What is Alzheimer disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is a long-term disease that damages and deteriorates the brain. It’s a type of dementia that only affects persons over 65. Alzheimer’s disease is caused by a combination of genetics, age, and family history. Alzheimer’s disease, which accounts for 60-80 per cent of all dementia cases, is the most common cause of dementia. The ability to communicate your symptoms and the view of a close family member or friend on symptoms and their impact on everyday life are critical components of diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease. A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is based on your doctor’s memory and thinking abilities tests. Other possible reasons can be ruled out through laboratory and imaging testing, and the doctor can better diagnose the condition causing dementia symptoms. Alzheimer’s disease, on the other hand, is only definitively identified after death when a microscopic examination of the brain reveals the disease’s characteristic plaques and tangles.
Early warning signs of Alzheimer disease
- Confusion: Alzheimer’s patients may lose track of dates, seasons, and the passage of time. If something does not happen right away, they may have difficulty understanding it. They can lose track of where they are and how they got there.
- Trouble in understanding images: Vision issues can be an indication of Alzheimer’s disease in certain persons. It may lose its balance or have difficulty reading as a result of this. They may also have difficulty calculating distance and distinguishing colour or contrast, which can make driving difficult.
- Poor judgment: Alzheimer’s patients may face problems in their decision-making process. They may, for example, have impaired judgement when dealing with money or neglect to groom or keep themselves neat.
- Change in mood: Alzheimer’s patients may notice changes in their attitude and personality. They may become perplexed, distrustful, unhappy, afraid, or apprehensive due to their experiences. They may become easily agitated when they are at home, among friends, or out of their comfort zone.
- Misplacing things: A person who has Alzheimer’s disease may arrange objects in unexpected locations. They may lose items and be unable to retrace their steps to locate them. As the condition worsens, they may accuse others of stealing.
- Problems in speaking and writing: Alzheimer’s patients may have difficulty following or joining a conversation. They may come to a halt in the middle of a conversation, unsure how to proceed, or they may repeat themselves. They may lack language, have difficulty naming a known thing, or use incorrect words.
- Memory loss: Forgetting important information is one of the most typical indications of Alzheimer’s disease, especially early. Other factors include forgetting important dates or events, and repeatedly asking the same questions, and increasingly relying on memory aids (e.g., reminder notes or technological devices) or family members for tasks they used to perform on their own.
- Challenges in solving problems: One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s disease, especially in the early stages, is forgetting information. Others include forgetting important dates, and asking the same type of questions repeatedly, and relying on memory aids or family members for completing tasks they used to be able to complete alone.
Benefits of Early Detection in Alzheimer’s Disease
- Aside from Alzheimer’s, many other diseases share some of the same symptoms, which are treatable and even reversible. And, in many cases, the sooner they’re recognised and treated, the better. Vitamin B12 insufficiency, normal pressure hydrocephalus, delirium, thyroid issues, and depression are possible causes.
- Many clinical studies are only open to persons with Alzheimer’s disease who are in the early stages of the disease. Some clinical trials demand that the person with dementia agree to participate and demonstrate that they understand the problem. Several treatments in development are aimed at patients who are still in the early stages of the disease. Early detection makes you qualify for more clinical trials and increases your chances of benefiting from the drug or treatment strategy used in the test.
- Early diagnosis gives you more time to identify and solve potential safety issues. Driving, medication errors, wandering, and hazards in the house are just a few examples.
- In general, drugs that have already been approved are more likely to be effective early in the illness process. This is due to their limited effectiveness, which often results in the person’s existing functioning being maintained, thereby slowing the illness rather than reversing the symptoms. Some people respond well to drugs and claim improvements, while others show little to no effect.
- Some people opt to record memories of the person with dementia when they have a progressing condition like Alzheimer’s, which could be accomplished in various ways like writing, photography, videography, and more.
- Knowing what to expect as Alzheimer’s disease progresses is beneficial for those with Alzheimer’s and their family members. Learning about the stages of Alzheimer’s disease can be challenging at times, but knowing what to expect and how to prepare for those changes is often beneficial.
- Following a diagnosis, several family members have expressed guilt over being impatient, frustrated, or short-tempered with their loved one, unaware that her forgetfulness or misbehaviour was not purposeful. An early diagnosis might assist the caregiver in determining how to best understand and support the individual living with dementia.