Forgetfulness…short term memory loss….dementia…
Alzheimer’s! It’s a word that strikes fear in the hearts and minds of many families. A disturbing idea to think that your memory and the memories of your life can be lost. Like any disease however, it’s important that you recognize the early signs and take the actions that we know today will help to slow the progression of the disease. And understand, what you can about the cause, the risk factors and what you can do to help a family member NOW.
There are different types of dementia, but Alzheimer’s disease is the most common one among older people. And while some forms of the disease are reversible (such as dementia due to toxic reactions to medications), Alzheimer’s disease is not. That’s because Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive dementia –caused by a progressive degeneration of the brain cells. The brain is the control centre for your whole body; and different regions of the brain are responsible for different parts of the body and for different behaviours. The brain degeneration that occurs in Alzheimer’s disease, affects memory, emotions, behaviour and mood, and, as a result, a person’s ability to carry out daily activities changes. As the disease progresses through its stages, symptoms worsen.
10 Early Signs
1. Memory loss affects daily life
2. Familiar tasks become more difficult
3. Language becomes a problem
4. Disorientation of place and time
5. Poor judgment
6. Problems with abstract thinking
7. Lost or misplaced items
8. Behaviour and mood changes
9. Shifts in personality
10. Difficulty with initiative
What are the risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease?
A range of hypotheses has been proposed, but the cause of Alzheimer’s disease is not currently known. Researchers are looking into what factors might put someone at risk for the disease. Including:
Family history and genetics
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI)
Other things that have been documented as possible risk factors include a history of episodes of clinical depression and chronic inflammatory conditions like arthritis. Other risk factors include alcohol consumption and smoking, although their connection with Alzheimer’s disease has not been firmly established.
Is there a cure?
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive form of dementia. Currently, there is no known cure for the disease. There are, however, treatments that can help alleviate some of its symptoms, so people can live life on their own terms. In general, these treatments tend to work best when started at the early stage of the disease, so it’s a good idea to speak to a doctor as soon as you suspect that it may be Alzheimer’s disease.
Call 1-888-80MEMORY (1-888-806-3667) OR TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR TODAY
AND REMEMBER TO SUPPORT GENEROUSLY: Alzheimer Society in your local area