What To Do If Youre Worried About Your Memory
If you suspect youre experiencing any warning signs of dementia , the first thing to do is see a physician. Dr. Scharre recommends asking for a cognitive assessment at your annual physical so your results can be compared year-over-year and declines can be identified and addressed right awayjust like a colonoscopy, blood pressure screening, or cholesterol testing.
As with any medical condition, typically the earlier you identify it, the more options you have for treatment and typically the better you do, he says. Some forms of dementia have treatable causes while others like Alzheimers are also treatable, just not reversible or curable. Thatnew medication the FDA approved for Alzheimers, for example, only works in the mild cognitive impairment stagethats where its sweet spot is and if you start getting even a little bit more than mild dementia its not useful.
What Is Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimers disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting up to 70% of all people with dementia. It was first recorded in 1907 by Dr Alois Alzheimer. Dr Alzheimer reported the case of Auguste Deter, a middle-aged woman with dementia and specific changes in her brain. For the next 60 years Alzheimers disease was considered a rare condition that affected people under the age of 65. It was not until the 1970s that Dr Robert Katzman declared that “senile dementia” and Alzheimers disease were the same condition and that neither were a normal part of aging.
Alzheimers disease can be either sporadic or familial.
Sporadic Alzheimer’s disease can affect adults at any age, but usually occurs after age 65 and is the most common form of Alzheimer’s disease.
Familial Alzheimers disease is a very rare genetic condition, caused by a mutation in one of several genes. The presence of mutated genes means that the person will eventually develop Alzheimer’s disease, usually in their 40’s or 50’s.
The Healthy Human Brain
Behind the ears and temples are the temporal lobes of the brain. These regions process speech and working memory, and also higher emotions such as empathy, morality and regret. Beneath the forebrain are the more primitive brain regions such as the limbic system. The limbic system is a structure that is common to all mammals and processes our desires and many emotions. Also in the limbic system is the hippocampus a region that is vital for forming new memories.
Key Points About Early
Alzheimer disease commonly affects older people, but early-onset Alzheimer disease can affect people in their 30s or 40s.
It affects memory, thinking, and behavior.
Although there is no known cure, early diagnosis and treatment can lead to better quality of life.
Stay healthy with a good diet and regular exercise.
Avoid alcohol and other substances that may affect memory, thinking, and behavior.
Read Also: Neurotransmitters Involved In Alzheimer’s Disease
Do Genes Cause Diseases
Genetic mutations can cause diseases. If a person inherits a genetic mutation that causes a certain disease, then he or she will usually get the disease. Sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, and some cases of early-onset Alzheimers disease are examples of inherited genetic disorders.
Other changes or differences in genes, called genetic variants, may increase or decrease a persons risk of developing a particular disease. When a genetic variant increases disease risk but does not directly cause a disease, it is called a genetic risk factor.
Identifying genetic variants may help researchers find the most effective ways to treat or prevent diseases such as Alzheimers in an individual. This approach, called precision medicine, takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person.
The expression of geneswhen they are switched on or offcan be affected, positively and negatively, by environmental and lifestyle factors, such as exercise, diet, chemicals, or smoking. The field of epigenetics is studying how such factors can alter a cells DNA in ways that affect gene activity.
Treatment For These Four Types Of Dementia
There is currently no cure for these types of dementia, but some treatments are available. Speak with your doctor to find out what might work best for you.
Living with dementia can be challenging, but there are ways to manage it. Learn more about the types of dementia and other conditions that can cause dementia.
Connect with NIA
You May Like: How Fast Can Alzheimer’s Progress
Four Common Types Of Dementia
The term dementia is an umbrella term used to describe the symptoms of cognitive impairment. And within the dementia umbrella, there are many different variations Alzheimers included. Most of us average folk dont realize that all dementia is not Alzheimers. In fact, I would venture to say that the regular layman isnt quite sure what the difference between Alzheimers and Dementia is. Dont fret Ill explain it here!
Learning the difference between the varying levels of memory loss can be crucial to know the dos and donts of dealing with behavior challenges. It will also come into play with understanding the levels of care that are available to fit your loved ones needs, so they can live more comfortably.
In this blog we will discuss the Top 4 most common types of Dementia. The good news for you is that at The Kensington, we are very experienced with these areas of Memory Care and more. We welcome everyone!
Yes, there are many, many more types of dementia that are known. There is dementia resulting from years of alcohol misuse. There is dementia associated with Parkinsons Disease. There is dementia that is a result of a traumatic brain injury. All in all, there are over 100 types of dementia being treated and researched today. An accurate diagnosis is critical to the treatment of someone with dementia, for obvious reasons.
Understanding Different Types Of Dementia
As we age, its normal to lose some neurons in the brain. People living with dementia, however, experience far greater loss. Many neurons stop working, lose connections with other brain cells, and eventually die. At first, symptoms can be mild, but they get worse over time.
Read on to learn more about four different types of dementia.
Also Check: How Fast Can Dementia Progress
What Are The Warning Signs Of Alzheimers Disease
Watch this video play circle solid iconMemory Loss is Not a Normal Part of Aging
Alzheimers disease is not a normal part of aging. Memory problems are typically one of the first warning signs of Alzheimers disease and related dementias.
In addition to memory problems, someone with symptoms of Alzheimers disease may experience one or more of the following:
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life, such as getting lost in a familiar place or repeating questions.
- Trouble handling money and paying bills.
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure.
- Misplacing things and being unable to retrace steps to find them.
- Changes in mood, personality, or behavior.
Even if you or someone you know has several or even most of these signs, it doesnt mean its Alzheimers disease. Know the 10 warning signs .
How Does Alzheimer’s Disease Progress
The rate of progression of the disease varies from person to person.
However, the disease does lead eventually to complete dependence and finally death, usually from another illness such as pneumonia. A person may live from three to twenty years with Alzheimer’s disease, with the average being seven to ten years.
Don’t Miss: What Color Is The Dementia Ribbon
Alliance Homecare And Dealing With Dementia
No matter the cause of your dementia symptoms, they can severely affect your ability to continue with your normal life. Having the right help, like non medical senior care, is imperative to keeping you comfortable and on track for the best results.
At Alliance HomeCare, our trained professionals are ready to help you with whatever you need. Whether you or a loved one are still in the early stages and just need a little help or if things have progressed to the point where more full-time care is needed, we will work with you to create the personalized care plan that best fits your needs. Discover the benefits of home care and home medical assistance with Alliance HomeCare.
Managing Alzheimer’s Disease Behavior
Common behavioral symptoms of Alzheimers include sleeplessness, wandering, agitation, anxiety, and aggression. Scientists are learning why these symptoms occur and are studying new treatments drug and nondrug to manage them. Research has shown that treating behavioral symptoms can make people with Alzheimers more comfortable and makes things easier for caregivers.
Also Check: Aphasia And Alzheimer’s
Where Mild Cognitive Impairment Fits In
Diagnosing and determining the type of dementia a person has can also get tricky because some people dont have full-blown dementiathey have what doctors refer to as mild cognitive impairment or MCI. With dementia, Dr. Scharre says, you often need other people to do activities for you that you used to be able to manage on your own , but with MCI, you can still do those things even if you need a bit of prompting. So youre forgetful, youre less efficient, and maybe you need verbal clues, but you can still do the function yourselfthats MCI, says Dr. Scharre.
Medications To Maintain Mental Function In Alzheimer’s Disease
Several medications are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat symptoms of Alzheimers. Donepezil, rivastigmine, and galantamine are used to treat the symptoms of mild to moderate Alzheimers. Donepezil, memantine, the rivastigmine patch, and a combination medication of memantine and donepezil are used to treat moderate to severe Alzheimers symptoms. All of these drugs work by regulating neurotransmitters, the chemicals that transmit messages between neurons. They may help reduce symptoms and help with certain behavioral problems. However, these drugs dont change the underlying disease process. They are effective for some but not all people and may help only for a limited time.
Read Also: Neurotransmitters Involved In Alzheimer’s
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy/brain Injury
Initial symptoms: Symptoms of brain injury include loss of consciousness, memory loss, personality and behavior changes, and slow, slurred speech.
Progression: While symptoms from a single concussion are often temporary and resolve with appropriate treatment, chronic traumatic encephalopathy typically develops over time from repeated head injuries and is generally not reversible. Later symptoms include poor decision-making ability, aggression, impaired motor function and inability to communicate effectively.
Prognosis: Life expectancy varies according to the severity of injuries.
Symptoms Of Alzheimers Disease
- Problems recognizing friends and family
- Impulsive behavior
- Difficulty resisting the impulse to use or touch objects
- Compulsive eating
- Trouble following instructions or learning new information
- Hallucination or delusions
- Poor judgment
Typical age of diagnosis for Alzheimers disease: Mid-60s and above, with some cases in mid-30s to 60s
Typical age of diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia: Between 45 and 64
Typical age of diagnosis of Lewy body dementia: 50 or older
Typical age of diagnosis of vascular dementia: Over 65
Read Also: When Does Late Onset Alzheimer’s Start
What Are The Early Warning Signs Of Dementia To Watch For
Now that you know the four common types of dementia, there are 10 early symptoms you should watch for if you begin to notice changes in your loved one. Noticing memory problems in your loved one doesnt immediately mean its dementia.
There needs to be at least two types of impairment that are significantly impacting the person: memory loss plus difficulty with communication, language, focus, or reasoning.
Here are 10 early symptoms of dementia to watch for:
If your loved one is beginning to experience these symptoms, talk to their doctor to rule out any other factors and get a proper diagnosis. An early diagnosis and treatment can be beneficial, so dont delay in getting help.
Is It Alzheimer’s A Different Type Of Dementia Or Something Else Entirely
Wednesday, December 29, 2021
Is it Alzheimer’s disease? As people age, the rapid mental recall of youth often fades. Yet most aging adults have wisdom and life experience to share and are cognitively sound. With increased awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, however, has come an increased fear that every mental glitch we experience as we age is a sign of AD. So, what is Alzheimer’s disease and what could these disturbing symptoms be if they are not AD? Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that gradually destroys memory and thinking skills. Eventually, the ability to carry out simple tasks is also lost, as is the ability to recognize family members and communicate one’s needs. If Alzheimer’s strikes a person before age 65, it’s termed early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Most people with the disease will show symptoms after the age of 65.
Read Also: What Color Ribbon Is For Dementia
What Is Known About Alzheimers Disease
Scientists do not yet fully understand what causes Alzheimers disease. There likely is not a single cause but rather several factors that can affect each person differently.
- Age is the best known risk factor for Alzheimers disease.
- Family historyresearchers believe that genetics may play a role in developing Alzheimers disease. However, genes do not equal destiny. A healthy lifestyle may help reduce your risk of developing Alzheimers disease. Two large, long term studies indicate that adequate physical activity, a nutritious diet, limited alcohol consumption, and not smoking may help people. To learn more about the study, you can listen to a short podcast.
- Changes in the brain can begin years before the first symptoms appear.
- Researchers are studying whether education, diet, and environment play a role in developing Alzheimers disease.
- There is growing scientific evidence that healthy behaviors, which have been shown to prevent cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, may also reduce risk for subjective cognitive decline. Heres 8 ways.
Dementia Is The Umbrella Term For A Number Of Neurological Conditions Of Which The Major Symptom Includes A Global Decline In Brain Function
It is a condition that has been noted in people for hundreds of years.
Dementia was a relatively rare occurrence before the 20th century as fewer people lived to old age in pre-industrial society. It was not until the mid 1970s that dementia begun to be described as we know it today.
We now know dementia is a disease symptom, and not a normal part of ageing.
There are over 100 diseases that may cause dementia. The most common causes of dementia include Alzheimers disease, vascular dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies.
Although the risk of getting dementia increase as we age, people in their 40s and 50s can also have dementia. The term younger onset dementia is used to describe any form of dementia diagnosed in people under the age of 65. To find out more go to the younger onset dementia hub.
Visit the pages below to learn more about the causes of dementia:
Read Also: Alzheimer’s Ribbon Color
Who Has Alzheimers Disease
- In 2020, as many as 5.8 million Americans were living with Alzheimers disease.1
- Younger people may get Alzheimers disease, but it is less common.
- The number of people living with the disease doubles every 5 years beyond age 65.
- This number is projected to nearly triple to 14 million people by 2060.1
- Symptoms of the disease can first appear after age 60, and the risk increases with age.
Explain The Different Types Of Dementia
There is a lack of awareness in society about dementia. We will also give information about the Different Types Of Dementia
Dementia or dementia is a problem that occurs in old age. It is not a disease, but the name of the symptoms arising from changes in the behavior of a person after damage to the brain or brain. Dementia patients become mentally weak, not physically. He has to take the help of others even to complete the daily tasks.
Dementia is not a disease in itself. This problem occurs when there is damage to the brain due to Alzheimers / tension/depression/ stress or any shock. Alzheimers is considered the leading cause of dementia or dementia.
Recommended Reading: Bob Knight Dementia
Health Environmental And Lifestyle Factors That May Contribute To Alzheimer’s Disease
Research suggests that a host of factors beyond genetics may play a role in the development and course of Alzheimer’s disease. There is a great deal of interest, for example, in the relationship between cognitive decline and vascular conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, as well as metabolic conditions such as diabetes and obesity. Ongoing research will help us understand whether and how reducing risk factors for these conditions may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
A nutritious diet, physical activity, social engagement, sleep, and mentally stimulating pursuits have all been associated with helping people stay healthy as they age. These factors might also help reduce the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Clinical trials are testing some of these possibilities.
Early-life factors may also play a role. For example, studies have linked higher levels of education with a decreased risk of dementia. There are also differences in dementia risk among racial groups and sexesall of which are being studied to better understand the causes of Alzheimers disease and to develop effective treatments and preventions for all people.
What Is Alzheimers
Alzheimers accounts for 60-80% of all dementia cases.2 Heres what you need to know about the disease:
- Its an old age disease While a younger person can develop Alzheimers, its quite rare. Symptoms will normally not occur until after the age of 60 with the risk increasing as you age. The number of people living with Alzheimers doubles every five years after the age of 65.
- Its a cognitive disease Dementia is an umbrella term used to cover many different cognitive symptoms including memory loss, impaired judgment, and difficulty thinking.
- It can be fatal Alzheimers disease is one of the top ten causes of death in the United States. Its the fifth leading cause among people over 65.
- Theres no cure While there are treatments to help patients manage symptoms, there is no cure for Alzheimers. On average, after diagnosis, a patient will live between four and eight years, though it is possible to live longer, potentially up to 20 years after diagnosis.3
Read Also: Dementia Vs Senility