- The elderly teaches the youth that memories are the only thing that last when all else is gone- looks, money, and flexibility. They teach us to stop running for selfies and pictures and enjoy where we are, form memories for a lifetime. But are memories really life-long.
- Loss of memory with age is the one common fear we all have. However, forgetfulness and loss of memory are two different conditions. Loss of memory is called dementia and can occur due to many reasons. The only question that arise in everyone’s mind is whether it can be managed? If yes, how? It is nerve wracking even to think that you could forget who you are, what’s your name, or where you stay. Alzheimer’s disease, affecting 70% of the people with dementia, is the most common type of dementia. At least 44 million people across the globe are struggling to recollect their memory at this very moment, of which more than 4 million individuals affected by dementia are in India.
What Is World Alzheimer’s Day?
- Every year, 21st September is celebrated as World Alzheimer’s Day by raising awareness about Alzheimer’s disease. Every 68 seconds, someone across the globe develops this disease, making it the most widespread form of dementia.
- Alois Alzheimer first described this disease; hence, the disease is named after him. The disease is a progressive one that impairs the memory and other mental functions. Although the signs are visible in the very initial stage of the disease, you tend to confuse it with the usual absent-mindedness due to stress and avoid going to the doctor.
- You must be well aware that in a fight against an enemy, you must arm yourself with all knowledge you can glean about the enemy and then attack its weaknesses. In the same manner, unless you know how the disease occurs and what symptoms it produces, how will you fight back? Most of us don’t even know the exact causes and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
- September is celebrated globally as World Alzheimer’s Month. World Alzheimer’s Day is celebrated on the 21st of this month worldwide to create awareness about the disease and safeguard your memories as well as your image in the memories of your loved ones.
What Are the Causes and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease?
- A combination of multiple factors leads to Alzheimer’s disease. Lifestyle is one major factor that causes Alzheimer’s disease. Lifestyle includes the regular functioning of your brain for various activities, exercises, and diet. It is the only controllable factor to prevent the disease. Other factors include age and gender. Alzheimer’s disease occurs more commonly in individuals over 65 years of age. One in every six individuals over 80 years of age suffers from dementia. For unknown reasons, it is more common in women than in men. It is thought to be linked to lack of the hormone estrogen in women after menopause. It also occurs more commonly in individuals with a family history of the disease and thus has a genetic origin.
- The symptoms of this disease occur so commonly that you tend to miss them initially. It begins with forgetfulness and mild confusion and then causes changes in the brain that lead to memory loss, especially the recent memories.
Individuals with Alzheimer’s may:
- Get lost on the path where they travel regularly
- Forget appointments
- Ask the same questions repeatedly
- Forget the names of family members, friends, and the objects they use often.
They may also have problems with:
- Performing daily tasks
- Making judgments and decisions
Some of the behavioural changes in such individuals include the following:
- Mood swings
- Social withdrawal
- Changes in sleeping habits
The most critical skills that you learn during your childhood are not lost in the initial stages.
The part of the brain that stores such memories is affected in the very latter stages of the disease.
These skills are singing, dancing, reading, enjoying music, telling stories, reminiscing, etc.
What Happens Inside Your Brain In Alzheimer’s
- The main features of this disease are the abnormal clumps that develop in your brain, called plaques and tangles. The connections between the nerve cells in the brain are lost. Since the nerve cells are responsible for transmitting information between the different parts of the brain as well as between the brain and the organs of the body, this disconnect between the nerve cells in the brain leads to dementia.
How to Safeguard Your Memories
- Although some factors like age, heredity, and gender that cause Alzheimer’s are uncontrollable, other elements like lifestyle can have a substantial positive impact if appropriately managed. The factors that put you at risk of heart diseases such as lack of exercise, obesity, a diet lacking in fruits and vegetables, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol may damage the blood vessels in brain are linked to vascular dementia and also increase your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Keeping the brain healthy by maintaining healthy dietary habits and performing regular exercises for the mind and body can help you prevent Alzheimer’s. Staying socially active, avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol can also help you safeguard your memories.
- World Alzheimer’s Day will help create awareness about Alzheimer’s disease, and help you understand the ways to prevent and manage the disease by early diagnosis. HealthAssure can help connect you with primary care doctors who can diagnose Alzheimer’s early and prevent progression of the disease in the best possible manner. Because the earlier, the better.
You can order these tests easily via HealthAssure and gain peace of mind.
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