidepressants are generally prescribed by doctors to help in reducing increased agitation, anxiety, delusions and hallucinations.
Along with medications, sometimes certain therapies are also recommended for Alzheimer’s disease:
Friends and family can encourage the affected person to exercise their minds by reading books or solving puzzles. Regular exercising and eating a balanced diet is equally important to keep the mind healthy.
Since the cause of the condition has not been fully understood, not much is known about the prevention of Alzheimer's disease. However, by reducing the risk factors, one can decrease the risk of developing the condition. Such measures include:
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia (a decline in cognitive skills), which does not have a cure yet. Recognizing the early signs of Alzheimer’s may help in reducing the rate of progression of the disease and improve the quality of life of the person. Medical care along with continuous support from friends and family can help in increasing the life expectancy of a person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
Talk to a mental health expert for any questions on mental health.
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It is normal for people to forget things, places or people when they grow old. However, if the forgetfulness is accompanied by a decline in cognitive abilities, it could be a sign of dementia.
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