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What Alzheimer's does to a person?

Alzheimer's is a disease where a person experiences memory loss and thinking skills and gradually loses the ability to handle simple tasks. As the disease progresses problems may include such as wandering or missing the person, asking repeated questions, and personality and behavior changes.

Studies have told that Alzheimer's disease mostly affects people age 60 and above.

What is the cause of Alzheimer's disease?

The exact cause of Alzheimer's disease is unknown, but it is thought to be caused by the abnormal build-up of proteins around the brain cells. One such protein is called amyloid, deposits of this form plaques around brain cells. Another protein is called tau, the deposits of this cause tangles within the brain.

As the cells in the brain cells get more affected, there is a decrease in neurotransmitters that involves in sending signals and messages within the brain cells. Gradually, brain cell connections and cells themselves degenerate and die.

What are the risk factors of developing Alzheimer's disease?

Several factors are known to increase the risk of developing the condition:

  • Increasing age is the most known risk factor. The likelihood of developing this condition doubles every 5 years after you reach the age of 65. Some people have been affected at an early age also, this is called early-onset Alzheimer’s.
  • Family history- if other family members have developed dementia over the generations.
  • Down's syndrome
  • People who had head injuries may develop the risk of Alzheimer's disease.
  • Studies have shown that several lifestyle factors and conditions that are associated with cardiovascular disease may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s. They include- smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity.

Will stress causes Alzheimer's?

Further research is carried out by the experts to know the link between Alzheimer's and stress. But they believe that stress can cause inflammation in the brain by making it more susceptible to health problems like dementia. Stress will cause depression and Alzheimer-related conditions.

How is Alzheimer's disease diagnosed?

The only way to diagnose Alzheimer's disease is to explain the symptoms and their impact on daily life. There is no reliable test to diagnose Alzheimer's. Alzheimer’s disease can only be diagnosed after death, the microscopic examination of the brain tissue is performed to reveal the characteristic plaques and tangles.

  • The doctor will perform mental ability tests such as memory and thinking tests known as cognitive assessments.
  • Physical and neurological exam
  • Blood tests are done to rule out other potential causes of memory loss, thyroid disorder, or vitamin deficiencies.
  • Imaging tests - MRI scans, CT scans, and positron emission tomography (PET) scan.

What is the treatment for Alzheimer's disease?

There is no complete cure for Alzheimer's disease, your doctor may prescribe medications and treatments to help ease your symptoms which can delay the progression of the disease as long as possible.

Apart from medication, certain lifestyle changes can help you manage the symptoms. The doctor might suggest some strategies like

  • Concentration on the work you do
  • Take enough rest
  • Staying calm

What activities can prevent Alzheimer'?

Engaging in activities that help to stimulate the brain such as

  • Exercise regularly
  • Meditation
  • Maintain a healthy diet.
  • Maintain an active social life
  • Try and practice cognitive training exercises.

Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital

Address: Rao Saheb, Achutrao Patwardhan Marg, Four Bungalows, Andheri West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400053

Phone: +91-98 88 66 22 00

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