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The Forgetful Neurological Disorder – Alzheimer’s Disease

Do you often forget things? Finding it difficult to remember where you kept the car’s keys? Did you forget about the purpose of coming into the room? The death of brain cells, loss of memory and cognitive decline leads to Alzheimer’s disease. A neurodegenerative disorder, Alzheimer’s disease gets worse if left untreated. There is an estimated 5.3 million Americans suffering from this dementia. Every 67 seconds, a person in the US develops Alzheimer’s. According to the reports, it is one of the top 10 causes of death in the US that cannot be cured, prevented or slowed.

Alzheimer’s disease is Caused Due to?
Alzheimer’s disease is caused due to the death of brain cells. Being a neurodegenerative disease, there is a progressive brain cell death that takes places over a course of time. A person suffering from Alzheimer’s disease experiences shrinking of the total brain size, which cannot be observed in the living brain.
While the causes of this neurodegenerative disorder are still not fully understood, its effect in the brain has been clearly studied on. A person suffering from Alzheimer’s disease has fewer cells as compared to a healthy person.
Two types of abnormalities are believed to be the hallmarks of the disease:

  • Tangles: Internal support and transport system is responsible to carry nutrients to and fro the brain. This system requires normal functioning of tau protein. However, in Alzheimer, threads of tau protein are twisted inside the brain cells, which lead to failure of the system.
  • Plaques: Beta-amyloid may destroy or damage the brain cells in a variety of ways. While the reason behind brain cell death is not known, the collection of Beta-amyloid outside the brain cells is believed to be the prime suspect.

Alzheimer’s disease Symptoms
Mild confusion and increasing forgetfulness are the only symptoms that are more commonly observed. However, with time the disease robs the patient of his memories, even the most recent ones. Some of the most commonly seen symptoms include:

  • Repeating the Same Question or Statement Over and Over Again.
  • Routinely Misplace Possessions.
  • Forgetting Names and Familiar Objects.
  • Have Trouble Identifying Subjects.
  • Getting Lost in Familiar Places.
  • Problem With Language and Thinking.
  • Difficulty in Expressing Oneself.
  • Change in Personality and Behavior.
  • Mood Swings and Social Withdrawal.
  • Delusions.
  • Wandering and Depression.

Apart from this, a person may not experience loss of important skills such as the ability to read, enjoy music, tell stories or engage in crafts or hobbies until the very severe stage of Alzheimer’s.

Risk Factor Concerning Alzheimer’s disease
There are some commonly associated risk factors that are modifiable or easily preventable. However, having knowledge about the risk factors help you prevent or treat the disease.

Unavoidable risk factors

  • Age: Alzheimer’s disease is more likely to affect people in their older age.
  • Family History: Alzheimer’s disease runs in the family and is considered as the second biggest risk factor.

Potentially avoidable risk factors

Controlling blood pressure and cholesterol level can help a person avoid this neurological disorder.
Sleeping disorder is also believed to be a risk factor that can be avoided.

Complications Associated with Alzheimer’s disease
Memory loss, impaired judgment, and cognitive changes are some symptoms that can complicate the treatment for the disorder. An Alzheimer patient in his last stage can begin to experience some physical effects including:

  • Bedsores.
  • Pneumonia.
  • Inhaling Liquid Into the Lungs.
  • Falls and Fractures.
  • Malnutrition or Dehydration.

With the availability of no specific test to confirm the disease, the doctor makes the judgment based on the information provided by the patient and results of different tests. Some of the tests that doctors rely on include:

  • Physical and neurological examination.
  • Mental Status.
  • Brain Imaging.
  • Neuropsychological Testing.
  • Diagnostic Testing.

Alzheimer’s disease Treatment
There is no cure to treat the dead brain cells or reverse the process. However, therapeutic interventions can help patients to effectively manage the condition. The doctors may prescribe some medicines to slow down the process, but it cannot be reversed.

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