What You Didn’t Know About Alzheimer’s

What You Didn’t Know About Alzheimer’s

2022-05-20 12:29:29/ Kategori : Neurology

Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic disease that begins insidiously in the brain and results in the destruction of brain cells. It most often begins with forgetfulness. Different regions of the brain are involved in different tasks. Alzheimer’s disease first affects the area that affects memory. As the disease progresses, it spreads to other parts of the brain. Apart from forgetfulness, symptoms are also added.

The elderly population is increasing in the world, especially in developed countries. It is thought that there are around 400,000 Alzheimer’s patients in Turkey. In Turkey, where the elderly population is gradually increasing, Alzheimer’s disease gains value as an important health problem over time. Forgetfulness in Alzheimer’s mostly starts with asking things over and over again or telling the same things over and over. It is important to recognize the disease, especially at this early stage, when other symptoms are not added. As the disease progresses and spreads to other parts of the brain, a much more complex picture emerges. When it spreads to the language region, not being able to find words, choosing the wrong words, and gradually decreasing speech can be added. When it spreads to the brain region related to behavior, there can be fears, doubts, dreams. Decision making, planning… many regions can be affected.

Patients and their relatives can present with a wide variety of complaints. If we give examples;

1-I have forgetfulness that especially affects the recent period. I forget my appointments and meetings. I took a note so I wouldn’t forget that I’m going to the hospital today.
2- My mother always tells the same things, asks the same things over and over again, although I answered, we talk about the same subjects again after a while.
3-I can’t find the words while speaking, I’m stuck, I’m afraid to talk to people.
I forget people’s names. I meet someone on the way, we start talking, I think on the one hand, what was the name of it?
I have difficulty recognizing people’s faces.
6-My wife used to prepare well-ordered tables, everyone ate their meals with great pleasure. Now I see that the kitchen is dispersed, my wife is confused at the beginning of the meal, she always mixes up the recipes of the dishes she cooks, and looks at me with anxiety.
7-My father was engaged in senior civil service for years, managed many personnel. Now we are sitting in a corner at home, and we can’t even get an opinion on the simplest matters related to the house.
8- I used to read a lot before, now I can’t remember anything I read, I can’t learn anything new.
9-My father would leave the house every morning, go to the mosque, and get his newspaper on the way back home. He came home yesterday morning with a rush and fear. He said he was lost and couldn’t find his way back home. My family has lived in the same house for 15 years. We were all very alarmed.
10- My husband and I are both 70 years old people. Something happened to my husband. Doesn’t take me out of the house. He says that other men are looking at me and he is jealous of me.
11-My mom told me yesterday that I stole their money in public in public. Then he asked me back immediately. I was very embarrassed.

Conditions that increase the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease;

1 year; It is the strongest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Between the ages of 65 and 85, its frequency doubles every 5 years. At the age of 85, the rate of Alzheimer’s disease is around 30-40%.
2- It is more common in women.
3- It is more common in people with low education.
4-Family history of dementia, genetic factors.
5- It is observed more frequently in people who have had severe head trauma that causes loss of consciousness.
6-Depression requiring treatment in the last 10 years increases the risk.
7-Vascular events; Having a history of heart attack, hypertension, diabetes and stroke increases the risk.
However, these are; It can be regulated by measures such as diet, exercise, regular doctor control.
8-Metabolic diseases such as hypothyroidism; It is important because it is a fixable situation.
9-Exposure to some toxic and harmful situations; Organic solvents, aluminum and general anesthesia

Conditions that reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease;

1-The risk is less in those with higher education. As a society, giving importance to education and developing reading habits reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s development.
2- It is important to eat plenty of greens and fruits, meals with olive oil, to consume fish, to keep our cholesterol low, to stay away from smoking and alcohol, which we call the Mediterranean diet.
3- It is important to deal with physical and mental activity. Walking, swimming as a sport can be anything. As mental activity; following daily newspapers, reading books, solving puzzles.
4- It may be useful to establish social relations with people, to chat, to go to the cinema, to the theater, to deal with flowers or gardening, and to keep a pet.

Treatment of Alzheimer’s disease

A completely corrective treatment is not possible in which all symptoms return. It is possible to prolong the course of the disease up to 2 years with current treatments.
Two types of drugs are used in the treatment of the disease. One type is drugs that increase a substance in the brain called acetylcholine that increases attention and memory, which are called acetylcholinesterase inhibitors.
The other type of drug is a drug that regulates a substance called glutamate, which can have harmful effects on the brain.

Early diagnosis

Early diagnosis is important before the disease progresses. Thus, timely and more appropriate measures can be taken for the problems added during the course of the disease.

The patient can decide for himself/herself about his/her future financial and legal affairs. It gives the patient’s family time to make arrangements for care.

In our country, there may be problems among children in caring for a mother or father with Alzheimer’s disease. Often, care can be left to one of the children. If the caregiver accepts the status of a child and does not ask for help from his siblings, depression, many problems in his family and home life may occur.

Particularly in advanced stages, it may be necessary to invest in a nursing home for the care of the patient, but the relatives of the patients also have problems getting this type of assistance due to the pressure of the society.

Alzheimer’s disease is a social phenomenon that affects patients and their relatives.

When is forgetfulness that starts with age a sign of disease?

In old age, the places where things are put can be forgotten. Glasses, keys are objects that are lost in too many homes and then found. Names that were well known before may be remembered late. However, daily life can continue independently.

Aging often causes a slowdown in brain functions. It takes more time to remember something or to do something that has been done before.

However, if the progressive forgetfulness has started to cause restrictions in daily life, care should be taken.

Alzheimer’s disease begins insidiously for about 15-20 years before symptoms appear. In this period, there is only progressive forgetfulness. It can be confused with innocent forgetfulness that can be seen due to old age.

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