Alzheimer’s disease is a non-reversible, age-related brain disorder which grows over a certain period of time. The most common type of dementia, Alzheimer’s results in memory loss as well as other intellectual abilities severe enough to impede with daily life. During the early stages of this disease, memory loss is minor but in the later stages the individual’s lose their ability in responding to their environment or carrying on a conversation.
In the US, Alzheimer’s is the 6th major cause resulting in death. Those suffering from the disease live for an average of 8 years once their symptoms get noticed to others but the survival can vary from 4-20 years based on age as well as other health conditions. There are three main hallmarks within the brain which are associated with Alzheimer’s disease namely Amyloid plaques, Neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) and Loss of connection among neurons responsible for learning and memory.
The exact cause of this disease is not yet fully known. Scientists believe that in the majority of the people, Alzheimer’s occur from an amalgamation of genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors which affects the brain over a period of time. There are less than 5% chances when Alzheimer’s occurs due to specific genetic changes which guarantees one will develop it.
Alzheimer’s disease gradually turns worse over time. As a result its symptom changes on every stage.
Some common early Alzeimer symptoms include:
Advanced Alzeimer symptoms include:
There is no such definite treatment for this disease as well as no treatment for halting or reversing its progression. If the disease is diagnosed at an early stage, the treatment is likely to enable people in carrying out their day to day activities, independent living for a longer time as well as prolong the time for managing the patient at home. The management of this disease involves lifestyle changes, complementary and alternative therapies and medications. The goal behind this is to postpone the development of the brain cell failure as well as manage symptoms. Often patients suffering from Alzheimer’s desire to remain home as much as possible along with their family members. Hence a successful treatment is for how long patients can be delayed transferring to a hospital.
Generic Aricept (Donepezil) : this prescription medicine is used for treating dementia ranging from mild to moderate caused due to Alzheimer’s disease. This enzyme blocker functions to increase the acetylcholine level (a chemical messenger) in the brain that may help in relieving Alzheimer symptoms. It works within the brain for improving thinking, attention, memory as well the ability of performing simple tasks. Donepezil helps to improve the symptoms of Alzheimer’s yet does not slow its progression.