Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. It is a neurologic disorder that drives the brain to shrink and brain cells to die, and it is memory loss and inability to cope with others.
According to the latest statistics for 2022, about 5 million people with Alzheimer’s disease in the United States. The disease begins in those over 60, but the majority of those over the age of 80 is 75%.
The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease begin to notice in conversations with the patient.
They may forget the topic that was talking about or the persons they are talking to, even if they are relatives or friends, or do not remember things they have already done.
So far, there is no definitive treatment for Alzheimer’s, but the treatment is endeavoring to prevent its development.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease:
The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease develop gradually over the years. Alzheimer’s disease symptoms develop gradually in 3 stages. Early symptoms:
In the first stages, the main symptom of Alzheimer’s disease is inattention or memory lapses, for example:
- Forget about recent conversations
- misplace things
- Forget the events and occasions
- forget the names of places
- repeat questions
- become less flexible
In the second stage, memory problems get worse, which
the patient can not remember the names of people they know, even if they are family and friends.
Other symptoms such as:
- obsessive, repetitive, or impulsive behavior
- Believing untrue things (Delusions)
- speech disorders include stuttering, apraxia, and dysarthria
- Interrupted sleep
- swing mood, such as depression, feeling anxious, and frustrated
- difficulty performing tasks
They may need help using the toilet, washing, getting dressed, and eating.
In this last stage, people with Alzheimer’s disease can be violent and suspicious of those around them. The patient needs full-time care, because the patient may put themselves at risk.
other symptoms include:
- Dysphagia (difficulty eating and swallowing)
- Difficulty walking and may become bedridden
- weight loss
- urinary incontinence or bowel incontinence
- gradual loss of speech
- problems with short- and long-term memory
A right and timely diagnosis of Alzheimer’s may give the patient the best chance to prepare for the future. Furthermore, plan to receive suitable treatment and support.
No one test is used to diagnose Alzheimer’s. And it’s necessary to remember that memory problems do not necessarily mean Alzheimer’s disease.
A General practitioner asks questions about any problems the patient is experiencing and may do some tests to cancel other conditions.
Specialist service to:
1- assess your symptoms in more detail
2- organize further testing, if necessary, such as:
- Lab tests
- Mental status and neuropsychological testing
- Brain imaging, such as:
– Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
– Computerized tomography (CT)
– Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET
– Amyloid PET imaging.
– Tau PET imaging
3- create a treatment and care plan
There’s no definitive cure for Alzheimer’s disease. But there are medicines available that can temporarily lower the symptoms.
The main medicines are:
- Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors
Treatments may involve some therapies and activities:
1- Cognitive stimulation therapy
It involves some exercises and activities to improve problem-solving skills and memory.
2- Cognitive rehabilitation
This technique involves working with a therapist and a relative or friend to achieve a personal goal, such as learning to use a mobile phone or other everyday tasks.
3- Reminiscence and life story work
It talks about things and events from the patient’s past. It involves using props such as photos, favorite possessions, or music.
Tips for caregivers:
If you care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, you have to manage the daily tasks that will help you:
- It is necessary to make eye contact.
- Call the patient by name and the things around them.
- Speak slowly and use short phrases.
- Do not begin sentences with the word “Remember” because it is ineffective and may cause feelings of failure or cause an argument.
- Do not ask “Yes” or “No” questions. you can start the questions with, “It is time to…” it is better than “Do you want to…..?”
- Use “Let’s…..” to encourage cooperation and participation.
- Do not give commands.
2- Behavior Changes:
- Maintain a daily routine to organize your tasks.
- Try to use distractions to re-direct the attention, such as playing, favorite movies, music, or other activities.
- Ask for help from family and friends to take some rest.
- Look for the early signs of agitation, such as a raised voice, fidgeting, or repetitive behaviors.
- Offer comfort words, such as, “I am right here” “You are okay” or “Do not worry”.
- Lower the causes of the noise
- Promote a calm mood.
3- Sleep Problems:
- Make sure the person gets exercise every day.
- Restrict naps.
- Limit caffeine.
- Encourage mental and physical activities every day.
- Try to keep a constant bedtime and bedtime rituals, such as soft music.
CliniDo wishes you all a life full of health and happiness!