Alzheimer’s disease is also called senile dementia. It diminishes memory and other functions of the brain. Alzheimer’s is caused by the abnormal development of protein around the brain cells. The memory power of patients who have Alzheimer’s steadily decreases. People with Alzheimer’s face challenges while planning or solving complex problems. Patients with this disease are also unable to perform daily tasks.
The disease affects different areas of brain cells. When brain cells get affected, neurotransmitters of the brain are disrupted. So, the first symptom is having difficulty with vision and language. Predominantly elders suffer from this disease.
Why Do Women Develop Alzheimer’s Disease?
According to various studies, it has been found that the risk of developing Alzheimer’s is more significant in women than men. According to a report incidence of Alzheimer’s disease in Europe, around 13 women out of 1000 develop Alzheimer’s, whereas the number is 7 in the case of men.
Alzheimer’s is more likely to develop in women due to the following reasons:
The amyloid plaques cause Alzheimer’s, which is found in a more significant amount in women’s brain’s immune system. Since women’s immune system is more substantial than men’s, women have more amyloid plaques than men hence women develop this disease more.
Various surveys have also found that women live longer than men. Since Alzheimer’s disease is more common amongst seniors, women suffer from this disease when they become older.
Causes of Alzheimer’s disease
The precise reasons for causing Alzheimer’s are still not known. However, scientists have figured out some factors that contribute to Alzheimer’s Disease. These have been mentioned below:
1. Family History
If any of your loved ones have Alzheimer’s, there is a high probability that you may also get Alzheimer’s. Genetic inheritance is one of the reasons for being suffered from it.
2. Older Age
Alzheimer’s disease is more common amongst seniors. According to a study, 4 out of 1000 people aged 65 to 74 have Alzheimer’s. At the same time, 32 out of 1000 people have Alzheimer’s between the ages of 75 to 84.
3. Down Syndrome
People with Down syndrome have a greater risk of having Alzheimer’s. Some genetic changes cause Down syndrome, which can also develop amyloid plaques in the brain and may lead to Alzheimer’s.
4. Injury in Head
Some scientists consider that severe head injury may cause Alzheimer’s. However, the entire confirmation has not been done in this regard.
Some factors associated with lifestyle and habits may also cause Alzheimer’s. These are smoking, drinking, lack of exercise, etc.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
There are many symptoms by noticing which we can say that someone has Alzheimer’s. Some of these symptoms are
1. Memory loss
It is an early symptom of the disease. A patient with Alzheimer’s often forgets any information, dates, or important events. Many people with Alzheimer’s repeat their questions.
2. Face Problems in Solving Problems
People with Alzheimer’s often face difficulty solving problems, making plans, etc. Many patients even face challenges while working with numbers. They take more time to complete the task, which they could easily do earlier. Their concentration level also drops.
3. Get Confused With Place and Time
Many times, people with Alzheimer’s get confused about how they arrive at a particular place, and they forget how they have reached there. Sometimes, they also get confused with time.
4. Difficulty in Decision Making
People with Alzheimer’s disease have difficulty making decisions. They get confused while dealing with any matter that requires opinion or judgment, and they lose the power to make an opinion on a particular topic.
5. Fail to be Involved in Social Activities
Alzheimer’s patients face difficulty in involving themselves in social activities and working with people. Their confused state of mind makes them feel insecure and uneasy. Therefore, they decide to withdraw from social activities.
6. Mood Swings
Frequent mood swing is noticed amongst Alzheimer’s patients. With the change in their mood, their personality also keeps changing.
Stages of Alzheimer’s disease
A disease develops through many stages. The different conditions can be divided into different stages, and Alzheimer’s stages also grow with time. The stages of Alzheimer’s also develop in the following ways:
1. Change in the Brain
This is the first stage of the disease. At this stage, no symptom is noticeable. During this stage, Alzheimer’s can be spotted only with the help of a PET scan or imaging test of the brain.
2. Mild Changes
At this stage, patients may catch up with mild symptoms like forgetting words, dates, etc. This mild symptom may not be noticed in the first place. These changes occur in the behaviour of almost all people who are ageing.
3. Change Thinking Process
This is the third stage when people with Alzheimer’s disease have difficulty remembering what they have read or been told recently, they repeatedly ask about the same thing and face challenges while performing simple tasks.
4. Get Disruption in Daily Task
At this stage, they face difficulty while dealing with their daily tasks like forgetting about themselves, forgetting about a month, facing trouble in cooking meals, and difficulty understanding what they say. Sometimes, they are unable to understand even simple things
5. Develop Severe Problems
Alzheimer’s patients at this stage cannot remember where they are or what time it is. They get confused with the little things like what to wear at what time, they find it hard to remember facts and details, etc.
6. Serious Decline of Memory
As the stages develop, Alzheimer’s patients find it hard to remember their relationship with a particular person. Sometimes they remember the name but forget the face, etc. They find it difficult to feed themselves, get dressed, face trouble walking, and find it difficult to swallow food.
7. Lack of Senses
This can be considered the final stage of Alzheimer’s disease. At this stage, people are not able to feel hunger and thirst, and the patients are not able to eat hard things. The patients will be entirely dependent on their caregivers at this stage.
Treatment for Alzheimer’s disease
There is no complete cure for Alzheimer’s. However, with the help of medicine, symptoms can be kept under control. Some of the popular medications for Alzheimer’s are:
1. Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors
With the help of this medicine, a substance called acetylcholine is increased in the brain, and it helps the brain cells work effectively.
Donepezil, Galantamine, and Rivastigmine are prescribed to increase acetylcholine in the brain. Except for Donepezil, the other two medicines are prescribed to patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s, and these medicines can be considered Alzheimer’s disease cure.
Memantine is prescribed to patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease. It regulates the activities like learning and remembering things.
Patients with severe Alzheimer’s disease become dependent on others. They cannot continue their normal activities and get disorganised while doing even daily tasks. People suffering from this disease should be taken good care of. Treatment at the right time may help them to bring relief to a great extent. Medicine should be taken as per the doctor’s advice. Family members should help the patients with everything they require when they cannot depend on themselves to do even a small task. Patients should always be treated kindly.
What are the three causes of Alzheimer’s?
Three causes of Alzheimer’s disease are age, family history, and head injury.
What does Alzheimer’s do to a person?
People with Alzheimer’s disease lose memory and have difficulty doing daily tasks like making plans, organising things, etc.
Can Alzheimer’s be cured?
Alzheimer’s disease cannot be cured completely. But medicine can help to reduce the symptoms.
Who is most at risk of Alzheimer’s?
Women above 65 years are most at risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Is Alzheimer’s preventable?
The exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease is unknown, and there is no specific way to prevent this disease.