November is Alzheimer Awareness Month.
It’s Alzheimer’s Disease awareness month, and there is a lot to be aware of. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, usually affecting men and women in their mid-60s and older. The disease is named after Dr. Alzheimer, who first discovered the disease. The doctor, was faced with a patient who exhibited symptoms such as memory loss, odd behavior, and problems communicating. After the patient’s death, Dr, Alzheimer studied the woman’s brain to find abnormal clumps and tangled fibers, which are now called amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary.
Today, more than 5 million Americans are affected by Alzheimer’s disease and the number of people affected will only go up due to the increasing number of our aging population. Currently, the disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, but it is suspected to be the third deadliest in just a few decades.
Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia, and ranges in severity as it progresses. Symptoms of dementia include loss of cognitive thinking, physical and behavioral abilities. Patients with dementia experience inability to think straight, remember certain things, and reason with themselves and others. Often times, dementia patients will wander around aimlessly, and have anxiety and depression, which makes care for an Alzheimer’s patient a constant job. Dementia will eventually reach the point of severity where an individual is completely reliant on others for daily life. Alzheimer’s Disease is not the only cause of dementia, but it is one of the few that has no cure and limited treatment.
There is no sure way to diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease until after death. However, a trained medical professional can usually accurately diagnose the disease. A doctor might ask the patient and their family members questions about any changes in how they have been acting or in their personality. The doctor will then conduct a series of tests on the cognitive ability of the patient to see if there might be another cause for the problems. Also, brain scans will be done on the individual exhibiting symptoms, in order to see if there is an underlying condition that is causing the problems. If the doctor does not find anything, he or she can most accurately diagnose Alzheimer’s disease
Is There Cure For Alzheimer?
While no drug available today can cure Alzheimer’s disease, there is treatment to alleviate some of the symptoms. This not only helps the patient, but the caretakers as well. Donepezil, rivastigmine, and galantamine can help treat the symptoms of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s, meanwhile, Memantine can be used to treat more severe cases. These drugs help the patient to think clearer, maintain memories and communicate easier by regulating chemicals in the brain that transmit messages between neurons. However, they cannot stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
There is currently no sure prevention measures for Alzheimer’s because the causes, age and genetic profile, cannot be controlled. However, research suggests that a healthy diet, exercise, and mental and social stimulation could help in the prevention of Alzheimer’s in an individual. It is also helpful to know your family history. The gene for Alzheimer’s disease is passed down through families. If you know your family has a history of the disease, you can be more motivated to do what you can now to prevent or slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s. Whether you have a family history of Alzheimer’s disease or not, now is the time for lifestyle changes, no matter your age.
GetMed Urgent Care has 3 locations to serve you in Southeast Florida, in Tamarac, Plantation, and Boca Raton. We’re ready and prepared to offer you the best treatment and advice available. As always, we’ll treat you like family.