What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?
We all know that it is normal for people to become a bit forgetful as they get older. However, in some cases and at some point in some people’s lives, there is a disease related to this “senior moment” – known as the Alzheimer’s disease.
Currently, one in eight people that are 65 years and older have this disease which is considered as the most devastating form of dementia.
In the early stages, Alzheimer’s disease is not so obvious to spot. However, there are some causes and warning signs to watch for.
What Is The Main Cause Of Alzheimer’s Disease?
We won’t be wrong to say that the Alzheimer’s disease comes with age, which is why it is the main cause. However, just like all types of dementia, the actual cause related to Alzheimer’s is the death of brain cells.
Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative one, which means that there is progressive brain cell death which happens over time. In a nutshell, the brain tissue of the person suffering from it starts losing its nerve cells and connections, resulting in this disease (or other forms of dementia).
To sum it up, the Alzheimer’s is mostly caused by genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors, all of which affecting the brain over time. In less than 5%, the disease is caused by specific genetic changes that guarantee that a person will develop it over time.
What Are The 7 Stages Of Alzheimer’s Disease?
Since it is a progressive disease, the Alzheimer’s develops slowly and the symptoms are worsening gradually. Therefore, it is safe to say that it passes through seven different stages. Read about the 7 Stages Of Alzheimer’s.
How Is Alzheimer’s Disease Treated?
There are different medications for the Alzheimer’s disease – especially for the different stages of it.
The medications known as cholinesterase inhibitors are prescribed for mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease – as a way to help andreduce some symptoms while controlling the behavioral symptoms.
The actual medications include…
- Razadyne® (galantamine)
- Exelon® (rivastigmine)
- Aricept® (donepezil)
What is interesting is the fact that scientists cannot yet understand how the cholinesterase inhibitors work to treat the disease. According to research, they prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, which is a brain chemical that is important for memory and thinking.
For moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease, medications known as Namenda® (memantine) as an N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonist are needed. They are mainly taken to decrease the symptoms and maintain certain daily functions a little longer than they would without the medication. You can usually get Alzheimer’s detected by getting an MRI scan.
For more information on the full list of medications for Alzheimer’s disease, visit this link.
Who Gets Alzheimer’s Disease?
As we said in the beginning, age is the biggest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, which is present in people over 65 years of age. Once the person reaches this point, they have a greater and greater risk of developing the Alzheimer’s. In fact, the risk doubles about every five years.
What Do Most Alzheimer’s Patients Die From?
In the end, death is inevitable for all of us. For patients suffering from the Alzheimer’s disease, the illness doesn’t have to be the single and most important reason for death.
While it is definitely hard to live and perform the daily functions with the disease, most people can live up to 15 to 20 years with the disease.
Most of the associated complications come in the later stages of the disease when balance and coordination, as well as autonomic functions like heart rate, breathing, digestion, and others, may affect other parts of the body and result in death.
Alzheimer’s Home Care Assistance In Phoenix, AZ – Call (480) 999-3012
Are you or a loved one suffering from the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease to the point at which you think you might want some help with your daily activities? Devoted Guardians is one of the top-rated home care agencies in the Phoenix Valley in Arizona. We cover the entire Phoenix metro area and put our caregivers through a rigorous evaluation before hiring them. If you think you or someone else may want or need assistance, please feel free to give us a call at 480-999-3012.