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Alzheimer’s Disease: Symptoms, Treatment, and Diagnosis

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There are many mental disorders that start when a person starts aging. Dementia and Alzheimer’s are the most common of these disorders. Both these disorders happen due to age and especially due to chemicals/protein build-up in certain parts of the brain, which are not broken down as efficiently as they should.

Both Dementia and Alzheimers have similar effects and symptoms, but Alzheimer’s may get progressively worse and may conclude with delusions and hallucinations if not treated. Alzheimer’s treatment is offered in most mental health facilities by trained psychiatrists and psychologists.

In fact, there are many kinds of treatment options that are present today to manage Alzheimer’s, if not completely cure it. Scientists and researchers are still working on more methods and medicines that can be used to control Cognitive Decline in patients and to manage Alzheimer’s effectively.

What causes Alzheimer’s in patients?

Alzheimer’s is a mental disorder that affects men and women beyond the age of 45. It starts to build up early, and the signs may happen over time. The symptoms may vary from one person to another, but the hard fact is that it can be mistaken for general forgetfulness.

Stronger symptoms may kick in quite late, by which time the person may already be well into the disorder. When it comes to such disorders, the earlier they are detected, the better it can be managed and handled effectively.

Alzheimer’s usually happens with age. The more scientific approach to the cause is that a certain protein in the brain cell is not broken down efficiently, and the build-up of this chemical can cause issues in the brain cells, which in turn affect the neurotransmitters in the brain, causing early forgetfulness.

Slowly the patient may have long-term and short-term memory loss, which can be coupled with various other effects such as hallucinations.

Diagnosing Alzheimer’s

Once the symptoms are identified, the person who is closest to the patient must be able to approach medical and psychological intervention for the patient. Below are the symptoms of Alzheimer’s:

  • Distinct Memory Loss
  • Lack of thinking and logical reasoning
  • Lack of decision-making skills
  • Unable to carry out day-to-day tasks
  • Depression and Apathy
  • Lack of social skills and refraining from contact

The sooner the disorder is diagnosed, the better it can be managed. Medical and non-medical methods are both applied to the patient when it comes to diagnosing the disorder. Some of the methods used are:

  • Blood tests for vitals
  • Scans and MRI of the brain
  • Cognitive Tests to ascertain the extent of spread
  • Observation and other written tests

All these exams are able to identify how well the disorder has set in and the stage of Alzheimer’s the patient is at. Based on the results, the doctors may be able to prescribe medicines to control and manage the disorder.

Alzheimer’s Treatment

Alzheimers treatment is done both medically and using a non-medical approach that involves therapy and counseling. Medications have been prescribed that help in blocking certain chemical buildup and enhance the receptor function in the brain. This helps in preventing further decline.

Psychotherapy helps in managing the disorder and helping the patient cope with the new lifestyle by building various methods to remember things and to make new habits that help them remember key information. Cognitive therapy can help mild and moderate Alzheimer’s patients control further cognitive decline.

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