Learn to identify Alzheimer's behavior
Alzheimer's disease is a condition that affects and impairs a number of the brain's processes, including memory, reasoning, judgment, mood and communication. The actual causes of Alzheimer's disease are not yet known, but the condition is identified by toxic deposits in the brain that damage and eventually destroy healthy brain cells.
Alzheimer's typically affects people over the age of 65, though early-onset Alzheimer's can strike those who are much younger. The condition is both progressive and degenerative, which means the symptoms will continually worsen over time. The amount of time is difficult to predict because it varies from individual to individual.
Alzheimer's symptoms are often hard to spot because they typically come on gradually and can be attributed to factors like stress, lack of attention or other medical conditions. Common Alzheimer's behavior may include the following:
- Memory loss. Alzheimer's sufferers often start to forget many short-term things, such as an appointment time or a new acquaintance's name. Long-term memory generally remains sharp.
- Difficulty performing tasks. Cooking, laundry and other common household chores that require multiple steps may become more difficult for Alzheimer's patients.
- Disorientation. Alzheimer's sufferers often forget where they are, what day it is or why they are doing something, even if it is an activity that is normally very familiar to them, such as walking the dog.
- Misplacing items. One common aspect of the disorientation experienced by those with Alzheimer's is putting common items in odd places, such as car keys in the fridge.
- Lack of judgment. Knowing when to cross a street, when to carry an umbrella and other decisions that require judgment become difficult for Alzheimer's sufferers.
It's important to pay attention to these symptoms, as early detection of Alzheimer's can increase the success of various treatment options.
In the past, Alzheimer's was regarded as more interchangeable with other forms of dementia, but nowadays distinctive new treatment for Alzheimer's is emerging thanks to the research of many specialized Alzheimer's doctors.
Medication to treat Alzheimer's currently includes drugs like cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine hydrochloride, which can help slow the progression of symptoms and limit damage to nerve cells in the brain. These medications were formerly taken orally, but a new patch for Alzheimer's treatment could make it easier for patients to stay on a proper treatment plan. New clinical trials for medications and treatments are also ongoing in the hopes that a cure or more advanced treatments may be discovered.