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Tag Archives: Alzheimer’s
The Alzheimer’s Association is the nation’s leading organization for Alzheimer care, support, and research. According to their statistics, more than five million people in the United States are living with Alzheimer’s disease. Until his death earlier this month, my father was one of them.
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the biggest medical challenges facing Americans today. Early detection is extremely important, and there are early warning signs for the disease. The Alzheimer’s Association suggests ten things to watch for.
1. Disruptive memory loss. This is the most common sign, especially in the early stages of the disease. The typical memory loss that comes with aging may include forgetting names or appointments. But people with Alzheimer’s disease forget important names, dates, events, and even people. They may ask the same question over and over again. My father enjoyed telling stories, and he often repeated the same story several times during a single conversation.
2. Problem solving issues. With normal aging, it’s common to make an occasional checkbook error. A person with Alzheimer’s finds it difficult to follow a plan (recipe) or work with numbers (bill paying, checkbook balancing). After memory problems, this was the first sign that something was up with Dad.
3. Difficulty completing tasks. As you get older, you may need help with your microwave oven settings or television recordings. But people with Alzheimer’s find it hard to complete daily tasks, like driving somewhere familiar or finishing a work project.
Dad enjoyed country drives with his dog. His usual routine took him for an early afternoon drive that ended at home an hour later. One day, more than five hours passed before he came home. Dad showed Mom a hand-drawn map someone gave him, to help him find his way home.
4. Time-and-place confusion. With normal aging, you may forget the day of the week, then figure it out later. People with Alzheimer’s disease lose track of dates, seasons, and the passage of time. They forget where they are and how they got there. Dad once sat outside a mechanic’s shop for two hours, waiting for a state inspection. He forgot that the mechanic had moved his shop to a new location two years earlier. And he was confused about the amount of time that passed while he waited in his car.
5. Trouble with vision, space, and perception. A typical aging concern? Vision changes related to cataracts. People with Alzheimer’s disease have trouble reading, judging distance, or determining color and contrast. They can pass a mirror and think someone else is in the room. My father did this. He talked to his image in the mirror, believing he was conversing with someone else.
6. Problems with words, speaking, and writing. With normal aging, it is sometimes hard to find just the right word. People with Alzheimer’s disease have trouble following conversations. They often repeat themselves, as Dad did with the stories he told. Or they may stop talking in mid-sentence because they don’t know how to continue. They may call something by the wrong name because they have trouble finding the right word. For example, they may use “hand clock” for the word “watch,” says the Alzheimer’s Association.
7. Misplacing things. It is typical to misplace something like your eyeglasses or car keys. But someone with Alzheimer’s disease may put things in unusual places, forget where they put them, and then accuse others of stealing from them.
My Dad had a collection of padlocks in his garage. To keep them “safe,” he hid them. Later, when he couldn’t find them, he accused his family of stealing them. The padlock hide-and-seek happened every day for weeks. Mom helped him with the search, but they never found his locks. She finally purchased a supply to keep on hand, just so she could produce a lock when he wanted one.
8. Decreased or poor judgement. It is typical to make a mistake once in a while. It happens to everyone. But people with Alzheimer’s disease have serious problems with judgement and decision-making. For example, they may use poor judgement with money and fall for a scam. They also tend to pay less attention to personal grooming.
9. Withdrawal and anti-social behavior. Sometimes a person feels weary of work situations, or of family and social obligations. That’s typical. But people with Alzheimer’s withdraw from work projects, social events, or their favorite sports or hobbies. The changes they experience make it hard for them to remember things or keep up.
10. Mood and personality changes. It is normal to become irritable when your routine is disrupted. The mood and personality of people with Alzheimer’s changes—and continues to change dramatically—through the various stages of the disease. They will experience confusion, suspicion, depression, anxiety and, sometimes, angry outbursts.
“It helps to understand why an Alzheimer’s patient may have these changes in emotions and behavior,” says Dr. Nancy Snyderman in her article, “More Than Memory Loss.”
“Researchers think these symptoms result partly from brain damage, since the disease eventually erodes nerve centers regulating mood, perception, and impulse control,” she says. “But some problems are also due to anguish, frustration, increasing confusion, and inability to function which can often lead to behavioral problems.”
Alzheimer’s is a progressive illness, one that gets worse over time. And, as the Alzheimer’s Association says, “Alzheimer’s has no survivors.” It’s a fatal disease. Anyone can experience one or more of the warning signs, in varying degrees. If you notice any of them, please see your doctor. Early detection is so important for treatments, planning, care, and support.
Alzheimer’s Disease: the Importance of Early Detection
Alzheimer’s Facts and Figures: New 2009 Report
Current Treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease
Eight Myths About Alzheimer’s Disease
Seven Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease
Ten Alzheimer’s Related Dementias
Written by AnnetteSmith
What is Alzheimer’s disease?
Keeping up Alzheimer’s activities is vital if you have just been diagnosed with having Alzheimer’s disease. You must try to continue doing as many normal activities as you possibly can. Keeping yourself active for as long as possible will stop you from dwelling on the disease and what is going to
happen in the future.
We all probably know at least one person who has been diagnosed with a serious illness. As difficult as it may be, giving up all the things that you like to do, and sitting around thinking about what is going to happen to you, will only cause you stress. Stress is a major cause that can make the symptoms of Alzheimer’s rapidly increase. This is not what you want to happen.
By going out and mixing with your family and friends, you will find it to be a welcoming distraction for you. Plus it will make your family and friends feel as if they are helping you out by spending this time with you, and keeping you occupied.
Don’t forget that Alzheimer’s disease can be very difficult to cope with for the people that surround the sufferer.
Doing some form of light exercise is a great way to burn up adrenalin and stress. When you burn up adrenalin your body produces endorphins, these endorphins promote feelings of happiness. Not only that, but doing exercise helps you sleep better, and gives you a better appetite.
In the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease you should be able to do most of the activities you like to
do. All you have to do is to tell people that you are having problems with your memory. If you have true friends they will accept the situation.
You might have to give some activities up as your disease progresses.
If you are into doing swimming, cycling, dancing or anything else that may be challenging, you may find that it will become too hard for you to do. You may want to avoid doing activities that could potentially place you at risk.
As you reach the later stages of Alzheimer’s, you will find it a bit harder to find an activity that you can safely do. This is because you will find it difficult to remember things that you once thought simple. It will become more and more difficult for you to focus and concentrate on the things that you used to do.
However that still doesn’t say you have to give up everything. Have friends and family visit as much as
possible. Try to talk about the memorable times in you life. Sometimes you may find it easier to remember things from the past, instead of the present, with more clarity.
Listen to music. You could get someone to take you out for walks. Do as much as you feel you are able to do. The more you can continue with your Alzheimer’s activities, the less stress you will be putting on yourself.
Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-most leading cause of death in the United States. Scientists and doctors all over the world have been baffled by it- and they have strived to find a cure. This disease is the most fatal form of dementia and mind illness. The sickness was discovered in 1906 by mental expert, Dr. Alois Alzheimer. At that time, he had met Mrs. Auguste Deter, who had been hit by a mysterious illness that caused her to forget easy things, like her own full name. After Auguste died, Dr. Alzheimer studied her brain and found infections that had caused the unknown sickness. Alzheimer’s disease was born. The disease thrives on today; effecting elderly people and making them forget everything that is important to them. Nowadays there are more than 2.6 million people with Alzheimer’s- and scientists fear the numbers may quadruple by 2025.
Alzheimer’s disease has many impacts on the patient’s body. The Alzheimer’s germs and plaques cause all the havoc. The patient can no longer make up ideas, recall forever-known memories, or have clear thoughts. They might place things in wrong places, like wallets in the refrigerator. Patients get lost in familiar areas they always knew, like their own neighborhood. They can’t even recognize known people. Alzheimer’s disease also impacts the personality very much. They will dress differently and act in strange ways. Patients will do what is called a mood swing, where they are calm one second and in the next, they are suddenly angry. As you can see, the body is affected greatly by Alzheimer’s.
Not only does Alzheimer’s affect the victim, but also the family. The families are baffled by the fact that their relative is changed so greatly. Patients are often so grumpy and unaware that family members can’t even communicate with them very well, which makes the situation worse. When the relative patient can’t even recognize them as family members, they are very depressed. Families are surprised that such a horrible thing could happen to their loved one. They will also try to avoid Alzheimer’s disease, since there is a 50% chance that they themselves may get it because their relative had it. There is a large affect on the patient’s family.
There are many different causes of Alzheimer’s disease. The most common cause is inheritance. Someone’s ancestor may have had Alzheimer’s, and so the genes have been passed down through descendants. Another reason of Alzheimer’s is your diet. Cholesterol is a good example. Too much of Cholesterol in the body can effect the brain negatively and may eventually lead to Alzheimer’s disease. Lack of important vitamins, like Vitamin C, can possibly cause Alzheimer’s. Many scientists also believe that that interference with metallic objects, such as aluminum, may have an effect on the brain. Age is another big cause. Once people reach the age of 65, their chance of getting the disease increases by 50%. By 85 years of age, they have a full 75% chance, which is very likely. All of these are some causes of Alzheimer’s disease.
Although Alzheimer’s disease is usually passed on through genes, there are a few ways to prevent the terrible sickness. The easiest and simplest way is to just keep the mind active. Do crossword puzzles, play chess, cards, read books, and think thoughts. It’s also good to have a healthy, nutritious diet. Cholesterol can affect the brain. It helps to be fit and to maintain a healthy, active body. Having a social life and hanging out with friends and family is helpful when avoiding Alzheimer’s. Take a regular dose of Vitamins such as Vitamin C, B12, etc., and you’re lessening the chance of Alzheimer’s. Many scientists also infer that getting near magnetic materials can cause Alzheimer’s, so it’s best to stay away from them, just in case. These are some easy ways to prevent the fatal disease.
There are many different signs that one has Alzheimer’s disease. Victims may be doing the wrong thing and be making bad choices, but their brain can’t identify them as being “wrong”, so they just do it. They may misplace common, important things. They will start having problems with their own native language. Patients will lose memory, causing them to forget or not even recognize family members. They will lose their enthusiasm, patience, or excitement. Their mental judgment skills will be very bad. Patients will forget life-long known skills, such as cooking, dressing, and completing familiar tasks. These are some signs that one may have Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease has many different perspectives from different kinds of people. Many folks get depressed from the huge change in the victims. They want to help and take good care of the patient. They feel very sorry for them. Doctors and nurses try to help find a cure. Some people, however, rudely avoid Alzheimer’s victims. They misunderstand and think that the patient is stupid, mad, or crazy. They do not realize how big an epidemic Alzheimer’s disease really is. Some people just plain don’t care. They realize the danger later on, and then they feel sorry. These are some different points of view from different people on Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s disease does its evil job deep inside the brain. The plaque that does it all is a compound called BETA Amyloid, a black plaque germ that spreads throughout the brain and destroys neurons. When the cells are attacked, the ability to recall skills, ideas, thoughts, and memories are damaged or even completely forgotten. The plaques intensify and eventually form massive clouds of blackness within the brain. The brain literally shrinks to smaller size once the Neuron forest is overwhelmed. 8-20 years after the Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis, the brain becomes completely blackened. The control center of the body is now destroyed. This is the point where it turns into a life and death situation. The body may no longer know how to swallow, go to the bathroom, or other human instinctive behaviors the patient has always known. The body eventually crashes and malfunctions, causing the patient to eventually die.
The body goes through huge changes before, while, and after Alzheimer’s disease. There are large impacts in one’s personality. Alzheimer’s patients can no longer control vital areas of the body. They will act like they are at a time long ago, like when they were young children. They may know what had happened at that time so well, but will not have a clue about the happenings in the present. Patients will dress differently, act strangely, and their emotions will be different than before. For example, a man could have once been always calm and gentle, but after Alzheimer’s, he becomes grouchy and depressed. Patients will no longer know anything, and will forget who they are. They will forget the fact that they ever even had a life. The only sign that shows that they are alive is the beating of the heart and breathing.
Alzheimer’s disease is a terrible mental sickness. It is very common and dangerous. Although Alzheimer’s cannot kill the body directly, it destroys the brain, which is the control center of body organs. The vital body organs malfunction and the victim dies. The disease is spreading, and is a worldwide epidemic. It must be stopped. People pass it down through genes, and so we probably can’t prevent one from getting Alzheimer’s. What we can do is try to discover a cure.
Written by Infiniti
I am an athlete, a magician, a speedcuber, and a graphic designer from the U.S.
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