Alzheimer's disease is a neurological condition. It is characterized by cognitive decline and memory loss due to the death of brain cells. This disease starts off mild and gets worse as it progressively. Alzheimer's disease is a very common form type of dementia. Alzheimer's disease cannot be cured, but treatment can help reduce the symptoms of alzheimers.
Alzheimer’s disease is a gradual and progressive neurological abnormality that eventually causes atrophy and death of brain cells. It commonly causes dementia which leads to a declined tendency of the person to think, behave and socialize. Based upon Alzheimer’s disease symptoms, it has been classified into five stages that include:
Summary: Based on the severity of signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, it is classified into five stages mainly. Preclinical, impairment of cognitive ability, mild to moderate and severe dementia are the different stages.
Alzheimer’s disease symptoms start to appear after the preclinical stage that continues for a decade or more. Early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease vary from person to person but typically include:
Signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are progressive and may be accompanied by the following stages:
Summary: Signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are progressive and start as mild cognitive impairment in the early stages. This is followed by mild, moderate, and severe stages of dementia associated with increased severity of the symptoms.
Alzheimer's disease commonly affects old-aged individuals. But in certain cases, individuals in their 30s or 40s have also been seen to suffer from the disease. This early form which is known to occur under the age of 65 years is known as early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
It is rare as only a smaller proportion of the affected individuals have early-onset, most of them being in their 40s or 50s.
Summary: Alzheimer's mainly affects people after the age of 60 years. But in certain cases, although rare, it also shows early-onset affecting the individuals in their 30s or 40s.
Alzheimer's disease occurs when the brain cells start to die. The size of the brain shrinks to a great extent. The brain tissue has very few connections and nerve cells. A postmortem/autopsy can only show the tiny inclusions inside the nerve tissues. This is called tangles and plaques. Plaques are formed due to the build-up of a substance called beta-amyloid (amyloid plaques). The tangles of the brain neurons are formed due to the disintegration of a protein called tau. According to researchers, alzheimer's disease goes way beyond protein abnormalities. alzheimer's disease makes it difficult to recognize faces and objects. The most prominent sign includes problem-solving, judgment and reasoning. A form of dementia called vascular dementia is caused due to a traumatic incident such as stroke, is the most common type of dementia after alzheimer's disease.
Stages of alzheimer's disease:
Risk factors of developing alzheimer's disease:
Avoidable factors that can cause alzheimer's disease:
Diagnosis is an important part of Alzheimer's disease treatment. It is performed by a specialized neurologist with the proper cooperation of the patient as well as a close family member or friend. Steps involved in it include:
Summary: The diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is based upon a detailed assessment of the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. This is done with proper examination of the patient, followed by certain diagnostic laboratory and imaging tests.
Alzheimer’s disease prevention is not possible since the exact cause of this neurological disorder is yet to be discovered. However, some healthy lifestyle choices may help to reduce the associated risks.
Ways to prevent Alzheimer’s disease may include:
Summary: Although Alzheimer’s disease prevention is not possible, the associated risks can be minimized. Maintaining cardiovascular health, certain lifestyle changes, and mental or social activities are some of the preferred ways to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease cure has been a major challenge for scientists as the disease is a complex and progressive neurological disorder. No drugs or interventions are known till the time which can completely cure it.
However, with the advancements in the medical field and technology, several medicines and tests have been developed which enable us to have a better understanding of the disease.
Being progressive, Alzheimer's disease cannot be resolved spontaneously. It requires continuous treatment throughout life. The treatment can only slow the progress of the disease and may also help to improve the quality of life.
Summary: Alzheimer's disease is a progressive and lifelong neurological abnormality. The symptoms cannot be resolved on their own and can only be controlled and managed with continuous treatment throughout life.
Alzheimer's disease can be diagnosed by performing tests to check neurological functions and by undergoing brain scans such s EEG, MRI and CAT scan.
Each and every individual suffering from Alzheimer’s disease are eligible for treatment. The treatment methods which mainly involve medications may increase Alzheimer's disease life expectancy but cannot cure it.
The disease involves a lifelong treatment strategy and may lead to complications if it is left untreated. Hence, treatment is necessary in all cases.
Summary: Treatment is imperative in all individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. This is important so as to manage the symptoms throughout life, thus preventing any further complications.
Treatment is needed in all cases to prevent a faster progression of Alzheimer’s disease untreated condition. This is also important to prevent risks of any further complications.
Hence, every individual suffering from a degenerative brain disorder is eligible for treatment irrespective of anything.
Summary: - Any individual suffering from Alzheimer’s disease is eligible for treatment. The disease is incurable and can be managed only with proper treatment strategies.
Post-treatment guidelines include important preventive measures needed to manage the Alzheimer’s disease symptoms throughout the life of an individual. Some of them are:
Summary: Post-treatment guidelines are important in individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. These manage the associated symptoms as well as prevent the progression of the disease.
A healthy diet cannot cure Alzheimer’s disease, but can surely ease the symptoms and prevent their worsening. Good nutrition enables the affected individual to improve their quality of life, thus enabling them to live in a better way. Some food items to be preferred in such conditions may include:
Summary: Good nutrition not only ensures the better health of the individual but also enables the person suffering from Alzheimer’s disease to lead a better quality of life. Hence, a healthy and well-balanced diet is necessary during such health conditions.
Certain food items act as aggravating factors during neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, and hence should be strictly avoided. Some of them include:
Summary: There are certain food items that act as aggravating factors and increase the risks of Alzheimer’s disease. Those food items include high sugary and starchy foods, packed and processed food items, etc.
Alzheimer’s disease treatment mainly involves the application of certain antipsychotic drugs. These medicines are helpful in treating symptoms such as aggression, hallucinations, agitation, and paranoia during the disease. But there are some side effects with the use of these drugs which may include:
These side effects may be more serious and life-threatening, especially in old-aged individuals. They may increase the risks of death associated with severe forms of dementia.
Summary: Alzheimer’s disease is usually treated with antipsychotic medicines. But these medicines may be associated with serious and life-threatening risks in older individuals.
It is better to keep the patient suffering from Alzheimer’s disease at home keeping some advantages in mind. However, there may be certain conditions when there arises a need for urgent medical care for such patients.
They are admitted to nursing homes in such circumstances. Following are the conditions when Alzheimer’s patients should be taken under medical supervision:
Summary: Alzheimer’s disease cure is not possible but treatment can be done in order to slow down the progression of the disease. Most of the patients can be managed and cared for at home but severe cases need urgent medical care and attention.
Complete recovery from Alzheimer’s disease is not possible as it is a lifelong degenerative neurological disorder. It is progressive in nature and no treatment methods can ever prevent its progression.
It is also quite uncertain that Alzheimer’s disease life expectancy can ever be increased by the ongoing treatment. Only the speed of disease progression can be slowed and the quality of life can be improved for the people suffering from such conditions.
Summary: Alzheimer’s disease is a lifelong health condition from which no one can recover completely. Progression of the disease can be slowed and quality of life can be improved depending upon the prognosis of the Alzheimer’s disease treatment.
Alzheimer’s disease is increasingly affecting the older population in our country. The disease cannot be cured and involves lifelong continuous treatment. Alzheimer’s disease cost of treatment includes the sum total of expenditure associated with periodic and regular consultation with specialists and the medications prescribed.
It is taken to be around INR 40,000 per month on an average which is quite expensive.
Summary: Alzheimer’s disease cost of treatment is considerably high and it is a lifelong expenditure. It should be done under proper medical supervision.
Physical exercises are beneficial for people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease as they help to maintain normal functioning of the heart, muscles, or joints.
These keep them active throughout the day, maintaining healthy body weight as well. Sleeping habits and bowel movements are also regularized with exercises.
Exercises to be preferred in people experiencing Alzheimer’s disease symptoms include:
Summary: Regular and mild forms of exercise are preferred for people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. These mainly include walking, stretching, stationary biking, yoga, and meditation.
Alzheimer’s disease medication cannot cure the disease but definitely helps to manage the related symptoms. They can be used to slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in painful stages such as memory loss, thinking or reasoning problems, etc.
Based on research, important medicines for Alzheimer's disease which are prescribed by the doctor include:
These medicines are indicated in the specific stages of Alzheimer’s disease but not in the case of mild cognitive impairment which may be a consequence of the age-related neurological degradation.
Summary: Alzheimer’s disease medications are important for the management of progressive neurological degeneration. They help in the control and management of the condition.
Alzheimer’s disease treatment mainly involves the management of the associated signs and symptoms with the application of medicines. Medicines such as Cholinesterase inhibitors, Memantine, etc.
help to slow the progression of symptoms like memory loss, loss of control of thinking and reasoning, etc. However, the results of treatment are not permanent as this is a lifelong neurological disorder.
Alzheimer’s disease untreated conditions can lead to the degeneration of brain cells at a faster rate, hence a continuous form of treatment is necessary for the whole life.
Summary: The results of the treatment are not permanent in the case of Alzheimer’s disease as it is an incurable brain disorder. Treatment should be continued till the whole life of the individual.
Alzheimer’s disease cure is not possible but the associated symptoms can be managed by the application of certain medicines. There may be other alternatives to such treatment forms which may include:
Summary: The main treatment methods for Alzheimer’s disease include medications, however, there are some alternatives to this. Physical exercises and activities, moral and emotional support from the family members, etc. are some important ways to manage the condition.