A lot of older people nowadays are victims of a robber known as dementia. One common type of dementia is Alzheimer's disease. But can Alzheimer's disease be that dangerous? Read on.
Facts about Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease is a common form of dementia which changes the way people think and function. This disease can lead to cognitive decline which in turn can affect the way your brain functions, affect memory and affect your mood and behaviour. This is because there is progressive loss and damage to brain cells in this medical condition. The exact cause is unknown however some things which can increase your risk of acquiring this condition are older age, a positive family history of this condition, previous injuries to the head which may be severe, vascular disease and lifestyle.
Alzheimer's disease is a progressive illness which affects the way a person thinks and remembers. A person with Alzheimer's disease can present with memory problems, difficulty in speaking and in thinking, and changes in behaviour. These people may also have disorientation and personality changes. The diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is based more on signs and symptoms. There is also no known cure for this illness, although medications have been developed to slow down its progress. It usually affects people who are aged 65 years old or more, and slightly affects more men than women. However, there are also cases of early onset dementia, that is, dementia which occurs before the age of 65 years old. You can prevent Alzheimer's disease from occurring by quitting smoking, cutting down alcohol consumption, eating a balanced diet, having regular checkups as you age and being physically and mentally active.
Alzheimer's disease and Death
A recent study has shown that Alzheimer's disease can be a contributory factor many deaths in the United states, just like cancer or heart disease. The results of this study are published in the March 5, 2014, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The researchers commented that Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are under-reported on death certificates and medical records. This is why the researchers studied about 2,566 people ages 65 and older who received annual testing for dementia. The average age of the respondents was 78 years old. The results showed that after about eight years, about 1090 respondents died and about 559 respondents developed who had no dementia developed Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease was confirmed after death through autopsy in about 90% of the respondents who were clinically diagnosed with this disorder. It was found out that people who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease have a four times more risk for death, especially those aged 75 to 84. The risk was three times higher in people aged 85 and older. It was also found out that Alzheimer’s disease was to blame in about one-third of deaths of people who belonged to this age group.
Thus Alzheimer's disease needs to prevented as soon as possible. Lifestyle changes can prevent dementia. These lifestyle changes include a healthy diet, mental stimulation, good sleep, good stress management, and active social life. Regular exercise can reduce stress, can boost mood, can improve memory and can increase energy. Regular exercise is said to reduce Alzheimer's disease risk by 50 percent. It can also slow down deterioration in patients with cognitive problems. Eating foods that can protect glial cells in the brain can also slow down the progression of Alzheimer's disease. Examples of these foods include antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, fatty fish green tea, soy and ginger. One should also not forget to eat lean meat, protein rich foods and healthy fats.
If you want to learn more about Alzheimer's disease, you can read our other articles on this site.