Recognizing Alzheimer’s Disease
What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer's Disease is an irreversible illness that degenerates neurons and brain cells in the elderly.
Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a neurological disease that progressively leads to the irreversible degeneration of brain tissue through the deterioration of neurons and the death of brain cells. The disease worsens as it progresses in its stages of development leading to dementia, the loss of intellectual abilities such as memory and reasoning, and can eventually lead to the impediment of social and occupational functioning with the end result being death. It is the most common form of dementia that we see today, usually diagnosed in the population of 65 and over, though earlier onsets are possible. In 2006, Alzheimer’s took 26.6 million individuals into suffering, and it is expected that in 2050, one in 85 people will have the Alzheimer’s. Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, though huge strives are being made through the work of Alzheimer’s Disease Clinical Trials. Alzheimer’s is also listed as one of the most costly diseases in developed countries due to the cost of caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s?
The signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are most easily found through the existence of dementia in the individual, though not all cases of dementia necessarily indicate that the individual has AD. Diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease can usually be determined through a patient’s health and family history, observations from friends and family, and clinical tests and observations. When determining whether a loved may have Alzheimer’s disease through outside observation, it is important to distinguish an occasional dementia-like event with the actual occurrence of dementia. The following are a few examples of distinguishing the occasional mental error with true dementia: (Left normal vs. Right Early Alzheimer’s disease) • Not being to find one’s keys vs. putting important items in strange places i.e. keys in dishwasher, wallet in oven, phone in fridge, etc • Searching for occasional names and words vs. forgetting names of family members, common objects, substituting the words with incorrect ones, etc • Forgetting occasional conversation details vs. forgetting complete conversations • Feeling the cold more vs. dressing not in accordance with the weather i.e. shorts or skirts in winter, coats in summer, etc • Making an occasional wrong turn vs. getting lost in familiar places and not knowing how to get home • Canceling a date with friends vs. withdrawing from normal activities and interests, watching TV and sleeping too much • Feeling occasionally sad vs. experiencing rapid mood swings, from tears to rage for no reason Some of the tests may include one or more of the following: • Advanced Medical Imaging and Scanning: such as through Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT), or Positron Emission Tomography (PET) • Assessment of Intellectual Functioning: such as memory testing, cognitive behavior testing, etc The above tests can not only help confirm the diagnosis for Alzheimer’s disease in the individual, but furthermore can approximate the stage of Alzheimer’s the individual is currently experiencing.
An early onset of Alzheimer’s disease before the age of 65 is usually really rare unless a person in the potential AD individual’s family was diagnosed for Alzheimer’s disease before age 65. However, if the individual is displaying some of the behavior above, it would most likely be a good idea to have his or her behavior investigated. It is always best for a disorder to be diagnosed as quickly as possible so that it can be treated in its earlier stages. For Alzheimer’s, treating Alzheimer’s disease in its early stages can delay the disease’s progression into its advanced stages as well as make it easy to treat the initial symptoms.
If it is discovered by a psychiatrist or other medical professional that the dementia that the individual is experiencing is not caused by Alzheimer’s disease, then there are several other types of disorders that the individual may have. Some of these disorders include: • Stroke • Lewy Bodies, Binswanger’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Pick’s Disease • Hydrocephalus • Depression • Chronic Drug Use • Korsakoff’s Syndrome • Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, HIV and AIDS Like with Alzheimer’s disease, all of the above illnesses can cause changes in the brain that do not allow it to function properly, thereby causing dementia.
For more information on Alzheimer’s disease or other mental illnesses or to sign up for a clinical trial, please contact Precise Research Centers at 601-420-5810 or visit http://www.precise-research.com
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