Alzheimer's Disease: Do You Know What is?

Alzheimer's Information

  Have you watched The Notebook and ever wondered what Alzheimer's disease really is? Alzheimer is an irreversible progressive disorder that begins at around 65 years old, which leads to cognitive dysfunction and eventual impairment in activities of daily living. Around more than half of all elderly people suffer from this cognitive disorder, earning its reputation of being considered as one of the most prevalent irreversible dementias in the entire world. And ironically, until now, the cause of this disease is still unknown to all.

  How was Alzheimer's disease discovered? When you thought it came from a sick person, it actually all started when a neuropathologist named Alois Alzheimer examined and detailed the changes in a 51-year-old woman’s brain after manifesting the noted symptoms of memory loss, hallucination, and disorientation, which are now considered typical Alzheimer’s symptoms. After the results of the autopsy, the woman’s brain was revealed to be smaller, with deformations on it referred to as neurofibrillary tangles.

  How would you know if you have Alzheimer's disease? To make it simple for you, Alzheimer’s symptoms usually include the four A’s of Alzheimer’s disease: Amnesia, Aphasia, Apraxia and Agnosia. Amnesia, as we all know, is the failure to learn new information, as well as the failure to remember information learned earlier in life. Aphasia is basically the difficulty to either understand or express spoken words, or even both. Apraxia is known as the incapability to perform activities even without muscle problems. And finally, agnosia is defined as the inability to recognize objects even with intact senses. If amnesia and one or more of the remaining Alzheimer’s symptoms mentioned are present, then you must immediately consider consulting your doctor for an Alzheimer’s test.

  Is there truly a cure for Alzheimer’s disease? Sad to say, there is currently no total cure for Alzheimer’s disorder. Rather, Alzheimer’s treatment prescribed by doctors focuses on the relief and improvement of symptoms. Donepezil (Aricept) is a drug that inhibits cholinergic action, consequently leading to the improvement of Alzheimer’s symptoms. The downside to this medicine is the occurrence of anti-cholinergic symptoms, so expect that your mouth would get dry, or that your eyes would get all blurry after the medication. Another drug, namely tacrin (Cognex), has also worked for patients with Alzheimer . It also helps reduce the symptoms, but its harmful effects on your liver may want to make you become more careful of this drug. Vitamin E and other antioxidants have also shown to improve the conditions of patients through its effects against free radicals.

  Could you prevent Alzheimer’s disorder? For now, there is no concrete evidence that could prove that absolute Alzheimer’s prevention is possible, but methods like smoking cessation, healthy diets, and cognitive activities have shown results to somehow prevent Alzheimer’s disease, although inconsistent findings with these factors have also diminished the clarity of its efficiency.

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