Inevitable extinction. Alzheimer's disease. Diagnostics and prevention
The first manifestations of Alzheimer's disease can go unnoticed and not cause alertness in the person himself or his relatives. Although the median age of onset is 65 years or older, the onset of Alzheimer's disease appears many years before the onset of symptoms.
Medicine knows cases when Alzheimer's disease began before the age of 30.
Treatment for Alzheimer's disease is based on supportive care. However, the sooner it is started, the greater the chance of a later onset of severe forms of the disease.
How not to miss the first manifestations of the disease? What should be of concern? Which specialists should be contacted if there are suspicions? Is it possible to prevent the onset of the disease? The head of the 13th psychiatric department of the Republican Scientific and Practical Center for Mental Health Svetlana Zanskaya told the correspondent of the Healthy People information portal about this.
What can lead to the development of Alzheimer's disease?
It is difficult to predict with a high degree of probability whether Alzheimer's disease will develop in the future. However, scientists identify several factors that significantly increase the risk of developing the disease.
- Aging. There is an opinion that after 60 years, every ten years, the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease doubles.
- Heredity. If a family, especially close relatives, had cases of the disease, the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease increases by about 15%.
- Floor. It has been proven that women get sick more often than men. Especially over the age of 85.
- Head injury.
- Cardiovascular diseases. Arterial hypertension, stroke.
- Diabetes mellitus.
- Elevated blood cholesterol levels.
- A sedentary lifestyle and an inadequate diet (lack of vegetables and fruits).
- Lack of communication and low intellectual activity.
What should be the reason for the survey?
Early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is rare. This is because the precursors of the disease often do not cause anxiety, they have a completely logical explanation: fatigue, stress, lack of sleep or rest, workload, etc. Often, the early stage of Alzheimer's disease is manifested by slight forgetfulness, apathy, and isolation, which often is perceived by a person's relatives, and by himself as a sign of aging.
As we have already noted, cognitive disorders are characteristic of the initial stage of Alzheimer's disease: memory impairment, distracted attention, and loss of orientation in time.
Often, the disease makes itself felt by changes in character: a previously pleasant person can become rude, withdrawn, and constantly dissatisfied with his abilities, condition, and the attitude of others.
There are cases when the disease begins with a violation of short-term memory.
A person cannot remember the information just received. At the same time, it is not difficult for him to reproduce the facts or events of life that occurred many years ago.
In the course of a scientific study, it was proved that one of the early signs of the disease may be a change in speech. It becomes poorer in content, phrases become verbose and incoherent. However, there are other signs, the appearance of which should not be ignored:
- impaired memory functions (both short-term and long-term), which progresses;
- impaired thinking, and information processing;
- inability to learn new material and reproduce it;
- loss of interest, apathy, decreased activity;
- sudden mood swings, irritability, and antisocial behavior;
- decrease in performance.
- MRI or CT of the brain reveals an atrophic process in the cortex or brain substance, in particular, atrophy of the hippocampus (the part of the brain that is responsible for memory, emotions, and learning) matters. During the examination, it is important to assess the level of memory loss, cognitive (cognitive) sphere, and social and professional maladaptation.
10 Symptoms That Alzheimer's Disease Should Be Suspected and Need to Seek Immediate Examination
|1||Memory loss that interferes with daily activities|
|2||Impaired ability to plan one's activities and find a solution to a problem|
|3||Difficulty performing familiar activities at home, at work, during leisure|
|4||Disorientation in time and space|
|5||Difficulty recognizing visual images and determining spatial relationships|
|6||Newly encountered difficulties in finding words in speech and writing|
|7||Leaving things in unusual places, inability to remember the material read|
|8||Inadequacy of judgments|
|9||Refusal of active activities, work, hobbies, contact with people|
|10||Mood swings, personality changes|
How to prevent the development of Alzheimer's disease?
We have collected the most important recommendations on how to slow down the onset of the disease.
Complete sleep. When a person sleeps, important processes take place in the body, including the “cleansing” of the brain. And during sleep, the transition of short-term memory into long-term memory is carried out. If sleep is disturbed, the mechanism of such “cleaning” breaks down, which contributes to the appearance of amyloid protein, due to which partitions are formed between cells. Over time, this leads to disruption of brain activity, and cognitive decline and, ultimately, can contribute to the development of senile dementia.
They study, study and study again. There are different opinions about how the level of intelligence and education affect the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease. Some are skeptical, and some experts provide irrefutable evidence that constant brainstorming pays off. Mental activity (reading, board games, learning foreign languages, new hobbies and hobbies, mastering a new specialty) is a good load for the brain at any age.
The only caveat: for successful training of cognitive functions, a social environment is needed, which means communication. By the way, some scientists call the lack of live communication one of the reasons for the development of Alzheimer's disease. Although they still can not give a logical explanation for this. Visiting relatives and friends, and telephone conversations reduce the risk of developing dementia.
Health course. Refusal of bad habits, natural and healthy food, and daily physical activity are the three main factors for maintaining health. Alcohol has a negative effect on the work of the cardiovascular system. As a result, the risk of developing a stroke increases significantly (and hence, Alzheimer's disease).
High blood pressure, being overweight or obese, diabetes mellitus, and high blood cholesterol levels increase the likelihood of developing the disease. Exit? Control blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels and reduce body weight.
- Experts consider the consumption of foods with a high content of antioxidants (for example, berries and tomatoes) to be very useful. A certain importance is attached to the resolution of existing stressful situations since against the background of chronic stress, the hormones of the adrenal cortex adversely affect the hippocampus. Moderate physical activity that stimulates blood circulation is useful for the cognitive sphere.
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