“REMEMBER ME” This is the theme for World Alzheimer’s Month 2016. Alzheimer’s Associations around the world is asking everybody to get involved by sharing our favourite memories/memories of a loved one on Social Media this September with hashtags #RememberMe, #WAM2016. Nursescircle.com tries to reveal more about Alzheimer’s disease on the occassion of World Alzheimer’s Day – September 21st 2016.
Alzheimer’s disease is first described by Alois Alzheimer in 1906 and hence the name “Alzheimers Disease”. As everybody knows Alzheimers is a Chronic Neurodegenerative Disease which starts slowly gets worse over time. Indeed Alzheimers is the most common cause of Dementia (60 – 70%). Usually Alzheimer’s is found in people aged over 65 years.
– Problems with language
– Mood Swings
– Loss of Motivation
– Self care deficit
– Behavioural Issues
As condition declines patient will have social withdrawal.
After Diagnosis – Life Expectancy is usually 3 – 9 years.
What causes Alzheimer’s Disease?
70% people gets Alzheimer’s genetically while some others get via Head Injury, Depression/Hypertension
– Disease process usually happens with Plagues and Tangles in Brain
– Plagues and Tangles are caused by abnormal deposits of proteins form amyloid plaques and tau tangles throughout the brain, and once-healthy neurons stop functioning, lose connections with other neurons, and die.
– Most currently available drug therapies are based, is the cholinergic hypothesis, which proposes that AD is caused by reduced synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine
How it is diagnosed?
– Based on history of illness, Medical Imaging adn some Blood Tests
– Risk factors – Obesity, lack of mental and physical exercise
Alzheimer’s disease consists of three main stages: mild (sometimes called early-stage), moderate, and severe (sometimes called latestage). Understanding these stages is very important.
Mild Alzheimer’s disease – In mild AD, the first stage, people often have some memory loss and small changes in their personality. They may forget recent events or the names of familiar people or things. They may no longer be able to solve simple math problems. People with mild AD also slowly lose the ability to plan and organize. For example, they may have trouble making a grocery list and finding items in the store.
Moderate Alzheimer’s disease – This is the middle stage of AD. Memory loss and confusion become more obvious. People have more trouble organizing, planning, and following instructions. They may
need help getting dressed and may start having problems with incontinence. This means they can’t control their bladder and/or bowels. People with moderate-stage AD may have trouble recognizing family members and friends. They may not know where they are or what day or year it is. They also may lack judgment and begin to wander, so people with moderate AD should not be left alone. They may become restless and begin repeating movements late in the day. Also, they may have trouble sleeping. Personality changes can become more serious. People with moderate AD may make threats, accuse others of stealing, curse, kick, hit, bite, scream, or grab things.
Severe Alzheimer’s disease – This is the last stage of Alzheimer’s and
ends in the death of the person. Severe AD is sometimes called latestage
AD. In this stage, people often need help with all their daily
needs. They may not be able to walk or sit up without help. They
may not be able to talk and often cannot recognize family members.
They may have trouble swallowing and refuse to eat.
Drugs work by regulating neurotransmitters, the brain chemicals that transmit messages between neurons. They may help maintain thinking, memory, and communication skills and help with certain behavioral problems. However, these drugs don’t change the underlying disease process. They are effective for some but not all people and may help only for a limited time.
Eg. Donepezil, rivastigmine, galantamine, Memantine etc
Care of the patient
We have got a patient care manual that will be very useful for caregivers of Alzheimer’s patient. You can download the article here – alzheimers-care-givers-manual
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