Alzheimer's : The danger Disease

What is Alzheimer's Disease?
Alzheimer's Disease is a progressive, degenerative disorder in which the nerve cells of the brain are destroyed and the brain substance shrinks.
The disease is most common form of dementia (disorder of mental processes) which, over a period of years, leads to a gradual decline in all areas of personal, mental, and intellectual ability.
The course of the disease is different for each individual but may last for 2-20 years (the average being 5-10 years).

What causes the Alzheimer's Disease?
The cause of Alzheimer's Disease is not fully understood. it is believed there may be genetic (hereditary) factors involved.
These are the few causes may involve:
• Narrowing of the arteries supplying blood to the brain. The lack of blood can cause damage to the brain, either due to reduced oxygen supply.

• Abnormal inclusions in brain cells.
• Proteins found in brain cells.
• Psychological and behavioral Symptoms.
Infections and environmental factors may also have influence on the progress of the disease, but the extent of this is not fully known.

Recognizing the symptoms
An early sign of the disease is forgetfulness and Anxiety. As short-term memory fails and recall of recent events of long-ago but is unable to recollect things that have happened that day, or even hours before. As the disease progresses, memory loss becomes more severe and the individual's own language, understanding, and recognition deteriorate.
Other symptoms may include:
• Incontinence
• Confusion of place and time
• Irritable or agitated temperament
• Lack of recognition of family and friends
• Lack of control of movement
• Child-like mental ability
• Sleeplessness
• Mood swings
• Depression
• Constipation

In the latter stages of illness, the patient may lose the ability to carry out most everyday activities including washing, dressing, eating, and drinking, becoming totally dependent on other for their daily needs. They may wander without direction or sit motionless for hours.
Agitation, anxiety, wandering, repetitive speech, and paranoia are also common signs of the disease. A person with Alzheimer's may experience hallucinations or become combative or docile. Eventually the person may become bedridden and develop complication including bedsores, feeding problem, and pneumonia.

Diagnosing the Condition
The diagnosis of the disease is made on an assessment of history and symptoms. This may involve nervous and mental states, and exclusion of conditions that mimic Alzheimer's Disease. Memory tests, blood tests and brain scans may form part of the procedures and may extend over a period of time (months).
The recognized stages in the development of the disease are:
1. Impairment of short term memory.
2. Loss of cognitive (learning and understanding) skills, including the ability to calculate: the perception of space, vision, and time: and the ability to use common objects and tools.
3. Advanced stage-severely affected levels of alertness and arousal.

There is no known cure for the disease, nor is there any way of repairing damage that has already occurred to the brain cells.
Most treatment aims to relieve the symptoms of the condition. This is particularly important in the early stage of the disease when the patient is aware of their own situation.

(Always consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about the prescribed medication.

Type of Drug & Effect
Acetyl cholinesterase
Slow down the breakdown of acetylcholine, increasing the Inhibitors amount available for the functioning of the brain cells. It delays the emergence of agitation/ aggression, irritability/liability and night-time behavior.
Other drugs which may be used to treat specific symptoms.
Can reduce the occurrence of hallucinations with agitation.
Can reduce the depression expression experienced by some patients.
May be of help in reducing long term anxiety with agitation.
Treat the symptoms of constipation when present.
Treat the symptoms of sleeplessness.
Other Treatments Complementary
Some people may find alternative or complementary treatment to have a beneficial effect. these include but are not limited to ;
Homeopathy; Acupuncture; Massage; Aromatherapy, Herbal Medicines.

Psychological Therapy
In the early stage of the disease, Psychotherapy may help to reduce the symptoms of depression and agitation.
Recalling memories of the past with photos, memories, and talking at length about family, friends and events can maintain the patient’s awareness, lift mood, and retain mental ability for as long as possible.

Breathing Exercise Therapy
Breathing Exercise Therapy can help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Social implications
Most people with dementia are cared for by their families. As dementia progresses people affected become unable to care for themselves and need help with all aspects of daily life In many developing countries there is little help and social support for people with dementia and their carers .In those countries the role of the Alzheimer's association is vital, as it often provides the only practical and emotional support. There are 36 million people are suffering from Alzheimer's Dementia.

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