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Alzheimer's Disease: Symptoms, Ways To Prevent it, and How to Care for Victims

Updated on November 18, 2013

How Does Alzheimer's Disease Manifest - Symptoms

Alzheimer's disease is a condition that manifests mostly with people aged more than 60 and according to the latest statistics in America only there are more than 5 million people known to suffer from this condition. One symptom which is representative for Alzheimer's disease is memory loss; this appearing as a result of this form of dementia affecting one's mind at the brain cells' level. This degenerating disease evolves at a progressive rate with the earliest stages presenting fewer symptoms.

Although this disease manifests with older stages of life, it has been met also with people in their early 40s as well as with individuals who have a family medical record of Alzheimer's disease. The latter category includes more people prone to manifest this condition than others who do not have this hereditary factor. As we have mentioned above, memory loss is the most representative symptom that leads one to identify the disorder as Alzheimer's disease. This will include finding the patient repeating things and not remembering the recent and simple things or gestures they have just made.

This is the first stage of the condition which should draw one's attention that there is something wrong happening with him. A medical advice is necessary because once this condition is left not treated or looked after will result in a rapid evolution making the things worse than they already are. Up to this date, there is no cure found for Alzheimer's disease but there is medical treatment that will prevent the disease from progressing.

Let's see what happens when this disease continues to evolve, which its symptoms are for its later stages of progress. So, one by one these symptoms will continue to manifest under a state of confusion when the patient won't be able to recognize people, places where he is in.

More than this, other symptoms will manifest as the tendencies of wandering, changing behavior, feeling depressive, and apathetic. To all these we can add the symptoms of high states of anxiety and changes of moods determining him to become angry or upset for no logic reason. Others can even turn into violent persons again without any reason.

As Alzheimer's condition evolves the patients will reach the stages of not being able to do things for themselves. These things relate to the most usual things done on regular and usual basis: personal hygiene, cooking, taking medication as well as taking care of the financial aspects of everyday life.

As one can imagine, all these late symptoms of this condition will lead into providing the necessary care for the patient. It is a type of care that must be given at every aspect in the life of a person who can not deal with his usual needs. You will find the patient not being able to settle at night, keep wandering around and feeling very confused.

If you suspect one of your family member of the symptoms described for the early stage of Alzheimer's disease it is recommended to have them consulted with a doctor who will run some tests along with a brain scan to be able to set the right diagnosis.

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Knowing the Neurological Causes of Alzheimer's Disease

It is true that there is no knowledge on the true cause that leads to the onset of Alzheimer's disease, but there are studies conducted in this direction to reveal some neurological roots that have been associated with this condition. The name of this disorder comes from Alois Alzheimer who was the first one to point out the specific malfunction of the brain that leads to the installation of the illness. This condition has been diagnosed only under a post-mortem examination up to the last decades of the 20th century.

With the advancements of technology all sorts of scientific discoveries could be carried out in the meanwhile and thus scientists were able to take further steps into analyzing closely this disorder manifested at brain level. Thus it was discovered that plenty of the symptoms specific to Alzheimer's disease are generated by neuro-fibrillary tangles, such as microscopic filaments that clog the neurons inside the brain.

This situation is created because of the abnormal evolution of Tau protein that under normal circumstances is meant to exchange messages between neurons. This is done through binding into microtubules, but in this disorder, Tau protein bonds to itself and thus the messages are not exchanged anymore but will instead freeze where they are born.

With the clogging of the neurons, the signal from outside won't be any longer transmitted as it should be resulting an impairment of the cognitive process, one of the main symptoms with Alzheimer's manifestation.

Another neurological cause is determined by the abnormality of beta amyloid protein which plaques the neurons bringing as well damages to the brain. This damage is described as sticky patches formed in the brain blocking the communication that reaches at neuronal level. All these will result in losses of memory along with other inabilities that come together with the onset of Alzheimer's disease. The amount of plaque will determine at how extent the cognitive impairment can reach.

For messages to reach the nerves will require a normal functioning of acetylcholine, but once plaque manifests, it will interfere with this normality. One treatment used in Alzheimer's disease is based on inhibiting the blocking enzymes that consume the acetylcholine. It goes without saying that this treatment is effective in the early stages of this disorder before the plaque starts building up.

Other researches have shown that plaques form tangles as proved by studies made on mice through which proteins were taken from them to eliminate beta-amyloid that causes the plaque. This protein has given signs of getting rid of the tangles as well.

There is also the belief that one cause might be the swollen axons (responsible for transmitting messages between neurons) as in this way the messages are blocked from being transmitted. This might as well lead to plaque and tangles formation resulting in the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

Tips on Preventing Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer is a form of dementia which is mostly diagnosed in people aged more than 65 manifesting with symptoms that are wrongly related to age or stress, such as loss of memory where the patient doesn't remember his whereabouts or the latest events. One patient is diagnosed to suffer from this condition through brain scanning and through various tests related to cognition and behavior. In order to prevent the onset of this disease, people are suggested to change their lifestyle while sticking to a healthy diet plan.

The following tips will help you prevent this condition from manifesting:

* Various researches have shown that there are more chances for this condition to install with obese people. So, the first tip goes for having a regime that will make you lose weight.

* Make sure that you consume a diet that is more based on fruits, vegetables, cereals, legumes, olive oil and fish. The consumption of these foods with plenty of nutrients will protect your body system against stress accumulation reducing at the same time the inflammation in brain.

* Introduce in your diet the food that contains Omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, tuna, and flaxseed reducing as well the heart problems and cholesterol level.

* It is also very important to maintain a lifestyle that is far from stress allowing you to have merely a positive thinking. Since stress is an important factor that leads to the onset of Alzheimer's disease it is recommended to avoid those situations that lead to this type of psychical distress.

* Another tip that will help you prevent this condition is having plenty of physical exercise. Through regular exercise you will reduce exposure to stress allowing you to have a healthy body and mind. It is very important to maintain a regular exercising because through this process your body eliminates the toxins that can accumulate inside. More than this, the nutrients that you get through a healthy diet will be carried throughout your entire body system feeding through the blood stream all the organs, including your brain cells keeping them healthy and away from getting damaged.

* Keeping up with your sleeping hours is another way to prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease and not only. Sleeping helps will recharge your batteries thus having a fresh and relaxed activity of your brain for the next day.

* Resort to nutritional supplements rich in vitamin B12, D, and fish oils that are considered good for preserving and improving the state of your memory.

With all these factors known to influence the onset of Alzheimer's there is still a mist that surrounds the major causes that determine the manifestation of this condition. But there is the conclusion that keeping a healthy lifestyle and a healthy diet plan you can increase the chances of staying away from this brain disorder. Bottom line: make sure to follow the tips from above and thus lowering the risks of developing Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's Patients and Ways to Look after Them

When a beloved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, all the other family members wonder what is there that they can do to help with caring for his condition. With the early stage of this disorder's onset, patients are still capable of living in present especially if they live with someone around the house.

But once the disease starts evolving, the care that you have to show to the patient increases determining you to look for other living arrangements for a longer period of time and care. Many people consider that specialized environments with professionals dealing with patients' care are better for their family member suffering from an evolved stage of this condition.

But this will depend on several factors:

a. To what extent the patient needs professional assistance.
b. Special necessities, such as restrictions set for dietary needs.
c. What is the best arrangement to suit the patient's family.
d. If there is the need of a secure environment because your beloved one uses to wander very often.

If you are determined to provide the care for your beloved one suffering from Alzheimer disease, a better suggestion would be to consult with doctors and other professionals. They will show you how to understand the condition and what exactly this one requires for a better patient's care. When the patient will move inside the space of your house, you must be prepared to take care of him in almost every aspect of his life, such as bathing, eating, getting dressed, and so on.

But sometimes, living with a patient suffering from Alzheimer is not the best option, especially that there is the need to provide constant care which cannot always be there with s family of active members. There is the need to go to work to provide for the family not to mention the huge volume of responsibilities involved in this specific care.

But regardless of all the reasons that this type of care can determine you to choose a family assisted care giving, there is still better to consider the option of moving the patient within a care home which provides this specialized assistance. These types of care homes are designed to provide for the unique needs of patients suffering from Alzheimer disease with specially trained personnel who understands this condition and knows how to handle it accordingly.

Your beloved one being checked in within this type of care home will have the possibility of interacting with other patients while being given the chance of performing several activities, such as gardening or art crafting. These types of activities play the role of stimulating in a way their brain activity promoting their well being as well.

While determining which option is the best for your beloved one suffering from Alzheimer, you should consider all the factors involved in a family care as compared to the ones involved in a specialized care home. In this way you will know which is the best for the given situation.

Experience 12 Minutes In Alzheimer's Dementia

How to Safely and Naturally Approach Alzheimer's Disease

It has been statistically shown that more than 5 million people across USA suffer from Alzheimer's disease. It is a common condition manifested with people aged more than 65 known as a dementia, a form of brain cells damage affecting the way of thinking, behaving and memorizing. Nowadays many people turn towards the benefits of natural treatments, since these ones are the oldest known to exist in healing various conditions. With the medical discoveries that were made in the way herbs and plants help with curing diseases, there is as well the question whether they can as well be used in treating this brain disorder.

In order to cure or at least to stop a disease from evolving, it is better to start with the causes that lead to the onset of the condition. So which are the causes that determine Alzheimer's disease to manifest?

Well, the causes are unfortunately unknown, but scientists have detected that a small protein fragment - ABeta - which is in the brain is produced in excess, as seen with many cases of patients suffering from this condition. Researches will attempt to find ways through which the amount of this protein is decreased thus leading to stopping the evolution of the disease.

* The conventional treatment that is prescribed in this situation comes under 2 categories: 1. Treating cognitive symptoms (problems related to memory and other mental deficits) and 2. Treating behavioral symptoms (problems related to states of agitation and distress). The problem is with this type of treatment that it doesn't aim the root cause of this condition.

* The alternative medicine that deals with natural treatments offering safe healthy solutions will allow patients to prevent and apply a self-care strategy for their Alzheimer's disease. The following plants are known to be used in this type of prevention and self-care:

1. Gingko Biloba which is a Chinese medicine originating from a tree known to be the oldest tree species that has ever grown on earth. This plant (the leaves of this tree) can help a lot in treating the condition by increasing blood flow to the brain, cerebral circulation, along with antioxidants characteristics. There are some precautions to take note of, such as pregnancy which doesn't allow the ingestion of this plant extract along with persons who are under anticoagulant or MAO inhibitors treatment.

2. Camellia Sinensis is a plant that green and black teas are extracted from. These ones have the property of inhibiting those enzymes that are related to Alzheimer's disease. Scientists have reached the conclusion as per the studies they have conducted, that patients suffering from this form of dementia present a lowered level of acetylcholine. Ingesting this tea, the activity of the enzyme which breaks down the acetylcholine will be inhibited.

If you have someone in your family suffering from this condition make sure that these type of natural treatments are administered under daily basis and you will the difference.


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    • ologsinquito profile image


      4 years ago from USA

      I've had older relatives with this disease and it really is devastating.


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