Dr. Ramit Sambyal, the general physician in Vasant Kunj, will discuss the patient's symptoms and perform all the required tests. If the patient is diagnosed with Alzheimer's, Dr. Ramit will design a customized treatment plan to reduce its progression. Furthermore, he prescribes one of the most effective and the best Alzheimer's treatment in Vasant Kunj Delhi. Read on to know about Alzheimer’s disease, its symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
What is Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disorder. It is a progressive form of dementia. Dementia is a broad term for conditions caused by brain injuries or illnesses that negatively affect memory, thinking, and behaviour. These changes interfere with daily living. It is marked histologically by the degeneration of brain neurons. Especially in the cerebral cortex and by the presence of neurofibrillary tangles and plaques containing beta-amyloid ·
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
Everybody experiences episodes of forgetfulness from time to time. But patients with Alzheimer’s show certain behaviors and symptoms that worsen over time. These may include:
- memory loss affecting everyday activities
- the difficulty with familiar tasks
- challenges in solving problems
- difficulty with speech or writing
- confusion about time or place
- decreased judgment and personal hygiene
- mood and personality changes
- withdrawal from family, friends, and community
Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease
Your doctor can utilize different examinations and tests to evaluate your mental abilities and rule out other conditions.
They’ll likely begin by taking a medical history and may ask you about:
- current or past health issues
- family medical history
- current or past medications
- diet, alcohol intake, or other lifestyle habits
From there, to determine if you have Alzheimer’s, your doctor will do or order several tests, including:
Mental status test: It can help them assess your short-term memory, long-term memory, and orientation to place and time.
Physical exam: They may check your blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature.
Pathological tests: In some cases, they may collect urine or blood samples for testing in a laboratory. The blood tests to check for genes that may indicate you have a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Neurological Examination: A neurological exam can help rule out other diagnoses, such as an acute medical problem, such as infection or stroke. During this exam, they will test your reflexes, muscle tone, and speech.
Imaging tests: Your doctor may order brain-imaging tests. These tests will create images of your brain, can include:
- Computed tomography (CT) scan:
CT scans take images to view abnormal characteristics in your brain.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI):
MRI can help pick up key markers, such as infection, bleeding, and structural problems.
- Positron emission tomography (PET) scan:
PET scan images can help detect plaque accumulation. Plaque is a protein component related to Alzheimer’s symptoms.
Alzheimer’s disease Treatment and Medication
- There’s no known permanent cure for Alzheimer’s. But your doctor can prescribe medications and other treatments to reduce the disease's symptoms and its progression.
- For early to moderate stage Alzheimer’s, your doctor may prescribe medications such as donepezil or rivastigmine. These drugs can maintain high levels of acetylcholine in your brain. It is a neurotransmitter that can aid your memory.
- To treat moderate to severe stage Alzheimer’s, your doctor may prescribe memantine. Memantine can block the effects of excessive glutamate. Glutamate is a brain chemical produced in higher levels in Alzheimer’s, which damages the brain cells.
- Your doctor may prescribe antidepressants, antianxiety, or antipsychotics medications to reduce symptoms related to Alzheimer’s disease.
Epidemiology of Alzheimer’s disease
- Among people aged 65, 2-3% show signs of the disease. While 25% to 50% of people aged 85 have symptoms of Alzheimer's.
- An even more significant number have some of the disease's pathological signs without the characteristic symptoms every five years after the age of 65, the chance of having the disease doubles. The share of Alzheimer's patients over 85 years is the fastest-growing segment of the Alzheimer's disease population.
- However, current estimates suggest the 75-84 years of age population has about the same number of patients as the over 85 population.
Incidence of Alzheimer's disease in India
- A group study was conducted between 2001-2011 to estimate the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease in Trivandrum's Population.
- The results indicated a high incidence of AD in this group of Kerala's population.
- Higher than reported previously from India though lower than developed countries.
- Suggestions that the incidence of AD is less in Asia than in Europe and North America.
Different Stages of Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's disease usually progresses slowly in three general stages, viz. mild (early stage), moderate (middle-stage), and severe (late-stage). Alzheimer's affects people in various ways. Each patient will experience symptoms through different stages of Alzheimer's.
- Mild Alzheimer's disease (early stage)
In the early stage, Alzheimer's patients may function independently. They may still work, drive and be part of social activities. Despite this, the patient may feel as having memory failures, such as forgetting everyday words or the place of everyday objects.
- Moderate Alzheimer's disease (middle-stage)
Moderate Alzheimer's is typically the largest stage and can last for longer. As the condition progresses, the patient will need a higher level of care.
During the moderate stage, patients may have greater difficulty doing tasks such as paying bills. But they may still remember vital details about their life.
- Severe Alzheimer's disease (late-stage)
In the final stage, patients lose the ability to respond to their environment, carry on a conversation, and ultimately control movement. They may still speak words or phrases. But communicating may become difficult. As memory and cognitive skills continue to worsen, significant personality changes may occur, and patients need extensive help with daily activities. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. However, some treatments can reduce the progression of the disease.
Causes and risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease
Experts haven’t discovered a single cause of Alzheimer’s. But they have determined several risk factors, including:
Specific genes are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Most patients who develop Alzheimer’s are 65 years of age or older.
- Family history:
If you have a family member within your blood relations who has developed the condition, you’re more likely to get it.
Possessing one or more of these risk factors doesn’t mean that you’ll get Alzheimer’s. It merely increases your risk level.
Alzheimer’s Disease Care
- If your loved ones have Alzheimer’s, you may consider becoming their caregiver.
- It is a full-time duty that’s not easy but can be very satisfying.
- Being a caregiver needs many skills, including patience, creativity, stamina, and the ability to see the joy in helping someone live the most comfortable life they can.
- If you choose to assume the role of caregiver, you may need the help of professional caregivers and family members.
Book an appointment with Dr. Ramit Singh Sambyal, one of the leading doctor in Vasant Kunj, to seek the most effective Alzheimer’s treatment in Vasant Kunj, Delhi.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. What is the average life expectancy of patients with Alzheimer's disease?
On average, patients with Alzheimer's live between 3 and 11 years after diagnosis. However, some survive for more than 20 years. The level of impairment at diagnosis can affect life expectancy.
Q. Is Alzheimer's more common in women or men?
More women are affected with Alzheimer’s. But, in general, women live longer than men. So, women's population is much larger. Research has revealed that when the data is checked for age effects, women still seem to be more affected than men, and the reason is unclear.
Q. Can Alzheimer's patients live at home?
Many Alzheimer's patients continue to live on their own during the initial stage of the disease. Making simple changes, taking safety measures, and with others, support can make things easier.
Q. Can Alzheimer's suddenly get severe?
Alzheimer's disease usually worsens gradually. But its progression differs, depending on the patient's genetic makeup, age at diagnosis, environmental factors, and other medical conditions.