Alzheimer’s is a disease effecting about 5.7 million people worldwide. But what exactly is Alzheimer’s disease, when did it appear on the scene, and what are Alzheimer’s symptoms?
The first description of a presumed case of Alzheimer’s was written in 1906 by Dr. Alois Alzheimer, a German psychiatrist and neuropathologist. He studied and wrote about the behavioral issues of a 51-year-old woman. After she passed away, he examined her brain after autopsy and found amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. These peculiar brain changes would later become the identifying factors of Alzheimer’s disease. This disease was coined as Alzheimer’s disease in 1910, and Dr. Alzheimer died five years later in 1915.
Over the years, advances in neuropathology and science have allowed us to have a better understanding of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s does not have a cure and there is still much that we do not know about the disease. In fact, only through examination of brain tissue in an autopsy is Alzheimer’s diagnosable.
What is Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. The cognitive decline and memory loss that individuals experience is a result of the death of brain cells. Although we all have occasional
lapses of memory, those associated with Alzheimer’s disease are not a normal part of aging.
Alzheimer’s disease is a result of damage to the brain over time. Beta-amyloids clump together as they form plaques between neurons. Additionally, abnormal taus form neurofibrillary tangles in the neurons. Both of which cause disruptions within the brain, and the neurons lose their function.
When Does Alzheimer’s Start?
Alzheimer’s is most commonly seen in people 65 and over; however, there is a small percentage of those who may experience early onset Alzheimer’s. The risk for Alzheimer’s disease increases as you age and may affect an estimated 50 percent of people over 85.
Is Alzheimer’s disease Genetic?
Seventy percent of the risk of Alzheimer’s disease is believed to be genetic. However, there are other risk factors such as being female, head injuries, depression, hypertension, etc.
What are Alzheimer’s Symptoms?
Memory loss is the most common symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. Symptoms also include problems with language, getting lost easily, mood swings, behavioral issues, inability to carry out daily tasks, problem solving difficulties, decreases in personal hygiene, and more.
What Do I Do if I Think My Parent has Alzheimer’s?
If your loved one is showing symptoms of Alzheimer’s, it is important to encourage them to visit a doctor. By getting them in to see a doctor early on you have the ability to explore treatment options or see if the symptoms they’re experiencing are reversible. The doctor can also help you to create an action plan and talk about what to expect when it comes to care.
What if I Cannot Care for My Parents with Alzheimer’s?
Need help caring for your parent who has an Alzheimer’s disease or dementia diagnosis? Renaissance Village offers Memory Care in Murrieta and Moreno Valley. The care we provide enables our residents to thrive with minimized barriers. Our caregivers provide more hands-on care, and each memory care villa is thoughtfully designed for support and security.
Schedule your tour today to learn more about the Renaissance Lifestyle.