Alzheimer’s Disease is the 5th leading cause of death for people over the age of 65 in the US. With no known cure, it’s important to be able to identify in the earliest stages. This helps treatment, care, and prevention to be practiced properly. Because of the nature of its symptoms, caregiving is practically inevitable for patients. Here are a few things you should know about Alzheimer’s Disease.
There are 7 stages of Alzheimer’s with the earliest ones being mild in symptoms. Trouble focusing on tasks and common memory loss are telltale signs that one may be experiencing early stages of the disease. As conditions worsen, symptoms can include trouble with speech or writing, becoming commonly disoriented and mood or personality changes. Many patients tend to withdraw themselves from friends and family. It’s very important for them to stay on top of social activity.
As stages progress, motor skills can start to deteriorate and assistance with everyday tasks will be needed for patients. This commonly includes putting on clothes and eating. There are many ways to slow the progression such as getting plenty of rest, remaining calm, focusing on one task at a time, and avoiding confrontation. Consulting a doctor for medication recommendations can also potentially slow the disease down.
Alzheimer’s is genetically based. If one has an immediate family member that’s been diagnosed with it, the chance of contracting it increases. One gene commonly linked to Alzheimer’s is Apolipoprotein E, which will appear in a blood test.
There are also some practices that come recommended for the prevention of Alzheimer’s. These include exercising regularly, not smoking, eating a plant-based diet, performing cognitive exercises (do a crossword a couple of times a week), and maintaining an active social life.
There are unfortunately many unknowns with Alzheimer’s. What is known is that the condition worsens over time, but proper treatment can help delay symptoms and improve your quality of life. We hope you learned a few things about Alzheimer’s. If you or your loved one are suffering from this, Discover Health is available to point you in the right direction for treatment and care.