ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE:Also known as senile dementia.The condition happens when fifth decade of life and its incidence more and more will increase with advancing age. The Alzheimer's sometimes becomes clinically apparent as insidious impairment of upper intellectual operate, with alterations in mood and behavior. Later, progressive disorientation, memory loss & aphasia become manifest, indicating severe cortical dysfunction. Eventually, in 5 to 20 years, the affected individual becomes profoundly mute, and immobile. Patients seldom become symptomatic before fifty years more matured, and also the incidence of the sickness rises with age, and also the prevalence roughly doubles each five years, ranging from tier of I Chronicles for the 60-64 year recent population and reaching four-hundredth or a lot of for 85-89 year recent cohort.
Causes: The cause for many Alzheimer’s cases continues to be principally unknown apart from 1- five-hitter of cases wherever genetic variations are known.Many hypothesis exist making an attempt to elucidate the explanation for illness.
2. Cholinergic hypothesis
3. Amyloid hypothesis
4. Tau hypothesis
The first symptoms of Alzheimer’s vary from person to person. Memory problems are typically one of the first signs of cognitive impairment related to Alzheimer’s disease.
Early stage Alzheimer’s — often diagnosed at this stage.
• Wandering and getting lost
• Trouble handling money and paying bills
• Repeating questions
• Taking longer to complete normal daily tasks
• Personality and behavior changes
Middle stage Alzheimer’s –
• Problems coping with new situations
• Hallucinations, delusions and paranoia
• Inability to learn new things
• Increased memory loss and confusion
• Impulsive behavior
Late stage Alzheimer’s—
• Inability to communicate
• Weight loss
• More abusive and anxious
• Poor ability to think
Stages of Alzheimers & Dementia:
The disease course is divided into four stages, with a progressive pattern of cognitive and functional impairment.
1. Pre-dementia- The first symptoms are often mistaken to ageing or stress. These early symptoms affect the most complex activities of daily living. The most noticeable deficit is short term memory loss and inability to acquire new information.
2. Early stage Alzheimer’s- As the disease progresses, people with AD can often continue to perform many task independently, but may need assistance or supervision with the most cognitively demanding activities
3. Middle stage Alzheimer’s- Progressive deterioration eventually hinders independence, with subjects unable to perform most common activities of daily living which may create stress for relatives and carers,which can be reduced by moving the person from home care to other long-term care facilities.
4. Late stage Alzheimer’s- During the final stages, the patient is completely dependent upon caregivers and ultimately not be able perform even the simplest tasks independently; muscle mass and mobility deteriorate to the point where they are unable to feed themselves and are bedridden. The cause of death is usually an external factor, such as infection of pressure ulcers or pneumonia, not the disease itself.
Diagnosis of Alzheimers:
There is no test that can show whether a person has Alzheimer’s. While physicians can almost always determine if a person has dementia, it’s difficult to determine the exact cause. Diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease requires careful medical evaluation, including:
1. A thorough medical history
2. Mental status testing
3. A physical and neurological exam
4. Tests are done such as brain imaging & blood tests to rule out other causes of dementia-like symptoms.
Importance of early diagnosis-
Although the onset of Alzheimer’s disease cannot be stopped or reversed, an early diagnosis of disease allows people with dementia and their families a better chance of benefiting from treatment, more time to plan for the future and an opportunity to participate in decisions about care, transportation, financial and legal matters.
• Lifestyle-people who engage in intellectual activities such as reading, playing board games, completing crossword puzzles or regular social interaction show reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
• Diet- people who eat a healthy, Japanese, or Mediterranean diet have lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.