The Increasing Risk of Alzheimer's DiseaseAlzheimers disease is now being diagnosed in more people than ever before. It may be due to the fact that more people now seek expert advice than before or it may also be because people do not care for their mind and body as they grow old. The disease causes progressive damage to nerve cells and their connections. It results in loss of memory, impaired thinking, difficulties with verbal communication, and sometimes also personality changes.
First publised on 2018-05-30 22:06:07
It can happen due to many factors. Out of these, one cannot control it if it happens due to age, gender or family history. But one can definitely lessen the risk by maintaining a healthy lifestyle through exercise, keeping a strict control on body weight and eating the right food, among others. Periodic health check-ups to keep all other things like cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure and blood sugar in control must also be made. A strict watch on ones health and timely expert advice from your doctor can lessen the risk.
There are many symptoms of Alzheimers and some of them are closely related to problems faced by the elderly in usual course. Hence, a close watch needs to be kept on the elderly and expert advice sought immediately, to diagnose the disease. There are some warning signals that can be identified and separated from old-age problems in order to spot Alzheimers disease.
For instance, many old people forget dates or important events but remember them later. But patients with Alzheimers or likely to develop the disease, will completely forget information, will ask for a thing or information again and again, become increasingly reliant on family members or memory aids. That is a sure sign that they have either become a victim of Alzheimers or are close to it.
People with Alzheimers will mostly lose their ability to plan or solve problems, have difficulty in completing familiar tasks, will be confused about time or place, have vision problems that makes it difficult in recognizing images or judging distances, making it difficult for them to drive or operate machines, have problem with words in both speaking and writing, will misplace things and not be able to retrace steps, will have decreased or poor judgment, will withdraw from work and/or social life and will have frequent changes in mood and sometimes even change in personality.
People after a certain age might also show all these symptoms but the difference between a normal age-related problem and one induced by Alzheimers is that while the former is temporary and the person will become normal again, the latter is permanent. For instance, an old person can temporarily forget where he kept the keys and will remember it in due course while the person stricken by Alzheimers will forget and will not be able to remember at all.
There is no permanent cure for the disease. It also extracts a huge emotional, physical and financial toll on other family members. Since Alzheimers patients are also given to wandering, there is a risk that they might get lost or worse, meet with an accident. Hence, extreme care must be taken to handle such patients. It is not an easy task given their level of dependence, but there is no other alternative.