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Alzheimer’s and Dementia

dementia-2Alzheimer’s and dementia are strongly linked because Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. Dementia is the constant evolution of the atrophy (degeneration) of the brain’s cognitive functions. In the case of Alzheimer’s, abnormal protein build up happens in the brain which interferes with the way neurotransmitters pass impulses along the nerves to parts of the brain.

Both Alzheimer’s and dementia are associated with progressive memory loss and other functions that are attributed to brain degenerating. Natural brain atrophy and the los of cognitive function is a normal experience for humans as we age. However, with Alzheimer’s/dementia it is way beyond that which is considered the norm.

Alzheimer’s type dementia is extremely debilitating and the disease progress as quickly as 5 years but in some cases cans stretch to as long as 20 years.  The mental and physical disruption of Alzheimer’s type dementia can be very confusing and extremely difficult to cope with. But equally as difficult is the fact that as of this moment, there are no known cures or successful treatments available for Alzheimer’s patients.

Of all the types of dementia, only a very small percentage is reversible sadly Alzheimer’s is not one of them. Once a person has the disease there can be no slowing or stopping it. All one can do is be prepared for it’s inevitable effects. It is extremely important to try to ensure as much as possible that the patient’s friends and loved ones are educated in how the disease will progress to help them to deal with this unforgiving disease.

If you suffer from the very early stages of Alzheimer’s type dementia, it can be very difficult for you to accept or indeed understand what is happening to you. Often times, patients without realising it can create very difficult situations for themselves as well as for the people around them. For instance, people with Alzheimer’s type dementia can have the same conversation with the same person over and over again without realizing it.

For instance a person with Alzheimer’s type dementia can forget that they have just previously called a loved one to tell them something only to put the phone down and call right back to talk about the exact same thing. Or a loved one can answer the phone but they do not know who you are.  Situations like these can cause obviously cause difficulties which is why it is important for people with Alzheimer’s type dementia to have the proper care and understanding both from the medical fraternity and the family.

At some stage loss of correct judgment will inadvertently develop as the Alzheimer’s type dementia progresses which can place Alzheimer’s and dementia sufferers in embarrassing and sometimes dangerous situations. The end result is that the only way to ensure safety is for patients to be supervised at all times. Eventually, patients will have to depend exclusively on specialized care for all their needs.  This will inevitably be the case for many sufferers and it is very important for patients and loved ones to be actively involved in choosing the right care facility

Treating people with Alzheimer’s type dementia with dignity and respect is vitally important throughout the duration of the disease.  These patients do not lost all ability to make judgments and remember important things, and should be consulted in terms of what facilities or type of professional care they think they would benefit from for as long as is possible to do so.

As a loved one of someone who has suffered from Alzheimer’s type dementia, it can be very hard and painful to witness the mental and physical degeneration that takes place with this disease. This can cause some negative emotions to surface as one comes to terms with the grief which can unwittingly be projected at the patient.

However, following the onset of the disease, when the patient is still conscious and trying to come to terms with it they can go through an even more painful process of accepting the disease and the probably consequences of it.

Please share this post with your friends in anyway you can and go to http://worriedaboutmydaddy.com/ to watch the Worried About My Daddy video introduced by Sir Cliff Richard a touching portrayal of our experience of our dad’s struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease.  Not only that you can download the song for FREE and donate to the fight against the world wide epidemic that is  Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Dave and Chris Ward
davejwward@outloook.com
 

 

A brief history of Alzheimer’s Disease

Worried about MY daddu - Dr. Alois Alzheimer’sOne could trace back the history of Alzheimer’s disease from a presentation and lecture made by a German psychiatrist in 1906 during 37th Meeting of Southwest German Psychiatrists held in Tübingen.

Dr. Alois Alzheimer presented his findings on a woman who had died after years of having memory problems and confusion.
When Dr. Alzheimer autopsied the patient’s brain, he found thick deposits of neuritic plaques outside and around the nerve cells. He also found a lot of twisted bands of fibers or neurofibrillary tangles inside the nerve cells.

Today, medical specialists need to find the presence of the same plaques and tangles at autopsy in order to have a conclusive diagnosis that Alzheimer’s disease indeed caused the disease. And due to this lecture and achievement in research and studies, the medical community has bestowed the honor of naming the disease after Dr. Alzheimer.

However, Dr. Alzheimer’s work only signaled the start of years of medical research and studies which could only resolve the mysteries of the disease by so much. Up until now, Alzheimer’s disease has still unknown origin and remains to have no cure. At first, the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease was limited for individuals between the ages of 45-65 since the symptoms of pre-senile dementia due to the histopathologic process are more common and prominent during this age.

However, during the 1970s and early 1980s, the term Alzheimer’s disease began to be used to refer to patients of all ages that manifest the same symptoms.

Statistics show that around 350,000 new cases of Alzheimer’s disease are being diagnosed each year. It is estimated that by 2050, there are 4.5 million Americans afflicted by the disease. Recent studies have shown that there is an increase risk of contracting and developing Alzheimer’s as one grows older.

It has been reported that 5 percent of Americans between the ages of 65 to 74 suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. Also, half of those in the 85 years and older age group are more likely to have the disease.

Genetics have also been seen as a factor in the development of the disease. Scientists have found out that mutations on chromosomes 9 and 19 have been associated with the later stages of Alzheimer’s. However, not everyone that manifests the mutations results to having the disease. Up until now, the relationship between genetics and late-onset Alzheimer’s is still a grey area.

Meanwhile, other research has associated trauma as a factor that increases the risk of acquiring the disease. There are also evidences which suggest that lack of exercise increases the risk factor of Alzheimer’s. It is important to avoid high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and low levels folate in order to decrease the risk of developing the disease.

There are basically three stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Stage 1 or Mild Stage is the early of the disease. At this stage patients become less energetic and will experience slight memory loss. Often times, the symptoms at this stage are either go unnoticed or are ignored as but trivial or normal occurrences.

At Stage 2 or Moderate stage, the patient needs to be assisted in some complicated tasks and memory loss is no highly noticeable. The final stage is the severest stage. Because the disease already progresses too far this point, the patient is unable to perform simple tasks and will lose the ability to walk or eat without help.

We are trying to raise £20,000 for Alzheimer’s research please visit our website at http://worriedaboutmydaddy.com/ to watch our new music video introduced by Sir Cliff Richard about our dads experience with Alzheimer’s.  If you like it you can also download the song for free it for FREE. What have you got to loose??