Alzheimer is a mental disorder that destroys brain cells, causes memory loss and reduces the brain’s ability to perform normal mental functions. This disease is irreversible and disrupts the memory, thinking and problem solving functions of the brain. This neurological disorder is most common among the 60 or above age group. Alzheimer disease is the most common type of dementia, in which mental ability deteriorates due to consistent death of brain cells. There are more than 10 million cases of Alzheimer every year in India.
Causes of Alzheimer Disease
Health and environmental factors
- The risk of Alzheimer increases if anyone in your family has this disease. However, most genetics, structure among families remains unexplained.
- The person who inherits gene, namely e4 (APoE4), have guaranteed risk of getting Alzheimer disease. However, there are less than 5% that this mutation will occur.
- Age factor is one of the common factors leading to Alzheimer disease. An increase in age, sometimes results in shrinking in some parts of the brain.
- The possibility of Dementia also gets double by the time a person reaches 60 years of age.
Symptoms of Alzheimer can be divided into 4 categories
- Personality Changes
- Unnecessary repetition of words
- Personality Change
Diagnosis of Alzheimer
- General Discontent
- Mood Swings
Alzheimer disease is not easy to diagnose, as there is no particular test available for it. A doctor may do a couple of things like, checking patients’ medical history, physical examination to find any signs of kidney or heart related disease
. A doctor may also perform diagnostic test
such as MRI, CT scan or EEG to detect the problem related to brain cells and electrical impulses.
Presently, doctors have not found any permanent cure for Alzheimer disease. There is no concrete treatment that will stop or reverse the damage done by the Alzheimer. However, through medication and therapy one can ease the symptoms. The treatment of this disease depends upon, the age, overall health, and medical history of the patient. Below are some medicines that help in breaking down a chemical in the brain called acetylcholine that promotes memory and learning:
Other approaches that can be used to treat Alzheimer disease include Individual Counselling, Group Therapy, Crisis Intervention Therapy, Pet therapy, Family Therapy, Long term residential treatment and so on.