The Alzheimer’s Disease: Basic Facts

Table of Contents

Introduction

The paper investigates on the topic of Alzheimer’s disease which is identified as a disastrous ailment that takes away the peace, light and entire happiness of life and family. Recent research on it is extensive though there has no possibilities identified yet against the gigantic prevalence of Alzheimer’s in the society around the globe. The objective of the study is to identify and analyze basic facts about the disease and various aspects linked with it.

Alzheimer’s Disease – Definition and History

Alzheimer’s Disease Education & Referral Center (ADEAR) under US National Institute of Health describes that “Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks of daily living. In most people with AD, symptoms first appear after age 60.” (General information, 2010, para.1). It is a most common disease found nowadays in people with disorder of dementia. Dementia is a situation which is recognized y the failure of cognition in humans leading to problems even in performing day to day primary activities.

Actual conquer of Alzheimer’s is on the fresh reminiscence area of brain for which completely remedial technique is not yet developed. But various medical intervention treatments are available that can slow down the rapidity of the development of disease. The name Alzheimer’s came from the name of a Germen doctor who had noticed the odd alterations in a dead woman. The amyloid plaques which are found in the patients were the feature that attracted Dr. Alois Alzheimer who with further analysis recognized the presence of neurofibrillary tangles. His identifications and studies were the initial steps to research in Alzheimer are which gave names to above symptoms as stated.

Treatments available

Though a unique treatment is absent to cure the disease or stop, some drugs were found successful in putting obstacles to easier crunching of cognitive skills by the disease. Donepezil has been found to be useful for severe as well as mild Alzheimer’s disease while Memantine came for the help of moderate and severe cases. Rivastigmine and Galantamine are given to mild Alzheimer’s attack. They are found to be effective to slow down advancement of Alzheimer’s to months or a few years. Recent developments in research have been considering beta-amyloids and non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for searching out the possibilities in Alzheimer’s treatment.

Caution signs of Alzheimer’s disease

According to the Alzheimer’s organization, there exist ten warning signs for Alzheimer’s disease.

  • “Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  • Challenges in planning or solving problems
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
  • Confusion with time or place
  • Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
  • New problems with words in speaking or writing
  • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  • Decreased or poor judgment
  • Withdrawal from work or social activities
  • Changes in mood and personality.” (10 Signs of Alzheimer’s, 2010).

Memory loss that disrupts daily life: The usual deeds are forgotten creating problems in the smooth going of life. Important occasions and memoirs are completely blank for such patients even forgetting recent issues. They depend on their friends and relatives or any memory supporters for performing daily routine.

Challenges in planning or solving problems: Delays of completion gets much extended for activities performed regularly. The constructive and planning skills gets completely disappeared and follow up of bills become indifferent. It turns out to be extremely difficult to deal with numbers and figures.

Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure: Performing everyday jobs related to profession or household gets converted to impossibilities. Games and sports of involvement and interest happen to be unknown ones.

Confusion with time or place: They are not aware of journeys and destinations even though those are regular ones.

Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships: Driving becomes tedious and dangerous for Alzheimer’s patients due to the lack of ability to interpret and understand imagery and spatial dimensions.

New problems with words in speaking or writing: Names and words cannot be picked in consistency by them, making conversations and speech becoming unworthy and failure. They get stuck in between spoken words or phrases many a times creating repetitions.

Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps: Positioning of objects is done mistakenly which they can never remember at a later time.

Decreased or poor judgment: The problem solving and decisive situations are dealt with utter flaw of resolutions. Unnecessary implementations and suggestions become regular characteristics.

Withdrawal from work or social activities: As a result of difficulties to follow and sustain, such people gets extracted from any social and job related deeds.

Changes in mood and personality: Mood and personality of Alzheimer’s patients are likely to get altered in a continuous manner. They are more prone to get angry and depressed. Alternative shifts in emotion are usually exhibited by such persons.

There are a number of diseases identified in connection with Alzheimer’s disease. Usually various dementia are considered to be having close relation with Alzheimer’s disease. Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), Vascular Dementia, Mixed Dementia, Dementia with Lewy Bodies, Parkinson’s disease, Frontotemporal Dementia, Creutzfeldt – Jakob disease (CJD), Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus, Huntington’s disease and Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome are linked to Alzheimer’s by global medical sectors.

Necessary Safety Issues and Home Setting

The home setting of an Alzheimer’s patient requires much care and focus as there can be many hidden possibilities for danger which are not ever expected at all. Recently “research into quality dementia care and the best ways of supporting careers provides important insights into improving quality of life of people with dementia, their families and careers” has been given pace owing to the importance of care when concerned with Alzheimer’s patients. (Research priorities, n.d., para.2). Major concerns include wandering, driving and home safety. Wandering can never be entertained with such patients as they always lose their track. But usually such persons exhibit wandering tendencies. Therefore any sign and symbol useful to locate and trace back should be left with patients. Address and contact numbers should be available for any person who come across the patient lost in his path. Also a recent photograph should be present with them. Again doors locked to ensure safety requires attention along with keeping danger prone objects inside, outside or surrounding houses. Safety locks for houses and child lock for kitchens will help in keeping safe. Sharp and poisonous substances should be completely eliminated and if extremely essential should be safe guarded from the reach of patients. Medicines should be named properly and locked up securely. Driving is another hazardous matter of concern when Alzheimer’s patients are considered. It is always better not allowing them to drive. It is a fact that they will develop unawareness of imagery and dimensional analysis which are much essential for driving.

Stress on Caregivers

It is really a challenge to take care of a person having Alzheimer’s which might at times result in disasters to caretaker itself. Similar to the case of Alzheimer’s patients even their caretakers have ten warning signs of stress.

  • “Denial”: contradiction to actual situation of the patient under care declaring hope to his life.
  • “Anger”: extreme anger towards the patient as well as others claiming no cure to him and no one is aware about the situation.
  • “Social withdrawal”: getting extracted from everything meant to be own, leaving behind all friendly and family relationships.
  • “Anxiety”: tensed and overwhelmed about upcoming moments and days of life.
  • “Depression”: pessimistic approach gets into routine leading to an imagination of unsuccessfulness.
  • “Exhaustion”: daily routines turn out to be unable tasks with feel to fatigue attached always.
  • “Sleeplessness”: abundant unnecessary thoughts creating restlessness and sleeplessness.
  • “Irritability”: continuous shifts in moods and emotions longing for solitude situation.
  • “Lack of concentration”: unable to focus on any necessity or existence leading to unawareness of different schedule.
  • “Health problems”: gets attacked on psychological as well as bodily well being. (10 symptoms of caregiver stress, 2010).

Conclusion

The research based on internet provisions about Alzheimer’s, the disastrous acquaintance found recently with many of human lives bringing about unsuccessful and terrible of existence, is completed accompanied by this report. The investigation helped in proper identification of various basic and complicated issues of Alzheimer’s. Advent and development of extensive explorations were analyzed to get required information and successions in the investigation. In fact, the voyage of scrutiny helped to develop the actual picture on the disease, its symptoms, diagnosis, treatments and sorrowful existence of patient as well as people linked to them.

Reference List

10 Signs of Alzheimer’s. (2010). alz.org. Web.

10 symptoms of caregiver stress. (2010). alz.org. Web.

General information. (2010). National Institute of Aging. Web.

Research priorities. (n.d.). Alzheimer’s Australia. Web.

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