Chances are you know someone who has or has been affected by the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s. This brain disease causes a decline in a person’s memory, reasoning and even thinking skills. It can make menial tasks like bathing and dressing seem impossible. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. Symptoms generally present themselves as very mild in the beginning and get worse over time. Although one of the greatest risk factors for Alzheimer’s is aging, the disease is not a normal part of getting older. Alzheimer’s remains a quiet disease, even though studies show an upcoming epidemic.
The best way to tackle the disease is through early detection and education. If treated early enough, you can get the maximum benefits from the available treatment options. No specific tests are available for complete detection of Alzheimer’s. Instead, a medical diagnosis is made through an assessment of a variety of tests. When a physician tests you for Alzheimer’s, a complete medical workout is performed. The physician asks you questions about your diet, use of alcohol and the types of medications you currently take. The doctor will also perform routine tests to analyze your overall physical health. There is also a genetic screening test for the APOE-e4 gene. Those who carry this mutated gene are at a higher risk for developing Alzheimer’s than those who do not.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s
If you have any concerns about the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s, there are a few common things to look for. If you experience any type of memory loss that affects your daily life, you may have Alzheimer’s. This can include forgetting major dates and events, such as Christmas. You may find you consistently need to refer to a calendar to remind you. You may also forget how to follow a recipe or fail to recall how to keep track of your monthly bills. Another common sign of Alzheimer’s is forgetting how to perform a common task. Maybe you can’t remember how to send an email or operate your printer. People with Alzheimer’s often feel confused about where they are or how they got there. Some have problems with vision, such as problems judging distance or color, and an individual with Alzheimer’s may have difficulty following a conversation or joining in. Other symptoms can be poor judgment, withdrawal from work and extreme changes in mood.
Currently there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but there are several forms of treatment that can help address the cognitive and behavioral symptoms of the disease for a limited time. According to the Alzheimer’s Organization, two types of drugs have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of Alzheimer’s. These medications include cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine. Both are used to treat memory loss, confusions and thinking and reasoning issues that can arise with the disease. There are also alternative drugs, activities and supplements that may help slow down the progression of the disease.
Because the onset of the epidemic of this disease, more needs to be done. Research plays a vital role in the treatment and cure. Several organizations offer free clinical trials, including TrialMatch, which is founded by the Alzheimer’s Association.
In spite of the chances of an Alzheimer’s epidemic, recent trends suggest the number of cases could be reduced and possibly prevented if caught early enough. In the meantime, developed countries must be proactive if finding a cure or at least continue efforts to slow down the devastating effects of this disease. For opportunities on how you can assist these efforts, check out the The Alzheimer’s Site today.Whizzco