Memory Disorders Alzheimers
Loss of memory and retarded mental function
Alzheimer’s is a condition marked by loss of memory and retarded mental function. People with alzheimer’s develop forgetfulness, and undergo dramatic personality changes. Alzheimer is the leading cause of dementia, which is marked by loss of intellectual and social skills. Alzheimer’ can only be treated, and cannot be cured completely.
SYMPTOMS & CAUSES
Early symptoms of alzheimer’s include, forgetfulness and mild confusion. Loss of recent memory is definitely the fallout of alzheimer’s. It is also characterized by, repeating statements, forgetting conversations, misplacing possessions, forgetting names of family members, and trouble in finding the right words to identify objects. Alzheimer’s may affect the concentration and thinking abilities of patients.
Patients of Alzheimer’s experience depression, apathy, social withdrawal, mood swings, distrust, irritability and aggressiveness, changes in sleeping habits, wandering, loss of inhibitions and delusions. However, some abilities or skills like read, dance, sing old music, engage in crafts and hobbies, and telling stories may not be lost till the later course of the disease.
Alzheimer’s is caused by a combination of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors. Alzheimer’s is represented by two types of abnormalities. Plaques: Beta-amyloid or protein damages and destroys the brain cells. Tangles: The condition where the tau protein twists into abnormal tangles inside brain cells, leading to failure of the transport system.
RISK FACTORS AND COMPLICATIONS
Alzheimer’s is usually seen in people who are above 65 years and older. However, some may experience symptoms of alzheimer’s in their early 30s. People with Down syndrome develop Alzheimer’s disease. Women are more likely than men to develop Alzheimer’s disease. Also people with severe head trauma may be at the greater risk of Alzheimers disease.
The complications of Alzheimer’s is seen as, inability to communicate, report symptoms of another illness, follow a prescribed treatment plan, and not able to notice or describe medication side effects. The condition of alzheimer’s may result in inhaling food (to cause chocking), and the rise of pneumonia and other infections.
TESTS AND DIAGNOSIS
A doctor prescribes a number of tests as part of the diagnosis process of alzheimer’s. The first test is the physical and neurological exam that includes testing your, reflexes, muscle tone and strength, ability to walk across the room, balance, coordination of thoughts and action, and reflexes of the hands and legs, sight and hearing.
The neuropsychological testing aims to assess the memory and thinking skills of the alzheimer’s patient. Depending on the age and education of the patient, the doctor provides an appropriate neuropsychological testing.
Brain imaging tests leverage on MRI, CT scan, PET scan and Cerebrospinal fluid. All these tests aim to study abnormalities of the brain with visible signs of strokes, trauma or tumors. It is suggested that, patients with alzheimer’s should take the advice of genetic counselors on the risks and benefits of genetic testing.
TREATMENTS & DRUGS
By minimizing memory-demanding tasks life turns easy for alzheimer’s patients. Some tips to be followed include, keeping valuables, mobile phone and wallet at the same place. It also helps in keeping track of the routine actions and activities by using a whiteboard can help to focus on all the needful tasks, without fail, and having regular appointment with the doctor helps to keep the situation under control.
Good food is the first sign of good health. Alzheimer’s patients need to take healthy foods rich in calories, vitamins, minerals and proteins. Taking water, fruit juices and healthy beverages helps to keep the body hydrated, refreshing and healthy. Importantly, consulting your doctor immediately helps to take the corrective steps, and availing the right course of treatment. Only the specialist doctor can provide an assurance on longer period of happy and healthy life.