What if one fine day someone very near to you could not recognize you? Feeling is horrible, Isn't it? Yes, so many people are suffering from Alzheimer Disease (AD), which is a brain disorder that seriously affects a person's ability to carry out daily activities. People with AD may have trouble remembering things that happened recently or names of people they know. Over time, symptoms get worse. People may not recognize family members or have trouble speaking, reading or writing.
AD usually begins after age 60. The risk goes up as you get older. Your risk is also higher if a family member has had the disease. Estimates vary, but experts suggest that as many as 5.1 million Americans may have Alzheimer's.
Signs and symptoms:
Memory problems that family members initially dismiss as "a normal part of aging" are in retrospect noted by the family to be the first stages of Alzheimer's disease.
Problems of memory, particularly for recent events (short-term memory) are common early in the course of Alzheimer's disease.
As the disease progresses, problems in abstract thinking and in other intellectual functions develop.
Later in the course of the disorder, affected individuals may become confused or disoriented about what month or year it is, be unable to describe accurately where they live, or be unable to name a place being visited.
Late stages of the disease, persons may become totally incapable of caring for themselves. Death can then follow.
Cause for Alzheimer disease is really not clear till now. One possible reason is disease is transferred genetically and inherited from parents. The biggest risk factor for Alzheimer's disease is increased age. Some studies have found that Alzheimer's disease occurs more often among people who suffered significant traumatic head injuries earlier in life.
Safety concerns: People with Alzheimer's disease become increasingly unable to take care of themselves. So you need to take special care of them.
- Check the safety of your home regularly; this will help you take control of some of the potential problems that may create hazardous situations.
- It is more effective to change the environment than to change most behaviors. While some Alzheimer's behaviors can be managed with special medications prescribed by a doctor, many cannot. You can make changes in an environment to decrease the hazards and stressors that accompany these behavioral and functional changes.
- A safe environment can be a less restrictive environment where the person with Alzheimer's disease can experience increased security and more mobility.
Treatment: There is currently no cure for Alzheimer's, but scientific research is bringing us closer to a cure every day.The management of Alzheimer's disease consists of medication based and non-medication based treatments. Support and education for caregivers and family members is also crucial to the best care of people with Alzheimer's.