Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's Disease

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s, pronounced ahlts-hahy-merzis the most common form of dementia amongst elderly people. Dementia describes a specific set of symptoms that include having trouble thinking, suffering from memory loss and having issues with problem solving and basic communication. Dementia is the result of brain damage from certain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s disease is named after the first doctor to describe it, Alois Alzheimer. He discovered it in 1906. Simply put, the disease affects the brain from functioning properly, its biggest risk factor is age. It is not a normal part of the aging process but the majority of people with the condition are over the age of 65 however, there are cases where younger people have started to show symptoms of the disease.

Being a progressive disease, meaning that the disease worsens over time, it causes the sufferer to experience memory loss, difficulties in thinking, problem solving, communicating or even reasoning with other people.

As the disease progresses, basic functions such as brushing teeth or having a shower become unfamiliar to the patient, they may even become aggressive due to the frustration of memory loss, or they may run away from home. Forgetting who they are or who a family member is, no matter how close they may have been to them, is one of the hardest and most common symptoms later on in the disease.

The condition normally requires a full-time carer for the patient as it can be draining for loved ones.

Life expectancy varies from one Alzheimer’s patient to another.  After diagnosis, the average lifespan is normally between eight and ten years, however, there have been cases where patients have lived for as little as three years, with others living up to 20 years, dependent on their health conditions.

The truth is, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s at this time, but there are treatments that can slow down the progression of the disease and help to improve the quality of life for the sufferer and their loved ones.

The links to sections above take a look at Alzheimer’s disease, it’s causes, treatments, risks and more. Please note that this information is intended to be used only as a guideline and not as a professional opinion. It is always best to consult with a doctor or health care professional for that. 

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