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20.09.2019

What you need to know about Alzheimer’s Disease

What you need to know about Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that affects the brain gradually causing memory loss, and a decline in thinking and reasoning skills. Named after Alois Alzheimer, the doctor who first shed light on it, it affects people worldwide and is one of the most common causes of dementia.

 

While it mostly manifests itself with age, AD is not strictly an old people disease as it can affect younger individuals, albeit on a lower scale.

 

Below, we answer some frequently asked questions about Alzheimer’s.

 

  1. 1- What are the most common signs of AD? 

     

    One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s is memory loss, for example forgetting things very recently learned, birthdays and other important dates. Signs can also include difficulty in completing usual daily tasks, confusion, problems with conversation, either participating in or following it, misplacing things, mood changes and repetitive poor judgement. It is important to note that these are warning signs only and can be attributed to other, milder conditions.


  1. 2- How is AD diagnosed?


Doctors may use memory, language, problem solving and similar tests. In addition, the patient will probably undergo standard blood tests and brain scans to determine if the signs might be caused by another physical disease. The diagnosis procedure also includes questions about the overall health, current treatments and medication as well as family history of the patient. As the disease is progressive, these tests may be repeated over time.

 

  1. 3- What are the most common causes of AD?

     

    Scientists still cannot categorically state what causes AD, but it is believed that early onset Alzheimer’s (signs appearing in the 30’s to mid 60’s) may be genetic, whereas, the disease manifesting itself later on in life may be caused by a combination of environmental, health and lifestyle factors, and to a lesser extent, genetics.

     

  2. 4- Can AD be prevented or cured? 

     

    Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s can neither be prevented nor cured, and its effects cannot be reversed. Because it is a progressive disease, its stages vary from mild to severe, with the latest stage being characterized by a failure by the patient to carry on a conversation or be aware of their environment and even control movement. However, in case of early diagnosis, some approaches (drug and non-drug based) can be taken so slow down its progress and improve the quality of life of the patient.

     

  3. 5- What is the life expectancy of people suffering from AD?

The average life expectancy varies between 4 and 8 years. It is however, possible under certain circumstances to live up to 20 years after being diagnosed.

 

Disclaimer: The content of this article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used as a basis for any treatment, diagnosis, decision or any other similar action. It is neither a medical advice nor a substitute for one. For any health-related issue, always consult with a professional.

 

 

 

 

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