Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive form of dementia, characterized by changes in the brain that lead to deposits of certain proteins. This condition significantly impacts a person’s ability to carry out daily activities, ultimately causing the brain to shrink and brain cells to die.

Alzheimer’s disease is often described as cruel and devastating due to its profound effects on individuals and their families. It gradually erases memories, robs individuals of their identities, and challenges the very essence of what it means to be human. For instance:

A daughter of an Alzheimer’s patient shared, “When I visit her, she is kind, but she doesn’t know me at all. It’s shocking how empty it felt that she didn’t know me as her daughter anymore. She sleeps 20 hours a day and spends the rest of the time staring out the window.”

AD Patient may believe that deceased loved ones are still alive, leading to confusion and distress. For example, a son described his mother’s belief that his father, who passed away over 8 years ago, is alive and expresses anger that he left without leaving a note. She now waits up all night near the door, expecting his return.

Symptoms:
Memory loss affecting daily activities,
Difficulty remembering names of family members and everyday objects,
Repetitive statements and questions, and
Getting lost in familiar places.

Treatment:
While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, there are treatments available to slow its progression. Medications such as Donepezil (Aricept) or Rivastigmine (Exelon) can help improve nerve cell communication, while drugs like memantine (Namenda) block the effects of excess glutamate, a brain chemical that damages brain cells.

Preventive measures can also play a crucial role in managing Alzheimer’s risk:
Avoid smoking and limit alcohol consumption.
Quality Sleep: Chronic sleep deprivation and sleep disorders have been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Follow a balanced diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, and healthy fats.
Take care of your mental health and engage in regular exercise and cognitive training exercises to keep the brain active.
Maintain an active social life through friendships, volunteering, and hobbies to support overall well-being.

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Categories: Blog

1 Comment

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