Alzheimer’s is a type of syndrome that causes the brain to shrink and can make a person’s memory disappear. This disease makes some cells in the brain malfunction which results in decreased ability of the brain.
People with Alzheimer’s disease will experience a severe decline in intellectual function. This will cause disruption to the daily activities and social life of the sufferer.
In the initial phase, people with Alzheimer’s disease usually often lose short-term memory. For example forgetting or not being able to remember the incident that just happened. In addition, sufferers also often forget the names of places or objects that are often used.
In some more severe cases, people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease can forget the people they love, forget how to dress, and forget how to use the toilet.
Over time, other symptoms of Alzheimer’s can appear, including:
- It’s hard to focus
- Difficulty doing normal activities
- Feeling confused or frustrated, especially at night
- Changes in mood such as anger, anxiety and depression
- Feel confused and get lost easily
- It’s hard to walk and have a bad balance
- Difficult to communicate
Alzheimer’s disease causes brain tissue to suffer from time to time, which in the medical world is called brain atrophy. This condition makes the brain get smaller and smaller. This usually occurs in people over the age of 65.
Causes of Alzheimer’s
Although generally this forgetfulness occurs in those who are elderly, Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of the aging process. The cause of Alzheimer’s is derived from two types of nerve damage: atrophic nerve cells have decreased function or protein deposits that occur in the brain.
Alzheimer’s can also be caused by the presence of protein in the blood or commonly called ApoE (apolipoprotein E), which is used by the body to drive cholesterol in the blood. In some cases, there are types of ApoE that are associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition, this disease can also occur in those who have blood pressure and high cholesterol. For rare cases, head injuries also make people potentially have Alzheimer’s.
Signs of Alzheimer’s disease
If you think you or a loved one has symptoms of Alzheimer’s, see a doctor immediately to get the right diagnosis. However, you also have to recognize the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. The symptoms of Alzheimer’s are:
- Confusion and disorientation
- Changes in attitude, for example, become more aggressive or become more suspicious
- Hallucinations or delusions
- Have a small stroke
- Easy to depression
- Have low blood sugar levels
- Thyroid problem
- Brain tumor
- Easy to forget, even for things that are often done or new things done.
After you recognize the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, the doctor will usually do a physical examination and mental tests, such as;
- Test memory
- Test verbal / language skills
- Test the ability to solve problems
- Analyze thinking skills
- See mood
Not only that, doctors can also do an overall brain scan to decide whether someone has a forgetful forgetting this. The following are 2 steps to detect the presence of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create images of the brain. MRI can show whether someone has a clot of a stroke, tumor, or blood that can cause symptoms.
- Positron emission tomography (PET) is a tool that can show plaques that accumulate in the brain, plaque buildup has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
Until now there is no cure for Alzheimer’s dementia. However, there are drugs that can be used to slow down development, especially in the early stages.
- Donepezil, galantamine, and rivastigmine. These drugs can delay Alzheimer’s symptoms worse.
- Memantine (Namenda). Brain chemicals called glutamate are substances that damage the brain. This drug is believed to be able to protect nerve damage that occurs due to glutamate. This drug has fewer side effects than other drugs.
For information, this drug is a combination of donepezil and memantine, which is commonly used for moderate to severe Alzheimer’s treatment
- Medications such as fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), and venlafaxine (Effexor), can help relieve depression
- Sleeping pills to fight insomnia
- Anxiety disorders, such as alprazolam (Xanax), buspirone (BuSpar), lorazepam (Ativan), and oxazepam (Serax)
- To relieve paranoia, confusion, hallucinations, doctors can recommend antipsychotic drugs, such as haloperidol (Haldol), olanzapine (Zyprexa), and risperidone (Risperdal).