Alzheimer’s disease

Below you will find more information about Alzheimer’s disease from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Alzheimer’s disease comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Alzheimer's disease, which is named after Alois Alzheimer, is a neurodegenerative disease that occurs in people aged 65 and over. This disease is the most common cause of dementia, affecting over 20 million people worldwide. Once Alzheimer's has been diagnosed, the life expectancy of patients is around 7 years. Only 3% of patients live for more than 10 years.

Treatment

There is no available cure for Alzheimer's disease. The medications available only offer benefits for patient's symptoms, but do not slow down the progression of the disease. However, behavioral and cognitive interventions as well as rehabilitation strategies may be used during the early to moderate stages of Alzheimer's disease. Therapies may include reminiscent therapy, counseling, psychotherapy, behavioral reinforcements, reality orientation therapy and cognitive rehabilitation training.

Symptoms and Signs

Alzheimer's disease is divided into 4 stages with different symptoms for each stage. In the predementia stage, patients experience only mild cognitive difficulties. Other symptoms include short-term memory loss, semantic memory impairments and subtle executive problems. Depression and apathy may also occur. In the early stage, patients experience impairments in memory and learning. However, older memories are affected only slightly compared to learning new things and making new memories. In terms of language problems, shrinking vocabulary and decreased work frequency may occur. In the moderate dementia stage, patients slowly reduce the possibility of independence. Language difficulties become noticeable, and the ability to read and write are forgotten. Complex motor sequences are also affected, making patients lose their ability to perform daily activities. Long-term memory becomes impaired, while behavioral changes occur. Irritability, outbursts, crying, aggression and physical violence also occurs. 30% of Alzheimer's patients develop delusional symptoms. In the advanced stage of Alzheimer's, patients cannot perform the simplest tasks alone. Apathy, exhaustion and loss of verbal language also occur. Patients will also experience muscle deterioration and inability to feed oneself.

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