What is Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s is a neurological condition in which brain cells die, resulting in memory loss and cognitive deterioration. The illness primarily affects adults over 65, with only 10% of cases occurring in people younger than that. At first, the symptoms are mild, but as time passes, they get more severe. Alzheimer’s disease is characterised by memory loss, speech difficulties, and impulsive or unpredictable behaviour. Plaques and tangles in the brain are two of the most prevalent indicators of Alzheimer’s disease. Another sign is a breakdown of connectivity between the brain’s nerve cells or neurons. Because of these factors, information cannot quickly move between different brain sections and muscles or organs.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive illness, which means that the symptoms worsen over time. Memory loss is a typical sign of Alzheimer’s disease, and it’s usually one of the first to manifest.
The signs and symptoms can take months or years to show. If they last for hours or days, seek medical attention since they could be indicators of a stroke.
- Memory loss: A person may have trouble processing new information and remembering it, leading to repeated statements or discussions, objects being misplaced, events or appointments being forgotten, and wandering or becoming lost.
- Cognitive deficits: Reasoning, complex tasks, and judgement may be challenging for the person, leading to a lack of knowledge of safety and risks, financial difficulties or problems paying bills, difficulty making decisions, and difficulty completing multi-step chores like getting dressed.
- Problems with recognition: A person’s ability to recognise faces or objects may deteriorate, and their ability to use simple equipment. The lack of eyesight doesn’t cause these troubles.
- Problems with spatial awareness: A person’s posture may be affected, causing them to trip over or spill objects more frequently, or they may have trouble orienting clothing to their body when getting dressed.
- Problems with speaking, reading, or writing: A person’s ability to remember common words may deteriorate, or they may make more speaking, spelling, or writing errors.
- Personality or behaviour changes: A person’s attitude and behaviour may alter, such as becoming more disturbed, angry, or frightened than usual, losing interest in or motivation for activities they typically enjoy, losing empathy, and engaging in compulsive, obsessive, or socially inappropriate behaviour.
Cause of Alzheimer
Alzheimer’s disease, like other prevalent chronic diseases, is thought to arise as a result of complex interactions among many factors, including age, genetics, environment, lifestyle, and other medical problems in the great majority of cases. While certain risk factors, such as age or genes, are unchangeable, others, such as high blood pressure and lack of exercise, may usually be altered to help lower risk. These studies may lead to new techniques to identify those who are more in danger.
Ways to avoid Alzheimer
Because the origin of Alzheimer’s disease is unknown, there is no sure way to prevent it. On the other side, leading a healthy lifestyle can help you reduce your risk.
Reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease
A higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia is related to cardiovascular illness. By improving your cardiovascular health, you may be able to minimise your risk of acquiring these disorders, as well as other significant problems, including strokes and heart attacks. These includes:
- Limiting the amount of alcohol consumed
- Stopping smoking.
- Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet that includes at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
- Have at least 150 min of moderate exercise (such as cycling or quick walking) per week or as much as you can.
- ensuring that your blood pressure is tested and controlled regularly through health checks
- If you have diabetes, stick to your diet and take your medication.
Other risk factors for dementia
According to a recent study, other factors are also important, though this does not indicate they are directly responsible for dementia. These includes:
- Hearing loss.
- Depression is gone untreated (although this can also be a symptom of dementia).
- Isolation from others or loneliness.
- A sedentary way of life
Keeping your mind and social life active
There’s some evidence that people who stay mentally and socially engaged throughout their lives have a lower risk of dementia. It’s possible to lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia by doing the following:
- studying a foreign language
- Performing on musical instruments
- Participate in community service in your area
- attempting new sports or hobbies
- having a dynamic social life
Alzheimer’s disease does not have a reliable test. Your doctor, on the other hand, would most likely do many tests to determine your diagnosis. Mental, physical, neurological, and imaging exams are examples of these. A mental status examination may be the first step taken by your doctor. It can help them examine your short-term and long-term memory, as well as your sense of place and time. After that, they’ll most likely perform a physical examination. They might take your temperature, check your blood pressure, and examine your heart rate, for example. The doctor might also take urine or blood samples for laboratory testing in some circumstances.
The doctor might also do a neurological test to rule out other diseases, such as an infection or stroke. They will examine your reflexes, muscular tone, and speech during this examination.