Millions of people have Alzheimer’s disease. The older a person gets the higher risk they are. Alzheimer’s/dementia can be inhered from other family members, a head injury; even high blood pressure can put you into the high-risk bracket. There is no known cause for Alzheimer’s disease only based on characteristics. The only way to know for certain that someone has Alzheimer’s is to have a microscopic examination of the brain tissue after death.
Alzheimer's disease is a form of dementia, which is a brain disorder that affects the memory, thinking, and behavior. People 60 and over are at the higher risk bracket and it progresses rapidly.
There are many symptoms of Alzheimer's/dementia disease. During each stage, the symptoms become more obvious. The stages start out lightly like normal aging changes. Personality might change, getting lost, forgetting things, and misplacing items along with difficulty performing simple daily tasks.
As each stage, progress things become more difficult. Short term memory loss but yet the long term might stay with them forever. Not knowing or recognizing people is another symptom; usually the people they are the closes to are the ones they forget. Behavior problems become worse as time goes on, they will argue more, strike out at people, and depression becomes another issue for Alzheimer’s patients. Depression becomes a major problem and causes them to go into their own little world and shut everyone out. Eventually the Alzheimer’s will keep progressing until they become intirely dependent on their caregiver.
Even though there is no known cure for Alzheimer's/dementia there are test that can be taken to help treat it. Dementia needs to be diagnosed first to determine what kind and how to treat it. Once dementia is diagnosed, treatment can be started for the Alzheimer’s disease. Treatment starts out by changing everyone’s life around. Changing the home is one of the major things that need to be done by locking up the medication and cleaning supplies anything that might be poison. Maybe throw rugs will have to be removed; you might have to remove a mirror because seeing themselves in it might scare them thinking it is someone else. Make the home environment as safe and comfortable as you can. Support groups are very important for the family and caregivers, giving you someone to talk to, relieve you so you go off and be alone or with someone else just let you do someone different.
There are drugs and vitamins along with herbs that can be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease. When using the herbs remembers that they are not FDA approved, so be sure to let your doctor know about them. Vitamins such as vitamin E, ginkgo biloba will sometimes help to slow some of the progression of Alzheimer’s.
Vitamin B9 and B12 are sometimes given to control the blood level. Ginkgo Biloba is given to help the dementia by improving the blood flow to the brain. Some of the medications that doctors use now are Aricept, Exelon, Reminyl, and cognex but remember all of this affects everyone in different way and could cause nausea or liver damage along with other side affects. Painkillers, depressants are sometimes used to help control the behavior problems.
Remember all drugs need to be prescribed by the health care provider before administrating them.
Alzheimer's disease will affect the patients eating and drinking habits. Their appetite will change sometimes needing more calories and a supplement could make up for what they need. Lots of liquids are needed to help prevent dehydration so be sure to remind them to drink.
The Alzheimer’s Association requires that all Alzheimer’s patients wear an ID bracelet. Sometimes they will wander off and forget where they are; with the bracelet, they can be found and returned home.
Most important the family and caregivers need to take care of themselves.