Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that damages the brain by shrinking its size, causing brain cells to die and making a person develop multiple cognitive and behavioral issues that greatly affect their ability to function independently. It is essentially the most common form of dementia, which is a continuous decline in thinking, learning, behavior, memory, and social skills, and while dementia is a general term for memory loss and cognitive problems.
Patients affected with Alzheimer’s disease are aged 65 years or older, and the majority of people suffering from dementia also have Alzheimer’s disease. Elderly patients show early symptoms that get more intense as the disease progresses, causing a person’s cognitive ability to diminish and deteriorate the older they are. The causes of the disease aren’t fully understood, but risk factors are generally related to genetics, environmental causes, head trauma, and poor lifestyle.
The early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease target different changes in the brain associated with:
- Memory: the key symptom of the disease, loss of memory is the first sign to appear by making the person forget memories, conversations, and even family members.
- Thinking and reasoning: difficulty concentrating and thinking, as well as having issues multitasking and identifying numbers.
- Making judgments and decisions: decline in the ability to reason and make decisions in everyday situations.
- Carrying out tasks: diminished sense of initiative and ability to perform tasks individually, including basic activities.
- Personality and behavior: mood changes and behavioral patterns, as well as developing mental illnesses.
- Preserved skills: some skills are preserved for longer even as symptoms worsen, though these will be affected later as the disease progresses.
More drastic symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease can greatly affect a person severely by not only intensifying the previous symptoms, but also with symptoms like:
- Inability to communicate
- Weight loss
- Skin infections
- Difficulty swallowing
- Groaning, moaning, or grunting
- Increased sleeping
- Loss of bowel and bladder control
Alzheimer’s disease is a complex illness that greatly affects individuals by changing who they are, not just mentally, but also in their way of life. It’s important to understand what this disease does and how to best approach it to improve the patient’s well-being, using preventive care and lifestyle changes to keep Alzheimer’s disease at bay.
The best ways to prevent and manage Alzheimer’s disease is through making lifestyle choices that can keep the body in good health. Frequent exercise, a healthy and balanced diet, no smoking or substance abuse, maintaining social interactions, and avoiding excessive amounts of stress are great ways to prevent the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in the long term.
As a result, the medical team at Central Florida Total Healthcare is here to help you navigate any illness with the expertise, knowledge, and technology needed to improve your well-being, paired with our compassion and understanding for our patients and their health.
You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (407) 392-1919 to learn more, or you can visit our website.