Alzheimers or Alzheimer's disease, Alzheimer's
association, Alzheimers symptom
Alzheimer's or 'Alzheimer's Disease' is the term used to describe a
dementing disorder marked by certain brain changes, regardless of the age
Alzheimer's symptom is not a normal part of aging
Alzheimer's disease is not a normal part of aging - and it is not
something that inevitably happens in later life. Rather, it is one of the
dementing disorders, a group of brain diseases that lead to the loss of
mental and physical functions.
The disorders, cause is unknown, affects a small but significant
percentage of older People. A very small minority of Alzheimer's patients
are under 50 years of age. However, most are over 65.
Alzheimer's disease is the exception
Alzheimer's disease is the exception, rather than the rule, in old age.
Only 5 to 6 percent of older people are afflicted by Alzheimer's disease
or a related dementia - - but this means approximately 3 to 4 million
People have one of these debilitating disorders.
Research indicates that 1 percent of the population aged 65-75 has severe
dementia, increasing to 7 percent of those aged 75-85 and to 25 percent of
those 85 or older.
As out population ages and the number of Alzheimer's patients increases,
costs of care will rise as well.
Alzheimer's is not yet curable
Although Alzheimer's disease is not yet curable or there is no Alzheimer's
cure, there are
ways to alleviate symptoms and suffering and to assist families. And not
every person with this illness must necessarily move to a nursing home.
Alzheimer's Care in the community
Many thousands of patients - - especially those in the early stages of the
disease - - are cared for by their families in the community.
Indeed, one of the most important aspects of medical management is family
education and family support services. When, or whether, to transfer a
patient to a nursing home is a decision to be carefully considered by the
The onset of Alzheimer's disease is usually very slow and gradual, seldom
occurring before age 65. Over time, however, it follows a progressively
more serious course.
What is the Alzheimer's symptom or what are the Alzheimer's
Among the symptoms that typically develop, none is unique to Alzheimer's
disease at its various stages. It is therefore essential for suspicious
changes to be thoroughly evaluated before they become inappropriately or
negligently labeled Alzheimer's disease.
Problems of memory, particularly recent or short-term memory, are common
early in the course of the disease. For example, the individual may, on
repeated occasions, forget to turn off the iron or may not recall which of
the morning's medicines were taken.
Mild personality changes, such as less spontaneity or a sense of apathy
and a tendency to withdraw from social interactions, may occur early in
the illness. As the disease progresses, problems in abstract thinking or
in intellectual functioning develop.
You may notice the individual beginning to have trouble with figures when
working on bills, with understanding what is being read, or with
organizing the days work.
Further disturbances in behavior and appearance may also be seen at this
point, such as agitation, irritability, quarrelsomeness, and diminishing
ability to dress appropriately.
What is the time scale?
The average course of the disease from the time it is recognized to death
is about 6 to 8 years, but it may range from under 2 years to over 20
Those who develop the disorder later in life may die from other illnesses
(such as heart disease) before Alzheimer's disease reaches its final and
most serious stage.
The reaction of an individual to the illness and the way he or she copes
with it also varies and may depend on such factors as lifelong personality
patterns and the nature and severity of the stress in the immediate
As research on Alzheimer's disease continues, scientists are now
describing other abnormal chemical changes associated with the disease.
These include nerve cell degeneration in certain areas of the brain. Also,
defects in certain blood vessels supplying blood to the brain have been
studied as a possible contributing factor.
There is no way at the present time to determine who may get Alzheimer's
disease. The main risk factor for the disease is increased age. The rates
of the disease increase markedly with advancing age, with 25 percent of
people over 85 suffering from Alzheimer's or other sever dementia.
Other things often noticeable may be depression, severe uneasiness, and
paranoia or delusions that accompany or result from the disease, but they
can often be alleviated by appropriate treatments.
Alzheimer's disease has emerged as one of the great mysteries in modern
day medicine, with a growing number of clues but still no answers as to
its cause. Researchers have come up with a number of theories about the
cause of this disease but so far the mystery remains unresolved.
Because of the many other disorders that are often confused with
Alzheimer's disease, a comprehensive clinical evaluation is essential to
arrive at a correct diagnosis of any symptoms that look similar to those
of Alzheimer's disease. In most cases, the family physician can be
consulted about the best way to get the necessary examinations.
Problems for the family and caregivers
Stress on the family can take a toll on both the patient and the caregiver
alike. Caregivers are usually family members - - either spouses or
children - - and usually wives and daughters.
As time passes and the burden mounts, it not only places the mental health
of family caregivers at risk. It also diminishes their ability to provide
care to the diseased patient. Hence, assistance to the family as a whole
must be considered.
As the disease progresses, families experience increasing anxiety and pain
at seeing unsettling changes in a loved one, and they commonly feel guilt
over not being able to do enough.
The prevalence of reactive depression among family members in this
situation is disturbingly high - - caregivers are chronically stressed and
are much more likely to suffer from depression than the average person.
If caregivers have been forced to retire from positions outside the home.
They feel progressively more isolated and no longer productive members of
The likelihood, intensity, and duration of depression among caregivers can
all be lowered through available interventions.
For example, to the extent that family members can offer emotional support
to each other and perhaps seek professional consultation, they will be
better prepared to help their loved one manage the illness and to
recognize the limits of what they themselves can reasonably do.
Much can be done to help with Alzheimer's dementia
Though Alzheimer's disease cannot at present be cured, reversed, or
stopped in its progression, much can be done to help both the patient and
the family live through the course of the illness with greater dignity and
Toward this goal, appropriate clinical interventions and community
services or an Alzheimer's support group should be vigorously sought.
New treatments are evolving through the Alzheimer's
foundation and other Alzheimer's care bodies
While Alzheimer's disease remains a mystery, with its cause and cure not
yet found, there is considerable excitement and hope about new findings
that are unfolding in numerous research settings. The connecting pieces to
the puzzle called Alzheimer's disease continue to be found.
For your convenience, we have prepared a list of
search terms used in order of popularity, to find more pages on this
Requests Words Used
Count Search Term
34954 Alzheimer's disease
7884 Alzheimer's association
3790 Alzheimer's symptom
2207 Alzheimer's s disease
1975 stage of Alzheimer's
1800 Alzheimer's care
1608 Alzheimer's medication
1524 Alzheimer's treatment
1423 Alzheimer's test
1409 Alzheimer's dementia
1216 symptom of Alzheimer's disease
1211 Alzheimer's research
1161 Alzheimer's foundation
1065 Alzheimer's support group
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