Alzheimer's Disease. / What Should I Do?
Here is everything you really need to know about
Alzheimer's disease all in one place...
Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder named for German physician Alois Alzheimer, who first described it in 1906. Scientists have learned a great deal about Alzheimer’s disease in the century since Dr. Alzheimer first drew attention to it. Today we know that Alzheimer’s:
- Is a progressive and fatal brain disease. As many as 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer's destroys brain cells, causing memory loss and problems with thinking and behavior severe enough to affect work, lifelong hobbies or social life. Alzheimer’s gets worse over time, and it is fatal. Today it is the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States.
- Is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other intellectual abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 50 to 80 percent of dementia cases.
The Alzheimer's Association has developed the following list of warning signs that include common symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. Individuals who exhibit several of these symptoms should see a physician for a complete evaluation.
- Memory loss
- Difficulty performing familiar tasks
- Problems with language
- Disorientation to time and place
- Poor or decreased judgment
- Problems with abstract thinking
- Misplacing things
- Changes in mood or behavior
- Changes in personality
10. Loss of initiative
- Most patients with Alzheimer's disease are over 65 years of age.
- There are 10 classic warning signs of Alzheimer's disease: memory loss, difficulty performing familiar tasks, problems with language, disorientation to time and place, poor or decreased judgment, problems with abstract thinking, misplacing things, changes in mood or behavior, changes in personality, and loss of initiative.
- Patients with symptoms of dementia should be thoroughly evaluated before they become inappropriately or negligently labeled Alzheimer's disease.
- Although there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, treatments are available to alleviate many of the symptoms that cause suffering.
- The management of Alzheimer's disease consists of medication based and non-medication based treatments organized to care for the patient and family. Treatments aimed at changing the underlying course of the disease (delaying or reversing the progression) have so far been largely unsuccessful. Medicines that restore the defect, or malfunctioning, in the chemical messengers of the nerve cells have been shown to improve symptoms. Finally, medications are available that deal with the psychiatric manifestations of Alzheimer's disease.
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