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Alzheimer’s Disease by Megan Poley

By at January 26, 2013 | 9:04 am | Print

Alzheimer’s disease is a form of Dementia that slowly gets worse over time. Dementia is a loss of brain function that can happen with certain kinds of diseases. Genes and environmental factors play a role in Alzheimer’s, but the causes are not fully clear. If you are older you are more likely to get this disease, but it’s not normal for all aging adults to get Alzheimer’s. An older adult is more likely to get this disease if they have a close blood relative with it or have certain genes linked to Alzheimer’s.

Your risks for getting this disease may increase if you are female, have had high blood pressure for a long period of time, or have a history of head trauma. There are two types of Alzheimer’s. Early Onset Alzheimer’s is less common and happens in adults before the age of 60. Early Onset gets worse more quickly than the other type of Alzheimer’s. It can run in families and many genes have been identified to be the cause of Early Onset Alzheimer’s. The second type is Late Onset Alzheimer’s and this is the most common type. This type happens to adults 60 years of age and older. It can run in some families, but the genes involved are less clear.

Early symptoms of Alzheimer’s may include difficulty performing tasks that take some thought, but used to be done easily.  People with early symptoms may also misplace items often, get lost on roads that are familiar to them, have language problems, loss of interest of things they used to enjoy doing, display changes in personality, and show loss of their social skills. As Alzheimer’s worsens symptoms also worsen and become more obvious to other people. The ability to take care of yourself can be affected too. These worse symptoms may include all the symptoms from early on, as well as, avoiding social contact, poor judgment, violent behavior, hallucinations, delusions, agitation, depression, waking up a lot at night, and having trouble speaking and talking in confusing sentences. People who have severe Alzheimer’s can’t understand language, do everyday tasks, or recognize family members anymore.

There is not a cure for Alzheimer’s, but there are treatment options. There are drug treatments that help slow down the rate that symptoms become worse. With drug treatment you and your family might not notice much of a difference than before the drugs were taken. Some people take supplements such as vitamins and herbs to slow down Alzheimer’s. There isn’t strong evidence that supplements will slow down this disease, but some people believe that it works. Another treatment option is to join a support group. Talking about the disease if you have it or if someone close to you has it can help you through the process.

There is not a known prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease, but if some of your family members have had it then there are some precautions you can take such as eating a low fat diet, increasing the amount of antioxidants  you eat by consuming dark colored vegetables and fruit, stay socially and mentally active, and maintain a normal blood pressure.

Alzheimer’s is different for every person. Some people have it worse than others. If Alzheimer’s develops quickly on a person, then it will most likely get worse more quickly as well. People with Alzheimer’s usually die earlier than people without the disease. People who develop Alzheimer’s can live anywhere from three to twenty years after they were diagnosed. During the final phase of the disease a person usually dies from organ failure or infection. In this final phase the person with Alzheimer’s is completely disabled and cannot care for themselves, and this can last for a few months to many years before the disease eventually leads to death.

 

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  1. […] Alzheimer’s disease is also commonly known as dementia that begins to form in middle or late age. A person with Alzheimer’s is known to lose their mind, they begin to lose short term memory, and they forget where they put things. Some are even known to forget who you are or could even turn on you because they don’t remember who you are. Their personality can change; they begin to not know what’s going on around them. They lose knowledge to balance a checkbook or cook. […]

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