September 23, 2019 by Companio
Alzheimer’s is an irreversible brain disorder in which the affected person’s brain depletes, impairing their memory and thinking skills. Alzheimer’s is most common amongst people in their 60s but can occur as early as the age of 30. Here are five facts about Alzheimer’s people should know.
Course of its action
The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s. It mostly starts with forgetting recent events. The person might forget to pay bills or might leave the gas burner on. As it worsens, the diseased person forgets traits of their own personality or the names of their loved ones. Basic functions like getting dressed and using the washroom become a task for them that needs assistance.
Not just an old-age disease
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s can appear in people as young as 30 years. Changes in the brain can occur a decade before any cognitive symptoms start to show up. After it has picked up its pace, the life expectancy of a person younger than 60 years become 8-10 years. The life expectancy of a person in their 60s or older reduces to 3-4 years.
Unawareness of Alzheimer’s
The difference between old-age related forgetfulness and Alzheimer’s isn’t very noticeable at first. But an MRI or CT scan shows the shrinkage of the brain even in the early stages of the disease. Because of the lack of awareness about Alzheimer’s, people don’t know the steps for prevention as well as the treatments that can make a person suffering from the disease more comfortable. The symptoms are overlooked far too many times.
Dr. V. Sudhakaran, an Associate professor of the department of neurology, NIMS, said “It makes it all the more difficult to treat Alzheimer’s because people think it’s normal among elderly people. Most families don’t even want to treat the patients in the family.”
Mental cost of the disease
Today, 1.6 million Indians are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, according to FirstPost. These sufferers battle mentally with their inability to remember. It pretty much becomes the only thing they constantly remember. Due to this mental pressure, they resort to complete silence, outrages or even violence. Some families are unable to fulfill the needs financially while others give up hope because of the irreversibility of the disease. Many diseased people are ill-treated and even abandoned. This is the most common reason as to why people with Alzheimer’s are prone to being suicidal.
Forgetting the way home
According to the NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau), over 13,200 elderly people had gone missing in the year 2016. Unattended patients of Alzheimer’s get lost and separated from their loved ones because of their disease. They’re unable to remember any names or addresses. Lost patients often get injured or an accidental death steals them away.
Several NGOs are working towards the welfare of the older citizens who get lost or are shunned away from their homes due to their illnesses. Researches still need to be done to find a deterrent, if not a cure for Alzheimer’s. Awareness needs to be spread focusing on early detection. It is a disease with no cure but a better life for those who have it, is possible.