Alzheimer’s disease: Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment
First discovered in 1906, Alzheimer’s disease has been recognized as a common cause of dementia leading to death among the elderly. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the disease is the 6th leading cause of death in America. There are approximately 5.8 million people living with Alzheimer’s and the United States with the number projected to reach 14 million by the year 2050.
What is Alzheimer’s?
In simple terms, Alzheimer’s is a neurological disorder that causes the brain cells to die rapidly. The primary cause of Alzheimer’s has been linked to the formation of plaque on the brain that contains beta-amyloid. It’s a kind of protein fragment that accumulates in the brain and causes the cells that store, retrieve, and process information, to degenerate and die. The disease is progressive and symptoms get worse with age and Alzheimer’s patients eventually require full-time assistance.
Alzheimer’s is diagnosed in a person by examining them for a decline in behavioral functions and cognitive performance. If a person shows at least two of the following symptoms, they are likely to have Alzheimer’s:
Memory Problems – A senior adult having trouble remembering and taking in new information might indicate a possible cognitive decline. Signs such as misplacing belonging, forgetting appointments or events, getting lost on a previously familiar route, and repeating certain conversations are all common symptoms of a loss of memory.
Impaired Judgment – A poor understanding of menial tasks, reasoning, inability to manage personal tasks such as financing, poor decision-making abilities, and a growing lack of understanding safety risks are all signs of an impaired brain function.
A Decline in Visuospatial Abilities – Inability to recognize common objects or faces that’s n
ot related to poor eye-sight can be a sign of an underlying neurological disorder that’s affecting their visuospatial abilities. People that have Alzheimer’s are often unable to use basic tools or even orient clothing to their body as the disease progresses.
Impaired Functionality – A decline in the ability to do basic tasks—reading, writing, and speaking—is a common indicator of dying brain cells. Alzheimer’s that’s progressing causes patients to have difficulty thinking of words and often causes reading and writing errors.
Behavioral Changes – An increase in agitation, mood swings, loss of empathy, and socially unacceptable behaviors could indicate impaired brain functionality. Alzheimer’s patients suffer from social withdrawal and tend to exhibit compulsive and obsessive personality disorders.
Alzheimer’s disease has no known cure that can regenerate the dead brain cells. The best way to help anyone who has Alzheimer’s is to provide therapeutic interventions and supportive care to make their lives easier. Quality-of-life care is vital for dementia care including elements such as:
- Managing the symptoms rather than stressing about the disease,
- Providing access to support groups and other services,
- Personalized activities and care programs targeted toward people with dementia.
The ideal way to help Alzheimer’s patients is to get in touch with licensed care facilities such as AvantGarde Senior Living and Memory Care. We offer assisted living for senior loved ones and provide the best comprehensive care in our senior living community. Our staff is qualified and equipped to handle the needs of patients in various stages of Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related diseases.
For more information regarding our retirement community in Encino, CA, contact us at (818) 881-0055 or take a virtual tour of our luxury facilities for the elderly.