Alzheimer's Disease General Outline

A common kind of dementia that is affecting the senior citizens, across the globe is Alzheimer's disease. This form of brain disorder is named after the physician of German origin, Alios Alzheimer, who described this disease in the year 1906. Alzheimer's disease is progressive and results in memory loss and disturbances in planning, perception, language and reasoning. It is believed that the disease is the result of increased production of a protein called beta-amyloid protein in brain which results in nerve cell damage and death.

The brain with billions of nerve cells functions effectively, when every nerve cell forms networks by communicating with each other. Nerve cells are entrusted with specific functions like thinking, remembering, learning, perception, sensing, directing the motor movements among others. A fatal and progressive brain disease, Alzheimer's disease destroys the brain cells of an individual and causes memory loss. The damage to the brain cells is also manifested as inconsistency in behavior and thinking that adversely affects the social life and activities of the afflicted person. The disease becomes worse with time and is fatal.

Researches have identified that Alzheimer's disease can be categorized into two types namely Familial Alzheimer's and Sporadic Alzheimer's disease. Familial Alzheimer's disease affects around ten percentage of people and is very rarely occurring. The characteristic trait of this form of Alzheimer's is its early onset. A Specific ‘deterministic gene' triggers the disease's development and progress. Around the world, only a few families carry such gene. Sporadic Alzheimer's is common and affects people who are over sixty five years of age.

The risk factors of the disease are generally the age, genetics, family history, gender, incidence of injuries and education. People over sixty five are at the risk of developing Alzheimer's and their chances increases as they age. A senior citizen in a family with a ‘deterministic or risky gene' can develop Alzheimer's. If your parent, sibling or relative has the disease, your chance of becoming an Alzheimer's patient is increased. Studies suggest that women are afflicted by the disease more than their male counterparts. Moreover, concussions and head injuries are linked to the development of Alzheimer's. Researches also suggest that the less educated have increased risks of developing the disease.

The degenerative disease commonly has three stages like mild, moderate and severe Alzheimer's and a series of symptoms make the stages apparent. The symptoms for early stage or mild stage Alzheimer's disease are impairment of memory, speech difficulty and mood swings. Moderate Alzheimer's is manifested through symptoms like hallucinations, incontinence, disturbed sleep patterns and repetitive behavior. Severe Alzheimer's is characterized with memory loss, susceptibility, difficulty in swallowing and moving around, loss of appetite and weight. The sufferer becomes completely disabled, during this stage.

Alzheimer's disease does not have a cure, currently but it can be managed and prevented by eating a balanced diet, exercising, staying active all day, maintaining social contact and interaction, intellectual stimulation, using memory aids, seeking the help of support groups, training the brain, learning continuously and taking omega 3 supplement regularly. Once you're subject to the condition, psychological health care is an important part of treatment.