Given that this month is Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month, it's critical that you understand the disease and its impact on the American population. More than five million Americans, believe it or not, have Alzheimer's disease, and someone new, perhaps someone you know, is diagnosed every 66 seconds.


So, what is Alzheimer's disease exactly? Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia, which is a general term for a degenerative brain disease that causes memory, thinking, and behavior problems. 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases are caused by Alzheimer's disease. Unfortunately, these problems eventually lead to a lack of ability to perform essential daily duties. Although most people think of dementia as a disease that only affects the elderly (although it is most common in persons over 65), it is not a "natural" feature of getting older.

The early signs of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias differ from person to person, but here are some of the more typical ones to look out for:

1- Memory loss that interferes with day-to-day activities:

 It's common to forget a person's or a place's name, only to recollect it an hour later. What isn't natural is repeatedly asking the same question or forgetting what you've just been taught.

See more warning signs on the following pages.

2- Problems with time or location:

Everyone forgets the date now and then, but persons with Alzheimer's forget the day or year on a regular basis. Others may find themselves in an unfamiliar environment and wonder how they get there.

3- Planning or problem-solving issues :

 Alzheimer's patients frequently have difficulty following simple plans such as paying home bills or balancing a checkbook. Another is to follow instructions, such as those in a recipe.

4- Difficulty carrying out routine jobs or activities :

Things you perform on a regular basis, such as remembering the rules of your favorite card game or the directions to a place you've visited a million times, can become more challenging.

5- Vision problems :

Many people's vision deteriorates as they grow older. It's considerably more troubling when a person can't tell the difference between two colors or has problems reading words on a page (even if they have on their reading glasses).


6- Immediate speech and writing problems :

Many people with Alzheimer's disease find it difficult to follow a conversation or lose their line of thought when speaking. They frequently struggle to find the right words to describe themselves while speaking or writing.

7- Losing possessions :

Alzheimer's disease can impair your capacity to retrace your steps in order to remember when and where you put something. It's also usual to put things where they don't belong, such as your wallet in the refrigerator or your hat in the kitchen cupboard.

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8- There are lapses of judgment :

Someone with Alzheimer's disease can make irrational judgments, such as giving a big quantity of money to someone they hardly know or making an excessive purchase without hesitation. It's also typical to notice lapses in fundamental daily hygiene procedures, such as not showering or changing clothes.

9- Withdrawal from social situations :

Because they can't keep up with the discussion or remember how to execute the activity, people who are experiencing one or more of the symptoms listed above may quit socializing or participating in activities they used to like.

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10- Changes in personality and mood :

People with Alzheimer's disease frequently have personality changes or endure mood swings. When someone is out of their comfort zone, they can appear anxious, melancholy, or out of sorts, even if they were before lighthearted and carefree.

What to do When you or a Loved One is Exhibiting Symptoms of Alzheimer’s?

If you or a loved one has been exhibiting one or more of these symptoms on a regular basis, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible. They'll undertake a physical examination, review your medical history, and, in most cases, administer a pencil-and-paper test to assess your memory, thinking, and problem-solving abilities. If necessary, your doctor will recommend you to a neurologist, a specialist in the treatment of brain and nervous system problems.

Alzheimer's disease prevention:

Alzheimer's disease cannot be prevented in any way. A healthy lifestyle, on the other hand, can help you lower your risk.

Reduce your chances of having Alzheimer's by doing the following:

  • reduce smoking
  • limiting the amount of alcohol consumed
  • consuming a nutritious and well-balanced diet

See more on the following...

  • engage in moderate-intensity aerobic activity for at least 150 minutes for week
  • ensuring that your blood pressure is tested and controlled on a regular basis through regular health examinations
  • if you have diabetes, stick to your diet and take your medicine as directed.

Alsokeeping your mind and social life busyBecause people who are mentally and socially engaged have a lower risk of dementia.

It's possible to lower your risk of Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia by doing the following:

  • reading
  • the acquisition of foreign languages
  • musical instruments playing
  • volunteer work in your community
  • group sports for example bowling
  • attempting new hobbies or activities
  • maintaining a socially active lifestyle

It's best to see a doctor as soon as possible. Early detection enhances your chances of receiving treatment that can help you manage some of the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and be independent for longer. Patients may also be able to participate in clinical studies in the hopes of discovering more effective and long-lasting treatments for their disease.

When should you see your doctor?

Speak to your doctor if you're worried about your memory or fear you could have dementia. You can be concerned about another person's memory problems. If this is the case, encourage them to schedule an appointment. You could advise that you join them. Memory loss is caused by a variety of problems other than dementia. Depression, stress, medications, and other health problems can all play a role. Your doctor can run a few easy tests to see what's causing the problem. If you have dementia, there are medications, therapies, and resources available to help you. These can assist you in living the life you want for as long as feasible. If additional tests are required, your doctor can refer you to a specialist.