What Is Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s is a disease that robs people of their memory. At first, people have a hard time remembering recent events, though they might easily recall things that happened years ago. As time goes on, other symptoms can appear, including:
· Trouble focusing
· A hard time doing ordinary activities
· Feeling confused or frustrated, especially at night
· Dramatic mood swings—outbursts of anger, anxiety, and depression
· Feeling disoriented and getting lost easily
· Physical problems, such as an odd walk or poor coordination
· Trouble communicating
· Poor judgement when making decisions
· Trouble finding appropriate words, completing sentences, and following directions
The disease makes brain tissue break down over time. It usually happens to people over age 65. About 1 in 8 people age 65 and over has the disease. Although people who get it are older, the disease is not a normal part of aging.
Scientist aren’t sure why some people get it and others don’t. However they do know that the symptoms it causes seem to come from two main types of nerve damage:
· Nerve cells get tangles, called neurofibrillary tangles.
· Protein deposits called beta-amyloid plaques build up in the brain.
It could also be a protein in the blood called ApoE, which the body uses to move cholesterol in the blood. Genes almost certainly play a role in the disease. People who have a parent or sibling with Alzheimer’s are more likely to get it themselves.
· Some studies have shown a link between Alzheimer’s and a major head injury.
· High cholesterol levels and high blood pressure may also raise your risk.
As Alzheimer’s progresses, a patient’s ability to handle daily task dwindles. This is why it is so important to try and slow down the loss of brain cells by participating in familiar activities to stimulate the brain.
Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s can require around the clock monitoring and a lot of patience. People with Alzheimer’s are prone to spells of frustration, anger and paranoia as they can be quick to think that people are stealing from them.
Currently over 100 million people require oversight due to various forms of memory impairment. That number is expected to increase to 277 million by 2050, according to the 2013 World Alzheimer’s Report.
Submitted by the Health Care Ministry