Alzheimer’s disease is a serious condition that slowly destroys the brain. It begins by breaking down a person’s short term memory and spreads to other brain functions. It spreads through the brain and robs the victim of logic and language. In the later stages the victim loses emotional control, and long term memories. In the final stage the brain is unable to direct bodily functions, which leads to death. Tragically, there is no cure at present and its early symptoms are often ignored or misdiagnosed.
What Causes It
Medical researchers have yet to find the cause of Alzheimer’s disease. There are many different factors that seem to play a role in its development:
- Genetic make-up can sometimes be a cause. Generally, if it is something that runs within the family, you are at a higher risk of having it when you are older.
- There are many different environmental faactors that may contribute to this disease as well.
· Age is one the biggest factors. As you get older, your chances are drastically greater for having this disease.
While these are all factors that can play a part in Alzheimer’s disease, you may find that even if neither of these factors relate to you that you can still find yourself with the disease.
The Warning Signs
As with any disease or illness, it is important to understand the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s. If you have a full understanding of it, then you will be more likely to notice if you or a loved one is experiencing the early signs.
- Early in the disease, you may find that you are more forgetful than you used to be.
- Some people may begin to ask the same questions repeatedly.
- In more severe cases, they may begin to not realize who they are or where they live.
These situations can all be very scary. It is important to be aware of these signs early on so that you can do things that will help to slow down the progression of this disease.
There is no definite way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, but research suggests that a healthy, active lifestyle can delay the onset of symptoms. That being said, here are a few things that may help:
- Stay active. There appears to be a very strong link between poor cardiovascular health and Alzheimer’s disease. Get regular aerobic exercise.
- Keep your body height and weight proportionate. Studies show that overweight people are more likely to get this disease.
- Eat a balanced diet with a lot of fresh vegetables.
Treating the Disease
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, there are some things that you can do to treat it and help keep the symptoms at bay.
· Visit the doctor frequently for medications that will help to slow the progression.
· Make sure that you have adequate help from others as you cope with the disease.
Caring for Alzheimer’s Patients
The early stages of the disease require monitoring the patient to make sure they stay safe. If he or she lives alone you should install a medical alert system in the home so that help can be summoned quickly. A person with Alzheimer’s may be too confused to use a telephone and these devices make it easy for them to call for assistance.
As the disease progresses the patient will require more supervision. You may need to hire a home health care worker to help provide round the clock care. Caring for a person with the disease requires lots of energy, skill and diligence. People with the disease can easily wander away from home so make sure you have your home modified to prevent the patient from leaving the house unnoticed. Consider a GPS system that can help find the victim quickly.
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