Alzheimer’s disease is commonly associated with older people because it often begins after age 65. The older the age, the higher the risk; however, there is also an early form of Alzheimer’s disease, which is relatively rare but progresses faster. Alzheimer’s disease can develop in both men and women, but women appear to be at slightly greater risk than men. Other risk factors include diseases affecting the heart and arteries, environmental factors such as smoking and diet.
There is no established genetic link, although research is currently underway in this area.
Some families appear to exhibit a genetic tendency, especially if two direct relatives have the condition. Other environmental reasons that have been suggested in the past include exposure to magnetic fields or aluminum but have never been scientifically proven. While some memory loss is completely normal as we age, people with Alzheimer’s have a much faster decline, and other cognitive problems becoming apparent.
Typically, the victim’s family and friends are the first to notice that someone behaves differently than they used to, according to their explanation. For example, short-term memory lapses are becoming more common, making it difficult for a person to focus on previously easy tasks. Personality changes, as well as communication problems, may become apparent.
Early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease can include any or all of the following:
- Avoid social contact
- Irritability and restlessness.
- Forget names and places regularly
- Repeat often over a short period.
- Failure to organize, plan and think coherently.
- Difficulty with daily routine tasks and decision making.
- Problems with arithmetic, reading, writing, and other cognitive tasks.
- It can be disorienting in familiar places.
- Strange behavior
The signs do not necessarily indicate that someone is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, as these same symptoms may result from other completely unrelated factors. In the early stages, a person can compensate for these problems quite well and continue to live and work on their own for some time. However, the nature of Alzheimer’s disease is such that symptoms will always progress, and severe dementia is inevitable. Alzheimer’s disease is incurable, so treatment is palliative. If the disease is diagnosed early, there is some evidence that with proper nutrition and proper support and care, the disease’s progression can be delayed; however, you must read this article.
Among the disease’s challenges is its impact on family and friends who are forced to watch their loved one deteriorate to the point where they no longer realize it. The rate of depression among caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s is higher than among those with it. Many people with Alzheimer’s stay at home, especially in the early stages, and are looked after by their families. Much can be done from a practical point of view to ensure that a person with Alzheimer’s remains as independent as possible for as long as possible and that help and support is available to those who care for them.
Several organizations have been created with the primary purpose of doing just that. You can find out more about what’s available in your area by talking to your doctor or other healthcare professional.