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Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's disease / senility is a condition where some cells in the brain are not functioning. As a result, the brain's ability has dropped dramatically.

In the initial phase, people with Alzheimer's usually often lose short-term memory. For example, forget or can't remember the event that just happened. In addition, sufferers also often forget the names of places or objects that are often used.

People with Alzheimer's disease will experience a severe setback of intellectual function. This will cause interference with daily activities and the social life of the sufferer.

Alzheimer's disease occurs in a chronic manner and cannot heal as before. Until now, there is no medicine that can cure people with Alzheimer's disease 100%.

The risk of Alzheimer's disease will increase with age. In general, this disease appears above the age of 65 years and more often affects women.

Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's Diagnosis

In diagnosing Alzheimer's disease, it is important for doctors to ask about symptoms experienced by patients. The doctor will ask if the patient often forgets, experiences behavioral changes, unclear speech, and difficulties in carrying out daily activities without the help of others. In addition, the doctor will also evaluate the patient's medical history, such as how the mental status, what diseases have been or have now suffered, what medicines are consumed, and are there any families who also have Alzheimer's disease.




Examination through a CT scan or MRI may be offered by a doctor to see significant changes in the brain if the patient is suspected of suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

The goal of treatment in cases of Alzheimer's disease is to slow the development of symptoms only because the disease cannot be cured. In addition to the administration of drugs, the handling of psychological aspects through cognitive stimulation must also be applied to improve the memory of the patient, restore his ability to speak and solve problems, and help him improve speaking skills.

Alzheimer's sufferers generally live around 8-10 years after symptoms appear, but there are also some other sufferers who can live longer than that. Although there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, current forms of treatment aim to slow the progression of the condition and relieve symptoms.

Therefore, see a doctor immediately if your memory changes or you are worried about dementia. Alzheimer's disease that can be diagnosed early gives you more time to prepare and plan for the future. In addition, you will get faster medical treatment that can be very useful.

Alzheimer's Symptoms

The stage of development of symptoms of Alzheimer's disease is divided into three, namely the initial stage, the middle stage, and the final stage. In the early stages, symptoms of Alzheimer's disease will generally be difficult to recognize because it is likely that the patient will think of memory loss as common as the effects of age development. But when the symptoms enter a further stage, a more significant impact will begin to be seen in the self and behavior of the patient.

The rate of development of symptoms of Alzheimer's disease varies in each patient, but generally the symptoms will develop slowly over several years.

The following are examples of Alzheimer's disease symptoms at an early stage that can be a warning sign for you.

  • Forgot the name of the object or place.
  • Forgetting the events that have not been experienced recently.
  • Forgetting about things that were recently discussed with other people.
  • Often get lost in a place or area that should be familiar.
  • Wrong put things (for example, put a plate in a wardrobe).
  • Like forgetting how to use an item.
  • Difficulty in writing.
  • Frequently repeat the same question.
  • Difficulty arranging words in communication.
  • Looks less energetic and not enthusiastic.
  • Looks like experiencing depression.
  • Reluctant to adapt to change.
  • Reluctant to do new things.
  • No longer interested in activities that were previously liked.
  • Spend more time sleeping, sitting, or watching television than chatting with family or socializing.
  • Difficult to make a decision.
  • It's easy to get worse.

When entering the middle stage, the severity of pre-existing Alzheimer's disease symptoms will increase. Usually patients who have entered this stage need to be given extra attention and begin to be assisted in their daily activities, such as bathing, using the toilet, dressing, and eating. The following are examples of Alzheimer's disease symptoms in the middle stage.

  • It's hard to remember the names of your own family members or friends.
  • Disorientation and increased confusion (eg sufferers do not know where they are).
  • Having problems communicating.
  • Mood changes that occur more often.
  • Restlessness, frustration, anxiety, and depression.
  • Sometimes having a visual impairment.
  • Experiencing interference with the pattern
  • Impulsive, repetitive, or obsessive behavior.
  • Start experiencing hallucinations or delusions.

After symptoms go through the middle phase and enter the final stage, people with Alzheimer's disease will need total supervision and assistance from others in their days. Not only sufferers who feel very depressed, but can also be felt by those around them too. Examples of symptoms of Alzheimer's disease in the final stages are:

  • Decrease in memory that is getting worse.
  • Not able to communicate with other people.
  • Have an infectious disease.
  • Hallucinations and delusions are worsening, making the sufferer always be suspicious of the people around him, even acting harshly too.
  • Not able to move without the help of others.
  • Urination or defecation without realizing it.
  • Weight loss significantly.
  • No longer caring about the cleanliness of himself.
  • Not able to eat alone.
  • Having trouble swallowing when eating.

See a doctor immediately if the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease in your relatives or friends increase significantly or if you yourself are concerned about the perceived memory loss.

Cause of Alzheimer's

Until now, the exact cause of Alzheimer's disease is unknown. But experts who carried out the research suggested that in the patient's brain the deposition of beta-amyloid protein and tangles of neurofibrils prevented the supply of nutrients between brain cells. Over time, the precipitated beta amyloids and tangled neurofibrils will damage and kill brain cells, which eventually makes the brain shrink in size. When the process is running, symptoms will appear in the patient, namely in the form of reduced memory, mood swings, and decreased speech. Damage to brain cells can also reduce the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain which affect the chaotic coordination between brain neurons.

Here are a number of factors that can increase a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

  • Alzheimer's disease is susceptible to people over 65 years of age (especially for those over 80 years). But of the total cases that occur, five percent of people with Alzheimer's disease are people aged 40-65 years.
  • Female sex.
  • Have suffered a severe injury to the part
  • According to research, those who have parents or relatives with Alzheimer's will be more at risk of developing the same disease. Less than five percent of cases of Alzheimer's disease occur due to changes or genetic mutations that are passed down from previous generations.
  • Have Down syndrome. Genetic disorders that cause Down's syndrome can also cause a buildup of beta-amyloid protein in the brain which triggers Alzheimer's disease.
  • Having mild cognitive impairment. People with this condition will usually have memory problems that may worsen with age.

In addition to the above factors, a number of factors that can increase the risk of heart disease can also increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Therefore, please be aware if you are often exposed to cigarette smoke, rarely exercise, rarely consume fibrous foods, suffer from high cholesterol, hypertension, obesity, and type-2 diabetes.

Complications of Alzheimer's

Some complications that can occur in patients with Alzheimer's / senile disease are:

  • Depression
  • Reluctant to do normal activities
  • Changes in attitude and behavior
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Difficult to communicate
  • Withdraw from family and environment

Alzheimer's Treatment

Therapy for Alzheimer's disease / senility involves several aspects, such as:

Use of drugs. The class of drugs commonly used to treat Alzheimer's / senile disease is cholinesterase inhibitors (eg Donepezil), Memantine, antidepressants, to anti-anxiety drugs and insomnia.

Environmental therapy. In this case it concerns how to make Alzheimer's sufferers feel more comfortable. For example by putting important objects in life (wallet, key) in the same place every day. Also make sure Alzheimer's sufferers carry cellphones everywhere while traveling.

 

Regular doctor checks.

Lifestyle changes. Do exercise regularly and increase the patient's daily nutritional intake. Some vitamins that can help Alzheimer's disease are Omega-3, curcumin, ginkgo, and vitamin E.

Alzheimer's Prevention

Generally, people whose minds and physiques are always active, and those who like to socialize will not be easily affected by Alzheimer's disease. Therefore do fun things that can stimulate your body and mind movements. For example by playing music, playing that can stimulate the brain, write, read, learn a foreign language, participate in social activities, and exercise. Walking relaxed in the morning or evening, swimming, tennis, badminton and golf are examples of recommended light exercise.

Heart disease is often associated with the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. If someone has a high risk of heart disease, then he is more susceptible to Alzheimer's disease. Therefore, do the following steps to keep your heart healthy and avoid the risk of getting Alzheimer's disease.

Some of the things you can do to prevent Alzheimers / senile disease are:

  • Quit smoking
  • Avoid large amounts of alcohol consumption
  • Consume high nutritious food (containing vegetables and fruit)
  • Exercise at least 150 minutes a week
  • Perform a routine check up to the doctor
  • If you suffer from stroke, diabetes, hypertension, or high cholesterol, be regular in taking prescription drugs and undergo advice from a doctor about a healthy lifestyle.

Activate your brain by reading, writing, learning languages, playing musical instruments, playing tennis, swimming and walking.



References

References

Neugroschl, J. Wang, S. (2011). Alzheimer’s Disease: Diagnosis and Treatment Across the Spectrum of Disease Severity. Mt Sinai J Med.

National Institute of Aging (2016). Alzheimer's Disease Fact Sheet.

Drugs (2018). Donepezil 23 mg Tablets.

Drugs (2018). Rivastigmine Capsules.

Herndon, et al. Healthline (2018). Everything You Need To Know About Alzheimer’s Disease.


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Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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