Alzheimer’s disease: Just what is it and should it concern you?
Presented by Honey B Wackx
One of the most dreaded diseases in old age is Alzheimer’s disease. It is a form of Dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder named for German physician Alois Alzheimer, who first described it in 1906.
It is estimated that as many as 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. It has no current cure. But treatments for symptoms, combined with the right services and support, can make life better for anyone with the disease.
Alzheimer’s destroys ones life and is fatal
Alzheimer’s destroys brain cells, causing problems with memory, thinking and behavior severe enough to affect work, hobbies, social life, and often many aspects of daily living. Alzheimer’s gets worse over time. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, a general term for the loss of memory and other intellectual abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Once someone has Alzheimer’s their life’s hopes and ambitions are generally lost causes and just living a somewhat normal life becomes the important fact in their remaining years.
Like cancer and heart problems, Alzheimer’s is a fatal disease. However, some people with Alzheimer’s can live for a long time with proper care. That is actually the problem most of the time. How to care for them if they have Alzheimer’s plus the cost of care is a major problem for many.
Alzheimer’s diseased persons require care
With Alzheimer’s disease, the patient needs to be taken care of all the time. This is because the memory loss will often render the patient incapable of thinking and reasoning. Some will even forget how to do the simplest of tasks, like brushing their teeth and even eating with a spoon and fork or drinking a glass of juice. Even going to the bathroom and doing their business there can pose a formidable problem for some with the disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive and degenerative disease that affects the brain. The problem often leads to massive memory loss not only in terms of one’s memories but also one’s learning. Patients will forget almost everything that they have learned, even routine tasks they have been doing since they were just children. Some people will also find it hard to learn new things and may even lose their language abilities. They will have difficulties in their speech and in their writing.
Because of this, caring for a patient with Alzheimer’s disease can be extremely difficult. It is actually like caring for a newborn child. However, a baby will gradually learn to function independently, while peoples with Alzheimer’s will lose what they have learned and will slowly become more and more dependent upon their caregivers. Thus, it is important to find a caregiver that is both professionally capable and caring, since they will determine the progress that the patient will have, as well as their over all condition and behavior.
Alzheimer’s disease is a serious problem
According to the Alzheimer’s Association Alzheimer’s disease is the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States. The numbers keep getting larger as our population ages so it is a vital statistic to recon with. A lot of money and agony is spent over persons with Alzheimer’s. We’ve learned most of what we know about Alzheimer’s in the last decade or so.
It is a worldwide problem and there is an accelerating effort all over the world to find better ways to detect and treat Alzheimer’s, to delay its onset, or prevent it from developing. There is a constant effort to find better ways to detect the disease earlier and to also determine those persons that are susceptible to get it. We can only hope there are breakthroughs to harness or prevent this terrible disease.
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