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ALZHEIMERS? Alzheimer’s disease is a neurological brain disorder. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, a group of disorders that impairs mental functioning. Alzheimer’s is progressive and irreversible. Memory loss is one of the earliest symptoms, along with a gradual decline of other intellectual and thinking abilities, called cognitive functions, and changes in personality or behavior.
Cause of Alzheimer’s Scientists generally agree that there is unlikely to be a single clear “cause” of Alzheimer’s. It is more likely the result of a combination of inter-related factors, including genetic factors, which are passed along family lines of inheritance, and environmental influences, which range from previous head trauma to educational level to one’s experiences early in life. A growing body of research is also helping to identify various “lifestyle factors,” such as dietary habits, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which may influence one’s risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s develops as a result of a complex cascade of biological processes that take place over many years inside the brain..
Who is affect! 35 million people worldwide have Alzheimer’s disease. 5.3 million people in the US have Alzheimer’s disease. Every 70 seconds someone in America develops Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is the fifth leading cause of death in people 65 and older. Death from Alzheimer’s rose 46.1% from 2000 to 2006 . 54% of the U.S. population has been touched in some way by Alzheimer’s disease. Approximately 454,000 people will develop Alzheimer’s in 2010. At current rates, 19 million Americans will have Alzheimer’s by the year 2050.
Symptom for Alzheimer’s Difficulty performing otherwise familiar tasks, such as preparing a meal, opening a car window or using a household appliance can be signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Memory loss that affects job skills. It is normal to occasionally forget an assignment or a colleagues phone number, but it is not normal to frequently forget such things or to become so confused that you are unable to concentrate and cannot perform your job functions. Problems using language may be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease. Although it is normal to forget words, people with Alzheimer’s disease may become hard to understand and may substitute unusual words or phrases for forgotten ones. A person with Alzheimer’s disease may appear to have become less fluent and may also have difficulty writing coherently. Disorientation to time and place. It is normal to sometimes lose track of time or to become lost, but a person with Alzheimer’s can forget what year it is and can become lost on familiar streets and not be able to find their way home. Loss of good judgment may also be a warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease. This could take the form of wearing inappropriate clothing (e.g. pajamas worn outside in winter) or suddenly giving away large amounts of money. Problems with abstract thinking. It is normal to make a mistake balancing a checkbook, but people with Alzheimer’s disease may forget the meaning of numbers or what to do with them. Misplacing things. It is normal to misplace things occasionally, but putting things in unusual places, like an iron in the refrigerator or a watch in the sugar bowl are warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Rapid mood swings such as unexplained anger or going from apparent calm to sudden crying can be warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Personality changes. As people age, their personalities may also gradually change, but for a person with Alzheimer’s disease the changes in personality are often sudden and dramatic. Loss of initiative, sleeping longer than usual, and loss of interestin the usual activities can be signs of depression, but are also warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
Stages of Alzheimer’s -Stage 1: Normal Mentally healthy person -Stage 2: Normal aged forgetfulness Persons over the age of 65 experience subjective complaints of cognitive and/or functional difficulties -Stage 3: Mild cognitive impairment The capacity to perform executive functions also becomes compromised. Commonly, for persons who are still working, job performance may decline. -Stage 4: Mild Alzheimer’s disease The most common functioning deficit in these patients is a decreased ability to manage instrumental (complex) activities of daily life.(ability to manage finances and to prepare meals for guests etc.) - Stage 5: Moderate Alzheimer’s disease This is manifest in a decrement in the ability to choose proper clothing to wear for the weather conditions and/or for the daily circumstances (occasions). -Stage 6: Moderately severe Alzheimer’s disease At this stage, the ability to perform basic activities of daily life becomes compromised. -Stage 7: Severe Alzheimer’s disease At this stage, AD patients require continuous assistance with basic activities of daily life for survival.
Alzheimer’s Diagnostic Tests Medical history An interview or questionnaire to identify past medical problems. Physical examination Includes evaluations of hearing and sight, heart and lungs, as well as temperature, blood pressure and pulse readings. Neuropsychological testing Doctors use a variety of tools to assess memory, problem-solving, attention, vision-motor coordination and abstract thinking, such as performing simple calculations in your head. Brain-imaging scan MRI and CT scans look at the structure of the brain and are used to rule out brain tumors or blood clots in the brain as the reason for symptoms.
Treatment for Alzheimer’s Drugs used to treat people with Alzheimer’s fall into two broad categories–drugs to treat cognitive symptoms, such as memory problems and other mental deficits of Alzheimer’s, and drugs to treat behavioral symptoms that do not respond to non-pharmacological behavioral-management approaches. These drugs might include a variety of types of drugs broadly categorized as anti-agitation drugs.
Famous people with Alzheimer’s Tom Fears, professional football player and coach Ronald Reagan, 40th President of USA Bill Quackenbush, professional hockey player Betty Schwartz, Olympic gold medal winner in track events
TOM FEARS Betty Schwartz Bill Quackenbush Ronald Reagan