In this Health Article:
- What Causes Alzheimer's?
- What Are the Types of Alzheimer's?
- What Are the Symptoms of Alzheimer's?
- What Are the Diagnosis & Tests for Alzheimer's?
- What Are the Treatments Available for Alzheimer's?
- How Do You Cope Up with Alzheimer's?
- What Are the Ways to Prevent Alzheimer's?
- Medications for Alzheimer's Available at InternationalDrugMart.com
- Self Care – The Bottom Line to Lower Your Alzheimer's
IntroductionAlzheimer's disease is a fatal brain disease. Areas of the brain of the afflicted individual shrink. Alzheimer's is a progressive disease. As Alzheimer's gets worse over time, it affects different areas of the brain thus impairing various abilities. Alzheimer's is the most common type of dementia. Alzheimer's, in its common form affects individuals over 65 years of age. However, Alzheimer's is not to be understood as a normal part of aging or an inevitable happening as one age.
What Causes Alzheimer's?A definite cause for Alzheimer's is yet to be established. Research conducted so far indicate that Alzheimer's is associated with plaques and tangles in the brain. Plaques are numerous tiny dense deposits of amyloid (insoluble fibrous protein) scattered throughout the brain, which become toxic to the brain cells at excessive levels. Tangles are normal part of ageing. But accumulation of neurofibrillay tau tangles can interfere with vital processes of the brain.
What Are the Types of Alzheimer's?There are three types of Alzheimer's.
Early-onset Alzheimer's: Highly rare wherein people below the age of 65 are diagnosed with Alzheimer's. This form is linked with a genetic defect on chromosome 14.
Late-onset Alzheimer's: A common form that usually occurs after age 65. Also referred to as sporadic Alzheimer's disease, it may or may not be hereditary.
Familial Alzheimer's disease: Extremely rare and is directly linked with heredity, this form can occur even in the 40s.
What Are the Symptoms of Alzheimer's?When Alzheimer's begins to destroy brain cells, no outward symptoms or signs are visible. Only after a period of time, small memory lapses appear and gradually grow more serious. One may experience difficulties communicating, learning, thinking and reasoning. For example, the afflicted individual will forget the names of familiar people or places, struggle for words to express what he/she wants to, find it difficult to remember the location of objects or things in familiar surroundings. Friends and family members usually notice the early symptoms.
- Tends to forget something which he/she had read/learnt recently. They may even forget latest happenings.
- Even preparing a meal or placing a telephone call or playing a game becomes difficult. They may forget steps involved in performing even day-to day tasks.
- They may struggle for words to express what he/she wants to. Deterioration in speech will be noticeable.
- They may get lost in their own neighborhood. May forget familiar paths and may not follow simple directions.
- They will lack co-ordination in activities and may show poor judgment.
- Dressing inappropriately. For example, wearing warm clothes in summer.
- Lose sense of time and dates, months and year.
- May exhibit rapid mood swings for no apparent reason.
- Rapid change in personality and behavior.
- Tendency to get fixed to a particular activity non-stop for a long duration.
What Are the Diagnosis & Tests for Alzheimer's?Getting in touch with regular primary care physician without any further delay when a person has concerns over memory loss, behavioral changes or thinking skills has its advantages. It helps to plan the future course of treatment required. Besides, the family members will be able to prepare for worsening symptoms and make appropriate plans. The physician may begin with a preliminary check-up. Subsequently, the physician may refer the patient to a neurologist, psychiatrist and psychologist. In the absence of a single test that guide in diagnosis, these experts use a variety of assessments and laboratory measurements to make a diagnosis. Alzheimer's diagnosis will probably involve these steps.
- A detailed medical analysis with the afflicted individual either through a questionnaire or an interview followed by a meeting with a close family member.
- Evaluation of hearing and sight, blood pressure and pulse readings.
- Recommending standard laboratory tests such as urine and blood tests to eliminate other possible illness.
- Tests to screen depression.
- Neuropsychological tests to assess cognitive symptoms
- A CT or MRI scans to rule out blood clots and brain tumors.
What Are the Treatments Available for Alzheimer's?There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease. Medications can only slow down the process. However, for those in the early and middle stages, drugs are prescribed to contain symptoms or limit worsening of the situation. Drugs like Aricept (Donepzesil), NMDA Receptor, certain cholinesterase inhibitor medications, rivastigmine (Exelon) or galantamine (Razadyne), Namenda (Memantine), can help in containing symptoms.
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How Do You Cope Up with Alzheimer's?As much as the afflicted individual, caregivers face a range of challenges. Initially, it would take time to accept the reality and the changes it has caused. Besides memory loss, the caretaker can expect to face behavioral changes, frequent outbursts, vague language, absence of co-ordination in day-to-day activities, obsession to a particular activity – all these demand a great deal of patience and the ability to manage. Further, it is highly important to keep the environment safe so that the patient doesn't get hurt and keep a constant watch so that he/she doesn't wander off unknowingly. Use these tips and help the afflicted individual to cope with Alzheimer's and reduce its severity.
- Never leave the person alone.
- Be with the person and take them though daily routine.
- Involve them in things they like to do.
- Ensure the person gets enough sleep.
- Try and get them used to enjoy a form of entertainment.
- Get involved with Alzheimer's support organization for support.
- Use entertainment as a therapeutic treatment method.
- Ensure the person eat a good diet and exercises regularly.
What Are the Ways to Prevent Alzheimer's?The best way to prevent Alzheimer's is by removing the risk factors associated with it. Use these tips to prevent Alzheimer's. Interestingly, steps taken to prevent heart disease and stroke work well for preventing Alzheimer's. The risk factors are similar.
- Exercise your brain
- Make lifestyle changes to reduce stress.
- Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
- Protect your brain. Wear helmets to prevent head injury where necessary.
- Wear seatbelts while traveling in car.
- Keep house less slippery to avoid slips/falls.
- Stimulate brain by socializing or actively networking.
- Involve in activities that provide for mental exercise.
- Don't postpone doctor visits if feeling depressed for more than a week.
- Check with physicians and take medications to prevent Alzheimer's.
- Engage in activities that provide satisfaction and happiness.
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MEMANTINE (Memantine) View All Other Medications >>
Herbal Medication(s) for Alzheimer's at InternationalDrugMart.com
Mentat (Mind Care), Mentat Syrup DS, Mentat Syrup (Mind Care)
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Self Care – The Bottom Line to Lower Your Alzheimer'sYou may face situations where you or your loved one may face awkward and embarrassing situation, which is an outcome of your state of health. Consider carrying handwritten cards that describe your state of health and avoid embarrassing situations. Here are few simple, effective Alzheimer's self-care tips that can help reduce symptoms once they are present.
- Prefer low fat foods.
- Select foods high in vitamin B-12.
- Limit coffee intake.
- Include more fruits, vegetables and fruits.
- Look for foods high in folate.
- Drink more green tea.
- Increase consumption of magnesium rich foods.
- Consult physician for Alzhemier's for Vitamin C & E supplements.
- Keep blood pressure under control.
- Keep your mind active.
- Stop smoking.
- Learn to divert when feeling agitated.
- Exercise to keep memory loss under control.