Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, a neurological disorder that affects cognition, memory, and behavior. It is a progressive and degenerative disease with no known cure and is characterized by the buildup and deposition of toxic proteins in the brain. AD affects 5 million Americans and over 50 million people in the world.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease vary from person to person but typically begin with memory loss, confusion, and language impairment. Other common signs and symptoms of AD include:
- Cognitive Changes: difficulty solving problems, difficulty with language, decreased ability to focus, flawed judgment.
- Behavioral Changes: agitation, aggression, repetitive behaviors, poor self-care, sleep disturbances.
- Psychological Changes: anxiety, depression, mood swings, delusions, hallucinations.
Diagnosis and Treatment
The diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease is generally done with a thorough evaluation of a person’s medical history, physical and neurological exams, and imaging studies such as CT and MRI scans.
The primary treatment for AD is medication to manage the symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Additionally, many doctors recommend lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and social engagement to help support an individual living with AD.
AD is a serious progressive neurological disorder with no known causes or cures. However, with early diagnosis and appropriate treatment strategies, many individuals with AD are able to manage their symptoms and maintain their quality of life.