- Alzheimer’s disease is a disease of the brain impacting the functions of memory, thinking, language, reasoning, and orientation to time and place. Persons with Alzheimer’s disease also have mood changes and anxiety. They can become irritable when their routine alters. All these declines in functions disrupt one’s ability to perform their daily task. The person with Alzheimer’s disease withdraws from social engagement because of difficulty with having a conversation and poor judgment skills.
2. It is usually seen in the age group above 65 years and more common after 80 years of age. Some early-onset Alzheimer’s is observed in the below 65 age group but is less common.
3. Alzheimer’s is named after a doctor, Dr. Alois Alzheimers, who discovered it first in 1906, describing it as a disease affecting memory.
4. The causative factor of Alzheimer’s disease is a combination of genetics, advancing age, environment, and lifestyle factors.
5. Alzheimer’s disease is more prevalent in western European countries and North America. According to Alzheimer’s Association, in 2021, an estimated 6.2 million Americans age 65 and older got affected by Alzheimer’s dementia.
6. Changes at the pathophysiological level occurring in Alzheimer’s disease affect the nerve cells, further leading to shrinkage of the affected areas of the brain.
7. Difference between Mild Cognitive Impairment(MCI) and Alzheimer’s-In Mild Cognitive impairment, there is a mild problem with memory and thinking. People often forget and lose things and have difficulty coming up with words. It’s like an early stage of Alzheimer’s disease. All persons with MCI do not progress to full-blown Alzheimers.
8. Alzheimer’s and Dementia- Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. According to WHO, about 60-70 % of cases of dementia are of Alzheimer’s disease. Other types of dementia also exist. They include vascular dementia, Lewy-body dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and mixed dementia.
9. Alzheimer’s disease is progressively worsening and has no cure. Pharmacological treatment for symptomatic relief is available. Cognitive retraining aims at improving cognitive function, and other possible interventions for Alzheimer’s are undergoing clinical trials.
10. Later stages of Alzheimer’s disease require total care. Patients are dependent on others for care. Early diagnosis is crucial to delay the progression and better management of Alzheimer’s disease.
11. Aerobic exercise, balance-coordination activities, and muscle strengthening exercises help with daily tasks in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Structured physical activities can also help to improve cognitive function in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
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