Dementia is a broad term to refer to conditions affecting mental processes and cognition. There are several types of dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease one of the most common. According to research, Alzheimer’s disease makes up to 80% of all cases of dementia.
Alzheimer’s Disease: What You Need to Know
Unfortunately, there is still no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Most of the people who suffer from this disease are diagnosed during old age, though there are early-onset cases. The best thing that can be done for those suffering from this disease is to slow its progression and, for seniors, checking them into quality facilities for hospice care.
Here are some important things that you need to know about this disease:
- It is a chronic condition.
- The effects on the brain caused by this disease tend to cause a slow decline.
- The elderly and those with a history in their family of the disease are more prone to developing Alzheimer’s disease.
- There are various outcomes for the disease. Some patients live for a long time after diagnosis with a slight recognizable decline in their cognitive faculties while others go through a faster decline.
This disease has several stages. During the first stage, the only indication might be constant memory loss. Early diagnosis might be possible during this stage. The condition will progressively get worse until the patient until he or she needs assistance with the most basic tasks and maybe even lose the capacity for speech.
What Causes Alzheimer’s Disease
Just as there is still no cure for it, it is still unclear as to what causes Alzheimer’s disease. What’s known is there are certain things that can increase the risk of developing the condition. Those factors are age, family history, and genetics.
As mentioned earlier, Alzheimer’s disease tends to be diagnosed during old age. If you have an immediate family member who has the disease, then there is a good chance that you will be diagnosed with the disease as well.
Also, scientists have identified a gene linked to Alzheimer’s. You can have your blood tested to check if you have the apolipoprotein-E (APOE) gene. Note that having the gene is not a sure indication that one will develop Alzheimer’s, but it can help you prepare for the possibility.
What Are the Symptoms?
Here are some of the common symptoms that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease:
- Memory loss
- Difficulty in doing simple tasks
- Difficulty in writing
- Difficulty in speech
- Difficulty with problem-solving
- Decreased personal hygiene
Everyone has some problem with remembering things, but people who suffer from Alzheimer’s will display a condition that progressively degenerates until the patient will require care and close supervision. Often this includes the slow degeneration of immediate memory. You can see this when patients can remember childhood songs, events, and conversations. But when it comes to remembering what happened earlier in the morning, they have no recollection of the events.
Since there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, the best that one can do for the patients suffering from it is to delay the decline and to make sure that they will be properly cared for.