1.The risk of getting Alzheimer’s Disease increases with age, symptoms are typically first seen after 60 years
2.Memory Loss – forgetting dates, events may be the beginning of early symptoms
3.Problem Solving – like handling numbers, calculations, checkbooks are the warning sign of progressing disease
4.People may find it difficult to handle daily tasks at home and confusion around time and place
5.Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, being physically active and playing braingames/exercises; use of turmeric (Haldi) has shown benefit in reducing the risk of developing or delaying the disease
Alzheimer’s is a brain disease related to deterioration of memory and thinking skills due to the progressive degeneration of brain cells. Along with memory, Alzheimer’s also affects the personality, mood and emotions of a person.Although the risk of Alzheimer’s increases with age (65 and above), it can happen to younger age groups as well. Apart from age, family history, obesity, downs syndrome and age related diseases such as cholesterol and high blood pressure can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Till date, Alzheimer’s has not been successfully treated. However, thereis extensiveresearch beingundertaken to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Though people do not clearly know the causes of Alzheimer’s, recently, researchers have found how the brain cell connections are destroyed in the early stages of the disease. These findings could lead to more research into possible treatment. Till then, with adaptation of healthy lifestyle choices, one can decrease the risk, as well as delay the progress of this disease.
Alzheimer’s Disease commonly has 3 stages – Early, middle and late.
- Early stage – Here, the person faces mild problems that are related to the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s. The symptoms of this stage are:
- Forgetting something that was just read
- Trouble in planning and organizing things
- Repeating the same question/phrase over and over again.
- Difficulty in remembering namesofnew places and people
- Middle stage – In this stage, there issignificant degradation in functional and thinking activities. People have a lot of trouble remembering basic information such as their own address and phone number. Here, care and assistance is required to complete daily chores such as cooking and shopping. People at this stage will face difficulty to remember the names of their loved ones and often confuse a person with someone else.
- Late stage – Here, people face difficulty communicating verbally. People often find it difficult in communicating when they are hungry or thirsty. They lose basic abilities such as walking, eating and sitting. Therefore, round the clock care and assistance is vital.
Prevention and Management of Alzheimer
Although Alzheimer’scannot be directly treated,with an adaptation of a healthy lifestyle one can decrease the risk and delay the progress of the stages mentioned above.
- By getting involved in intellectual or social activities, one can keep their brain sharp. Playing games which involve intelligence and reading can also decrease your risk of Alzheimer’s.
- Regular exercise and physical activities help manage obesity, which can helpto reduce the chances of Alzheimer’s.
- Foods such as nuts and Mediterranean fruits, help enhance memory.
- Prevention of cardiovascular and age-related diseases such as high blood-pressure, high cholesterol, etc. also contribute to Alzheimer’s prevention.