Alzheimer ’ s disease is common in older people. It is a progressive neurologic disorder resulting in the shrinking and death of brain cells. This condition is a common cause of dementia, characterized by reduced behavioral, social, and thinking skills, affecting independent functioning in the affected individual.
An estimated 5.8 million persons in the United States aged 65 and above experience Alzheimer ’ s disease, and approximately 80% of this population are over 75 years. About 60% – 70% of people living with dementia worldwide have Alzheimer ’ s disease.
Common signs of Alzheimer ’ s in the early stages include forgetting conversations and recent events. Over time, the condition can cause severe memory im pairment and the inability to undertake daily activities.
Medications to slow the progression of symptoms or improve them temporarily are available. In some cases, the treatment can help people with Alzheimer ‘s maintain independence and function properly.
However, no available treatment can cure Alzheimer ’ s disease or stop the progress of the condition in the brain. Advanced stages of the condition results in complications such as malnutrition, infection, and dehydration, which can cause death.
In the early stages, a person developing Alzheimer ’ s disease may have difficulty organizing thoughts and remembering events . Still, a close person or family member will likely notice as the symptoms worsen.
Brain changes caused by Alzheimer ’ s disease l ead to issues with the following:
Occasional memory loss happens to most people, but Alzheimer ’ s disease-induced memory loss persists and worsens gradually, making proper functioning at home and work arduous.
The following is common in people with Alzheimer ’ s disease.
Difficulty remembering the words to express thoughts, engage in conversations, a nd identify objects
Forgetting appointments, conversations, and events
Repeating questions and statements
Getting lost in familiar environments
Thinking and Reasoning
Alzheimer ’ s disease often makes thinking and concentrating difficult, especially for abstract concepts like numbers. This condition makes multitasking, managing finances, paying bills, and balancing checkbooks challenging.
Making Good Decisions and Judgements
Reduction in the ability to make judgments and decisions in everyday situation s is typical for people with Alzheimer ’ s disease. An example is wearing unsuitable clothing for the weather or an event. Participating in daily activities becomes more difficult, leading to accidents.
People with Alzheimer ’ s disease usually retain specific skills for a longer period. These skills include singing, dancing, drawing, listening to books, storytelling, and reading.
Carrying out Familiar Tasks
As Alzheimer ’ s disease progresses, people with this condition forget how to perform essential chores and tasks such as cooking, bathing, and dressing.
Changes in Behavior and Personality
Changes in the brain can affect behaviors and moods, causing the following:
Aggressiveness and irritability
Distrust in people
Memory loss and other dementia-related symptoms can arise from several conditions. If you experience these symptoms and feel concerned about them, consider scheduling an appo intment with your doctor for an assessment.
An early diagnosis can help the prognosis of your condition and help you maintain a healthy life.