Alzheimer's disease is a brain disorder which gradually destroys the ability to reason, remember, imagine, and learn. It's different from the mild forgetfulness normally observed in older people. Over the course of the disease, people with Alzheimer's no longer recognize themselves or much about the world around them. Depression, anxiety, and paranoia often accompany these symptoms. Although there is no cure, new treatments help lessen Alzheimer's symptoms and slow its progression.
Alzheimer's is marked by abnormal clumps (called senile plaques) and irregular knots (called neurofibrillary tangles) of brain cells. For reasons not well understood, these plaques and tangles take over healthy brain tissue, devastating the areas of the brain associated with intellectual function.
How are people affected?
Over time, their mental abilities deteriorate, gradually progressing through forgetting important matters, getting confused about where they are and what day it is, to becoming lethargic and withdrawn and starting to neglect personal hygiene.
The sufferer may tend to dwell in the past and mistake friends and neighbours for long-departed family members. Conversation may become repetitive and the personality may alter as people develop odd or uncharacteristic behaviours.
In the later stages of the illness, sufferers lose insight and may not be aware of their plight, which makes the disease particularly hard for carers to bear.
Symptoms of Alzheimer's disease
Symptoms of Alzheimer's disease are often confused with the changes that take place in normal aging, it's important to recognize the difference. Alzheimer's disease is not a normal part of aging. Any symptoms that are observed in older relatives or yourself should be considered serious. A doctor's appointment should be scheduled to determine the cause of the symptoms.
Causes of Alzheimer's disease
The greatest known cause for Alzheimer's disease is increasing age. The statistics reveal that the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease doubles about every five years after age 65. The other major cause of Alzheimer's disease is family history or heredity (genetics). When Alzheimer's disease tends to run in families, either heredity (genetics) or environmental factors or both may play a major role. Alzheimer's disease may also be caused by a serious head injury or severe heart diseases that damage the heart or blood vessels.
Prevention of Alzheimer's disease Though difficult at the outset, lifestyle changes, change of outlook and active mental and physical routine are supposed to render help in prevention of Alzheimer's disease. To begin with, let us see how mental stimulation may assist in the prevention of Alzheimer's disease.
Health studies conducted on nuns revealed that those who participated regularly in intellectual pursuits were less likely to contact Alzheimer's. Further studies also proved that a mere brainwave might not put a stringent check on Alzheimer's altogether, but it certainly delayed the onset and the progression of the symptoms that are no less distressing. So, for prevention of Alzheimer's disease one could just about read adventure stories, travel literature, sci-fi stories or do Crossword puzzles, play chess or scrabble.
Cure for Alzheimer:
Although some physicians are using certain medication to either slow down the degeneration process which is done sometimes with the vitamin B12, or to diminish the severity of certain symptoms, behaviors or mood changes, experts all agree on one fact: there is no cure.
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