7 Frequently Asked Questions about Alzheimer’s Disease
Hi, I was going to continue with the wordpress.com lesson articles but, we had a recent death from Alzheimer’s disease in our family, so I figured I’d send out some information on the subject.
Current statistics show that 1 in 10 people aged 65 and older will suffer from Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and it’s the 6th leading cause of death in the US. It affects more women than men, and the progression of the disease is unpredictable. At the moment, there is no cure.
So, assisting the patient with their day to day life is the only option. This is a disease that takes an emotional toll on the patient and caregiver, and can lead to expensive medical bills. In this article, we’ll look at some of the most frequently asked questions about AD.
1. Is Alzheimer’s disease and dementia the same thing?
No, it’s not. Alzheimer’s disease is a specific disease. Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a loss of one’s mental faculties such as memory, decision making and so on. Alzheimer’s is just one of the diseases that falls under the dementia category.
2. Is Alzheimer’s inevitable with old age?
No. Alzheimer’s disease does not affect most seniors. While there are millions who suffer from AD, there are millions more who don’t. While one can expect their memory to fail now and then as they age, an occasional lack of mental clarity doesn’t necessarily denote AD. It’s just part and parcel of the aging process.
3. Is it hereditary?
While studies have shown that genetics do increase the risk, nothing is certain. If your father had Alzheimer’s, that does NOT mean that you’ll automatically get it too.
4. Are you safe if no one in your family has had AD before?
Once again, it’s highly unpredictable. Even if there’s no family history of Alzheimer’s, this disease has been known to strike. Research is still being done to determine what causes AD, but we’re still some way off from finding an absolute answer.
5. Can you reduce your risks of getting Alzheimer’s?
You most definitely can. In fact, studies have shown that obesity in one’s forties and fifties raise their risk of getting AD later in life. Cleaning up your diet, losing excess weight, de-stressing and exercising often will keep your body and brain healthy – which will help reduce your risks of getting Alzheimer’s.
6. Do natural remedies help cure AD?
This is a relatively controversial topic. There are many sources online that recommend foods and supplements such as fish oil, curcumin, coconut oil, gingko biloba, etc. to combat Alzheimer’s.
The hard truth is that the efficacy of these natural remedies has still not been proven. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t. The body is a highly unique organism that’s always trying to heal itself.
Trying these supplements out may be beneficial and even retard the progress of the disease. The catch here is that what works for you may not work for someone else because our bodies are unique and while the anatomy may be the same, we’re all different individuals. So, it’s all a matter of trial and error to find out what works for you.
7. What are the stages of Alzheimer’s?
There are 3 stages – mild, moderate and severe.
In the mild stage, the patient will notice a lack of energy and may have difficulty learning and remembering some things. They may also be more irritable, confused and prone to mood swings because they don’t understand what’s happening to them.
In the moderate stage, the symptoms worsen and the patient will need help with many tasks. They may only be able to do the most basic tasks. Memory loss occurs and they may forget names, faces, etc.
In the severe stage, the patient’s health weakens and they are vulnerable to other diseases. The cognitive decline is so bad that they may be unable to speak, feed themselves or control their bodily functions.
These 7 questions are some of the most common ones asked, and Alzheimer’s is a scary disease. While it may or may not be painful per se, the emotional and mental trauma it inflicts on its victims and the caregivers is substantial.
I do hope that this article will give you more of an insight into Alzheimer’s disease.
I’ll have a follow-up to this article.
Thanks for visiting!