Alzheimers disease is a form of dementia that affects the memory, the emotions, and activities of daily living. Approximately one in every ten people over the age of 65 suffer from Alzheimers in the United States. It affects women more than men.
Alzheimers symptoms include memory loss, with gradual deterioration over time. Those afflicted have periods of sadness, they easily become disoriented, become lost, often forget words to speak, and it becomes difficult for them to do things that they used to do, ranging from completing various household tasks to caring for themselves. They may experience mood swings, often getting angry and frustrated over their inability to do for themselves. They also may become fearful at night, making it difficult for them to sleep. Over time symptoms will worsen.
Alzheimers is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Research is being done daily to learn more about Alzheimers symptoms, causes, and treatment.
Causes of Alzheimers
What causes Alzheimers? Not everything is known about this disease, but Scientists have found that Alzheimers causes can be genetic. Research shows that ApoE, a blood protein responsible for transporting fatty substances in the body, builds up in the brain, leaving plaque deposits that interfere with nerve endings. Nerve cells tangle up, causing the deterioration of memory, speech, emotions, and the ability to care for oneself.
Scientists and health professionals are learning more about Alzheimers information all of the time. They are testing various prescription medications to help reduce Alzheimers symptoms, thereby, helping the patient to maintain more of their previous lifestyle activities. Right now, over half of all nursing home residents suffer from Alzheimers. Alzheimers is an abnormal condition, not a natural result of the aging process.
Although there is no Alzheimer's cure yet, tests are being done to help prevent Alzheimers disease. Vitamins and supplements are given to participants who are tested for the disease. The National Institute of Health (NIH) say that Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Beta Carotene, and Folic Acid do not help prevent Alzheimers, although the Alzheimers treatment for prevention say that use of Omega 3 Fatty Acids and antioxidants are helpful for brain function. High doses of Vitamin E is given as an Alzheimers treatment, although it should not be taken without a physician's prescription. It is given to help improve the patients activities of daily living, although, high doses of this vitamin has been known to increase the risk of death.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids have been known to help improve cognitive abilities, and a nutritious diet is also important, with the addition of high calorie drinks like milkshakes and Ensure. The patient should not drink caffeine or alcoholic beverages.
Other ways to help the Alzheimers patient are to make their living situation more adaptable to their needs. Remove throw rugs and excess furniture so they can get around more easily, lessening the risk of falling, and install sturdy handrails on the stairs and in the bathroom. They should wear shoes with tread to prevent slipping. A 30 minute walk each day provides them with necessary exercise. Prescription medications such as Aricept, Razdyne, or Exelon are given, all of which are Cholinesterase inhibitors that boost levels of a chemical that is depleted in the brain. The Alzheimers patient may also take a drug called Namenda, a drug that works in the brain cells to improve Alzheimers symptoms.