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Alzheimer’s

Do you see that your mother seems to have forgotten what she cooked best? Or have you seen your father having difficulty recognizing family members? Is any of the senior family member having difficulty with performing common daily tasks or being forgetful? These may be signs of Alzheimer’s Disease. 

In Alzheimer’s disease (AD), there is progressive degeneration of memory and other cognitive abilities. In simple word, Alzheimer’s disease causes difficulty in memory, reasoning, thinking and communication, these problem develop slowly and only gets worse over time. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of Dementia and is usually seen to occur after the age of 65, although there are cases of early onset at the age of 40. 

In AD, abnormal structures, plaques and tangles, form in the brain which prevents brain cells to communicate with each other, eventually leading to death of the brain cell. This is usually seen to initially occur in the parts of brain that are responsible for memory, which later spread to other areas. The effects of AD makes the patient eventually unable to carry out their normal daily activities.

Example, initially the patient might not remember where they kept their keys later they might not recognize their own family members. There are different types of Alzheimer’s disease depending on the part of the brain area affected.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease



Mild

·         Misplacing or losing things around the house

·         Difficulty in recalling a conversation

·         Difficulty in handling money

·         Getting lost in a familiar place

·         Few behavioral changes

·         Taking a longer time to complete daily tasks

Moderate

·         Memory loss increases

·         Difficulty in orientation

·         Unable to learn new skills

·         Difficulty in facing new situations

·         Difficulty in recognizing people

·         Impulsive behavior

·         Inability to carry out daily activities such as dressing

·         Hallucinations, paranoia, and delusions are possible

Severe

·         Unable to communicate

·         Seizures

·         Difficulty swallowing

·         Weight loss

·         Lack of control over bowel movements

·         Increased sleep

Risk Factors for Alzheimer’s

Advancing age is known as the greatest risk factor for AD. Experts are yet to discover the exact reason as to why with age the risk of AD dramatically increases. Alzheimer’s Disease is seen to run in families. If an individual has AD, the family members are more likely to get AD than other people whose family members do not have it. This could be either because of genetic or environmental factors.

There is currently no cure for AD, although there are treatments, therapies, and medications available that help manage the symptoms better. They slow down the progression of the symptoms. For Alzheimer's disease treatment,  professional help is necessary. There are professional teams available to help and support the patient and the family. These teams include a psychiatrist, a clinical psychologist, a physician, a nurse, and a caretaker. All of them address the patient’s needs according to their specialties. The medication given helps increase motivation and improve concentration, it also enables the patient to carry out daily activities such as cooking, dressing, etc.

There are possibilities that the patient may develop other mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. In these cases, counseling and therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be beneficial. In extreme cases, sometimes family members are not able to provide the necessary facilities and settings. For these cases, there are rehabilitation and home care centers available that give the patients the required services as well as the living settings that enable them to function adequately. To explore one of such facilities with experts in Alzheimer’s treatment in India, visit https://www.cadabamshospitals.com/, where a multispecialty team works together to help the person with Alzheimer’s and their family members cope with the symptoms. 

As your parents age, it can be a challenge to figure out how to care the best for them, especially for those who are suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. They may have health care needs or they just need help with day-to-day tasks that make elder home care the best option. 

Alzheimer's, while considered a disease of the elderly, actually can strike at any age. True, it more often affects older people, but the onset can vary enough that everyone needs to know what the condition is and what can be done for it. For every person who is stricken with this disabling condition, there are family members and friends who are faced with difficult decisions regarding their daily care.

Treatment Options

Drugs

The medications for Alzheimer’s disease treatment available today can help for some time with symptoms related to memory and cognitive changes.

Below mentioned drugs are used for the treatment of cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer’s in India.

·         Cholinesterase inhibitors: Examples of cholinesterase inhibitors include rivastigmine (Exelon), donepezil (Aricept), and galantamine (Razadyne). These drugs are known to improve neuropsychiatric symptoms in individuals, such as psychosis, depressive mood, or depression. They work by improving cell-to-cell communication by preserving a chemical messenger in the brain which is depleted in people with Alzheimer’s. 

Some of the side effects that may result from taking cholinesterase inhibitors are nausea, diarrhea, sleep troubles, loss of appetite, etc. It may lead to serious side effects like cardiac arrhythmia in people if they have cardiac conduction disorders.

·         Memantine: Memantine affects the brain cell communication network and works to reduce or slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease symptoms. Sometimes, memantine may be prescribed along with a cholinesterase inhibitor drug. It may produce rare side effects like confusion and dizziness.

To help manage the behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, other medications such as antidepressants may also be given.

Creating A Safe and Supportive Environment

A crucial aspect of Alzheimer’s disease treatment plan is to make changes to the living situations according to the specific needs of your loved ones suffering from the condition. Here are some tips you can follow to make their lives easier, support their sense of well-being, and minimize memory-demanding tasks.

Make sure that you keep valuable stuff like wallets, keys, mobile phones in the same place at home. This applies to their medications as well. To help keep track of dosages, a daily checklist can be maintained.

Program their mobile phones so that their location can be easily tracked. It also helps to save important phone numbers on speed dial. Besides, you can also encourage them to wear a medical alert bracelet and have identification at all times.

Make the living space clutter-free. Try to get rid of excess furniture, rugs, or unused items. Some people with Alzheimer’s may be frightened or confused by images in the mirrors, so you might also want to reduce the number of mirrors in the home.

Try to set appointments on the same day and time as much as possible. To track daily schedules, you can develop the habit of using a calendar or whiteboard in the house and checking off things that are done.

It is good to have photographs and other meaningful objects around the house.

Conclusion

Alzheimer’s is a challenging disease.  Early identification and timely treatment can help manage the symptoms better and improve the quality of life of the person suffering from Alzheimer's disease and their family members.

If you think you or a loved one may have Alzheimer’s, your first step is to talk with your doctor. They can help make a diagnosis, discuss what you can expect, and help connect you with services and support.

If you are looking for the best treatment for Alzheimer’s disease in India, Cadabam’s Hospitals could be your best choice. We are a specialist facility for people suffering from confusion, memory loss, behavioral changes, hallucinations, speech problems, etc. due to Alzheimer’s and other neurological problems. We offer a comprehensive screening and holistic care program for your loved ones with Alzheimer’s along with psychotherapy from some of the best specialists in Alzheimer’s treatment in Bangalore.

We offer physical and cognitive rehabilitation for better management and steady recovery. We understand that Alzheimer’s disease affects not just the person but the family too. Our experts assist families in dealing with stress and other problems due to their loved one’s condition. At Cadabam’s Hospitals, we care for you even after the treatment is completed. Our long-term home care and post-treatment support ensure that you and your loved one have professional help throughout the recovery journey.  

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Alzheimer’s

doctors | Alzheimer’s

Dr. ANITHA B

Dr Anitha Bharathan
M.Sc (Psychology), M.Phil Psychology, Phd in Psycho-oncology 

Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Dr Arun Kumar

Dr Arun Kumar

Psychiatry

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