But there are things you can do that may reduce your risk or delay the onset of dementia, such as:. These measures have other health benefits, such as lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease and improving your overall mental health. Read more about preventing Alzheimer's disease. There are dozens of dementia research projects going on around the world, many of which are based in the UK. If you have a diagnosis of dementia or are worried about memory problems, you can help scientists better understand the disease by taking part in research.
If you have been diagnosed with dementia, or you're caring for someone with the condition, remember that advice and support is available to help you live well. Staying independent with dementia. Communicating with people with dementia. Dementia, social services and the NHS. Our guide to care and support explains your options and where you can get support.
Page last reviewed: 10 May Next review due: 10 May Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia in the UK. These include: increasing age a family history of the condition untreated depression , although depression can also be one of the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease lifestyle factors and conditions associated with cardiovascular disease Read more about the causes of Alzheimer's disease. Signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's disease Alzheimer's disease is a progressive condition, which means the symptoms develop gradually over many years and eventually become more severe.
The first sign of Alzheimer's disease is usually minor memory problems. Who is affected? Alzheimer's disease is most common in people over the age of If Alzheimer's disease is suspected, you may be referred to a specialist service to: assess your symptoms in more detail organise further testing, such as brain scans if necessary create a treatment and care plan Read more about diagnosing Alzheimer's disease.
How Alzheimer's disease is treated There's currently no cure for Alzheimer's disease, but medicines are available that can help relieve some of the symptoms. Outlook People with Alzheimer's disease can live for several years after they start to develop symptoms. This is still the case regardless of whether the respondents have APOE E4 gene, the second risk factor for getting Alzheimer's aside from aging.
Women are more vulnerable than men when it comes to biological features, according to Katherine Lin, the MCI researcher and Ph. From all the tests conducted and even after including the factors which contribute to the rate of decline in MCI like the education and age, Lin concluded that the cognitive abilities of women with the condition are more likely to worsen faster than men.
According to the Alzheimer's Association, 16 percent of women aged 71 years and above are diagnosed with Alzheimer's while men of the same age afflicted with the disease are only 11 percent. More and more studies are being conducted, and researchers make sure that even though there is still no evidence as to why Alzheimer's in women are more frequent than men, the advocacy for this research is bound to grow. Based on a published article by Lin and her associates, one factor worth noticing is estrogen levels and genetics.
However, results of studies about this are contradicting. One study showed that hormones may be capable of reducing amyloid accumulation that when estrogen in women declines during menopausal years, their risk of acquiring Alzheimer's increases drastically. Meanwhile, another research claims that if estrogen is ingested after a woman's menopause, her risk of getting Alzheimer's and MCI is also high. Based on Lin's analysis of this phenomenon, it is best to take in estrogen before or during the first years of menopause so women can protect their brains because taking estrogen after menopause has an adverse effect on them.
Anesthesia is known as a drug injected into our body to feel no pain during surgical operations. It can cause side effects on a person's body and brain after surgery. It may affect memory and cognition for days or even weeks after the operation. In a study conducted by Dr. Katie Schenning on postoperative cognitive dysfunction POCD , she found that when women undergo surgery and receive anesthesia, their brains shrink and her cognitive capabilities also decline faster than men who underwent the same procedure.
She found this out in her seven years of follow-ups of patients who underwent surgery. This kind of effect for most people who undergo surgery is normal and temporary because there are patients who have a high tolerance to the general anesthesia. The case of anesthesia causing Alzheimer's in women depends on the age of the patient. If she is old enough, greater risk of long term memory loss is possible.
There is a need to increase the number of investigators that would focus and expound on results of previous studies that relates genetics, lifestyle, hormones and biological differences as factors that may cause the high risk of Alzheimer's in women. Maria Carrillo, chief science officer at the Alzheimer's Association, said that there is enough to support this matter by using the conclusion they came upon. We all know how devastating Alzheimer's disease is.
We can relate because, in one way or another, we all know someone suffering from this. Experts researching more about Alzheimer's in women may mean that the next generation may not suffer from the same predicament. I just need some details before we chat. Respite Care Costs. Vascular Dementia. Pugilistica Dementia. Lewy Body Dementia. Frontotemporal Dementia. Medicaid and Medicare Memory Care Coverage. Thank you for your inquiry Someone will be in touch shortly. Please search to see local options:. The main results of dementia-related diseases are damaged brain cells or damaged connections between brain cells, which lead to memory loss and one or more the following conditions, according to the Alzheimer's Association : Decline in coherent speech, or the ability to understand written and spoken language.
How Alzheimer's Works We don't know how Alzheimer's begins, but it likely initiates in the brain about a decade before the signs become noticeable. Alzheimer's: By the Numbers Alzheimer's is the most common type of dementia An estimated 5. However, women are not more susceptible to the disease. They simply live longer than men. Proportionately, older African-Americans and Hispanics are more likely to have Alzheimer's than whites. Alzheimer's Stages Let's take a quick look at the three stages and their behaviors of Alzheimer's as described by the American Health Assistance Foundation.
Stay calm and remember that it's part of the disease. Some days may be better than others. Give a brief explanation but don't overwhelm with a lot of information. Keep it simple. Try to jog their memory with pictures of important places and relationships. Keep the person busy throughout the day with both mental and physical activities. Limit caffeine and sweets and only serve them in the morning. Serve dinner early Keep their bedroom partially lit to lessen confusion by the dark surroundings.
Be aware of the same reasons above that can prompt aggression. Modify the environment; get to a known comfortable environment like their bedroom. Ask them what's causing the agitation. Go for walk to take their mind off the agitation Don't become agitated yourself; they'll recognize this. Listen and find out what's bothering them. Don't argue Offer a simple explanation Engage them in an activity to change their focus.. Be supportive and respond in a calm manner.
Ask them to take a walk into another room, preferably one that is better lit. Re-focus their attention with their favorite activity. Make sure the environment doesn't have distracting lights, shadows or noises that can be misinterpreted. Before we look at the causes of Alzheimer's, let's look at the disease itself. The Alzheimer's Disease Process We still don't know what starts the disease process.
Age Increases Risk While not a cause of Alzheimer's, age is the greatest risk factor. Genetic Causes of Alzheimer's Two types of genes are factors in Alzheimer's—risk genes and deterministic genes. Lifestyle Causes of Alzheimer's While not conclusive, evidence suggests your lifestyle may increase your risk for Alzheimer's. Conditions such as: High blood pressure Heart disease Stroke Diabetes High cholesterol These conditions are brought on by improper diet, smoking, lack of exercise, and excessive alcohol consumption.
Environmental Causes of Alzheimer's An early adult head injury is correlated with the development of Alzheimer's disease. Behaviors change.
Someone who has been honest and forthright all their life might start showing some worrying change in their behavior when it comes to honesty. Even stealing may be involved. An important symptom to look out for is any dramatic change in a person's behavior as they age. If it is unusual behavior, then it could be a sign of things to come. George Perry, Dean of the Science Faculty at San Antonio University and editor of Journal of Alzheimer's Disease explains that FTD, or Frontotemporal Dementia, a gradual degradation on a person's decision making ability, or executive function is often a sign of age-related dementia, which in turn is a precursor to Alzheimer's disease.
Worried about forgetfulness? It may be a problem you don’t suspect
In a study of , they tracked how often they tripped or fell, and they studied their brain scans. They found a surprising connection. Balance and cognitive function is adversely affected, hence the increased frequency in tripping and falling. We all do this now and then. Does this mean that we have Alzheimer's disease?
Not really. But one day if you start looking at your TV remote control and cannot immediately remember what this black slender object is used for, or when you gaze for a long time at a key, wondering what it is, that's a sure sign of the onset of Alzheimer's disease. Persons with the disease tend to forget what certain everyday things are meant for. The function of certain objects escapes them for the moment. It may come back but momentarily at least they are puzzled.
Brain tissue that has deteriorated makes cognitive thinking and analysis difficult and thinking capacity, ability to retrieve information in our brain is compromised. Hence, the sudden inability to process things in our brain, especially regarding everyday objects. Yet they do not gain weight. Scientists have yet to figure out why. A supposition is that brain tends to get its messages scrambled and sends mixed signals so such persons to eat more and even bizarre things like paper and other inedible things.
A person's short term memory skills in the posterior hippocampus is adversely affected. Such person's cannot distinguish the circumstances when someone is being ironic or sarcastic. They take the words and meaning to be literal. Of course we all get it wrong sometimes.
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Now and then we can miss a sarcastic remark by a family member or a colleague. Others do too.
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But if we consistently don't get the sarcastic element and take everything literally, then it could be a warning sign. In a depressed person, certain hormones are released into the brain. The presence of such hormones could trigger the onset of Alzheimer's disease. This does not however mean that if you have depression after your 50s and 60s, that you will definitely get Alzheimer's disease. According to a recent study, those who suffer from depression after 50 years are three times as likely to come down with Alzheimer's than those who don't have clinical depression.
This is usually a reliable indicator of Alzheimer's disease. These amyloid plaques in the brain denote nerve tissue damage. People with a concentration of amyloid plaques show marked disability in cognitive thinking, memory skills and thinking ability.
Hence, staring off into space regularly in a detached manner could be a surprising symptom of Alzheimer's disease. Caring for Alzheimer's Seniors If you are caring for an Alzheimer's senior, you are one of nearly 15 million. But first, look at these caregiver numbers.
The Complete Guide to Alzheimer’s Disease & Alzheimer’s Care
Use simple words and short sentences in a calm tone of voice. Don't, however, talk to them like a baby. Keep distractions radio, TV, etc. Remember their responses may be slow so be careful not to interrupt. Make eye contact and make sure you have their attention before talking. Approach the person from the front and tell them who you are. Avoid arguing, criticizing or correcting.
The Complete Guide to Alzheimer's Disease & Alzheimer's Care
Ask one question at a time. Keep their skills and abilities in mind Pay attention to what they enjoy Encourage exercise like swimming, walking, tennis and gardening Be aware of physical problems Adjust activities to the stages of the disease Focus on enjoyment not achievement Offer support and supervision Be patient, flexible, realistic and relaxed Break activities in simple to follow steps Don't criticize or correct Minimize the distractions Choose a safe place Eating Alzheimer's can affect greatly affect eating.
Limit distractions; serve meals in quiet places no TV Maintain meal routines but adapt to changing needs Keep the table free of clutter; only the plate, napkin, drink and utensils Make the plate and napkin contrast with the table so they can distinguish them Make sure food and drink is not too hot Give them plenty of time to eat Encourage them to chew and swallow carefully Prepare foods that are easy to swallow Give them food choices but limit the choices Serve in large bowls with large spoons The person may change food preferences so be flexible Bathing Bathing is difficult because it is intimate.
Get them dressed at the same time every day Keep their clothing selections limited with just several outfits. Store the rest in another closet. A full, cluttered closet can frighten them Arrange the clothing in the way they should put it on Choose clothes that are loose fitting Choose fabrics that are soft and stretchy Use Velcro in place of zippers and buttons wherever possible Make sure shoes are comfortable and no-slip Be patient and allow for enough time so you don't have to rush the process Take them to the barber shop and beauty salon if that's what they've always done Show them how to comb their hair, brush their teeth, etc.
Simplify as much as possible by following these tips for daily living. Safety If you're a home care provider for someone with Alzheimer's, safety should be on the top of your list—safety for the individual and for those around him or her. Is Your Alzheimer's Senior Safe? The National Institute on Aging recommends asking these questions if you're concerned about leaving someone with Alzheimer's alone: Do they become confused or unpredictable under stress?
Do they recognize a dangerous situation such as fire? Are they able to use a phone in an emergency? Do they know how to get help? Will they stay content in their home? Do they wander and become disoriented? Do they show signs of agitation, depression, or withdrawal when left alone? Do they attempt to pursue former hobbies or tasks that might warrant supervision, i. Evaluating the Environment It's important to know what in an environment may pose a safety risk. Make sure the home has smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and working fire extinguishers. Remove locks from bathrooms so they can't lock themselves in.
Stacy M. Epidemiology and management. Drugs Aging ; Weintraub D, Stern MB. Psychiatric complications in Parkinson Disease. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry ;13 10 Gomperts SN, et al. Imaging amyloid deposition in Lewy body diseases. This content was last updated on: May 7, The information provided here is a public service of the BrightFocus Foundation and should not in any way substitute for personalized advice of a qualified healthcare professional; it is not intended to constitute medical advice.
Please consult your physician for personalized medical advice. BrightFocus Foundation does not endorse any medical product, therapy, or resources mentioned or listed in this article. All medications and supplements should only be taken under medical supervision. Also, although we make every effort to keep the medical information on our website updated, we cannot guarantee that the posted information reflects the most up-to-date research. These articles do not imply an endorsement of BrightFocus by the author or their institution, nor do they imply an endorsement of the institution or author by BrightFocus.
Learn about a new form of dementia, called LATE. The article discusses how many people may have this form of dementia, the brain regions that are affected by this disorder, how it is currently diagnosed, and the next steps for research. Neurofibrillary tangles are insoluble twisted fibers found inside the brain's cells. BrightFocus-funded Alzheimer's research has resulted in two Nobel Prizes, providing life-changing advancements for people living with this disease.
BrightFocus makes innovative science possible around the world— 1, research projects involving more than 4, scientists in 22 countries. The first few weeks after a diagnosis can be overwhelming, and leave you with many questions and concerns. If you are managing a new diagnosis, we have a Getting Started Guide that will help you understand and manage your disease.
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Are you a generous person? Donate today. Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email. Print this page. Explore the similarities and differences between two common degenerative brain disorders. Ron brings his year-old wife, Sara, to the Memory Clinic, with a pressing concern. Is she developing dementia? This content was first posted on: May 24, Disease: Alzheimer's Disease.
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