It is estimated that about five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s Disease at the moment. This number, unfortunately, is likely to grow with experts predicting that over seven million Americans will contract the disease by 2025. While this problem is closely associated with aging, it is not supposed to be a normal part of the aging process and not every American is expected to develop this condition over their lifespan. Read on to find out about Alzheimer’s disease symptoms and causes.
While the exact cause of Alzheimer’s Disease is still under investigation, the immediate cause of the condition, like all other memory loss conditions, is associated with the malfunction, or death of brain cells known as neurons. These cells are constantly in communication with each other, which is the process in which we access memories and are able to function. When this communication process begins to shut down, then the victims struggle to fully access their entire brain functions.
There are many symptoms that are associated with Alzheimer’s, although a conclusive diagnosis can only be made by a medical professional. You may notice that your loved one will struggle to remember things that should be obvious. For example, dates, locations, and even names of people. One of the ironic things about Alzheimer’s Disease is that memories from the past are not forgotten until much later in the progression of the disease.
Victims of Alzheimer’s Disease may also have speech problems, have trouble recognizing where they are and struggle with simple problem-solving challenges. They may also have problems with logic and judgment. For example, you may find your loved one making some questionable decisions when it comes to spending money or other activities that involve resources. They are also likely to get lost more often as their ability to remember directions suffers as well. As the condition progresses, your loved one is likely to suffer from mood changes, depression, and related conditions.
There is currently no known treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease although there is a lot of research that is being undertaken. The focus at the moment is to help victims of this condition live a better quality of life through interventions such as proper nutrition, memory exercises, group therapy, and much more. There are also several drugs that are used to manage the cognitive symptoms of the condition. Other medication such as anti-depressants may also be used in case the patient has developed depression as a result of the condition.
Caring for Patients
When it comes to Alzheimer’s Disease, there is as much focus on the caregivers as there is on the patient. This is because Alzheimer’s Disease is a long-term condition and caring for such patients can also leave the caregiver exhausted. It is highly recommended for caregivers to ensure that they get as much rest as possible and ensure that they occasionally take time off to recharge. A good memory care assisted living community can also provide the care that your loved one needs while you take a holiday to refresh your mind and recharge yourself.