What is alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive degenerative brain disorder characterized by progressive cognitive failure and memory loss. Medications slow down the disease progression. It is a disease that worsens with time. The condition starts with mild cognitive impairment affecting intellectual ability. As this disease Progresses to late stages, ability to carry on daily living activities including recognition of friends and family and regular functioning get affected.
What are the causes of alzheimer’s disease?
Research has not found any conclusive cause of this disease. However, on a basic level, when the brain proteins fails to normally function causes disruption of brain cells. This triggers toxicity that damages the neurons and loses connection to each other. In fact, according to scientists, Alzheimer’s is caused due to a deadly combination of lifestyle, genetic and lifestyle factors affecting the brain over a certain period of time. The cause of this disease is mainly due to the role of two brain proteins:
- Plaques: when fragments of a protein called beta amyloid start clustering together, they have a toxic effect on the neurons, thus disrupting the cell to cell communication. As they become larger, the deposits are called amyloid plaques.
- Tangles: Tau proteins are an important protein that forms the internal support and transportation system of a neuron. When these proteins start changing shape and organizing themselves into neurofibrillary tangles, it disrupts the transportation channel and causes a toxic effect on the brain cells, thus leading to onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
What are the common symptoms of alzheimer’s disease?
Symptoms of this disease vary from one person to another in terms of severity and worsening over time. Some common symptoms are:
- Memory loss
- Misplacing objects at odd places
- Trouble in bill payment and managing money
- Poor reasoning or judgment
- Difficulty in swallowing & speaking
- Difficulty in walking
- Difficulty in writing, reading or working with numbers
- Having paranoia, hallucinations, or delusions
- Trouble in recognizing friends and family
- Difficulty in performing multi step tasks like cooking or dressing
- Changes in behavior or personality such as anxiety, aggression or agitation
How is the diagnosis of alzheimer’s disease done?
Alzheimer’s disease is diagnosed through several tests and scans such as:
- Medical history including past illnesses and family history
- Urine and blood tests
- Memory and mental status tests
- Neurophysical testing
- Spinal tap or lumbar puncture
- Brain imaging tests
How to manage and treat alzheimer’s Disease?
One of the most important parts of getting the right treatment for Alzheimer’s involves its diagnosis. There are several physical and neurological exams that are conducted by the best neurologist to assess the mental health of the patient. These tests in addition to blood tests enable an early diagnosis of the disease before the onset of the symptoms so as to help the patients in better management of the signs and symptoms of this condition. Accord Hospitals in Faridabad offers all psychoneurological imaging test that help in establishing a valid diagnosis and track the progression of future symptoms in a person.