Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia which is a group of brain disorders that can cause memory loss and other mental-related problems. If you wish to find out more about this disease, refer to our resources on understanding Alzheimer and reach out to us for further assistance.
Important Things to Know about Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s usually occurs in older people. Currently, there is no cure but there are treatments that can help to slow down its symptoms while also improving the patient’s quality of life. Many people grow more forgetful as they age but this does not necessary mean that the person has Alzheimer’s. Research has shown that healthy habits such as staying socially-engaged with friends and family and keeping fit and active can lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. People suffering from dementia make up 60 to 80 percent of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Those with this disease have brain cells that gradually die. The brain cells’ connections disappear and prevent brain sections from communicating with one another. This process causes problems like changes in behavior and emotion which can include anger, depression, and restlessness. Patients may also experience loss of reasoning, memory, and thinking skills.
Living with Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease which means that it can deteriorate over time. Undergoing treatment will not stop the disease but its symptoms can be slowed down.
- Gradual Changes – Early stages of Alzheimer’s can cause mild memory loss and other cognitive abilities. Over time, people will lose the ability to live on their own. Towards the end of their lives, people suffering from Alzheimer’s will need help with activities of daily living.
- Rate of Progression – Alzheimer’s progresses differently in each individual. Some people have early Alzheimer’s whilst others have late onset Alzheimer’s. Most individuals with Alzheimer’s live with it for four to eight years but there are also others who live with the disease for up to 20 years after their diagnosis.
Who Can Get Alzheimer’s Disease?
Nearly 6 million people in the United States are currently living with Alzheimer’s. Having a risk factor does not directly translate to developing the disease and not having any risk factor also does not mean that you will not get it. There are certain risk factors of Alzheimer’s that are beyond your control such as the following:
- Family history
- Race and ethnicity
- Down syndrome
- Mild memory and thinking issues, and head trauma
Lowering Risk of Alzheimer’s
There are many lifestyle changes that you can consider making to help lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s. The disease has been linked to blood vessel and heart health as damage to blood vessels play a vital role at increasing the risk of developing the disease. To lower your risk, consider:
- Getting adequate exercise
- Quitting smoking
- Eating a healthy diet
- Getting enough sleep
- Getting early treatment for medical conditions
- Keeping an active mind
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Spending time with friends and family