As you grow older and older, you are more prone to diseases. Some happen due to a weak immunity system, and some due to the age factor. The severity of the disease depends on a lot of factors, but it is always better to keep going for regular visits to the doctor for better and early diagnosis. The focus of this article is a prevalent disease in older people known as Alzheimer's disease. It is a neurological disorder where memory loss is a prominent sign. If you are not aware of it or want to learn more, then here is a small guide on Alzheimer's disease;
What Is It?
Alzheimer's disease is a neurological disease, like other types of dementia, in which the brain tissue is slowly damaged, leading to several symptoms in the affected patients. Memory loss is one of the most prominent signs that Alzheimer's patients’ experience, but others include problems with language comprehension, decision making, and personality changes. These symptoms can progress very slowly and sometimes are mistakenly attributed to old age. As the disease progresses, the patients stop recognizing their loved ones or respond to their surroundings. This can be too heartbreaking for their loved ones.
What Are the Causes of Alzheimer's Disease?
The human brain is a network of millions of neurons (brain cells) in constant communication. In Alzheimer's, some substances (proteins) deposit between the neurons, disrupting information flow. These substances are also toxic to the neurons and slowly cause them to die. Why do these proteins deposit in the brain? There are a lot of theories, and many scientists believe that it is a combination of genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors that affect the brain over time.
What Are the Risk Factors of Alzheimer's Disease?
Age is a well-known risk factor for Alzheimer's. It is important to remember that Alzheimer's is not a normal part of aging, but the risk increases as you age. Family history and genetics is another factor. People with Down syndrome have a higher risk than others. Women tend to get it more frequently than men, probably because they also live longer than men on average. Patients with a prior history of head trauma and traumatic brain injury appear to be at increased risk. Other factors include exposure to air pollution, excessive alcohol consumption, poor sleep patterns, obesity, and heart diseases. On the other hand, activities that are mentally and socially stimulating protect against it. Similarly, exercising regularly, eating a diet of fresh produce, healthy oils, and foods low in saturated fat such as a Mediterranean diet, taking medications for high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and quitting smoking are also protective.
How Is It Treated?
Despite so many advances in the treatment of many neurological diseases, Alzheimer's still has no curative treatment available. Some medications can help slow down its progression and improve the quality of life. There is a lot of research currently, and hopefully, shortly, we will have definitive treatments. As of right now, Alzheimer's is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States.
If you have an old parent in the house, it is essential to get their regular checkups done as they might be suffering from Alzheimer's disease. The best way to go about this is to get a fair and affordable health insurance policy quote that not only gives you coverage in times of need but subsidized packages too. So stop wasting time and start the application process now to get the best quotes available. Make the most out of them. Stay healthy, stay safe!