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All About Alzheimer’s

Posted by on Aug 24, 2019 in Health | 0 comments

Most of us have heard of Alzheimer’s disease before. The symptoms are often utilized as plot points in our favorite movies and television dramas, and because of how common the condition is — many of us likely have family or friends living with the condition.

But, how many of us are actually familiar with the disease? For how widely discussed the condition is, many of us know little about it besides some of the noteworthy symptoms. Consider this blog post an attempt to better educate myself and others about Alzheimer’s…keep reading to learn more!

What is Alzheimer’s?

It doesn’t hurt to start with the basics. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder in which brain cells and their connections die over time, resulting in the loss of memory and other functions. The disease was first discovered in 1906 by Dr. Alois Alzheimer.

According to the National Institute on Aging, the disease is the sixth leading cause of death of death in the United States. However, experts believe it may be the third leading cause of death among older adults.

Unfortunately, there is currently no known cure for Alzheimer’s.

Symptoms

Because the disease is so common, it is important to keep any notice of any warning signs you may notice in your own behavior or that of your loved ones. Some of the common warning signs to look for include:

  • Significant memory loss that interferes with your daily routine
  • Loss of cognitive function — such as loss of vocabulary when writing or speaking
  • Inability to solve problems
  • Sudden changes in behavior that are dramatic and erratic
  • Inability to keep track of time
  • Frequent misplacement of items and belongings
  • Anti-social behavior

It is important to note that the first warning sign exhibited depends on the person in question. Usually, the symptom that usually appears first is issues related to cognition — such as issues related to remembering vocabulary, spatial awareness, and impaired judgment.

If you notice many of these symptoms among you or your loved one, reach out to a medical professional as soon as possible.

Causes and Prevention

Medical researchers have spent their entire livelihoods investigating exactly what causes Alzheimer’s. There are no definite findings yet, but experts believe that the development of Alzheimer’s disease can be linked to both genetics and lifestyle factors.

Genetics. Researchers have not identified a specific link associated with Alzheimer’s, but a certain form of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene does increase someone’s risk for developing the disease in the future.

In addition to the APOE gene, scientists have also classified certain areas of the genome that may be associated with Alzheimer’s.

Another potential cause of Alzheimer’s is lifestyle factors. Eating a nutritious diet, regularly exercising and keeping the brain stimulated may help you avoid developing Alzheimer’s, though there are no guarantees. A newly discussed cause of Alzheimer’s may be sleep deprivation, due to the high levels of beta-amyloid, a substance produced that creates plaques on the brain, produced while we are awake. As a result, it is always a good idea to invest in services like Silent Night Therapy.

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