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Understanding Alzheimer’s: Facts and Information

Understanding Alzheimer’s: Facts and Information

Understanding Alzheimer’s: Facts and Information

Alzheimer’s disease is one of several kinds of degenerative neurological disorders. While there are other types of disorders of this nature, today we will be focusing on Alzheimer’s. A degenerative neurological disorder means that it is a disease that impacts the health and normal functioning of the human brain by deteriorating brain cells. Because the brain is involved in virtually all aspects of normal human functioning, the deterioration of brain cells can have drastic consequences for people living with the disorder. As of now, the underlying causes of Alzheimer’s are not known, but many medical professionals think age, genetics, and/or medical history can be relevant factors. In patients who are living with the disorder experience changes in the brain through the accumulation of a protein called “beta-amyloid plaques.”

While causes are not known, certain risk factors exist. The risk factors include age, family history, and genetics.[1] People are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s after the age of 65. Scientific research has discovered people with a family history of the disorder are more likely to develop it. This does not mean a person will definitely develop the disorder, it just means that their chances are higher and preventative measures (described below) should be taken. Lastly, genetics play an important role. While it is relatively rare[2], it is possible for a gene to contribute to the development of the disease.

Now, we will discuss the common signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.[3] One of the most common and earliest signs of Alzheimer’s disease is memory loss. This can be a tricky symptom to identify, since many aging individuals experience some level of memory loss. Thus, just because one has memory loss does not mean they have Alzheimer’s, but it is important to rule out this possibility by visiting a doctor. Secondly, as the disease progresses, people will have increasingly difficulty performing everyday tasks. This can either be due to memory loss, a decrease in motor skills, or a combination of the two. Another symptom are problems with language and communication. Because the disease impacts the brain in complex ways these symptoms will manifest at slightly different rates, but as the disease progresses, symptoms will worsen.

While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, there are temporary treatments that can slow the progression of the disorder. Certain medications, prescribed by a doctor, can delay some symptoms. Unfortunately, medications do not get rid of the disease, but only lessen symptoms for a brief period of time. Other treatments can be prescribed by a medical doctor.

Caring for someone living with Alzheimer’s is also an important variable. Many organizations exist that connect families with professionally trained caregivers. These resources are especially important since they not only help a family member living with Alzheimer’s, but can help the rest of the family handle such a demanding task.

If you have any other questions or want to learn more, then please call ElderCare at Home at 888-285-0093. Or visit our website at this link.

[1] Source: https://www.alz.org/media/Documents/understanding-alzheimers-dementia-b.pdf
[2] Source: https://www.alz.org/media/Documents/understanding-alzheimers-dementia-b.pdf
[3] Source: https://www.alzinfo.org/understand-alzheimers/top-ten-signs-of-alzheimers-old/

 

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