Explaining The Disease Alzheimer

When you first hear the words, “You have Alzheimer’s disease”, it can be frightening, and difficult to comprehend especially if you may have heard little bits about the disease but are not really familiar with what exactly happens to someone who has the disease. Explaining the disease is something that your doctor can do at the time of the diagnosis but you can also gather information from other reliable sources too.

The disease, Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that has both cognitive and behavioral symptoms to it. The disease affects the quality of life for those who have it. The symptoms worsen over time to the point that the individual is unable to live alone and requires someone to care for the individual on all levels of personal care.

Alzheimer’s disease is perhaps the most recognized of the dementia diseases. As a neurological brain disorder it presents in both behavioral and cognitive symptoms that become worse over time. The symptoms cannot be reversed and there is no cure for the disease. The individual will never regain functions after they are lost and will eventually be unable to feed, dress or bath themselves. The changes that others notice in them will not only be of a cognitive nature, but will include how the person behaves and also the person’s individual personality too. The progression of the disease is usually slow taking on average about 20 years to go from diagnosis to the end of the final stage. Death is usually from a complication of the disease such as from an injury or from infection. Although the progression through the stages of Alzheimer’s is usually slow, a patient may rapidly become worse and the progression may take as little as only 5 years from diagnosis to death in a smaller percentage of the cases.

There is no single cause for Alzheimer’s that has been able to be identified yet. Scientists do know that they are getting closer to understanding the disease and that there does seem to be common factors such as some tendencies for the disease to run in families and that more of the population has the disease as individual near their senior years which is why so many think of the disease as a disease of the elderly. On average a diagnosis is made around age 65. As we age our risk for developing the disease symptoms increases. There also appears to be environmental factors for developing the disease such as having an early head injury in which loss of consciousness was involved, or individuals who only completed 6 years or less of formal education.

Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease there are medicated and non-medicated treatments that can make the individual more comfortable and may even delay the progression of the disease. Treatment can affect to a certain degree both behavioral symptoms and cognitive symptoms of the disease.

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