Alzheimer’s Disease – Basic Information

Memory loss and difficulties with thinking are some of the symptoms associated with a medical condition known as dementia. Such symptoms manifest themselves when brain cells are getting damaged by some diseases. One of the main causes of dementia is Alzheimer's disease. This disease is known to interfere with one’s intellectual abilities in such a way that a person’s daily life is affected.

Symptoms of Alzheimer's disease

At its early stages, a person might experience mild confusion and increasing forgetfulness. However, as time goes by, Alzheimer's disease will rob you of more of your memories – especially the recent ones. The rate at which symptoms get worse depends on the individual. Some of its serious symptoms include:

· Memory loss – Here, the patient tends to forget recent information, important events/dates and asks for the same information over and over. This will definitely interfere with one’s daily life.

· Difficulty in completing regular tasks – Patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease find it hard completing daily tasks at home, work or leisure.Alzheimer’s disease

· Not able to plan or solve problems – Working with numbers or following a plan becomes difficult with time. Victims tend to take longer to complete tasks than they did before.

· Understanding visual images and spatial relationships becomes difficult – To some people, the disease starts off by affecting vision, judging distance, reading ability and color identification.

· Confusion with place/time – People suffering from this disease lose track of seasons, dates and passage of time. At times, they forget where they are and how they got there.

Treatment

Currently, there is no proper cure for Alzheimer's disease. However, there are some medications which can slow how quickly the disease gets worse. Your doctor will help you choose the best treatment by taking into account things such as your age, medical history, overall health, your preferences and lifestyle.

There are some basic types of medications for Alzheimer's disease:

· Memantine (Namenda) – This drug just slows down the rate at which the disease worsens.

· Cholinesterase inhibitors – They boost cell-to-cell communication level by supplementing the brain with a neurotransmitter (acetylcholine) that is depleted by Alzheimer’s disease.

· Antidepressants can also be used to regulate behavioral symptoms of this disease.

Care

As a caregiver for somebody who suffers from Alzheimer's disease, you should create a safe and supportive environment for the patient. Minimizing memory demanding tasks and strengthening routine habits will make life easier for someone with Alzheimer’s disease. However, don’t forget that mental activity helps slow down the progress of the disease.

There are many Alzheimer’s Day Care facilities where trained personnel can offer professional care for the patients suffering from the disease.