Alzheimer′s and dementia
Alzheimer′s and dementia
Alzheimer′s is a disorder that causes
the degeneration of brain cells and death (Jellinger, Schmidt & Windisch,
2013). On the other hand, dementia is a disease caused by Alzheimer’s disease.
People suffering from dementia have problems in thinking and shows some social
and behavioral skills that disrupt their ability to think independently.
Alzheimer’s disease accounts to over 75% of dementia case. Forgetting conversations or events are the
early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. As the disease advances, the person
develops severe memory impairment and may not be able to continue with routine
tasks (Jellinger, Schmidt & Windisch, 2013). Dementia, on the other hand, is a general
term that refers to a decline in mental ability. Dementia is not a specific
disease but a term that generally describes many symptoms associated with a
decline in memory enough to reduce one’s ability to work or perform his or her
education, and diagnosis
The following are the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer′s
Difficulty in remembering recent conversations or events
Being aware of having difficulties in organizing thoughts
or remembering events
Difficulties in thinking and reasoning
Multitasking becomes difficult
The decline in the ability to make reasonable decisions
and judgments, for instance, one may wear clothes that do not match with the
Forgetting how to perform tasks like bathing and dressing
Mood and behavior changes characterized by depression, social
withdrawal and changes in sleeping habits among others
changes of dementia
from dementia may experience the following pcychological changes, anxiety,
hallucinations, change in behaviour, hallucinations and anxiety among others.
Causes of Alzheimer′s and dementia
There is no known
exact cause of Alzheimer′s disease, however, scientists believe that the
disease is caused by a combination of lifestyle, genetic, and environmental
factors that affects one’s brains over time. According to Khanahmadi, Farhud
& Malmir (2015) specific genetic
changes may suggest that a person will finally develop the disease. However,
genetic factors cause less than one percent of Alzheimer’s cases. Genetic
causes of the disease result in Alzheimer’s in middle age, (Khanahmadi, Farhud, & Malmir, 2015). While the exact
causes of the disease are yet to be known. The cause is believed to be problems
in the brains that affect the working of the neurons leading to a series of
toxic events. Damaged neurons are unable to connect to make connections and
eventually die. The disease begins with the damage of the neurons in the brain
region that controls memory. The damage further spreads to other parts of the
brains. The brain finally shrinks in the last stage.
Age and family
The senior people
are at a high risk of the disease compared to young people. The risk of an
individual developing the disease is higher if one’s parents or siblings are
suffering from the disease. Most genetic mechanisms of the disease are not well
due to the complexity of the genetic factors. Scientists have also identified
mutations in three genes that increase the likelihood of developing the
There is no much
difference in risk between males and females; however, Alzheimer’s is common in
women than men since women live longer than men.
The likelihood of
developing the disease is very high in people who had head trauma in the past.
Poor sleep patterns
The risk of Alzheimer’s disease is associated with trying
asleep or falling asleep.
Risk factors such
as obesity, lack of exercise, type diabetes, high blood pressure and smoking
associated with cardiac problems may also increase the risk of Alzheimer’s.
diseases, Alzheimer’s is a condition that is not preventable. However, there
are those lifestyle risk factors that people can modify to prevent the
disease. Exercise, changes in diet and
exercise reduce the risk of developing heart diseases which may also lower the
risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia (Alzheimer’s Association.,
The following are the lifestyle choices that one should
adopt to reduce the risk of the disease:
Avoid or quit smoking
Manage diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol
Regular physical exercise
Avoid food with high saturated fats
Treatment for Alzheimer’s
disease and dementia diseases
Today, there is no cure for the two diseases. Once a person starts showing problems in
remembering things or events, nothing can reverse or stop the problem. However,
some medicines can help to ease the symptoms. they can help one’s brain to work
better thus preventing the disease from getting worse.
Choosing a treatment
A doctor chooses a treatment option based on the
The age, medical history of an individual
The severity of the disease
How well a therapy or medicine is likely to work for an
individual and his or her lifestyle.
The patient’s preferences or those of the family members
that can help
Some drugs may help
to minimize the breakdown of acetylcholine a chemical that is crucial in
learning and memory. These medications help to prevent the symptoms from
getting worse (Robinson, Tang, & Taylor, 2015). The effects of these
medications may nor last more than one year.
The common side effects of these medications include fatigue, vomiting,
loss of appetite and weight loss among others.
Some of the most commonly used medications include rivastigmine,
donepezil, and galantamine.
Resources offered online via support groups
The Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiver Center
an association that provides the patients and their caregivers with a variety
of tools and resources for managing the two diseases (Napoletan &
Napoletan, 2019). The Association help the patients on communication, behaviors
financial matters, behaviors and care options as well as the safety measures
and activities those managing these patients should observe.
Community Resource Finder
an organization that helps those interested in learning more about the diseases
to access programs, resources, and services available within the community
(Napoletan & Napoletan, 2019). One enters a zip code then chooses from a
list of several categories including home care, elder care attorneys and
agencies that assists order people among others.
The Caregiver Space
online group mainly focuses on supporting those who take care of Alzheimer and
dementia patients (Napoletan & Napoletan, 2019). On this site, there are
excellent blogs, reading materials, and topic-specific communities that one can
review. The site also offers tips on how to manage finance and resources meant
for the patients. It offers an easy way for caregivers and patients to connect
with those directly or indirectly affected by the diseases.
an online group formed by a virtual community from the Alzheimers Association.
The online resource is divided into message boards and solution pages. The members can communicate with the
Alzheimers and dementia families via the message board and ask any question
regarding clinical trials early onsets and caring for a sick person among
others (Napoletan & Napoletan, 2019).
On the other hand, the solution pages allow one to ask the community any
question. The questions are then answered by members with experience on the
Alzheimers Reading Room
This is one of the
most visited online sites. It is written
and managed by Bob DeMarco (Napoletan & Napoletan, 2019). The site updates
people on developments and the latest news on Alzheimer’s. Bob DeMarco mother
suffered from Alzheimer’s for many years before she died. Bob was a primary
caregiver to her mother.
Treating grief and bereavement of those caring for one suffering from
Alzheimer′s and or dementia
strong feeling of distress or sadness in response to a certain disease or
significant loss. Some people may develop a strong feeling of loss when a
person close to them develops Alzheimer′s or dementia. When someone close to
you is grieving after a person close to him or her develops dementia or
Alzheimer′s disease, it may not be easy
to know what to say. Such a person feels
isolated and uncomfortable with life. One may be afraid of making a loved one
feel bad. Saying something wrong is another challenge that one may face. However, discomfort should not prevent one
from interacting with a person who is grieving.
There is no particular way to give grieve, Grieve can be unpredictable
with low and high moments. Every individual has his or her own way of grieving.
As such it is significant to avoid telling grieving people what they should be
doing or feeling.
grieving moment comes with extreme behaviors and emotions. A grieving person may develop feelings of
despair, anger, guilt, and fear. A such, a grieving person should be reassured
that what they are undergoing through is normal. One should not judge them but instead,
encourage them. A grieving moment may take the time or even years, No is no
specified period that one should grieve. Those grieving should not be pressured
to move on. It is advisable to talk and listen to grieving persons, talk
candidly about the sick person and acknowledge the situation. Finally, one
should offer the necessary support to a grieving person.
Alzheimer’s Association. (2018). 2018 Alzheimer’s disease
facts and figures. Alzheimer’s
& Dementia, 14(3), 367-429.
Jellinger, K., Schmidt, R., & Windisch, M. (2000).
Advances in Dementia Research. Vienna:
Khanahmadi, M., Farhud, D. D., & Malmir, M. (2015).
Genetic of Alzheimer’s disease: A
narrative review article. Iranian journal of public health, 44(7), 892.
Robinson, L., Tang, E., & Taylor, J. P. (2015).
Dementia: timely diagnosis and early intervention.
Bmj, 350, h3029.
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