Alzheimer's disease is a disorder in the brain. In time, the patient will gradually lose both the intellectual and social abilities making it difficult to do anything and even interact with others.
This disease commonly afflicts people above 65 years of age. There are currently 4.5 million Americans that are suffering from this disease. It is projected that this number will increase, as the more population will reach the retirement age.
There is no known cure yet for Alzheimer's disease. The only thing medical science can do for now is simply delay the inevitable for those who have just been diagnosed with the disease.
Is Alzheimer's disease the same as dementia? The answer is no. This is because dementia is a symptom, which is caused by a disorder such as Alzheimer's disease.
There are many symptoms for this disease. It may begin with the person simply forgetting certain things. It is hard to tell at this point but when it gets worse such as not knowing how to get to the office or get home, then there is definitely a problem.
Some patients are known to forget how to do some simple mathematical computations or even find the right words when writing a letter. There are those who are also disoriented and find it difficult to do certain tasks and make simple decisions.
The worse of these symptoms is perhaps experiencing personality changes even in the presence of family members and close friends. There are times the person is happy and then this will just change for no reason at all.
A neurological scan is the best way to check if the patient has Alzheimer's disease. If it is confirmed, the individual has this problem, the best way to treat it is through the use of medical prescribed drugs.
There are two namely memantine and cholinesterase inhibitors. Studies have shown these can slow down the process as scientists are still conducting research to finally find a cure for this disease.
Patients who are diagnosed with the disorder will probably live more for 8 more years. This will really depend on how strong the person is because some have lived for 3 while others have fought with it for more than 10 years.
How can family members help a loved one with this disease? The siblings can take turns watching over the patient. If this is not possible, this is the time that a caregiver must be hired to check on the patient. This specialist will usually stay in the home and make sure the person is safe.
Physical and mental exercises must be administered to keep the patient's strength up and even help depression, which is another symptom commonly, associated with Alzheimer's disease.
Whenever the people visit, it is best for each person to stay in the line of sight of the patient. It is best to speak slowly and even hold on to the individual, which is known to make the sufferer remember who he or she is talking to.