- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Alzheimer´s Disease (A True Story)
Do you know someone or have a relative who suffers from Alzheimer´s Disease?
What is Alzheimer´s Disease?
Alzheimer´s disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that generally starts mild but advances gradually and gets worse over time. The most common symptoms appear early in the disease and they include memory loss.
As the disease advances the symptoms show problems with the use of language and disorientation (getting lost in familiar places), loss of motivation, mood swings, behavioral problems and personal negligence.
When the condition is well advanced, patients often withdraw from the family and society in general. The functions of the body begin to get lost and this ultimately leads to death. The average life expectancy ranges from 3-10 years.
What is Alzheimer´s Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is a mental disease that impairs memory, thinking, language and behavior. Symptoms are usually mild at the beginning and get worse over time.
Alzheimer´s Disease Symptoms
- Lose things around the house (glasses, keys, watch)
- Forget name
- Not able to use the right word in a conversatio
- Get los in familiar places
- Forget about appointments
Early Symptoms (not remembering things)
¨I´m sorry, I forgot about it, ¨ he declared.
¨How come, I reminded you of it, yesterday, ¨ the other man said.
¨Yes, you did, but I really, don´t know what happened, ¨ he stated with sorrow.
¨I must have been thinking something else, ¨ he added.
Not remembering things had been occurring to him, lately. Some of the issues he was not remembering about were those that are considered not essential in daily life; however, one day, he forgot how to get back home.
¨ Please, help me, ¨ he uttered calmly but with worrisome.
¨I don´t know how to get back home, ¨ he said in low voice.
Whispering and with both hands on his head, he continued making desoriented gestures.
Not Remembering Where One Lives
Getting Lost (Alzheimer´s Disease Symptom)
The passers began to notice his pleadings, but none would stop to attend this man.
¨I want to go home, ¨he spoke as if whispering to someone.
¨Where do you live, ¨someone asked him.
¨I don´t remember ¨ he said.
The old man pulled his wallet from his pocket and gave it to the man. Inside of it, there was an address and a note, ¨if you come across my father, please take him home.¨ the note said.
The man immediately realized that the old man was insane and he drove him to his family´s address.
Alzheimer´s is Not a Disease of Old Age
Alzheimer´s risk factors increases with age, although, it´s not a normal part of old age. Alzheimer´s disease is most commonly diagnosed in people who are 65 years or older, but the disease is not related to old age. More than 5% of people suffering from the disease has had early onset of Alzheimer´s disease, which usually appears in between the 40-50s.
Forgetting One´s Name
Not Remebering his/her Own Name (Alzheimer´s Disease Symptom)
This was not the first time something similar had happened to him; on another occasion, he even forgot his own name.
¨Name? ¨the officer asked.
¨Mario, ¨ the old man answered, passing his hand over his head.
The officer looked at him, waiting to hear him saying his last name, but the man, perplexed, could only look at him confused.
¨What is your last name? ¨ the officer asked.
When an immediate response was not received as was customary, he realized that the old man had some kind of health problems. Before the end of the day, the old man was safely at his family´s home.
Behavior changes in the early stages of Alzheimer´s
Behavior changes in the late stages of Alzheimer´sSleep disorders
- Emotional distress
Alzheimer´s Disease is a Progressive Disease
Alzheimer´s disease is a progressive disease, where the symptoms of demencia gradually get worse over the years. In the early stages of the disease, sufferers´memory loss is minor, but in the late stages, people are unable to carry on a conversation and respond to the environment.
It is not until after 9 years that the symptoms of Alzheimer´s disease begin to be noticeable to otners. The average survival rate for people with Alzheimer´s disease may be from five to twenty years, depending on factors, such as age and other health conditions.
Family Guide to Care of Peope with Alzheimer´s Disease
At this stage, he and his family began to worry about the frequent incidences
¨I wouldn´t like this to get worse, ¨ he declared to his daughter.
One day, he was heading in one direction on the subway. He was enjoying the ride too much, but that did not excuse him from having taken the subway into three different directions before arriving back home.
¨Why didn´t you come yesterday? ¨ She asked him.
¨What for? ¨he responded.
¨We had arranged to take you to the park, don´t you remember? ¨ She asked.
¨Oh, yes! ¨ he replied perplexed.
¨What happened? ¨ she inquired.
¨Why do you ask if you already know, ¨ he said firmly.
¨We´ll get the best help for that issue, ¨her daughter offered.
Getting Lost in Familiar Places
I´m always forgetting about simple issues. I have even forgotten what my name is and I get lost in the environments, which in the past were so familiar to me, ¨ he said with resolution.
¨I forgot about this appointment with you, ¨ he added.
¨You see, all this is occurring to me when you need me the most, ¨ he talked with assurance to his daughter.
¨It´s not about me but about you that we have to worry, I´m still young and strong; I can take life as it comes, but you are my father and I will do whatever it takes to see you happy through this difficult stage in your life.
Life continues and the old man has entered the next stages of the disease. It´s been around 4 years since I last heard news of him. I know that the problems caused by Alzheimer´s disease are irreversible and the possibilities of seeing that man as I used to see him 4 years ago are diminutive.
Alzheimer´s Disease Treatment
There is not currently a cure for Alzheimer´s disease. Treatments for the symptoms in the early stages are available; however, these treatments can not prevent the progression of the disease. They can only temporarily slow the progression of dementia and improve the patient´s quality of life.
Alzheimer´s Disease and the Brain
The human brain possesses one hundred billion neurons. Each one of them connects to a network of other neurons. Groups of nerve cells are involved in human thinking, remembering, learning and process other kinds of information, including how we see, smell and hear.
In the present, it is believed that Alzheimer´s disease interferes with how the nerve cells in our brain function, and that a malfunction of certain groups of nerve cells may cause other areas of the brain to deteriorate.