Alzheimer’s disease – its Characteristics and Fatal Affliction
Alzheimer’s is a dreaded disease that can and usually will wreck havoc on anyone who gets it. The family of someone with Alzheimer’s will also suffer, probably greatly if they have to take care of the person, especially in the later stages of the disease.
Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease that is characterized by the progressive loss of brain function. The areas of the brain targeted first by the disease are associated with memory, so the first observable symptoms are usually mild forms of amnesia.
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of the more general condition known as dementia. Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe any progressive damage to the areas of the brain that control memory or any other cognitive function.
The earliest stages of Alzheimer’s all involve symptoms associated with memory loss. Affected individuals may have a hard time remembering what day or month it is. They may find themselves losing items more frequently than normal, forgetting recent events or confused and disoriented in familiar environments.
Normally, old memories are unaffected in these earlier stages. An affected person will recognize old friends and family, but may not have any clear memory of recent interactions with them.
As Alzheimer’s progresses, the affected person often begins exhibiting difficult behavior. They often become paranoid, quick to anger, overreact to minor things, suffer from hallucinations, and can even become violent. These behaviors are seen even in individuals that were shy, timid, or passive people prior to developing the disease.
Someone in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s will usually begin to lose motor control and will need help dressing and performing everyday personal hygiene functions. They often also lose the ability to speak clearly, read or write. At this stage in the disease, even older memories become affected, and afflicted people may not recognize family members or life long friends at times.
Alzheimer’s disease – its Characteristics and Fatal Affliction on Anyone With it
In the later and final stages of the disease, individuals usually have complete memory loss and will recognize no one. They will be unable to communicate, walk, participate in personal care activities, or even eat on their own.
As a result, sufferers in these late stages usually are incontinent and begin to lose a lot of weight. They often spend most of their time sleeping, and frequently suffer from seizures. Alzheimer’s will eventually lead to death due to loss of brain function.
While there are no known cures for Alzheimer’s, there are some treatments available that can slow the condition down, and a promising array of new treatments on the horizon. Our increased understanding of biology and the human genetic code have many scientists hopeful for effective preventive measures and possibly even cures in the near future.
Already, there are results from a number of recent studies that suggest that certain life behaviors, such as a healthy diet and regular exercise, can help reduce your chances of developing the disease. More results and studies are necessary to determine the true effects of food and its contribution, if any, to a person getting Alzheimer’s disease or helping to prevent or delay such a disease from showing itself.