What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is probably one of the commonest causes of Dementia. It is a degenerative disease of the brain that effectively starts in the cerebral cortex. It is mostly characterised by the gradual and progressive decline in a person’s mental abilities. It affects both sexes generally those who are over the age of 60, yet Alzheimer’s has been known to occur in people as early as age 40. The earliest symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are simple forgetfulness. This is mostly disregarded especially if the person is elderly, as it is commonly put down to their age, but it steadily progresses to more severe symptoms such as trouble in performing easy or regular tasks such as fastening buttons or tying shoelaces. There is a progressive deterioration in both the person’s mental and bodily state and abilities additionally, also their recall. There is also a difference in the actions and personality of the person with Alzheimer’s, with their ordinary actions becoming a thing of the past. For example someone who has always been gentle and kind may begin to use filthy words and make inappropriate sexual advances or become violent and begin striking and lashing out at people. In the later stages of Alzheimer’s, the person eventually becomes incapable of performing any task at all. They also become doubly incontinent, lose their power of speech, lose the ability to walk properly, suffer paralysis and lose their total memory. If treatment is given early enough, it can slightly slow down the disease, but unfortunately it is incurable at the time of writing. Once Alzheimer’s disease is diagnosed, then the person should be given as much help and aid as feasible, especially in the early stages. Unfortunately many people who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease are conscious at first that something is wrong with them (although they may go into denial), and being aware you are «losing your mind» can be a truly shocking and frightening experience. Their family ought, also to be given help to come to terms with the diagnosis as it can have a distressing effect on them especially if the person with Alzheimer’s is younger and brings in part of the household income. There are several support groups they can join who will help them to adjust and come to terms with the life altering disease that has befallen their loved one. In the very later stages of Alzheimer’s disease, the person gets so bad that many families have no choice but to place their relation in a nursing home so they can be cared for professionally. This can also be distressing for both them and the person who is ill. The reason for Alzheimer’s disease is not known, yet scientists and doctors have many thoughts about its origins. There have been many theories such as the deposition of aluminium in the brain, to fluoride in the water but nothing has been positively identified as the course of this horrible disease.

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