Alzheimer’s is a progressive neurological disorder that causes the brain to shrink (atrophy) and die of brain cells. Broadly speaking, the disease is a form of dementia, which is defined as a general term for a decline in mental ability that is severe enough to interfere with daily life. To understand more, this World Alzheimer’s Day Celebrated annually on 21st September – We reached out to Dr. Vinay Goel, Director – Institute of Neurology, Neurosciences, Medanta Hospital, Gurugram, who told us how the two conditions differ, their symptoms, treatments, lifestyle changes that can help are, and important can play a caring role.
What is Alzheimer’s and how is it different from dementia?
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of degenerative dementia in which brain cells necessary for memory die, resulting in memory loss and amnesia. There are different types of dementia, including injury-related dementia and infection-related dementia. The disease becomes more common in the fifth and sixth decades of life, but 10-15 percent of patients may present by age 30. People may be genetically predisposed to dementia because they have two specific genes – presenile 1 and presenile 2 – whose presence is checked for in people who complain of dementia in their early middle age and make progress quickly. People with these genes are more likely to develop dementia between the ages of 30-45.
How does the brain work in both situations?
In Alzheimer’s disease, brain cells die in areas where memory function is stored, and many areas of the brain shrink. This process, known as brain atrophy, extends to the late stages of Alzheimer’s diseaseresulting in significant loss of brain volume.
Causes damage or loss of nerve cells and their connections in the brain Madness, Dementia can cause different symptoms depending on the area of the brain damaged. It interferes with the person’s ability to function; For example, a person with dementia may forget which keys are used. Dementia is not a normal part of the aging process.
Common symptoms of Alzheimer’s are:
*increased amnesia and confusion – for example, people often forget what they had for breakfast, who they met in the morning, and so on.
Loss of recent memory- Over time people start remembering only things from childhood.
*Decreased ability to learn new things
*Language difficulties, as well as difficulties with reading, writing and working with numbers
* Difficulty in organizing thoughts and reasoning
*short attention span
*Inability to identify and locate places, for example, some people are unable to locate their rooms and bathrooms in the home
*Lack of time orientation
Common symptoms of dementia include:
*Difficulty communicating or finding words
*Difficulty with visual and spatial abilities, such as getting lost while driving
* Difficulty handling complex tasks
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Caregiver’s treatment and role
It is important to differentiate between conditions because diagnosis and treatment are based on symptoms. For example, pseudodementia, also known as fake Madnesshas similar symptoms to dementia but can be differentiated in diagnosis. In both dementia and Alzheimer’s, the role of the caregiver increases as the disease progresses.
Keep the following in mind for caregivers or family members
*Keep things simple.
* Establish a daily routine so that the person knows when certain events will happen.
*Assure the person that they are safe and that you are available to help.
* Focus on his feelings instead of words.
*Do not try to argue or reason with any person.
What kind of lifestyle changes can prevent both conditions?
Alzheimer’s patients Must engage in physical activities, quit smoking, take nutritious diet and engage in cognitive activities. In addition, people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease are encouraged to challenge their brains by eating colorful foods, which may help prevent or at least delay dementia. We recommend that patients engage in brain activities such as playing cards, Sudoku, etc.
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